This course adheres to the Common Core Standards for 8th grade English. The course has goals for the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language in an effort to make students able to read and write confidently in all subject areas.

In the area of reading students will be able to determine the main idea of a text and analyze the text using specific lines from the text and/or dialogue add to the story and support their analysis. The students will continue to practice using context clues to determine the meanings of words, but will also learn to use these clues to deduce figurative or connotative meanings. They will also learn to compare two different types of texts and discuss how those differences impact the meaning of the texts. Point of view will be understood as a way to change the connotations of a text.

After completing this course students should be able to read and understand various types of literature appropriate for their grade level. In the area of writing the students will become adept at writing argumentative, informative, narrative, and research essays. They will learn to use clear and easy to understand writing with style and function appropriate to their topic. The students will learn how to revise and improve their writing using guidance from peers. The students will learn to research topics using valid and varied sources to gather important information. The proper use of citations and paraphrasing will be emphasized. The students will learn to use texts they have read in order to support their opinions and arguments in a logical way. To improve their speaking and listening skills students will learn to effectively engage in collaborative discussions and analyze information presented in various media and formats. They will learn to evaluate the soundness of reasoning in a speaker’s argument and claims.

Students will also learn to present their own claims and arguments in logical and coherent ways. They will be able to show a command of formal English language in order to support their claims. Throughout their writing and speaking students will demonstrate their command of English grammar and writing conventions.