Frontier Regional Middle School English Curriculum
Course title: Grade 8 English

Overview

Language

Reading and Literature

Composition

Media

Discussion:
Students will use agreed-upon rules for informal and formal discussions in small and large groups.

Understanding a Text:
Students will identify the basic facts and main ideas in a text and use them as the basis for interpretation.

Writing
Students will write with a clear focus, coherent organization, and sufficient detail.

Analysis of Media
Students will identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of the conventions, elements, and techniques of film, radio, video, television, multimedia productions, the Internet, and emerging technologies and provide evidence from the works to support their understanding.

Questioning, Listening and Contributing:
Students will pose questions, listen to the ideas of others, and contribute their own information or ideas in group discussions or interviews in order to acquire new knowledge.

Making Connections:
Students will deepen their understanding of a literary or non-literary work by relating it to its contemporary context or historical background.

Consideration of Audience and Purpose
Students will write for different audiences and purposes.

Media Production
Students will design and create coherent media productions (audio, video, television, multimedia, Internet, emerging technologies) with a clear controlling idea, adequate detail, and appropriate consideration of audience, purpose, and medium.

Oral Presentation
Students will make oral presentations that demonstrate appropriate consideration of audience, purpose, and the information to be conveyed.

Genre
Students will identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of the characteristics of different genres.

Revising
Students will demonstrate improvement in organization, content, paragraph development, level of detail, style, tone, and word choice (diction) in their compositions after revising them.

 

Vocabulary and Concept Development
Students will understand and acquire new vocabulary and use it correctly in reading and writing.

Theme
Students will identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of theme in a literary work and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.

Standard English Conventions Students will use knowledge of standard English conventions in their writing, revising, and editing.

 

Structure and Origins of Modern English
Students will analyze standard English grammar and usage and recognize how its vocabulary has developed and been influenced by other languages.

Fiction
Students will identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of the structure and elements of fiction and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.

Organizing Ideas in Writing Students will organize ideas in writing in a way that makes sense for their purpose.

 

Structure and Origins of Modern English
Students will describe, analyze, and use appropriately formal and informal English.

Nonfiction
Students will identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of the purposes, structure, and elements of nonfiction or informational materials and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.

Research Students will gather information from a variety of sources, analyze and evaluate the quality of the information they obtain, and use it to answer their own questions.

 

 

Poetry
Students will identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of the themes, structure, and elements of poetry and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.

Evaluating Writing and Presentations
Students will develop and use appropriate rhetorical, logical, and stylistic criteria for assessing final versions of their compositions or research projects before presenting them to varied audiences.

 

 

Style and Language
Students will identify and analyze how an author’s words appeal to the senses, create imagery, suggest mood, and set tone, and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.

 

 

 

Myth, Traditional Narrative, and Classical Literature
Students will identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of the themes, structure, and elements of myths, traditional narratives, and classical literature and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.

 

 

 

Dramatic Literature
Students will identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of the themes, structure, and elements of drama and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.

 

 

 

Dramatic Reading and Performance
Students will plan and present dramatic readings, recitations, and performances that demonstrate appropriate consideration of audience and purpose.

 

 

Grade 8

 

Language

Reading and Literature

Composition

Media

Discussion*

Know and apply rules for formal discussions (classroom, parliamentary debate, town meeting rules).

Oral Presentation*

Present a n organized interpretation of a literary work, film, or dramatic production.

Use appropriate techniques for oral persuasion.

Give oral presentations to different audiences for various purposes, showing appropriate changes in delivery (gestures, vocabulary, pace, visuals) and using language for dramatic effect.

Create a scoring guide based on categories supplied by the teacher (content, presentation style) to prepare and assess their presentations.

Vocabulary and Concept Development*

Determine the meaning of unfamiliar words using context clues (contrast, cause and effect).

Determine the meaning of unfamiliar words by using knowledge of common Greek and Latin roots, suffixes, and prefixes.

Determine pronunciations, meanings, alternate word choices, parts of speech, or etymologies of words using dictionaries and thesauruses.

Structure and Origins of Modern English*       

Recognize the basic patterns of English sentences (noun-verb; noun-verb-noun; noun-verb-noun-noun; noun-linking verb-noun).

Distinguish phrases from clauses.

Recognize the makeup and function of prepositional phrases.

Identify simple, compound, and complex sentences.

Recognize appropriate use of pronoun reference.

Identify correct mechanics (comma after introductory structures), correct usage (pronoun reference), and correct sentence structure (complete sentences, properly placed modifiers).

Employ grammar and usage rhetorically by combining, including, reordering, and reducing sentences.

Describe the origins and meanings of common words, as well as of foreign words or phrases used frequently in written English.
                                               
Formal and Informal English*

Analyze the language styles of different characters in literary works.

Understanding a Text*

For imaginative/literary texts:
Use knowledge of genre characteristics to analyze a text.

Interpret mood and tone, and give supporting evidence in a text.

Interpret a character’s traits, emotions, or motivation and give supporting evidence from a text.

Making Connections*

Relate a literary work to artifacts, artistic creations, or historical sites of the period of its setting.

