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Grade 8 Program The Grade 8 year is dedicated to developing the whole individual. Our students have a natural curiosity and enthusiasm for life that is nurtured through exciting programs, educational projects, fun trips, and community service. In the classroom, King presents a diverse and challenging curriculum that emphasizes skill development, high standards of achievement, good study habits, time management, and personal responsibility. It inspires students to pursue deeper levels of understanding, to work cooperatively, and to foster the critical thinking that is so highly valued. The traditional subjects offer a solid foundation for college-preparatory work in the Upper School. Students also are asked to take ownership of their academic growth by participating in student-led conferences, and they receive the encouragement and support of their teachers by assertively advocating for their needs. King presents a comfortable environment for all students to realize their academic potentials. ENGLISH – REASON, INDEPENDENCE, AND JUSTICE

American literature serves as the foundation for this course. The selections address themes of reason, independence, and justice, and they challenge students to reflect on their own values. A student-centered approach underscores the importance of integrating conceptual workshops, writing workshops, and class seminars in order to encourage self-discovery and celebrate autonomy of thought. Formal vocabulary and grammar lessons are taught within the context of improving communication skills, both written and oral. Ultimately, students improve their abilities to articulately express ideas and critically analyze literature. Interdisciplinary connections and Internet quests assist students in their exploration to understand and appreciate the historical contexts of the literature. A portfolio of written work is visited periodically so each student may reflect on personal strengths and set new goals for learning and self-improvement.

2012-2013 Middle School Program Guide

Resources: “The Pearl,” by Steinbeck “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee “Twelfth Night,” by William Shakespeare “Night,” by Elie Wiesel “English Workshop, 3rd Course” Þ Þ

An assorted collection of poems, essays, short stories, and articles on the Harlem Renaissance Vocabulary is studied within the context of the literature.


“To experience the joy of mathematics is to realize mathematics is not some isolated subject that has little relationship to the things around us other than to frustrate us with unbalanced check books and complicated computations. Few grasp the true nature of mathematics – so entwined in our environment and in our lives.” (Theoni Passas, “The Joy of Mathematics”) Algebra is one of the great gateways to further study on mathematics. The more internalized it is, the more available it is for use in any appropriate context. Consequently, our program is designed to provide students with almost two years of algebra before Upper School, so that its tools are fully available to them. All of our Grade 8 students have algebra or a full year of an introduction to algebra. Our honors and accelerated students take a rigorous course in formal algebra. All other students take a course in pre-algebra which emphasizes the fundamentals while developing familiarity and proficiency with basic algebraic tools. Texts: “Algebra: Structure and Method, Book 1” “Pre-Algebra”





Grade 8 History explores the role of the United States in the world community, and in particular the challenges the U.S. has faced in foreign policy from its perspective as well as how it is perceived in the world community through the eyes of the many countries it interacts with, such as those in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. As a country with great power, the United States has shouldered enormous responsibility with its global relationships and has treaded carefully in a world characterized by major differences and increasing hostilities.

This course is the first detailed introduction to physical science for students, covering concepts in physics and chemistry. In the first half of the year, the concepts of motion, forces, and energy are explored as students work to understand the fundamental laws of physics and the world around them, aided by application in disciplinary and collaborative projects. In the second half of the year, atomic structure, molecules and chemical behavior, are the major topics of focus, along with a detailed study of the Periodic Table. The approach to learning in this class includes lab work and demonstrations, research projects, and an end-ofyear Science Fair, in which students demonstrate their acquired knowledge of physical science.

This course examines the emergence of the U.S. on the world scene, and considers the conflict between isolationist and interventionist philosophies. We begin our study with U.S. involvement in the Spanish American War, and then explore the history of U.S. foreign policy from the 20th century to the present, studying WWI, WWII, the Cold War, the U.S. major military involvement,s the arms race, the period of detente, and present-day global challenges. We also investigate the impact of the United Nations in world affairs, and the role the United States plays in them. This journey is guided through classroom debate and discussion, group projects, select readings, and individual research. Students further receive extensive training in research skills as they prepare a major history paper, and analyze primary and secondary source documents as part of this project. Coursework prepares students for an exciting end-of-year project – a Model UN Conference that simulates the United Nations’ agenda and reinforces students’ understanding of international relations and diplomacy.

Resources: “Conceptual Physical Science” (Honors) “Physical Science” (Mainstream) “Concepts in Action” (Mainstream) Internet MODERN LANGUAGE

Students continue to improve their oral and written skills in French or Spanish. Students are able to communicate ideas successfully, both orally and in writing, in French or Spanish, using vocabulary and grammar appropriate to the level of instruction. Students use affirmative, negative, and interrogative sentences in the present, future, and past tenses. Basic grammar notions are studied and added to the foundation on which writing skills continue to be built. For their final project, at the end of the last trimester, students research a French or Spanish speaking country and get ready to present their information in the target language at the annual International Fair. By the end of Grade 8 students have completed high school level French 1 or Spanish 1. Spanish Texts: “Spanish: Exprésate 1,” textbook and writing activities book French Texts: “French: Allez, viens!,” Level 1 and workbooks

2012-2013 Middle School Program Guide


Grade 8 Program