Professional Development

Curriculum » Ideal School Curriculum

Ideal Eighth Grade Curriculum

Share This Article: On Twitter On Facebook Print



STORYBOARD - Goals and Objectives


1. Learn to express one’s self through creating works of art

            Applied to every lesson - Lessons listed stress a more creative approach some others

            (Most Creativity stress application of learned theory)

            1.  The approach - Gesso acrylic still life creative expression stressed

            2.  Charcoal landscape on gesso ground - more creative approach to landscape

            3.  Homework - creative composition of hands in action - composition using shoes - a new  fresh approach stressed.


2.  Learn to respond to works of art.

  • Through trips to the art museum
  • Through lecture and demonstration
  • Presentation of famous art works
  • Discussion of fellow student’s works
  • Demonstration, discussion, and presentation of my work


3.  To understand how artists express themselves through their artwork

  • Charcoal landscape - through critique the student could see moods and feeling evolving
  • By giving titles to various art works some students became aware that even a still life can make one feel a certain way.


4.  Understand and apply media techniques, principles and theory to art.

                         Value - the secret to it all is stressed

                         In all grades - composition, color, perspective, and value are presented and put into  practice - becoming more involved as student progresses.

            1.  Acrylic still life, value in color composition painting techniques

            2.  Charcoal landscape, value, perspective composition

            3.  Charcoal still life - a new approach - middle tone presented - work up to light, down to dark.

5.  Using knowledge of structure and functions of art

  • This can be seen mainly through museum trips.  In my classes I can only present two dimensional art (because of time element) - its function and the way you would structure a composition or demonstrate the correct approach to a drawing or painting.  There is not time to present sculpture, ceramics weaving ? - Printmaking will be done in the elective but that is also two dimensional.
  • Functions:  Perspective lecture:  Art in architecture, art in industry
  • Elective:  Commercial - graphicants
  • I present my classes through eyes of a working artist.
  • Art as illustration
  • Art as enhancement.                                             




STORYBOARD - Goals and Objectives


6.  Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas.

  • Appears in most assignments except for lecture.


7.    Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and culture

  • Grades 6, 7 & 8 through trips to museum
  • Presentation of artist works in class
  • Application through their own art work


8.  To become aware of how societies express values and beliefs through visual art forms

  • Grades 6, 7 & 8 through trips to museum
  • Presentation of artist works in class
  • Application through their own art work


9.   Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others.

       Through the critique - a very important teaching tool.


10.  Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines

              Photos of Washington trip as reference for landscapes


The eighth grade curriculum prepares students for the transition in a different school. Teachers expect students to perform academic and co-curricular tasks by fully implementing the research process and synthesizing material throughout all academic areas. Instruction is primarily based on discussion and observation under the supportive guidance of teachers who monitor group and peer-directed projects carefully. It is a culminating year of high expectations and exciting challenges for each student.


The study of English language and literature during the eighth grade year incorporates prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing skills into the process of writing and includes reading persuasive, reflective, and descriptive work, as well. Students evaluate their own and other's work; they create research reports and correspondence, and expand their knowledge of news and information sources to incorporate facts, beliefs, details, and precise written and oral interpretation.

Students begin the academic year by researching self-selected and teacher-approved topics for the culminating public speaking experience - a 10 to 15 minute speech delivered as the main feature of the Middle School assembly. In advance of their performance, each student works with a mentor to incorporate visual aids and techniques that help transfer the research paper to an appealing speech format.

Subject matter at the eighth grade level is diverse, as it integrates reading, writing, listening and public speaking. Review of previously learned grammatical and rhetorical skills is an important instructional strategy. Students start the year by reading Dracula, by Bram Stoker, and other horror stories. They produce a lengthy essay paper and analyze text material for coherence, consistency, clarity, and word usage.

Teachers guide students in presenting brief literary, creative and visual arts projects. Students are encouraged to use their individual talents and to share them with their peer group in the development of classroom projects. Students conduct an in-depth study of short story and poetry genres. They draw from their life experiences in developing creative writing skills. Students read A Separate Peace by John Knowles and Our Town by Thornton Wilder. Students conduct whole group research and create projects that focus on non-fiction. They write critical pieces, editorials, letters, and conduct interviews. Students read the non-fiction work Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

Instructional goals for the eighth grade study of writing, reading and oral instruction are interdisciplinary and interrelated, as all students plan a major research paper and selected students prepare for their participation in the "Power of The Pen" competition. Teachers' instruction is formulated to build vocabulary, improve grammar, and construct meaningful and organized paragraphs.

