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Grade 8 Curriculum

The purpose of the grade eight language arts curriculum is to further develop life-long readers through personal growth in the skills of independent readers who can communicate effectively in both written and oral language. The program explores high-quality, appealing, traditional and contemporary literary selections both in the literature text and in notable young adult literature.

In grade 8, instructional time should focus on three critical areas: (1) formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations; (2) grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships; (3) analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem. 

Students examine the historical and intellectual origins of the United States during the Revolutionary and Constitutional eras. They learn about the important political and economic factors that contributed to the outbreak of the Revolution as well as the consequences of the Revolution, including the writing and key ideas of the U.S. Constitution.
Students also study the basic framework of American democracy and the basic concepts of America government such as popular sovereignty, federalism, separation of powers, and individual rights. Students study America’s westward expansion, the establishment of political parties, and economic and social change. Finally, students will learn about the growth of sectional conflict, how sectional conflict led to the Civil War, and the consequences of the Civil War, including Reconstruction.

The goal of the middle school science program is to instill an enthusiasm for science.  As stewards of the world, students learn they play an integral part in the preservation and improvement of the earth’s resources and technology.  Subject matter is presented as a way of thinking and problem solving and not as a collection of facts.  The inquiry–based, hands-on format encourages students to develop the critical thinking skills needed to become the problem solvers of the future.  To foster these skills, the scientific method of observation, testing, analysis, drawing conclusions and discussion is utilized. 

Additional educational resources such as The Wildlife Sanctuary of MA, Project  Noah (which combines the resources of National Geographic and the National Park Service) The Ocean Research Project partnered with The Smithsonian and NASA, and NASA astronauts in space, are sources of field work and virtual study.  Teaching formats include lectures, discussions, demonstrations, experiments and cooperative activities and blogs.  STEM projects and technology are integrated within each of these formats.
Physical Science / Space Science- Advanced / Technology & Engineering Integrated
STEM and Chemistry

The Audubon – Wildlife Sanctuary: Studying the effect of salinity (salt content) levels on the growth of salt marsh vegetation
NASA-space station:  chemistry/physics needed to design tools for life in space. Chemistry / physics required to sustain life on the moon
Project NOAH - contamination of the oceans and clean up; Myrmex and BioBlitz programs
Ocean Research Project – keeping the oceans clean – oil spills, how plastics and CO2 affect the ocean ecosystems.   Blogs with the researchers
Properties of Matter
Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures
Motion of Objects
Forms of Energy
Heat Energy