Eighth-Grade Literacy Learning Objectives
Eighth-grade students read from a variety of genres. During reading, students maintain active reading notes, engage in both informal and formal discussions, respond to various writing prompts and study vocabulary. Following the reading of at least two core texts, students write a literary essay in which they use textual evidence, including quotations, to support a thesis. In addition to the core texts, eighth-graders study several short stories, poems and essays. Students also set independent reading goals and are expected to read a wide variety of self-selected books. All students also maintain a writer's notebook (either electronic or hard copy), which houses observations, reactions to events and first drafts of stories and poems. As students build a portfolio of writing designed to help strengthen their skills, they work closely with teachers in individual conferences.
Shared Reading Titles
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose
Possible Shared Titles
The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Examples of Shared Writing Assignments
Formal Essays in Response to Shared Reading: Literary Analysis
World Literature Project: Synthesis
House on Mango Street Style Vignette: Reflective
Dramatic Scene: Creative
Essential Questions include the following:
- What do we learn from the "master writers" about how to write well?
- How can I use literary devices and conventions to accomplish their purposes?
- What is the relationship between purpose of writing (inform, entertain, reflect, record) and voice, tone, word choice, elements of style?
- What is creativity and what is its importance for the individual / the culture?
- How can I use language to empower myself?
- How can I use reading and writing to discover and explore information about myself?
- What does it mean to have power in writing?
- How is a play formatted differently than a novel?
- What affects a person's decision to help another or to choose not to help another in need?
- In the face of social injustice, what is our human responsibility?
- How do the social and economic times influence the opportunities for individuals to pursue their dreams?