Through the technique of mini-lessons included in the "writer's workshop", students learn strategies that enable them to draw conclusions and make inferences, as they study writing elements such as: purpose, audience, fluency improvement, leads, setting, dialogue, voice, and mechanics. Students select and read an autobiography and a biography of choice, engage in analysis of the literary work, and a research paper implementing the steps of the research process: information organizing strategies, gathering and sourcing data, analyzing data and synthesizing the results into a prescribed research format.

A. Instructional goals for the eighth grade study of writing:

1. Model and practice the development of clear written and oral language skills.
2. Provide review in the use of strong verbs, complete sentences and well-developed paragraphs.
6. Students' daily writing shows variety in sentence structure. Students experiment with writing genres and forms.
7. Encourage the expression of personal thoughts and ideas.
8. Review techniques with which to respond to literature.
9. Restate the writing process.
10. Develop students' skill of interpretation, comparing essays to other literary genres.

B. Advanced instructional goals for the eighth grade study of writing:

1. Require use of strong instructional verbs, complex complete sentences, and review paragraph development.
2. Give students opportunities to respond to literature from a variety of genres with a capacity to compare and contrast.
3. Encourage recognition of effective writing techniques, including an emphasis on revision.
4. Provide opportunities to experiment with processes of creative and personal writing, and writing non-fiction.
5. Hold conferences with individual students on creative writing pieces.
6. Use "Writer's Workshop" as the instructional model by which students continue to learn clear language skills, enhancing and solidifying their ability to  
    speak and perform in front of others; thus, students express personal thoughts and ideas freely.
7. Create a schedule that allows time for individual and group writing conferences.
8. Model decision-making and the ability to take risks with choosing language forms and genres.

C. Instructional goals for the eighth grade study of reading:

1. Give students lists of instructional reading goals for the year.
2. Promote students' appreciation of fiction and non-fiction reading material from sources that students find interesting and valuable.
3. Promote enjoyment of reading by modeling reading.
4. Promote enjoyment and skill development by reading and writing every day.
5. Encourage perfection of proper complex grammatical usage.
6. Develop advanced research skills.
7. Explore multiple plots and setting and character development according to students' point of view.
8. Relate literature to history, incorporating past, present, and future generations.
9. Promote the expectation of an expanded vocabulary selected to fit topics and subjects under study.

D. Advanced instructional goals for the eighth grade study of reading:

1. Stimulate and raise expectations concerning the quality of class discussion.
2. Model organizational skills that impact reading strategies, including note taking.
3. Develop students' appreciation of critics' articles and pieces in the media.
4. Assign frequent on-line library and topical searches.
5. Appreciate students' cultural backgrounds and personal, as well as family, histories.
6. Model and help students formulate opinions and ideas based on their strengths and abilities.
7. Focus on direct and indirect styles of instruction that promote a high standard of accuracy in the use of grammatical and rhetorical conventions and oral          
     language use.
8. Develop understanding and appreciation of biographical and autobiographical genres as students study characterization, archetypes, and symbols
    across texts.
9. Interact with students during class discussions in which abstract connections between students' lives and literary works are observed.
10. Reinforce the principle that readers are writers and writers are readers.
11. Encourage and arrange for extended group-work in situations where interpretation and analysis are required.
12. Conduct class meetings and other conversational opportunities for students to brainstorm and formulate opinions and ideas.

E. Instructional goals for the eighth grade study of public speaking:

1. Model and articulate language skills which students incorporate into speech making.
2. Refer to and reinforce students' oral communication skills using both formal and informal language.
3. Prepare students and guide them through The Edge program, poetry reading, speech making, and other oral language experiences.
4. Reinforce research and reading and writing skills as students plan oral presentations in various areas of subject matter.
5. Present public speaking and listening skills so that students recognize they are both speakers and members of an audience.