Genre*

Identify and analyze the characteristics of various genres (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, short story, dramatic literature) as forms chosen by an author to accomplish a purpose.

Theme*

Analyze and evaluate similar themes across a variety of selections, distinguishing theme from topic.

Fiction*

Locate and analyze elements of plot and characterization and then use an understanding of these elements to determine how qualities of the central characters influence the resolution of the conflict.

Nonfiction*

Identify and use knowledge of common textual features (paragraphs, topic sentences, concluding sentences, introduction, conclusion, footnotes, index, bibliography).

Identify and use knowledge of common graphic features (charts, maps, diagrams).

Identify and use knowledge of common organizational structures (logical order, comparison and contrast, cause and effect relationships).

Recognize use of arguments for and against an issue.

Identify evidence used to support an argument.

Distinguish between the concepts of theme in a literary work and author’s purpose in an expository text.

Poetry*

Respond to and analyze the effects of sound, form, figurative language, and graphics in order to uncover meaning in poetry:
•  sound (alliteration, onomatopoeia, internal rhyme, rhyme scheme);
•  figurative language (personification, metaphor, simile, hyperbole);
•  graphics (capital letters, line length, word position).

Style and Language*

Identify and analyze imagery and figurative language.
     For example, students read or listen to three poems for Stephen Dunning’s anthology, Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle that employ extended metaphor poems.

Identify and analyze how an author’s use of words creates tone and mood.

Myth, Traditional Narrative and Classical Literature*

Compare traditional literature from different cultures.

Identify common structures (magic helper, rule of three, transformation) and stylistic elements (hyperbole, refrain, simile) in traditional literature.(Continue to address earlier standards as needed and as they apply to more difficult texts.)

Identify conventions in epic tales (extended simile, the quest, the hero’s tasks, special weapons or clothing, helpers).

Identify and analyze similarities and differences in mythologies from different cultures (ideas of the afterlife, roles and characteristics of deities, types and purposes of myths).

Dramatic Literature*

Identify and analyze elements of setting, plot, and characterization in the plays that are read, viewed, written, and/or performed:
•  setting (place, historical period, time of day);
•  plot (exposition, conflict, rising action, falling action); and
•  characterization (character motivations, actions, thoughts, development).

Identify and analyze the similarities and differences in the presentation of setting, character, and plot in texts, plays, and films.

Dramatic Reading and Performance*

Develop and present characters through the use of basic acting skills (memorization, sensory recall, concentration, diction, body alignment, expressive detail), explain the artistic choices made, and use a scoring guide with teacher-developed categories (content, presentation style) to create scoring criteria for assessment.

Writing*

For imaginative/literary writing:*
Write stories or scripts with well-developed characters, setting, dialogue, clear conflict and resolution, and sufficient descriptive detail.

Write poems using poetic techniques (alliteration, onomatopoeia, rhyme scheme), figurative language (simile, metaphor, personification), and graphic elements (capital letters, line length, word position).

For informational/expository writing:
Write reports based on research that include quotations, footnotes or endnotes, and a bibliography.

Write and justify a personal interpretation of literary, informational, or expository reading that includes a topic statement, supporting details from the literature, and a conclusion.

Write multi-paragraph compositions that have clear topic development, logical organization, effective use of detail, and variety in sentence structure.

Consideration of Audience and Purpose*
Make distinctions among fiction, nonfiction, dramatic literature, and poetry, and use these genres selectively when writing for different purposes.

Select and use appropriate rhetorical techniques for a variety of purposes, such as to convince or entertain the reader.

Revising*

Revise writing to improve level of detail and precision of language after determining where to add images and sensory detail, combine sentences, vary sentences, and rearrange text.

Improve word choice by using dictionaries or thesauruses.

Revise writing to improve organization and diction after checking the logic underlying the order of ideas, the precision of vocabulary used, and the economy of writing.

Improve word choice by using a variety of references.

Standard English Conventions*

Use additional knowledge of correct mechanics (apostrophes, quotation marks, comma use in compound sentences, paragraph indentations), correctsentence structure (elimination of fragments and run-ons), and correct standard English spelling (commonly used homophones) when writing, revising, and editing.

Use knowledge of types of sentences (simple, compound, complex), correct mechanics (comma after introductory structures), correct usage (pronoun reference), sentence structure (complete sentences, properly placed modifiers), and standard English spelling when writing and editing.

Organizing Ideas In Writing*

Integrate the use of organizing techniques that break up strict chronological order in a story (starting in the middle of the action, then filling in background information using flashbacks).

Organize information into a coherent essay or report with a thesis statement in the introduction, transition sentences to link paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Organize ideas for writing comparison-and-contrast essays.

Research*

Apply steps for obtaining information from a variety of sources, organizing information, documenting sources, and presenting research in individual projects:
•  differentiate between primary and secondary source materials;
•  differentiate between paraphrasing and using direct quotes in a report;
•  organize and present research using the grade 7–8 Learning Standards in the Composition Strand as a guide for writing;
•  document information and quotations and use a consistent format for footnotes or endnotes; and
•  use standard bibliographic format to document sources.

Media Production*

Create media presentations and written reports on the same subject and compare the differences in effects of each medium.