Eighth grade religion course is intended to prepare students for the sacrament of Confirmation. They review their knowledge of the Bible, the Sacraments and the life of Jesus. Our pastor is very involved in the class and preparing the students for this rite of initiation that deepens their understanding of their faith. Confirmation takes place after Easter.
The focus of the eighth grade reading and language arts classes is conflict resolution and individuality. Eighth graders receive their first reading assignment, Ender’s Game, in May of their seventh grade year. Upon their return in August, the eighth grade explores a variety of literary sources that include essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson and excerpts from Sun Tzu’s Art of War. Students craft persuasive essays, research papers, interpretive essays, and creative narratives, while addressing all conventions of writing, including passive voice and appositives. Vocabulary development is focused on students being able to identify meaning of specialized vocabulary by using their knowledge of word roots and affixes. They continue to identify figurative language. Students are gaining confidence in their ability to identify new vocabulary in reading and are also able to use it in their writing. At the end of the year, students create an in-depth paper known as “The Eighth Grade Synthesis.” In this piece, students recount the social, academic, and spiritual lessons they will take with them to high school from their time at SAIC, and relate those lessons to the Schoolwide Learning Expectations.
Eighth grade Algebra pushes students to use abstract concepts to solve everyday issues. Students will need a firm grasp on their basic skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of integers, fractions, and decimals to solve problems algebraically. Students use equations, graphs and formulas to solve these everyday problems. Our goal in Algebra is to turn our eighth graders into problem solvers before they leave SAIC.
Physical science is a specialized look at the physical world. We begin with basic chemistry by discussing the phases of matter and the Periodic Table of Elements and continue with chemical reactions, acids and bases, and Carbon chemistry. After chemistry students discover the forces that shape the world around us. We end this year with the study of chemistry and physics on a universal scale as we discuss Astronomy. Eighth graders are expected to display their understanding of the scientific method by researching, creating, and displaying a science project.
Starting with the indigenous peoples of the Americas and ending just before the First World War, the eighth grade Early American History course is designed to make students question, criticize, understand and become inspired by the story of our nation. Whether drawing comparisons between Francis Scott Key and Jimi Hendrix, presenting in-depth reports on topics of the Revolutionary War, or playing hypothetical situation games to become well versed in the rights and responsibilities of free thinking citizens, the eighth grade course demands well organized and creative work. Students learn how to view history through a critical lens, learning from the past to create a better future.