The study of the French language at the eighth grade level combines reading, writing, oral communication and cultural interpretation of the French language, the French as a people and France as their country. Instructional goals are based on students' need to feel comfortable learning a language other than English. Students learn to appreciate another culture and to understand the pleasure and value of learning French in a time when knowledge of a second language is becoming increasingly important.

Students read and write everyday, and learn to appreciate language and communication through class discussions. Students read for skill development, learning new skills and reinforcing old ones. Vocabulary and grammar are taught with each chapter of the textbook used throughout the course of the year.

Oral communication is taught as a series of skills that are practiced and reinforced daily, benefiting students as both speakers and listeners. An example of this is the conversation exchange that occurs during the French Cafe, held at the end of the school year. Conversations are an integral part of each class. Conversations among students take on increased significance as their speaking increases. Subject matter at the eighth grade level

3. Develop a well-written paragraph describing weather using current vocabulary and correct grammar.
4. Provide practice in conjugating "ir"/ "is" verbs.
5. Require students to write negatives using indefinite determiners.
6. Help students conjugate simple "ir" verbs.
7. Teach students to conjugate "re" verbs.
8. Answer questions concerning short story use of vocabulary and grammar concepts in a short story format.
9. Demonstrate noun and adjective agreement and placement in written form.
10. Help students conjugate verbs "pouvoir" and "vouloir."
11. Require students to show, in writing, the change from present tense to past tense

B. Instructional goals for the eighth grade study of reading French text:

1. Use Mots Nouveaux I & II vocabulary.
2. Converse, using times of the day, seasons of the year, dates, terms of weather and telling time.
3. Provide opportunities to practice using "Qu est ce que" - direct objective.
4. Introduce "er" verbs, "ir" / "is" verbs, and passe compose of "er" verbs.
5. Focus on expanded use of vocabulary, especially adjectives.
6. Help students recognize indefinite determiners.

C. Advanced instructional goals for the eighth grade study of reading French:

1. Students read Le Monstre Dans Ie Metro.
2. Continue to build complex vocabulary.
3. Have students identify conjugated "ir" / "is" / "re" verbs in context.
4. Review passe compose and passe compose using irregular verbs.
5. Require students to read and use future tense of verbs "pouvoir", "vouloir", "previdre", "apprendre", and "comprendre".
6. Provide for the study of vocabulary, nationalities, and languages.
7. Demonstrate adjectives used before nouns as demonstrative determiners.
8. Guide students in planning a menu, foods, restaurant setting, and other events in preparation for the French Cafe.

D. Instructional goals for the eighth grade study of speaking French:

1. Provide situations for students to speak in French, emphasizing oral communications and conversational instruction.
2. Emphasize practicing pronunciation.
3. Model how to orally put three groupings of verbs and irregular verbs into the "passe" and "compose".
4. Provide opportunities to practice using vocabulary in an actual setting of a French Cafe.
5. Incorporate the study of the culture of Quebec, Paris, and Les Champs - Elysees.
6. Provide experiences using vocabulary and idioms: terms of weather, ."avoir" idioms and "faire" idioms.
7. Demonstrate use of "etre" with inanimate objects and adjective agreement.
8. Use simple "ir" verbs, adjectives, and verb "faire".
9. Develop and rehearse the use of adjectives used before nouns starting with a vowel or vowels.
10. Interpret the use of negative questions and phrases for students.
11. Present to the class a descriptive paragraph concerning weather.
12. Instruct students in uses of the future tense of "aller" and uses of "passe" "compose", and uses of "ir" verbs.


A. The study of algebra (accelerated program) at the eighth grade level is the study of the abstraction of the number process using variables. Students in this program study an algebra course, Algebra I, which is traditionally taught in the ninth grade. Algebra, as an integral part of mathematics, has its origins in the early grades when students solve problems for a missing addend by using the inverse operation. This "way of thinking" is applied and Instructional goals for the eighth grade accelerated mathematics program provide instruction appropriate to students' needs. Students who participate in enrichment activities at this level of proficiency receive instruction that is integrated with areas of real-world applications. Day-to-day instruction combines a broad set of practice techniques that build sequential concepts, computational fluency, and the ability to complete complex and interrelated problem solving using the set of real numbers. Teachers employ strategies that promote divergent and convergent thinking and an appreciation for mathematics.

