8th grade curriculum

8th Grade Curriculum

Holy Ghost Lutheran School’s curriculum integrates Christian faith and the Common Core Standards.

ReligionEighth grade students study God’s Word in focusing on the theology presented to us, as Christians, in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism.  In this yearlong study they explore in detail the Lutheran Confessions. Topics covered include: law and gospel, the 10 commandments, the sacraments, the creeds, and much more.  Students will be led to grow in: Physical/Social/Psychological, Intellectual and Faith Development exercises. In each lesson, students with learn truths about what the Bible says and how it applies to us in modern times.  Memory work is regularly assigned as a way for students to gain a stronger foundation of information that supports the course content. 


ELA:  English Language Arts is broken into three main blocks throughout the week – a reading block, a writing block, and a word study block.  Each block begins with a short mini-lesson led by the teacher, followed by guided and independent practice, and concludes with the class regrouping to review the skill for the day.  The following skills are mastered in each block (keep in mind that this is a sampling only):  Reading Block – The following genres are explored:  fiction, non-fiction, autobiographies, biographies, poetry, drama, science fiction, and historical fiction.  The following literary terms are defined and discussed: simile, metaphor, idiom, symbolism, character motivation, irony etc.  Writing Block – The following writing pieces are mastered and entered into the students’ portfolio:  personal narrative, character sketch, cause & effect, comparison & contrast, opinion statement, and research reports.  Word Study Block – New vocabulary, antonyms, synonyms, affixes, analogies, and root words.  Grammar, punctuation, spelling and an emphasis on editing is practiced. The New York State Standards are a foundation and paramount in all planning.  The NYS Testing Program is administered

It is the hopes and aspirations of the Holy Ghost educators to witness the fruits of their joint efforts to produce students that upon completing the Middle School English Language Arts program possess the following skills:  

  • Speak with conviction
  • Listen with understanding and compassion
  • Write with clarity and persuasion
  • Read with comprehension and enthusiasm
  • Develop a lifelong love of reading
  • Work as a team member/leader
  • Communicate through language and technology

Mathematics 8Advanced 7th Grade and 8th Grade students study the 8th Grade curriculum in this class.  The course work is aligned with the New York state standards and is instructed using a variety of methods.  Technology is incorporated in instruction through the use of calculators, their chrome books, and SMART board. In Grade 8, instructional time focuses on three critical areas: (1) formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations; (2) grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships; (3) analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem. Students can expect to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them, reason abstractly and quantitatively, construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, model with mathematics, use appropriate tools strategically, attend to precision, look for and make use of structure, look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.


Mathematics 9– Our advanced 8th Grade math students are instructed the New York state Common Core Algebra 1 Regents curriculum.  The course includes an integrated approach to how algebraic principles are used to represent and solve statements of inequality and equations.  Students will learn to solve and analyze linear and non-linear functions and their graphs. Students will develop a mastery of algebraic skills as applied to conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and problem solving.  The text, Pearson’s Algebra, is used to aid instruction. Students will take the Regents Exam in June and are eligible to receive high school credit. 100% of our students have passed the exam.


Social StudiesGrades 7-8 are deeply involved in a 2-year study of American History. The course is filled with rich narrative and in-depth coverage, complimented by special features that make American history meaningful to the students. The program’s strong emphasis on critical-thinking, geography, social studies, reading and vocabulary skills helps develop students grasp the curriculum. Year #1 covers the American beginnings up to the Civil War, and year #2 extends from that point to present time.


Life ScienceMore than ever, middle school students need a solid science education. In this course, students will study the various forms of life that God has created here on earth. An emphasis is placed on the underlying concepts involved in life science and how they are connected.  The 7-8 Grade life science study will include: Cells and Heredity, Bacteria and Plants, Animals, Human Biology and Health, and Ecology. Experiments and other hand-on activities will be used to give students first hand experiences with the various topics covered. Students will sharpen their skills across the curriculum as they apply math to science and science to writing. The textbook offers one resource rich in information and students are encouraged to use other resources, including investigation and research, to hone their science skill.  Technology featuring smart boards will be used to enhance instruction.


Physical Science – Physical Science contains two areas of study, chemistry and physics.  Active student involvement with the materials and activities is an intrinsic part of student success. Students in this course receive instruction that emphasizes the key concepts of physical science, and how they fit together. Teaching Science from a Christian perspective helps students to understand that almost every area of science involves some aspect of physical science. Physicists study the behavior of matter to learn how interactions between matter and energy work.  In the same way, students will be given a variety of hands on experiments and discover activities to find the meaning behind such areas as heat, light, sound, electricity. Technology and smart boards will be used to enhance instruction.  


Physical EducationStudents in Grades 6-8 join together, divided by gender, in planned physical activity. These gym classes involve physical fitness training, skills development in various sports’ areas, and good Christian sportsmanship. Skills, cooperation, and enthusiasm are important components to a good physical education experience. