English Language Arts (ELA)-Eighth Grade

    Syllabus and Curriculum 2020-21

    The language arts program is designed to provide an in-depth, meaning-centered, literature-based program for the students.  Through the study of literature the student will develop his reading, writing, speaking, listening, and thinking skills while re-enforcing sound values. 


    Distance Learning Policy:

    This year due to Covid 19, we will be using a distance learning platform.  We will use Google Classroom and ZOOM as the primary distance learning platform.  Daily class schedules have been provided and Class Zoom links can be found on Aeries. 


    1. Areas of Study
    2. Reading/Literature
    3. We will not have a basic text book this year. Instead we will use the online program StudySyc.  This online anthology introduces students to the various literary genres (short stories, non-fiction, poetry, plays, mythology, and the novel).
    4. The class will study in-depth a minimum of two novels.


    1. Writing
    2. Most writing assignments are related to the literature being studied.
    3. Ten writing types are emphasized.
    4. Autobiographical Incident
    5. Fictional Narrative
    6. Firsthand Biographical Sketch
    7. Response to Literature
    8. Persuasive
    9. Summary
    10. Problem-Solution
    11. Report of Information
    12. Evaluation
    13. Speculation About Effects and/or Observational Writing
    14. Creative writing is also an important aspect of the writing program. Students

    will write stories, plays, and various forms of poetry.   

    1. Journal writings will be done on a daily basis and emphasize logic,  problems

         solving, and critical thinking skill.


    1. Grammar
    2. Students work focusing on grammar at the beginning of the year, with continuous reference to grammar during writing throughout the rest of the year.



    1. Speaking
    2. Cooperative group and full-class discussions.
    3. Formal speeches.
    4. Oral readings of both poetry and plays.


    1. Listening
    2. Weekly lessons on listening and note-taking skills.
    3. Quizzes and tests based on information gained from oral presentations, class

         discussions, tape recordings, and videos.

    1. Daily Dictation will be done weekly, emphasizing listening and recording skills, and emulating good writing




    1. Goals of the ELA Program
    2. To develop language skills according to the California State Standards.
    3. To provide an advanced academic program commensurate with the student's abilities.
    4. To tap the students' creative potential by stimulating curiosity, imagination exploration, and  excitement.           
    5. To develop constructive leadership and responsible citizenship.
    6. To develop problem-solving and critical thinking abilities.
    7. To develop within students a healthy self-concept and sensitivity to others.



    III.   Grading System 

    1. Students receive quarterly report cards.
    2. Students should maintain "A", "B" or “C” grades in the class.
    3. Students with low "C's" or below will be placed on a contract.


    1. Discipline
    2. Students are expected to conform to classroom and school rules.
    3. Demerit system to determine citizenship.


    1. Homework Policy
    2. Frequent short, one-night assignments
    3. Long term assignments
    4. Multi draft genre specific essays
    5. Daily Reading Requirements (30 minutes)


    1. Office Hours
    2. Afternoons from 1:40-2:34
    3. School telephone number (714) 479-4000

                Email:  mark.armstrong@sausd.us


    VII. Scheduling a Conference

    1. If there is need for a conference please email me (above) so we may set up a Zoom conference or telephone call.


    VIII. Grading Policy 

    Academic grades will be kept on the Aeries grading platform.

    Student's academic grade will be based on the following:


    Class Journal/Dictation              5%

    Misc. Assign./Homework:          5%

    Paragraphs/Short Essays:          15%

    Compositions/Long Essays:       20%

    Novel Tests                               5%

    Class Participation:                   50%

    TOTAL                                     100%




    English-Language Arts

    YEAR OUTLINE 2020-2021

    AUGUST:   Review-Basic Grammar, Sentence/Paragraph Writing, Sentence Diagramming, The Perfect Sentence,


    SEPTEMBER:    Scholarliness, Myself as a Reader & Writer, Essay: My Goals,   Begin StudySync Curriculum: Unit 1-Suspense, 1st Novel:  Nothing But the Truth,


    OCTOBER:   Short Stories-Focusing on Short Story-Analyzing Literature, Elements of Literature, Fictional Narrative Writing, Response to Literature,


    NOVEMBER:   Continue Short Story Literature, Persuasive Writing Unit,  


    DECEMBER:   Finish: Persuasive Writing Unit,  


    JANUARY:   2nd Novel:  Children of the River/Midsummer Night’s Dream, Expository Reading, Expository Essay Writing, Letter Writing, Biographical Comparison,


    FEBRUARY:   Non-Fiction Unit, Evaluation Essays, Research Paper/Report of Information, Begin StudySync Curriculum: Unit 2-In Time of War,   


    MARCH:   Evaluation Essays, 3rd Novel: Summary Writing,


    APRIL:   Problem/Solution Writing, Review for SBAC,  


    MAY/JUNE:   4th Novel:  Flowers For Algernon, Evaluation Writing, Poetry Unit-Writing,  Poetry Recital, 

























Last Modified on September 3, 2020