1. The study of real numbers at the eighth grade level:

a. Develop real numbers to add, subtract, multiply, and divide.
b. Help students discover and apply the number properties and order of operations.

2. The study of equations and inequalities at the eighth grade level:

a. Provide practice in solving equations and inequalities with one or more steps by using inverse operations and the distributive property.
b. Promote application of the principles of solving equations in context to real life problem solving.

3. The study of polynomials as the sum or difference of monomials at the eighth grade level:

a. Extend basic operations to include adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing polynomials.
b. Introduce factoring of polynomials as the reverse of multiplication.

4. The study of rational expressions as polynomials or the quotient of two polynomials at the eighth grade level provides practice in simplifying and
    evaluating rational expressions.

a. Help students graph linear equations on the coordinate plane.
b. Guide students in determining line relationships.

6. The study of systems of linear equations at the eighth grade level introduces methods for solving linear equations.

7. The study of radicals and quadratic equations at the eighth grade level:

a. Develop appreciation of the Pythagorean theorem.
b. Provide practice in simplifying radicals and include performing basic operations with radicals.
c. Introduce solving quadratic equations using a variety of strategies and methods.

B. The study of prealgebra at the eighth grade level is the study of basic arithmetic, geometry, and elementary principles of algebra. Students at this level require reinforcement of basic concepts and processes developed in previous levels of instruction. Understanding is rooted in visual representations more than abstract ideas. Multiple approaches are used to take students through steps of problem solving and the logic underlying prealgebraic processes.

Teachers help students reason and verify solutions to problems by making algebraic substitutions and using self-checking techniques. Students learn to make connections among singular concepts that lead to a broader understanding of number relationships. Instructional goals for the eighth grade prealgebra program provide students with:

1. The study of integers as a set of whole numbers and their opposites at the eighth grade level:

a. Have students compare integers by using >, <, or =.
b. Provide practice determining absolute values.
c. Review and extend the use of integers to add, subtract, multiply, and divide.
d. Extend the application of exponents to negative numbers.
e. Help students represent number relationships on a graph.
f. Provide opportunities to apply mathematical strategies to solve real-world problems.

2. The study of rational numbers as a set of positive and negative fractions and decimals at the eighth grade level:

a. Review comparing fractional and decimal values using >, <, or =.
b. Help students relate the decimal and metric systems using multiplication and division to interchange units of measure.
c. Develop writing standard numbers in scientific notation.
d. Provide experience in exploring problems and describing results using mathematical and verbal representations.

3. The study of ratio, proportion, and percent at the eighth grade level:

a. Provide for use of proportions in problem solving; i.e., map scales, scale drawings, similar figures, and mixture problems.
b. Provide for mastery of writing percents as fractions and decimals.
c. Review and extend finding rate, base, and percent.
d. Incorporate applications of percent and proportion concepts as used in real-life situations; i.e., discount, commission, tax, and interest.

4. The study of equations and inequalities at the eighth grade level:

a. Provide practice in simplifying, comparing, and classifying one and two-step equations and inequalities.
b. Help students to represent linear equations and inequalities on the coordinate plane.
c. Give opportunities to apply critical thinking to equations, inequalities, and solving problems based on quantitative comparisons.

5. The study of geometry at the eighth grade level:

a. Develop geometry as a means of describing the physical world.
b. Provide mastery in identifying, describing, comparing, and classifying geometric figures.
c. Include experience in estimating and evaluating distance, perimeter, and area of plane figures.
d. Review and extend recognition of connections between properties of plane figures and geometric solids in determining formulas for surface area and

6. The study of statistics and probability at the eighth grade level:

a. Provide opportunities to collect, organize, and describe data.
b. Enable students to construct, read, and interpret tables, charts, and graphs.

7. The study of expressions and variables at the eighth grade level:

a. Develop application of basic operations and their properties to variable expressions.
b. Reinforce evaluation of variable expressions by substituting values and simplifying.
c. Introduce polynomials as the sums of monomials.

8. The study of graphing on the coordinate plane at the eighth grade level:


The study of science at the eighth grade level develops students' knowledge of physical science and provides insight into scientific reasoning and measurement. Throughout the curriculum, scientific laws, principles, and the scientific method are applied, and laboratory safety is practiced. The classification of scientific knowledge into universally accepted categories is a focus as students are guided to analyze data for systems and patterns.

