English 8

Click here to see an overview of the English 8 Curriculum Guide 

Click here to see the Curriculum Wheels 


Eighth grade English includes a study of literature, composition, grammar, and vocabulary to prepare students for success in high school.  Literature units focus on autobiography, drama, short story, novel, poetry, and Greek mythology.  Composition includes narrative and expository writing related to the literature units.  Grammar and vocabulary are studied in weekly units as well as being integrated into the literature and composition units. 


Grammar and Composition Handbook, Glencoe McGraw Hill 

The Reader’s Choice, Glencoe McGraw Hill 

Additional paperbacks of autobiographies, short stories, and novels supplement these textbooks. 


LITERATURE: Autobiography and Historical Fiction 

In class: autobiographical selections from Reader’s Choice, Going Where I’m Coming From, Diary of Anne Frank (play),
Night (book) with written analysis,vocabulary study, and quizzes

Independent Reading: autobiographical selections with analysis project; historical fiction related to U.S. history
with written project focused on history connection and character analysis 

Free Choice: one book selection with form signed by parent and turned into librarian
(see Library website for form to download)

Suggested websites relating to this quarter’s literature: 

Anne Frank
Elie Wiesel
World War II


Writing assignments: autobiographical incidents (personal narrative); analytic essay in response to literature (MLA format) 

 Skill focus: sentence improvement and paragraph development 


Daily Vocabulary Enrichment: focus on word etymology, meaning, and use in context (Daily word sentences used to reinforce weekly grammar lesson) 

Weekly Grammar Review: focus on review and reinforcement of basic mechanics and application  to writing assignments 


LITERATURE:  The Short Story 

In class: short stories by selected authors with focus on literary terms with related discussion, writing assignments,
activities, and tests

Free Choice: one book selection from list of historical fiction with a follow-up assignment that connects to historical event and character analysis. 


Writing Assignments: analysis of elements of the short story with focus on literary terms and their application to specific short stories.  

Skill focus: development of thesis supported by example with emphasis on sentence improvement and paragraph development. 


Daily Vocabulary: see description for Quarter I. 

Weekly Grammar Review: review and reinforcement of parts of speech and their uses. 



LITERATURE: The Novel and Poetry 

In class:  

Independent Reading: a minimum of 5 short stories chosen from short story collections available in the school library. 


Writing assignments:  analytical 5-paragraph essays for The Pearl and To Kill a Mockingbird which will be used for formal assessment. Focus on development of thesis (The Pearl essay develops theme of oppression and is used as practice/To Kill a Mockingbird  develops theme of courage and is used as final formal assessment.) 

Skill focus:  Emphasis is placed on development of example, use of quotes to support example, analysis of quotes, and effective development of overall thesis. Instruction includes framework for gathering data, scaffolding for organization of data, modelling of paragraph development and effective use of quotation, editing to check for inclusion of all required elements, and use of standard  formal assessment rubric developed by 7th and 8th grade teachers.   


Daily Vocabulary: see Quarter I description. 

Weekly Grammar Review: review and reinforcement of methods of sentence combining and development of more sophisticated sentence style (compound and complex sentences, sentence combining by use of apositives, use of prepositional phrases, and use of dependent clauses, participial phrases, gerund phrases, and infinitive phrases). 



 LITERATURE: Mythology (the Epic Hero) 

In class:  readings on the epic hero in Greek mythology, including Theseus, Heracles, and Ulysses (The Adventures of Ulysses). Emphasis is placed on the Heroic Journey and development of themes within each selection. 

Independent reading: Free choice book with form turned in to teacher. 


Writing assignments: written response and analysis related to themes in literature selections. 


Daily Vocabulary: see Quarter I description. 

Weekly Grammar Review: review and reinforce knowledge of adjective, adverb, and pronoun usage, subject/verb agreement, and identification and use of verbals (participles, gerunds, and infinitives).