Our Lady of Sorrows School

Eighth Grade Curriculum

Eighth Grade Curriculum



The Eighth Grade will be reviewing all math learned in elementary school in preparation for the COOP high school proficiency test in November. Students will be expected to review material in class with the teacher as well as supplemental material at home or outside prep courses.

Following the COOP, the students will begin an Algebra I course that should cover the first 5-6 chapters of the textbook as well as select topics. These will include:
-expressions and equations
-solving one and two-step equations
-monomial and polynomial operations
-graphing points
-linear equations
-quadratic equations
-solving systems of equations

Language Arts

These courses continue to help students become lifelong readers and writers. They emphasize the learning strategies they need to become critical readers and more skilled writers. Our literature book, which covers a variety of genres, provides the context in which students can develop, apply and hone the reading skills they have learned. Our program is writing-intensive and we expect students to actively participate. Some of the writing assignments include:
-news articles
-book reports
-character sketches

Grammar includes the essentials of traditional grammar and standard usage from basic parts of speech, language mechanics to sentence structure. We will start the year with a review of punctuation and capitalization rules.

We use Vocabulary Workshop by Sadlier-Oxford which is a “pure-vocabulary approach” to word acquisition. Many high schools also use this series, so students have an extra advantage of having worked with it since 5th grade. We combine this with “the literature-based approach” which we use in reading.

Oral Expression
Oral Expression gives students the opportunity to practice their communication skills. They learn to convey orally an understanding of a piece of prose, poetry, or a speech. Elements to be worked on are: interpretation, use of voice, appropriate eye contact and physical presentation.


- Nature of Science and Technology
- Chemistry
- Sound and Light
- Motions and Forces
- Electricity
- Magnetism
- Weather and Climate
- Earth’s Water

Social Studies

We begin with the Civil War and Reconstruction. We study all the major wars and the presidents who led us through those difficult times.

Of course, not all of the events in history were political. We study key inventions that have changed the way we live, such as:
-the electric light bulb
-the automobile
-the phonograph

In addition – baseball, football, and other sports developed and grew in popularity. Terrible disasters like the sinking of the Titanic and the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon took place. Improvements in medicine and public health made it possible for Americans to live longer and better lives. Slavery was abolished. Minority groups and women earned equal constitutional rights and began to move toward equal opportunities. The United States experienced transformation from a country on the margins of the North Atlantic world to the most powerful nation in the world. We explore it all!


We follow the course of study prescribed by the Archdiocese of Newark. The sacraments, holy days, saints, Church history etc. are covered. Aware of the fact that we service other Christian walks as well as Catholicism, we explore prayer and the Bible in detail. We share our personal experiences, pray for each other, and sometimes digress as the Holy Spirit leads. Many avenues of expressing our faith are encouraged, such as: journals, art, and oral and written reports. There are a few written tests, many taken from the Catholic Challenge Magazine. The Eighth Grade is responsible for the opening and Baccalaureate Masses. Liturgies are an important part of the school year.


The goal of the middle school Spanish program is to make language acquisition a natural, enjoyable, and rewarding experience. The instruction is designed to help students attain a desired level of proficiency in the four basic skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. At each grade level, with the use of the textbook, a strong grammar base is built. Emphasis is also placed on oral communication through the use of conversation and dialogue. Students are also exposed to Spanish culture through songs, rhymes, and poems as well as the customs of Spanish-speaking countries. Instruction also includes Spanish prayers and the lives of Spanish saints.

Computer Education

- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Publisher
- Typing
- Yearbook
- Website development – Weebly
- IXL/Sumdog Math Practice
- Coding: Scratch, Sphero

Fine Arts

Unit: Playwriting
Goal: Students will be able to identify and use play & film script structures, create characters, and utilize the art of writing dialogue.

Unit: Public Speaking/Oral Communication
Goal: Students will be able to increase their skill in organization, active listening, and interaction with other communicators in order to develop greater ease and confidence in all types of spoken situations.

Unit: Dance Composition/Stage Combat
Goal: Students will be able to create and develop movement for various dance genres through movement studies, structured improvisation, and group projects through exploration of the principles of dance and the choreographic process, including stage combat.

Unit: Musical Theater
Goal: Students will be able to identify the development of musical theater in America from its roots in minstrels, vaudeville, and burlesques through its variations to present day through the study of history and performance of pieces in the classic musical theater repertoire.

Unit: Theatrical Scenic Design
Goal: Students will be able to understand and utilize design concepts, script analysis, color theory, and scenic drawing/rendering in order to conceptualize the basics of scenic design.

Unit: General Theater/Drama
Goal: Students will be able to direct, stage manage, or write scenes, as well as identify children’s theater, drama, comedy, etc. through the use of play analysis and performance skills.

Unit: Improvisational Acting
Goal: Students will be able to identify the tools of an actor, and create unscripted scenes as productive members of a group.

Unit: Rhythm/Rap Music
Goal: Students will be able to identify rhythms within songs, create their own original rhythms, utilize songwriting tactics, identify the historical elements of rap music, and create their own rap lyrics and songs.

Unit: Storytelling
Goal: Students will be able to develop qualities to express narrative through voice and improve skills of voice and diction – particularly clearer articulation and increased vocal variety.

Unit: General Music
Goal: Students will be able to increase their awareness, ability and proper use of the voice.

Unit: Audition Etiquette/Preparation
Goal: Students will be able to identify and describe audition technique and decorum using theater-specific critical language, and by demonstrating audition and personal presentation skills with proficiency in industry techniques.

Unit: Theatrical Scene Study
Goal: Students will be able to develop the inner resources of an actor and develop the skills of analysis, characterization and partnering through the use of scripted scenes and/or monologue work.