Instructional goals for the eighth grade study of science engage students in the physical sciences through experiments and discovery activities that explore the metric system, density, scientific graphing, laws governing kinetic theory, and the states and classification of matter. Students learn how the Periodic Table defines characteristic structure of matter and identifies elements and their interactions. Hands-on experiences are integrated into each topic. For example, students experiment with carbon as the basis for the study of organic chemistry by comparing and contrasting living and non-living organisms.

Students study how inertia, friction, gravity, and mass affect motion, force, velocity, and acceleration. They become familiar with machines and appliances that utilize different forms of energy to perform work and develop an understanding of thermal energy and how it is measured and transferred. Students investigate static and current electricity and the relationship between magnetism and electricity. Students engage in independent studies that enhance their understanding of conceptual scientific knowledge.

A. The study of advanced measurement at the eighth grade level is the study of scale and structure:
1. Review metric system and demonstrate conversations within the metric system.
2. Interpolate and extrapolate numerical scales on instruments.
3. Measure and graph density, temperature changes in water, and sunspot cycle.
4. Integrate activities with mathematics and history.

B. The study of changes in matter at the eighth grade level is the study of physical and life laws governing the kinetic theory and states and classification of matter:

1. Provide lab experiences that demonstrate laws that govern changes in matter.
2. Explain 'kinetic theory and classification of matter through properties.
3. Integrate activities with mathematics and history.

C. The study of the Periodic Table of Elements at the eighth grade level is the study of structure of matter identified by elements and interactions:

1. Classify knowledge according to structure, atomic number, atomic weight, and properties . of elements.
2. Integrate activities with history, geography, and English language and literacy.

D. The study of chemical bonding at the eighth grade level is the study of chemical reactions:

1. Identify the properties of matter, experience interactions in laboratory situations.
2. Explore the interactions of elements and compounds
3. Integrate activities with mathematics and history.

E. The study of organic chemistry at the eighth grade level is the study of the chemistry of carbon compounds:

1. Demonstrate and model how organic chemistry science is the basic to life science.
2. Model types of bonding that occur within organic molecules.
3. Construct organic molecular models.
4. Integrate activities with geography, art, and health.

F. The study of chemical reactions at the eighth grade level is the study of chemical processes in which matter interacts with other matter:

1. Observe with students chemical reactions between molecules and record the balanced chemical equations.
2. Study and measure chemical reactions between molecules.
3. Present laws that govern chemical interactions.
4. Integrate activities with mathematics and health.

G. The study of forces at work at the eighth grade level is the study of motion, forces, velocity, and acceleration:

1. Develop an historical perspective on the nature of force.
2. Develop concepts of motion, velocity, and acceleration through laboratory experiences.
3. Demonstrate how inertia, friction, gravity, and mass according to Newton's Laws of Motion affect motion, velocity, and acceleration.
4. Integrate activities with history, earth science, and life events.

H. The study of energy at the eighth grade level is the study of measuring and evaluating thermal energy:

1. Discuss efficient uses of heat.
2. Provide opportunities to experience the transfer of heat.
3. Compare the specific heat of a number of substances.
4. Integrate activities with geography and mathematics.

I. The study of machines at the eighth grade level is the study of machines in every day life:

1. Measure the mathematical components of simple machines.
2. Extend knowledge of simple machines to compound and complex machines.
3. Extrapolate on the principles of simple (levers, pulley, fulcrum) machines to robotics.
4. Integrate activities with mathematics, history, and mechanics.

J. The study of sound and light waves and the electromagnetic spectrum at the eighth grade level is the study of vibrations as they produce sound and light as a form of energy:

1. Demonstrate and experiment sound and light waves.
2. Provide opportunities to explore the production of sound and light.
3. Reintroduce the properties of sound as energy that travels in waves that are absorbed or reflected.

*Students demonstrate the path of light rays using assorted lenses and mirrors.

4. Introduce light as part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
5. Discuss man-made and natural sources of light.
6. Model imaging of light through mirrors and lenses.
7. Present information on vibration as it produces sound and travels in all directions from the source.
8. Provide information on light as a form of energy that is produced, transmitted, or imaged from a natural artificial force.
9. Integrate activities with art, music, and history.

