• 8th Grade Language Arts

    A - Reading Literary Text

    • cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an in-depth analysis of the text and supports inferences drawn from the text
    • determine a complex theme and/or central idea and analyze its development over the course of a text; assess its relationship to the narrative elements (e.g., characters, plot, and setting) and provide a thorough, objective summary of the text
    • analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of an author's use of dialogue or events in a story or drama to propel the action, reveal complex aspects of a character, and/or provoke a decision
    • evaluate the effect of words and phrases, including figurative and connotative language; analyze and evaluate the effect of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts
    • compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts, analyzing how the structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style; evaluate the effectiveness of the structure
    • analyze and evaluate how differences in the points of view and perspectives of the narrators, characters and/or the reader create effect (e.g., suspense, humor)
    • analyze the extent to which a film of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating choices made by the director or actors
    • analyze and evaluate how a modern work of fiction draws on inferential themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths or traditional stories describing how the modern work is rendered new
    • read and comprehend literature and literary nonfiction, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range, by the end of grade 8

    B - Reading Informational Text

    • cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an in-depth analysis of the text and supports inferences drawn from the text
    • analyze the development of the central idea(s) of a text, evaluating its relationship to supporting ideas and assessing the strength of each supporting idea; provide a thorough, objective summary of the text
    • evaluate how a text makes connections and distinctions among individuals, ideas, or events and determine the impact of the connections and distinctions on the text
    • interpret the meanings, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings, of words and phrases as they are used in a text and evaluate the rhetorical effect of specific word choices on meaning and tone
    • analyze and evaluate the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the key sentences and paragraphs contribute to the overall structure of the text and refine key concepts
    • analyze an author's purpose and point of view/perspective in a text in order evaluate how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints
    • evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea
    • analyze the argument and specific claims in a text, citing specific language while evaluating whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced
    • analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation, assessing the strength or reliability of each
    • read and comprehend informational texts at the high end of the grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently, by the end of grade 8

    C - Writing

    • write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence
    • write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content
    • write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events, using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences
    • produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
    • develop and strengthen writing as needed, with some guidance and support from peers and adults, by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed
    • use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others
    • conduct short research projects to answer questions (including self-generated questions), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration
    • gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation
    • draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research
    • write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences

    D - Speaking and Listening

    • engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (e.g., one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly
    • analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation
    • delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced
    • present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation
    • integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest
    • adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate

    E - Language

    • demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking
    • demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing
    • use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening
    • determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words or phrases based on grade 8 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies
    • demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings
    • acquire and accurately use grade-appropriate general academic and domain- specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression

  • 8th Grade Language Arts -- Journalism

    A - Journalism

    • prewrite to generate ideas for writing
    • draft writing to capture ideas and develop fluency
    • revise writing to match purposes with audience and to improve content, organization, and style
    • revise writing to eliminate wordiness
    • edit for spelling, fragments, and run-on sentences
    • use writing handouts, grammar checkers, and references to edit usage and mechanics
    • write to report answers to research questions
    • write, combine, and vary sentences to match purposes and audience
    • distinguish between fact and opinion
    • write Standard American English sentences with correct verb forms, punctuation, capitalization, possessives, plural forms, and other mechanics
    • recognize and write for a variety of purposes specific to journalism (e.g., news, editorials, and features)
    • defend editorial conclusions using credible facts, examples, illustrations, and details from various sources
    • read newspapers, charts, graphs, and technical documents for research
    • read critically, ask pertinent questions, recognize assumptions and implications, and evaluate ideas
    • identify, comprehend, and summarize who, what, when, where, and how in a variety of print and non-print resources
    • take notes in interviews and discussions and report accurately what others have said
    • use the research process (select a topic, formulate questions, identify key words, choose sources, skim, paraphrase, take notes, organize, summarize, and present ideas)
    • acquire new vocabulary through research and interview
    • use a variety of print and non-print resources as parts of the research for stories
    • prioritize tasks to meet deadlines
    • work as a team member to solve problems
    • recognize speaker's purpose and identify verbal and nonverbal components of communication
    • speak so others can hear and understand

    B - Technology and Production/Publication Skills

    • demonstrate ability to use appropriate medium for production/publications (e.g., desktop publishing for print journalism, video equipment for broadcast journalism)
    • plan interviews by developing questions for print and/or broadcast stories
    • conduct, record, and accurately report information from interviews
    • utilize pre-writes, story boards, or split page format for story development
    • prepare and refine print articles/script for publication/production

    C - Knowledge of Journalism Ethics

    • understand and practice ethical reporting avoiding bias, slander, and plagiarism

    D - Knowledge of Journalism Careers

    • identify career opportunities in journalism (e.g., editor-in-chief, editor, reporter, photojournalist, copy reader, advertisement sales, graphic artist)