Grade 8 at CKS
The eighth grade religion program is primarily a study of Church history with a balance between doctrine, worship, scripture, moral teaching, prayer and the liturgical year. Each is given individual emphasis and is integrated into the whole. The curriculum is drawn from the four pillars of faith as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Doctrinal concepts are developed in an age-appropriate manner. Students will grow in their appreciation of the history of the Church and how it shapes who we are as community today. The moral teaching of the Church is also reinforced and students are challenged to respond to the Gospel message of Christian love, peace and social justice. A wide variety of prayer types will be experienced and Scripture is included in every chapter of the text, as well as each day during prayer. The feasts and seasons of the liturgical year will be incorporated into the course of study so that students remember and celebrate all that God has done for us. The students will use the Blest Are We text during first, second and third quarters. During the fourth quarter the students will participate in an interdisciplinary Family Life Unit. In this unit, students will study and discuss many of the moral issues faced by eighth graders today.
In addition, the eighth grade will participate in an overnight retreat in the fall. The retreat will incorporate opportunities for prayer, faith-sharing, community building and personal growth. The 8th grade will also participate in a service project, and will act out the story of Christ’s passion and death in a living stations of the cross.
Texts: Blest Are We, Faith & Word Edition (School), The Story of the Church, RCL Benziger, 2008; Family Life 8, RCL Benziger, 2011
Language Arts encompasses the areas of literature, reading, speaking skills, grammar, vocabulary development, and spelling. Eighth grade students continue to develop an appreciation of written and spoken language. Writing skills are emphasized throughout the curriculum, especially helping students to respond to what they read, and to develop their own creativity. The Language Arts curriculum focuses on two interrelated areas of study: Literature/Vocabulary and English Grammar/Writing. In Literature, students acquire and expand reading skills through exposure to a variety of non-fictional and fictional texts including essays and short pieces of prose, novels and a collection of world authors’ short stories and plays. By reading a variety of genre, students learn to recognize the elements of literature and literary devices. Class novels are selected for literary merit, cross curricular connections, and the opportunity to introduce the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching. In Vocabulary, students continue to expand both spoken and written vocabulary, and increase their knowledge of correct spelling. In English grammar and writing, students use the writing process, from pre-writing to publishing, to create and develop formal and informal pieces of writing and acquire a background in the conventions, usage, and mechanics of oral and written language. Students write narrative, expository, persuasive and literary papers.
The goal of the middle school math program is to provide all students with a strong foundation in mathematics according to their academic abilities, needs and motivation. The department recognizes the importance of mathematical computation at all levels. Students in the middle school are placed in an appropriate level of instruction according to Archdiocesan standards to ensure that students are both challenged and successful.
The 8th grade Pre-Algebra curriculum is designed to build upon the student's prior experience with problem solving and reasoning in order to promote mathematical communication skills and analyzing techniques. Students learn how to use their understanding of mathematical/algebraic expressions and equations to read and solve other's problems as well as express their own mathematical thoughts. Students are provided opportunities to explore, problem solve, create mathematical models and work cooperatively with a partner of group. This course enables students to use mathematics in the world around them as well as in their other courses of study. To aid in the assessment of the student's learning there is nightly homework, section quizzes, end of chapter tests, and cumulative tests. Sadlier’s Foundations of Algebra is used to support 8th grade pre-algebra math instruction.
Students who meet the Archdiocesan entrance criteria are placed in Algebra I. Students in this course must meet the same standards as do high school students who study algebra. The objective is to prepare these students to go straight into Geometry in high school. Sadlier’s Algebra I is used in all 8th grade algebra classes.
In aligning with high school science curricula, CKS offers 8th graders a full year of study in physical science. Topics of study include methods for scientific inquiry, the periodic table, properties of matter, forces, motion, sound, light and the environment.
Eighth grade social studies classes use the America: History of our Nation textbook and start the year with the study of the Constitution and U.S. Government, focusing on the Judiciary System and landmark Supreme Court Decisions. The unit on the Civil War comes next and continues through the 20th Century to Vietnam by year's end. Students will complete a research project on both the Civil War and WWII. These projects are quite extensive and include in-depth research and study into a battle or subtopic of each war. Improving geography skills through weekly practice and incorporating current events in our classroom discussions are ongoing. During third quarter, we switch to a Georgia Voyager textbook and focus on our state's history and government.
During the fall there is a 2-day retreat that includes opportunities for prayer, faith-sharing, personal growth and community building. During first quarter the students are assigned to a small group, and each group is assigned one of the sacraments. Each individual student is required to research their topic and write a two page paper on the assigned sacrament. Each group presents their findings to the class. The students participate in a scripture study unit focusing on the Gospel of Mark during the second quarter. They utilize various explanatory resources in addition to their Bibles.