K. The study of magnetism and electricity at the eighth grade level is the study of how electricity affects mankind :

1. Explore the relationship between magnetism and electricity.
2. Provide experience in constructing electrical circuits.
3. Discuss uses of electricity and compare the major components of electrical circuits.
4. Integrate activities with mathematics and history.

L. The study of scientific inquiry at the eighth grade level is the study of scientific method applied to individual investigation:

1. Guide students through process of self-selection of topics.
2. Monitor students' progress in application of scientific method, research topics and creative visuals.
3. Assess written, visual, and oral components of research process.


The study of United States and world history during the eighth grade year unifies students' understanding of industrialization, urbanization, and the advancement of society during the past 150 years. Students study America's history, dating back to the American Civil War and progressing through cultural and historic world events to the present time.

Teachers and students trace strands of learning that span the development of the United States and its position among world powers. These strands include agricultural reform, immigration,  two World Wars, dictatorships, the Holocaust, the Depression, the Cold War, and topics that shape students' understanding of modem times.

Students are provided with an in-depth exploration of the impact and legacy of America's Civil War experience and America's foreign and Indian policies. Students study western expansion, leading to settlements in the "last frontier" of America, and the rise of both urban and agricultural societies. Students trace the settlement of the west and the transition of an agricultural society to an industrialized one.

The framework of a chronological time line guides teachers and students in their studies: the last frontier is settled (1865 - 1900), America becomes an industrial nation (1865 - 1900), the age of protest begins (1865 - 1900), and industrial progress changes the nation (1865 - 1900). As America begins an age of reform (1900 - 1920), changes in the world are examined, particularly the role of the United States in World Affairs (1890 - 1914). America's entry into World War 1(1914 - 1920) is studied, identifying characteristics and issues in Europe before and between the World Wars I and II.

Students engage in a thorough proficiency preparation in history and social studies, while planning for the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. These important activities are interwoven into the study of America's entry into World War II and subsequent global current events.

Students examine aspects of world history, in light of the prominence of the United States, and review 20th Century global trends. America's internal conflicts and change related to civil rights, women's rights and other societal transitions in the 1960's and 1970's are studied. Teachers provide experiences, such as trips and media, to convey hope for the future and a generational perspective on the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's that address students' popular culture and their need to feel they will be future leaders of America.

A. Instructional goals for the eighth grade study of American history:

1. Guide students in describing and relating slavery and American documents, such as the Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation
   Proclamation, to the different groups of people shaped by the war.
2. Review the Civil War's conflicting interpretations of America's political and ideological traditions.
3. Help students interpret historical events and chance events occurring in the world and America in the latter half of the 19th century.
4. Provide opportunities to examine the "shadow" of the Civil War, the war's cultural, social, technological, artistic, and psychological legacy.
5. Encourage students to explore effects of railroads on western expansion.
6. Include the study of farm families and settlements on the Plains.
7. Guide students in describing South Western and Plains Indians Wars, and the legacy of American Indians.
8. Lead students to investigate the process by which America became an industrial nation.
9. Help students determine how the resources, inventions, and new commercial methods shaped industrial development, as well as the meaning of the
    term" big business".
10. Demonstrate and investigate big business versus reform

B. Advanced instructional goals for the eighth grade study of history and social studies:

1. Guide students in examining the development and dynamic expansion of industry and big business.
2. Continue the study of industrialized America industry.
3. Provide a means to explore the American experience during the latter half of the 19th century.
4. Emphasize the nation's dramatic industrialization and urbanization (industrial workers' experience, unions and the labor struggle, development of
    modern cities, immigrants and cultural diversity, corruption in the guilded age, protest and reform).
5. Introduce students to the impact and consequences of the "Great War" with special focus on an exploration of poetry.
6. Discuss the Crash of 1929, as boom times change to hard times.
7. Develop the background for reflection on the Holocaust and its significance.
8. Expose students to a broad range of ideological questions facing post-war America.
9. Restate how the Cold War and weapons of mass destruction evolved as an outcome of changes in world politics and diplomacy.


Ask Dr. Susan