English Language Arts » Grade 8

Grade 8

long foggy roadUnit Title: Everyone Loves a Mystery
Essential Question: What attracts us to the mysterious?
Genre Focus: Fiction
Extended Writing Project: Narrative

Hairs rising on the back of your neck? Lips curling up into a wince? Palms a little sweaty? These are tell-tale signs that you are in the grips of suspense.

But what attracts us to mystery and suspense? We may have wondered what keeps us from closing the book or changing the channel when confronted with something scary, or what compels us to experience in stories the very things we spend our lives trying to avoid. Why do we do it?

Those are the questions your students will explore in this Grade 8 unit.
touching water in a calm riverUnit Title: Past and Present
Essential Question: What makes you, you?
Genre Focus: Poetry
Extended Writing Project: Literary Analysis

What makes us who we are? As we form bonds with other people and our communities over time, we realize that experiences from our past shape who we are in the present. With a genre focus on poetry, this Grade 8 unit prepares students to explore questions about how we see ourselves in the world.

Students in this unit will discover what it means to be yourself, to make tough decisions, and even to feel on top of the world, using the lens of figurative language to understand how authors express varied ideas about identity and belonging, past and present.
zipliningUnit Title: No Risk, No Reward
Essential Question: Why do we take chances?
Genre Focus: Informational Text
Extended Writing Project: Informative

Why do we take chances? Every time a person takes a chance, he or she risks losing something for the possibility of a reward. Sometimes these chances pay off, and sometimes they don’t. Yet, people still take risks every day. With a genre focus on informational texts, this Grade 8 unit prepares students to explore questions about why we take chances.
speaking into a microphoneUnit Title: Hear Me Out
Essential Question: How do you choose the right words?
Genre Focus: Argumentative Text
Extended Writing Project: Argumentative

Intrigue. Uproar. Inspiration. Hilarity. Heartbreak. Choosing the right words can have a strong effect on an audience. But how do you know which words are the right words? With a genre focus on argumentative texts, this Grade 8 unit prepares students to explore questions about how authors choose the right words.