8th Grade Curriculum

Grade Level Curriculum Guidelines

St. Martin of Tours Academy, in partnership with parents, is a Catholic parish elementary school that prepares students to be lifelong learners through a curriculum that has a strong moral, spiritual, and academic foundation. Students understand the need for peace and justice, and as responsible Catholics, are challenged to answer the call to service and become engaged citizens of the world.

Schoolwide Learning Expectations
Primary Grades

St. Martin of Tours Academy

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  • Attends monthly school Mass, prayer services and coordinates two school Masses
  • Understands God became a human-being in Jesus Christ
  • Recognizes God is experienced as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and judges each of us at death and all people at the end of time
  • Recognizes God is very close to us, intimately involved in our lives
  • Understands the sacraments are special signs of Christ’s grace and our faith
  • Understands the church works for compassion, justice, and peace 
  • Actively participates in community service projects   
  • Recognizes our Christian values help us make social, economic, and political choices
  • Recites standard prayers from memory, recites spontaneous prayers
  • Leads classroom prayer
  • Understands papal documents/letter

WRITING STRATEGIES

  • Creates compositions that establish a coherent thesis and end with a clear, well supported conclusion (5 paragraph essay)
  • Supports all statements with analogies, paraphrases, quotations, anecdotes, facts, statistics, examples
  • Uses parallelism in sentence structure
  • Exhibits mastery of note taking, organizing, outlining and summarizing
  • Develops ideas leading to research investigation
  • Uses Thesaurus to improve word choices
  • Uses standard rubric for proofreading and editing
  • Leads classroom prayer

WRITING APPLICATIONS (GENRES AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS)

  •  Writes biographies, autobiographies, prose and poetry
  • Uses narrative and descriptive strategies
  • Writes responses to literature
  • Writes research reports, persuasive compositions, documents related to career development and technical documents

WRITTEN AND ORAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE CONVENTIONS

  • Uses a proper heading on all published papers
  • Uses correct and varied sentence types
  • Edits for correct grammar and usage
  • Identifies and correctly uses hyphens, ellipses, brackets, and semicolons
  • Applies correct spelling conventions

LISTENING AND SPEAKING

  •  Analyzes oral interpretations of literature, including word choice, delivery, and effect of delivery
  • dentifies inferences and draws conclusions
  • Uses precise language, action verbs, sensory details, colorful modifiers, and the active voice for a lively presentation
  • Uses appropriate grammar, word choice, enunciation, and pace of speech

SPEAKING APPLICATIONS (GENRES AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS)

  • Delivers narrative presentations, research presentations, persuasive presentations

ALGEBRA AND FUNCTIONS

  • Uses algebraic expressions, equations, and inequalities to model linear and non-linear relationships
  • Explains equations and equalities written in a variety of ways
  • Simplifies basic monomials by adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing

MEASUREMENT AND GEOMETRY

  • Evaluates and describes situations, both geometrically and algebraically
  • Uses both coordinate geometry and the Pythagorean Theorem to construct and solve problems
  • Reviews and practices the specific language of geometry  related to perimeter, area, and volume

PROBLEM SOLVING AND MATHEMATICAL REASONING

  •  Analyzes and formulates reasonable mathematical conjectures
  • Uses strategies, skills, and concepts to find solutions, predict outcomes
  • Demonstrates mathematical reasoning in solutions involving words, numbers, symbols, pictures, charts, graphs, tables diagrams, and models

EARTH SCIENCE

  • Understands the shaping of Earth’s surface
  • Recognizes earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and floods change human and wildlife habitats
  • Understands heat moves in a predictable flow and is also transferred between objects by radiation
  • Understands sources of energy and material differ in amounts, distribution, usefulness, and the time required for their formation
  • Knows the natural origin of the materials used to make a common object
  • Identifies and utilizes the Scientific Method to state a problem
  • Researches and develops a hypothesis
  • Identifies the dependent and controlled variables in an investigation

LIFE SCIENCE

  •  Understands cell biology
  • Understands genetic instruction
  • Distinguishes the differences between the life cycles and reproduction  methods of sexual and asexual organisms
  • Explores Gregor Mendel’s scientific study of heredity

PHYSICAL SCIENCE

  • Understands physical principles underlie biological structures and functions
  • Conducts careful investigations to understand that all forms of matter are composed of one or more of the elements

US HISTORY

  • Identifies the major events preceding the founding of the nation
  • Compare and contrast geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of Meso-American and Andean civilizations
  • Describes the impact of U.S. foreign policy on the government and economy of the early Republic
  • Understands the impact of the enlightenment (age of reason) on US Government
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the causes and key events of the Civil War, including the issue of slavery
  • Explains how industrialization, immigration and expansion transformed the United States
  • Evaluates the importance of the South’s agrarian economy and labor  system, and explains their effect on the region’s political, social, economic, religious, social justice and cultural development
  • Demonstrates behavior that is in keeping with Catholic values when using technology, including respect for property, honesty, and compassion
  • Demonstrates legal and ethical behaviors when using information and technology
  • Supports and masters the general computing knowledge introduced in the previous grades
  • Will continue to polish and enhance formal keyboarding skills using proper technique
  • Supports and masters word processing concepts introduced in the previous grades
  • Supports and masters the internet and telecommunications objectives introduced in the previous grades
  • Understands HTML
  • Uses graphics, electronic presentations, database and spreadsheet applications effectively 
  • Increases touch type to  45 words per minute with 80% accuracy

EXERCISE AND CALISTHENICS AND SPORT SKILLS

  • Plays organized agility games exercising Christian sportsmanship
  • Acquires knowledge to build responsible decision making, healthy lifestyles, and general wellness
  • Participates in team sports to develop tolerance of others and cooperative skills
  • Understands and utilizes rules for organized sports like: basketball,  football, baseball, soccer, track and volleyball

VISUAL AND TACTILE PERCEPTION

  • Understands perspective (1 and 2 vanishing points), 3-dimensional composition, landscapes, portraits and still life shading, recognizes line suggesting plane figures, distance; uses pencil, pen and ink, markers, acrylics, oils and mixed media in producing art work

CREATIVE EXPESSION

  • Demonstrates ability in drawing, shaded for depth, proportion, figures; emphasizes facial proportion in drawing
  • Demonstrates ability to work with a variety of crafts/media, printing, clay, papier-mache, weaving, collage, mosaics

VISUAL ARTS HERITAGE

  • Appreciates art work  from a cultural perspective, art history,  variety of artists and their work
  • studies cultural diversity in the arts

ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

  • Appreciates art work using these criteria:  design elements, art media and processes, artistic mood and style, major artists and their works
  • understands careers and future applications of artists
  • Tolerance Museum -Los Angeles  (7th or 8th grade) 
  • San Diego Museum of Art
  • J. Paul Getty Museum (7th or 8th grade)
  • Class Retreat

One non-fiction

One novel

One historical fiction

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