Kumu: Ms. Robin Prais
School Year 2015-2016 Course Description
Course: Grade 8 English Language Arts
Course Description: This course is designed to develop students’ critical thinking skills, strategic approach to reading a wide range of text types, and clear articulation of views and ideas both in oral and written format. As literacy is a function of both reading and writing skills, through this course students will engage in the deliberate acquisition of knowledge related to these skills in order to prepare them with the academic tools they will need for high school and beyond. The literature program is designed to develop and nurture students’ love for, and appreciation of, the privilege of reading. The writing program is designed to develop and nurture students’ ability to adeptly and succinctly express themselves in written format.
Specific Course Goals:
Students will increase their reading levels by learning and applying reading strategies in the comprehension of a variety of texts. They will also acquire and engage in critical
reading approaches, such as analysis of text features and purposes, annotation of text, content inquiry and analysis techniques, and engagement in scholarly discussion related to literature that has been read.
Students will increase their academic vocabulary through word analysis, determining meaning through context, and applying new words in their writing and speaking.
Students will write for a variety of purposes and audiences, using mastery of grammar
and mechanics as defined in the Grade 8 English Language Arts and Literacy Common
Core State Standards (CCSS).
Students will exercise character traits of young adults who are learning to become socially responsible citizens able to navigate adeptly in the global society of the 21 st
*Also, all rules and guidelines as defined and specified in the Kamehameha Schools Maui Middle
School Handbook apply and will be enforced.
Course Content: The following table captures a very basic breakdown of this course’s direction for this school year. Quarterly themes were choses to reflect the cultural lens of “Ike Hawaiʻi” and designed in consideration of the profound growth and change that is the nature of adolescence. The focus of instruction is based on the Common Core State Standards, and a variety of assessments are used to gauge student learning.
Academic Language and Vocabulary
Genres and Literary
Devices in Fiction
Non-fiction text: structures, features, and reading strategies
Fiction: Selected short stories
Selected works of fiction
Mark Twain: The
Significance of Pre-
Overthrow Visit to
The Tell Tale Heart
The Gift of the
Non-Fiction related to research topic
3 Many Paddles,
Writing of formal, research based, MLA formatted argumentative paper
Fiction: Comprehension and Analysis
4 New Horizons
Comprehension and Analysis
Classic Poets, such as Langston
Frost, and Emily
*Subject to change as deemed necessary
*Students will also be engaging in:
- reading literature of their choice throughout the school year.
-developing vocabulary through a course based on Greek and Latin roots and prefixes.