Welcome to Grade Eight! In Eighth Grade we focus on the themes of tolerance, acceptance, and understanding within the context of a broad world view. We study the Holocaust in its historical setting and in connection to reading the play The Diary of Anne Frank. On alternate years, we supplement our studies by going to Los Angeles to visit the Museum of Tolerance. Students also participate in an annual retreat that helps them develop awareness of social justice while enhancing their growth in spirituality and togetherness as a class.
Language Arts: In preparation for a successful transition into high school, we focus on expository writing, including essays research papers and poetry. In addition to writing, reading from a wide variety of source materials, as required by state and diocesan standards, is a major objective.
Eighth grade studies Physical Science. This includes: motion, atoms, chemical and physical changes, the periodic table of elements, and chemistry of living systems.
As a part of our study on Motion and Forces, the class builds balloon cars and roller coasters out of foam insulation. STEM is a large part of our curriculum when the class builds underwater Remote Operated Vehicles through the SeaPerch organization.
Many small labs and demonstrations are run in class to reinforce the reading material. Students learn to use many tools commonly found in a science lab.
Students participate in the school-wide Science Fair held in March and finish the year with a consumer report project.
History: Students also participate in several simulations to study the history of the United States, including the Ellis Island experience. Eighth graders research their family trees, connecting their families to our country’s history and the impact of immigration.
Math: The students either study algebra or pre-algebra, according to their individual readiness.
Spanish: Students continue their study of the Spanish language, and the history and culture of many Spanish-speaking countries [begun in Seventh Grade]. Basic conversational skills, as well as vocabulary and correct pronunciation help students to prepare for high school Spanish classes.
Religion: In additional to the themes of understanding and tolerance, the students prepare to become life-long evangelists and disciples of Christ. The students will “adopt” a child from David Lynch’s Responsibility School in Tijuana, and provide Christmas presents to brighten that child’s holiday. For the advent program and graduation, the students also learn to play the chimes. Reenactment of The Stations of the Cross, performed by the 8th grade for the school community, takes place during Holy Week.
Fine Arts: in addition to learning the chimes in music, students are exposed to a number of different kinds of musical compositions throughout the ages. We also study the major periods and movements of art history, and create many works of art using a variety of media. The Edible Architecture project and a visit to the SD Museum of Art Sculpture Court are favorite activities in the second half of the year.
These are just some of the highlights of Eighth Grade. I look forward to getting to know your child as we undertake a busy, yet productive and fulfilling year.
Mrs. Denise Pippin
Room Parents:Kathy Connors : @ Amy Nowicki : @ Tammi Marshall : @
SeaPerch San Diego at Grossmont College
Two teams from SMA competed in the regional SeaPerch qualifying competition in April. This was the culminating event in a process that started before Christmas with the construction of SeaPerch underwater ROV’s by the 8th grade class. After months of practice and learning the scientific principles involved it all came together on Saturday. Everyone at SMA should feel proud of the efforts of our 8th graders and what they have accomplished.