Grade Eight Curriculum

Literacy, Reading and English
  • Multiple perspectives and Colonialism using Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart 
  • Personal values essay using “This I Believe” essays
  • Harlem Rennaissiance and pre-civil rights literature using Richard Wright’s Black Boy
  • Extensive creative writing unit using an anthology featuring contemporary and classic short stories and poetry
Skills
  • Close reading and interpretation of texts
  • Formal essay writing
  • Analytical thinking
  • Academic discourse in a seminar setting
  • Writing process: drafting, revising, editing, proofreading, publishing
  • Individual grammar and vocabulary in the context of student work
Math
  • Linear functions and linear systems
  • Quadratics
  • Inequalities
  • Radical functions
  • Exponential functions
  • Rational equations and expressions
  • Absolute value functions
Skills
  • Algebraic reasoning
  • Problem solving (independent and group)
  • Modeling problems with graphs
  • Recognizing patterns
  • Providing evidence to support an answer

Learn more about the mathematics program

PE and Athletics
Interscholastic athletics
  • Fall: soccer, field hockey, football, cross-country
  • Winter: basketball, hockey, wrestling, squash
  • Spring: lacrosse, track, baseball, softball, tennis
Skills
  • Developing sportsmanship and appreciation of sports
  • Team problem solving and building camaraderie
  • Understanding strategy, concepts and rules
  • Competing against 30+ schools in the Boston area
Library and Research

Library and research skills are integrated throughout core academic classes.

Affective Education
Key Concepts
  • Social responsibility
  • Emotional fluency
  • Personal confidence and identity
  • Critical thinking
  • Constructive coping skills
360 Program
  • Understanding independence, dependence and interdependence
  • Developing awareness of responsibility, both as a leader and a member of the community
  • Understanding the impact nutrition, sleep and exercise have on overall health and wellness
  • Understanding oneself as a learner as well as the neurological basis for learning: multiple intelligence theory, growing one’s intelligence, neurons, cerebrum, the limbic system, the brainstem and cerebellum, and drug/alcohol impact on the adolescent brain
Science
  • Properties of pure substances
  • Law of Conservation of Mass
  • Law of Constant Proportions
  • Atom as the fundamental unit of matter
  • Environmental values and issues
Skills
  • Lab skills: data collection, measurement, analysis and analytical writing, composing lab reports
  • Group problem solving
  • Applied mathematics
  • Experimental design
  • Critical thinking and inductive reasoning
  • Communication and teamwork
Visual Arts
  • Figure-ground design
  • Photograms
  • Tile project (ceramics)
  • Translating form
  • Storytelling with shapes
  • Creating metaphors
Performing Arts
Acting
  • Improvisation
  • Devised theatre
  • Exploring varied sources of inspiration (found objects, texts, imagery)
  • Stage movement
  • Playwriting
  • Monologue performance
  • Adaptation
  • Rehearsal process and ensemble performance
Skills
  • Developing spontaneity, confidence and awareness as a performer
  • Strengthening skills in projection, diction, expression, stage movement and rehearsal discipline
  • Creating and embodying a range of believable characters
  • Collaboratively and individually crafting original works of theatre
  • Exploring the rehearsal process and preparing for performance
Music
Chorus
  • Performance based; Grades 7 and 8 chorus meet together
  • Various types of music performed, in various groupings
  • Continued improvement in vocal sound; emphasis on sight-reading
Orchestra
  • Grades 7 and 8 join Upper School orchestra for more challenging and varied musical selections
  • Emphasis on ensemble togetherness and technique
General Music
  • Music history and music theory; includes some performance
  • Emphasis on musical elements (opera, percussion playing, folk dancing)
Instructional Technology
  • Wiki project in science and social studies
  • Graphing calculators (TI-Nspire CAS)
  • Statistical analysis in Excel
  • Google Docs for English peer editing
  • Using class conferences responsibly
Social Studies
Central Theme: Government, Democracy and Civil Rights
  • Introduction to Democracy: Ancient Greece
  • Citizenship in South Africa (pre-colonial and colonial)
  • United States civics
  • Japanese internment and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States
Skills
  • Conducting research
  • Developing geographic literacy
  • Understanding primary and secondary sources
  • Critical thinking and critical reading
  • Communication
Spanish
Vocabulary and topics

Technology, places of interest, daily routines, travel, leisure activities, baseball

Grammar

All pronouns, reflexive verbs, present progressive, preterite and imperfect tenses, formal and informal affirmative and negative commands, verbs like gustar, demonstrative adjectives, introduction to future and conditional tenses

Culture

Focus on Argentina, Costa Rica and expand on Dominican Republic

French
Vocabulary and topics

Review of all previous vocabulary, weekend plans

Grammar

Reflexive verbs, imperfect, all pronouns, future, conditional, adverbs, the future and conditional with si- clauses, the construction verb + à and verb + de, introduction to subjunctive

Culture

French modern art impressionism, poems, the classic period of French history, Modern France as a multi-cultural society, French-speaking Caribbean islands, the place of Western and Central Africa in the francophone world (African art, literature), French presence in North America, movie on “The Louvre” (history and culture)

Latin
  • Verbs: six indicative tenses, active and passive, all conjugations
  • Present infinitives, active and passive
  • Nouns and adjectives: all declensions; comparative system of adjectives and
  • Subordinate clauses: relative and temporal
  • Grammatical analysis, connections between English and Latin syntax
  • Stories of heroes, myths and legends