Language Arts 8

Course Overview:

In this Language Arts 8 online course, students engage with major concepts including historical fiction, literary analysis, collaborative discussions, scientific texts (structure and style), historical documents, primary vs. secondary sources, journalism, media literacy, dramatic irony, and playwriting/screenwriting. They explore the world of historical fiction and develop skills in analyzing literature. Collaborative discussions enhance their ability to engage in meaningful dialogue. They learn to navigate scientific texts and understand the differences between primary and secondary sources. Journalism and media literacy skills are also emphasized. Dramatic irony is explored, and students gain insights into playwriting and screenwriting.

As the course progresses, students learn about major concepts including forms of autobiography, writing for reflection, methods of persuasion, revising for unity and coherence, public speaking, debate, digital storytelling, poetic devices, language conventions, modern forms of short fiction, and portfolios with self-assessment. Students explore different forms of autobiography and develop skills in reflective writing. They learn methods of persuasion and how to revise their writing for clarity and coherence. Public speaking and debate skills are honed, while digital storytelling provides a creative outlet. Poetic devices and language conventions are studied to enhance writing skills. Modern forms of short fiction are also explored, and students develop portfolios for self-assessment. 

Semester 1:

During the first semester of this year-long course, students will read and analyze various kinds of written texts, including novels and short fiction, informational texts representing a wide range of topics and forms, and several one-act plays. Lessons in Semester A will also guide students in writing their own narratives and essays, using the readings in the course as both examples and sources of ideas for reflection, analysis, and argument. Students will learn better ways to discuss their thoughts and perceptions with others—they will practice their skills in collaborative discussions as well as informal journal entries, presentations, and speeches. Writing assignments include personal narratives, analytical and persuasive essays, and an original one-act play. Special emphasis is placed on reading in certain content areas, such as science and history, as well as understanding and thinking critically about news and media sources.

Semester 2: 

In Semester B of grade 8 English Language Arts online course, students will examine the role of historical autobiographies and diaries in our understanding of history. In the process, they’ll study the impact of point of view on nonfiction texts. Students will be given opportunities to write autobiographical narratives of their own and then asked to connect their experiences to universal themes or philosophical positions, which they explore through writing about them. In the second half of the semester, students will study the relationship between poetic expression and several conventions of language, including syntax, voice, sentence types, and punctuation. Next, they will explore the nature of creativity, the processes that tend to produce good literature, and the features of experimental and multi-genre forms of fiction. Near the end of the semester, students will reflect on their own growth and development throughout the year, compiling a portfolio that illustrates the progress they’ve made. Finally, students will consider what high school will ask of them and how they might fulfill those expectations, having gained a better understanding of their strengths as well as areas ripe for continued learning and progress.

Back to top