8th Grade Literature & Language Arts


The Literature and Language Arts curriculum has been designed to emphasize the connection between reading and writing and is in the process of being aligned with the Common Core State Standards. In order to help students develop better communication skills through reading, writing, speaking, and listening, a variety of techniques are used throughout the year to guide students in the practice of these different forms of communication.

Literature & Language Arts Units:

Click here or on the links below to access notes and assignments for each unit.

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Textbook & Resources:

  • HMH Collections Textbook
  • HMH Close Reader
  • HMH Performance Assessment Book
  • No Red Ink

Novel Units:

  • That was Then, This is Now by S.E. Hinton
  • Chew On This by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Textbook Units:

  • Collection 1: Culture & Belonging
  • Collection 2: The Thrill of Horror
  • Collection 5: Anne Frank‚Äôs Legacy
  • Collection 6: The Value of Work

Nonfiction Units:

  • Text structure and text features
  • Chew On This, by Eric Schlosser

Honors Literature Curriculum

Novel Units:

  • The Pearl by John Steinbeck
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  • Chew on This by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Bernie Wrightson
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • Night by Elie Wiesel
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Freshman Honors English Requirements:

To be eligible for Honors English, a student must attain the following three criteria:

  1. 8th-grade teacher recommendation
  2. A 3.5 GPA in Language Arts and Literature classes for 8th grade
  3. A score of 460 or above on both the English portion of the PSAT Test (taken in October/November)

Writing Units:

  • Literary Analysis
  • Argumentative Writing
  • Research Simulation
  • Poetry:
    • Poetic Devices
    • Poetic Forms

Grammar Units:

  • Parts of Speech
  • Punctuation
  • Capitalization
  • Words Often Confused
  • Standard Usage
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Sentence Structure

Cross-Curricular Units:

Patriot Day: Remembering September 11th

- Patriot Day Articles

- Patriot Day Videos

The Holocaust/ "The Diary of Anne Frank"

Required Materials:

Students are required to have reading and writing materials with them at all times when they come to class. They should have a folder or binder, which we organized and labeled the second week of school. Novels are issued to students during different units and are the responsibility of the student.


  • Practice.........................5%
  • Application..................35%
  • Assessment................60%

Various forms of assessment will be used throughout the year. Both the teacher and the students will take part in the evaluation process so that in the future, the students will be able to analyze their writing. The process of writing will be as important in the assessment and grading as the quality of the final piece.

Parents are encouraged to take some time this year to check what their children are reading and to read what their children have written. There are some great storytellers in class!

Download Lesson Plans and Documents:

Please keep in mind that lesson plans and assignments are based on the needs of our students and may change at anytime.

2018-19 8th Grade Lesson Plans.gdoc

8th Grade Lit-La Syllabus

Literature Common Core Focus:

Key ideas and details

Craft and structure

Integration of knowledge and ideas

Range of reading and level of text complexity

Research to build and present knowledge

Comprehension and collaboration

Vocabulary acquisition and use

Language Arts Common Core Focus:

Text Types and Purposes

Production and Distribution of Writing

Range of Writing

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

Conventions of Standard English

Knowledge of Language