• Language Arts, Eighth Grade

    Syllabus and Curriculum


    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.


    I.  Areas of Study

    A.  Reading

    1.  The basic textbook is Holt Literature.  This anthology introduces students to the various literary genres (short stories, non-fiction, poetry, plays, mythology, and the novel).

    2.  The class will study in-depth a minimum of two novels.

    3.  Accelerated Reader  Students must read 30 minutes each day and complete a minimum of Accelerated Reader tests of 10 points each six-week grading period, or 30 points per semester.


    B.  Writing

    1.  Most writing assignments are related to the literature being studied.

    2.  Ten writing types are emphasized.

    a.  Autobiographical Incident

    b.  Fictional Narrative

    c.  Firsthand Biographical Sketch

    d.  Response to Literature

    e.  Persuasive

    f.   Summary 

    g.  Problem-Solution

    h.  Report of Information

    i.   Evaluation

    j.  Speculation About Effects and/or Observational Writing

    3.  Creative writing is also an important aspect of the writing program.  Students

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

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

         solving, and critical thinking skill.

    C.  Grammar

    1.  The basic textbook is Holt Grammar.  Students work focusing on grammar on   Mondays, with constant reference to grammar during writing.

    D.  Spelling/Vocabulary

    1.     Students are given a rigorous weekly spelling list of twenty words and are tested on word meaning and spelling Fridays. In addition, definitions and sentences may also due on Friday.

    E.  Speaking

    1.  Cooperative group and full-class discussions.

    2.  Formal speeches.

    3.  Oral readings of both poetry and plays.

    F.  Listening 

    1.  Weekly lessons on listening and note-taking skills.

    2.  Quizzes and tests based on information gained from oral presentations, class

         discussions, tape recordings, and videos.

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


    II.  Goals of the ELA Program

    A.  To develop language skills according to the California State Standards.

    B.  To provide an advanced academic program commensurate with the student's abilities.

    C.  To tap the students'  creative potential by stimulating curiosity, imagination exploration, and  excitement.           

    D.  To develop constructive leadership and responsible citizenship.

    E.  To develop problem-solving and critical thinking abilities.

    F.  To develop within students a healthy self-concept and sensitivity to others.



    III.   Grading System 

    A.  Students receive quarterly report cards.

    B.  Students should maintain "A" or "B" grades in the Honors class.

    C.  Students with low "C's" or below will be placed on a contract.


    IV.  Discipline

    A.  Students are expected to conform to classroom and school rules.

    B.  Demerit system to determine citizenship.


    V.  Homework Policy

    A.  Frequent short, one-night assignments

    B.  Long term assignments

    1.  Multi draft genre specific essays

    2.  Daily Reading Requirements (30 minutes)

    3.  Quarterly novel reading assignments

    4.  Weekly Vocabulary/Spelling


    VI.  Office Hours

    A.  Mornings from 7:00-8:00

    B.  Afternoons from  2:45-3:45

    C.  School telephone number (714) 479-4000

                Email:  mark.armstrong@sausd.us





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


    Weekly Spelling/Vocabulary Tests:10%

    Weekly Spelling Homework:       10%

    Class Journal/Dictation               10%

    Misc. Assign./Homework:           15%

    Paragraphs/Short Essays:          15%

    Compositions/Long Essays:       20%

    Novel Tests                               10%

    Class Participation:                    10%

    TOTAL                                     100%










Last Modified on August 27, 2015