8th Grade Block Descriptions
Sunday, September 9, 2012
The young adolescent lives in a state of constant change. Every day teenagers must deal with new physical, emotional and intellectual challenges that can help them to grow and develop into healthy, mature adults. Beginning with the Age of Revolutions, the 8th grade curriculum presents subjects that reflect the modern world's fast pace of change and humanity's struggle to adapt and develop not only what is new, but also worthwhile. The modern teen faces similar challenges.
History: Age of Revolutions Sept. 5 - October 5
We will begin with the Reformation and Elizabethan Age, including the biography of Shakespeare. Next will come the founding of the 13 original colonies and the political concept of the Constitution. The block will conclude with the history of the American Revolution. Major biographies will highlight the events of the war.
Geography October 9 – October 26
The block will give an overview of world geography, including major mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, deserts and varying terrains. The cultural and economic impact of products, such as sugar, potatoes, tobacco, cotton and silk, will also be explored.
Physics with Brian Gleichauf October 29th - November 21
Experimental investigations will include: exploration of sound (speed and frequency), light (refraction), heat (temperature and pressure), electricity (switches, circuits, electric motor, technical applications) and fluid mechanics and aerodynamics.
History: The American Civil War November 26 – December 21
The block will pick up the thread of American history, beginning with the expansion of the country west. The plight of the Native Americans will be explored, as well as the growth of slavery. The students will hear biographies of individuals who played an important role in these national issues, such as: Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee. The Industrial Revolution and its impact on a changing economy will also be covered in this block.
Geometry with Lauri Sullivan January 7 – January 25
The students will work with the third dimension of space by conceiving geometric solids which enclose it, starting with the five regular polyhedral (the Platonic solids). By inner imaginative picturing and clay modeling, the class will experience the stages of transformation from one of these solids into another, first by successive truncation and then by “explosion”. In this way they will discover the 13 semi-regular polyhedral. The block will conclude by applying the volume and surface area formulas for rectangular solids, prisms, cylinders, pyramids, cones and spheres.
Chemistry January 28 – February 15
The block explores the nature of living substances, especially those that are eaten for nourishment. These include sugars, starches, proteins, and lipids. Building on what the students learned during last year’s human physiology block, the chemistry of nutrition will be explored.
Short Story Writing February 21 – March 8
The class will read and discuss a wide variety of short stories. Students will learn about character development, setting, plot, conflict, theme, resolution. Specific examples that highlight these various aspects in a short story will be analyzed. The students will practice writing different parts of a short story and then conclude the block by writing their own story.
8th Grade Play Block March 11 – March 22
The class will do a play I wrote about the life of Shakespeare. It will feature key scenes from some of his most famous plays. Each student will have one role in a Shakespearean scene and one role in the story of his life
Weather and Climate March 25 – April 19
The block will focus on the physics of wind, clouds, precipitation, air masses, weather fronts, and climate zones. The class will learn about weather instruments and how to interpret weather reports. Weather patterns and how they affect daily life will be explored.
Modern History April 22 – May 10
The block will begin with the Reconstruction and move into the 20th century. The class will hear about World War I, the Russian Revolution, the rise of Nazism, World War II, the Chinese Revolution, the Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Movement and the major events of the last thirty years. Ideally, the block ends with the news from the front page. Major biographies will provide a background for these important historical events.
Anatomy May 20 – June 7
The skeleton will be studied in detail. The mechanics of the bones and muscles will be explored and also the function of the spinal column in relation to uprightness. Some comparisons to animal bones will also be made. The students will draw the bones and learn their placement and major functions.
There will be math skills classes 4 times a week with high school teachers Robert Wilson and Brian Gleichauf.
Language Arts Skills
There will be 2 skills classes a week for reading, grammar and research skills practice. During the year, the students will be doing several biographical research projects.