8th Grade - Exploring Integration and Interconnectivity


Developmental Picture of the Student

Eighth grade students have reached the culmination of the middle school experience. Their sharpened observational skills and growing critical faculties open possibilities for new ideas and perceptive questioning. With growing independence and reasoning they strive to balance a tender emotional inner life. The eighth grader develops a sense for their emerging individuality in a world where the human experience is increasingly interconnected.

How the Curriculum Meets the 8th Grader

By comparing and contrasting biographies of key historical figures, the students realize the powerful difference one individual can make. Beginning with the American Revolution, they study major political, cultural and social events that have shaped the modern world. Eighth grade history provides the students with an understanding of the past, an appreciation of the present and an enthusiasm for the future.

Through scientific observation adolescents are pulled out of their subjective emotional experiences and into the world of pure sense perception. In chemistry students analyze the parallels between the uses of organic materials in the human body and in industrial and commercial production. Building on the history of the Industrial Revolution, the class studies the physics of hydraulics, aeromechanics and the practical applications of electromagnetism in motors.

The study of world geography meets the adolescent’s growing interest in environments, regions and cultures different from his or her own, while at the same time creating a strong sense of place in the world with which they can identify. 8th graders investigate past epochs and current events through Geography which provides a context for significant world events. The students explore how the physical landscape influences and shapes every aspect of human life, including economics, politics, religion and culture.

The eighth grader develops connections in reasoning, enjoys constructing relationships, and explores unifying patterns across cultures in study of a variety of eras of significant revolutionary change.

The 8th grade play is an important milestone in the drama program, the culminating act of years of working together on performances, recitations and oral presentations. Through their work on the play, students gain confidence and finesse in their memorization and public presentation skills. They also learn behavorial insights by inhabiting character roles and understanding the historical contexts of the plays.

The 8th grade class trip is an active outdoor adventure that builds self-confidence, independence and social bonding in a structured, supervised setting. Community service is also an integral part of the eighth grade field trip experience. Past trips have included whitewater rafting, mountain hiking and working on a Native American reservation.


8th graders study the history of The American Revolution, The Industrial Revolution and The Civil War




- Physics: Hydraulics, Aeromechanics
  & Electromagnetism
- Chemistry: studying the properties of
  Sugars, Starches, Proteins, Fats & Oils
- Pre-Algebra, Mechanical/Mathematical

- Creative Thinking and Critical Reasoning
- Essay and Research Report Writing
- Poetry and Short Story Analysis and Writing
- Independent Reading and Advanced Literacy
- Oral Presentation
- Vocabulary Development & Grammar

- Major historical and cultural movements from
  the American Revolution to the modern day
- Global perspective surveys of landforms,
oceans, atmosphere, climates and ecosystems

- Painting
- Clay Modeling
- Drawing

- Alternating 6-week blocks of German and
  Spanish provide cultural exposure, develops
  memory, language, translative thinking and
  vocabulary skills


- Woodworking: building a useful object, like
  a small table

- Students participate in band or orchestra
- Recorders and singing with class teacher
- Students sing in combined chorus

- Gym: physical activities and team-based
   sports promote health, movement,
  coordination, team dynamics and
  collaboration as well as social development
- Eurythmy: artistic movement in a social
  context includes complex patterns,
  coordinated group movement and
  interpretations of the roles of language
  translated into movement

- Colorado Tableau: Southwest Desert trip.
  One week of river rafting, mountain hiking,
  exploring the environment and an ancient
  cliff dwellers village. Includes students
  engaging active community service on a
  Native American reservation.

- 8th grade play: Past performances have
  included: a musical, Shakespeare play, or a
  well known classic.



  • Writing: take notes out of a lecture review, write rough drafts; proofread material, edit and transcribe final revisions, do independent research and write a comprehensive paper on a topic, write poetry and short stories, practice grammar skills.
  • Reading: read complex material for deeper meaning, identify parts of a story, active in class discussions
  • Science: practice observational skills or remake the phenomenon; explain and write experiment details, draw conclusions.
  • Math:  solve complex computation problems, do mental math, create precise geometric forms.
  • Organizational Tasks: effectively use an assignment notebook, turn assignments in complete and on time, have materials ready for class, manage time and multi-tasking to handle several assignments at one time.