The eighth grade curriculum provides a transition into the upper school by reinforcing the fundamental skills and concepts necessary for success in Upper School coursework in all disciplines. In addition, a final synthesis of research skills is provided in the second semester eighth grade interdisciplinary project centered around a student chosen subject of personal interest. This project is required for graduation from the Middle School.
Eighth Grade Project
The eighth grade project is the culmination of a student’s research, writing and presentation studies. It is an interdisciplinary unit showcasing skills developed during their middle school career. The project allows each individual student to select a topic for research, write a composed research based paper, and present their new learning to their peers and teachers. Successful completion of the project is necessary for matriculation to the Upper School.
The goal of this course is to prepare the students for Upper School English classes you will have at Seabury Hall Academy. In preparing students for this, the course will explore a wide variety of themes and skills. The areas of academic emphasis include: written communication, oral participation and expression, reading, vocabulary development, and grammar. Above and beyond these areas of focus, this class will explore themes of responsibility, self-reliance, decision-making, and the process of maturing to a higher level of behavior, performance, and academics.
Students will be participating in various learning activities, such as essay writing, problem-solving experiences, research assignments, cooperative groups, group and individual presentations, and class discussions. The skills of critical thinking, reading, writing, outlining, note-taking, public speaking, and research will be emphasized. Respect for one's self and others, honesty, and a high level of effort in all endeavors are concepts that will be significant parts of the class.
The 8th Grade reads Of Mice and Men, Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird, Romeo and Juliet, and All I Asking For Is My Body. Additionally, students spend the first semester reviewing in depth many grammar concepts that help improve their writing and speaking. The second semester transitions into PSAT preparation in verbal and reading sections that equips students with techniques that will help improve their scores on that test.
United States History
This course covers the migration of hunter-gatherers over the Bering land bridge into North America up to the period following the US Civil War known as reconstruction. There is a heavy emphasis on the Constitution and how it has adapted from one generation to the next. Students are instructed largely through primary source documents such as diaries, letters, music, speeches, autobiographies, and other nonfiction. Using first-hand accounts from primary sources, we will place ourselves in the lives of both famous and ordinary people who built our country´s story. Themes will focus on race, gender, class, place, culture, religion, education, and the environment, as well as the more traditional political and economic developments of history. One of the goals for this course is to help students gain an historical perspective on the contemporary world by examining a number of different sources and viewpoints so that they can develop their own informed world view. By means of critical reading, writing, analysis and discussion, students are challenged to think independently and articulate their ideas with clarity, consistency, and supportive evidence. Historical thinking and writing is at the heart of the assignments.
Algebra I is the study in the structure and method of elementary Algebra with emphasis on linear and quadratic functions. Four dimensions of understanding are emphasized to maximize performance: skill in carrying out various algorithms; developing and using mathematics properties and relationships; applying mathematics in realistic situations; and representing or picturing mathematical concepts. The mathematical content consists of the following: expressions; equations; functions; properties of real numbers; solving, graphing and writing of linear equations; functions; graphing and systems of linear inequalities; exponents and exponential functions; polynomials; factoring; quadratic equations; radicals; and rational numbers.
8th Grade Science
This course is the second part of a two-year physical science program that begins in the seventh grade. Students continue to study chemical interaction in depth and covers topics such as mixtures, bonding, and solution chemistry using laboratory based activities and manipulatives. The physics portion teaches students about magnetism, electricity, and energy waves with heavy emphasis on hands on experimentation. Throughout the year, students continue to grow in their critical thinking and problem solving skills. The eighth grade science class is a paperless classroom and all curriculums is done online to allow for in depth investigation using virtual tools to help visualize concepts. This course is part of a spiral curriculum that begins in the sixth grade and comes to completion in the eighth grade.
The Spanish program is designed to ignite the students´ excitement for learning a foreign language. In a highly interactive, immersion environment with a large variety of speaking, listening, reading and writing activities, the students gradually build their communication skills. In addition to establishing a solid foundation in the workings of the language, focus is placed at this level on helping the students to attain a more global perspective, including an awareness of the interconnectedness among cultures and a respect for diverse world views and practices. By fostering an attitude of understanding and respect, the students will develop the knowledge, skills and disposition needed to evolve into responsible world citizens who are eager to create a sustainable and peaceful world.
The second year of Spanish in the eighth grade is taught utilizing the same methodology as the first year and progressively reaches increasing levels of complexity. The course is taught principally in Spanish. Successful completion of both Spanish 7 and 8 constitutes a high school credit in Spanish I.