8th Grade English Course Syllabus

    Title of Course: Eighth Grade English Language Arts

    Teacher’s Name: Ms. Wilber

    Web Page: I will try to update my web page weekly. You can check here for assignment due dates, vocabulary lists, test information, extra credit/enrichment activities to do at home, etc. You can access my web page through the Carman-Ainsworth site.

    Classroom Phone: 810-591-6249

    Teacher email: cwilber@carmanainsworth.org

    Prerequisite(s):  Successful completion of Seventh Grade Language Arts

    Course Description and Overview of Content:

    Eighth Grade Language Arts is an integrated ELA course that continues to develop students’ strengths in reading, writing, speaking, listening and viewing. Students read and write for a variety of purposes, as they increase their abilities to analyze and synthesize information; to read for meaning; and to become more proficient writers. The course covers such topics as:

    • Literary elements and structures of narrative text
    • Text features and organizational features of informational text
    • Reading strategies
    • Vocabulary strategies
    • Writing in response to literature
    • Writing in both narrative and informational genres
    • Grammar and spelling improvement concepts
    • Test-taking strategies

    Course Goal/Intended Outcomes:

    Eighth Grade Language Arts expands students’ abilities to process narrative and informational texts at a deeper level. Students continue to develop writing skills to communicate clearly and effectively.

    Students will:

    • Use strategies to figure out the meanings of unfamiliar words; apply reading strategies to further comprehension and fluency
    • Use the writing process (prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing)
    • Apply grade-level grammatical structures correctly; use spelling strategies
    • Analyze elements and styles of narrative genres
    • Analyze elements of poetry
    • Analyze literary elements of narrative text
    • Identify themes in literature and make personal connections
    • Write narrative pieces that include the qualities of good writing
    • Analyze the styles and elements of informational genres
    • Analyze organizational patterns of informational text
    • Write an expository piece
    • Formulate research questions from multiple resources
    • Identify the central idea of an informational selection
    • Use evidence-based writing
    • Develop an enthusiasm for reading and writing

    Texts and/or Other Materials:  

    • The Language of Literature textbook (stays in classroom, may be checked out)
    • Writer’s Craft textbook (stays in classroom, may be checked out)
    • Student will read a variety of novels for individual, literature circle group, and whole-class reading. Listed below are some of the novels that they may read this year:
      • The Outsiders
      • The Diary of Anne Frank
      • Fever 1793
      • Independent reading novels
      • Informational articles and essays – lots!

    Format and Activities:

    Eighth Grade Language Arts includes a variety of methods to address the learning styles of its students:

    • Literature circles/Socratic Circles for discussion
    • Mini-lessons
    • Independent and group work
    • Teacher modeling
    • Summarizing and note taking
    • Advance organizers
    • Pre- and post-tests

    Grading Practices and Procedures:

    • Points are given for each assignment, project, test, etc.
    • Late papers will be marked down ten percent for each day late. After that they are worth half credit.


    Absent students will be given the number of days they were absent, plus one additional day to make up work. Extended absences will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

    Daily Supplies Needed:

    • Pencil, pen
    • Two-pocket folder
    • Independent reading book/current novel we are reading

    Homework and Additional Information:
    HOMEWORK: Students do not have homework every single night. It is a good idea for your child to keep a planner. This is a good place to check daily to see if your child has homework. The school does provide planners for students. Student who fill out their planners will receive extra credit.

    Students have been asked to have a two-pocket folder for English class. Students should also have a book to read for enjoyment during IDR time.

    One of the best things you can do at home to help your child is to encourage and support reading. Please encourage your child to read at home! Research shows that students who read independently for at least 30 minutes a day score higher on tests and are exposed to two and one-half million words annually! As little as ten minutes a day of free reading time can help to improve your child’s skills.


    “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader!” — W. Fusselman