Students and Parents, English in the 8th grade is a transitional

Students and Parents,
English in the 8th grade is a transitional course linking the middle and the upper school
curriculum. This curriculum combines literature, grammar, vocabulary and has a strong
emphasis on writing.
In keeping with the theme of Social Justice, the novels Night, Tom Sawyer, To Kill a
Mockingbird and The Lions of Little Rock are studied as well as a variety of short stories.
Students are also introduced to Shakespeare through the study of Romeo and Juliet. Emphasis
is placed on formal writing with an understanding and application of a thesis. Students will
learn formats for writing a three point paragraph, a five paragraph essay, and a formal research
paper based on the study of the Holocaust which done in association with the reading of Night.
Computer technology is used extensively for research as well as daily assignments and
communication throughout the year. The Vocabulary book ,Vocabulary Power Plus Level H, will
be on line this year. The majority of assignments and quizzes in this area will all be done
electronically. It is very important that students have their laptops charged and with them
daily. Student evaluation is based on homework, tests, quizzes, and written and oral
Expectations are high both behaviorally and academically for all students. I expect all
students to be prepared and that all students will be courteous and respectful of others. Often
students will be working collaboratively so individual preparation, effort, and cooperation is
required. Projects and presentations often lend themselves to group or “team” work. It is
expected that each student will be a responsible member of the team and hold up his/her part
of the given task.
This will be a very challenging year. Much is covered, and much is required.
Activities and assignments are varied. It is a year when the questions “who? when? and what?”
are considered surface level, and emphasis is on the more important questions: “how? and
why?” Being able to support and defend answers to these questions in written and oral form
will be the key to success.
I look forward to an exciting year. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns
now or throughout the year, please don’t hesitate to contact me. The best and quickest way is
via email.
Murphy Elliott
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