8th Grade Language Arts Overview

Page history last edited by David Barringer 10 years, 1 month ago

8th Grade Language Arts

Instructor: David Barringer

Curriculum Map, Class Page


In 8th grade Language Arts students focus on a wide body of American literature and a diverse set of American voices.  Drawing on works from the 16th century through the present day, students explore various fundamental questions: What does it mean to have voice in American literature?  How and when did a truly "American" voice emerge in literature?  How has this body of writing shaped our identity?  How has our identity changed over time?


Early texts will consist mostly of journals, letters, and speeches – from explorers, settlers, slaves, and the creators of the Declaration of Independence - that address themes of early American civilization.  Students examine the vision for the “New World” and the emergence of the American Dream.


As students enter into the 19th and 20th centuries, they focus more on works of fiction.  They read short stories, novels, poetry and plays. Students will broaden their understanding of the elements of fiction, and learn to achieve more depth in their analysis of literature.


Throughout the year, there is an emphasis on becoming more mature writers and developing a strong sense of voice.  Students write analytical essays, journals, poetry, descriptive essays, speeches, short stories, and personal narratives.

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