English – Kumu Prais - KS Blogs


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


Class Expectations:

Mālama: Take care of yourself, others, and your surroundings.

Mākaukau: Be ready and willing to learn and to participate in all class activities.

Manaʻolaulā: Be openminded; be tolerant and understanding of others’ personalities, views, and opinions.

*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.

Quarter Theme



Setting Sail

Navigating Our


Instructional Focus

Academic Language and Vocabulary


General Reading

Strategies and

Annotation Methods

Genres and Literary

Devices in Fiction

Non-fiction text: structures, features, and reading strategies

Fiction: Selected short stories

Contextual Knowledge

Selected works of fiction

Mark Twain: The

Father of


Literature and

Significance of Pre-

Overthrow Visit to




Perspectives and

Modern Voyaging

Holiday Fiction:

The Tell Tale Heart

(Halloween) and

The Gift of the

Magi (Christmas)

Non-Fiction related to research topic

3 Many Paddles,

One Direction

Research Methods

Writing of formal, research based, MLA formatted argumentative paper

Fiction: Comprehension and Analysis

4 New Horizons

 


Comprehension and Analysis


Significance of

Classic Poets, such as Langston

Hughes, Walt

Whitman, Robert

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.