8th Grade- Block Descriptions
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
History: Age of Revolutions Sept. 4 – Sept. 27
We will begin with a brief review of the Reformation and Elizabethan Age and then move on to the biography of Oliver Cromwell and the English Civil Wars. 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.
Geometry: Platonic Solids Sept. 30 – Oct. 18
The students will work with the third dimension of space by conceiving geometric solids which enclose it, starting with the five regular polyhedra (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 by successive truncation. In this way they will discover the 13 semi-regular polyhedra. The block will conclude by applying the volume and surface area formulas for rectangular solids, prisms, cylinders, pyramids, cones and spheres.
Anatomy and Physiology Oct. 21 – 30 and May 12 – 15
The students will look at the development and form of the human skeleton 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.
8th Grade Play Block Nov. 4 – Nov. 22
This year the students will be performing the play, “The Musical Adventures of Oliver Twist,” by Joellen Bland, adapted from the classic novel by Charles Dickens. Each student received his/her role assignment at the end of 7th grade and was expected to learn lines over the summer. The students will be responsible for assisting with both scenery and prop development, as well as advertising posters and stage bill creation. The final performance will take place on the evening of Saturday, November 23rd, at 7:30 p.m.
History: American Civil War Nov. 23 – Dec. 20
This 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 and the underlying causes for the Civil War. The students will hear the biographies of individuals who played an important role in these national issues, such as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. The Industrial Revolution and its impact on a changing economy will also be covered in this block.
Chemistry with Cynthia Trevillion Jan. 6 – Jan. 24
This block will explore the nature of carbohydrates (sugar, starch and cellulose), proteins, and lipids (oils, fats and waxes.) Building on what the students learned during last year’s human physiology block, the benefits of healthy nutrition will also be studied.
Short Stories Jan. 27 – Feb. 14
The class will read and discuss a wide variety of short stories. Students will learn about character development, setting, plot, conflict, theme and 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.
Physics with Brian Gleichauf Feb. 24 – Mar. 18
The 8th grade Physics class will begin with a study of movement in relation to the warming and cooling of various materials (thermal physics) before moving on to the visual phenomena of refraction. Additionally, this year the electrical and magnetic phenomena coalesce in to a single experience of electromagnetism in which the students will study and understand the components of an electric motor and how it works. They will conclude the block with the study of hydraulics and aero-mechanics.
Modern History Mar. 19 – April 11
This block will begin with Reconstruction after the Civil War 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. Major biographies will provide a background for these important historical events.
Weather and Climate with John Trevillion April 14 – May 9
This 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.
Geography May 27 – June 13
This 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.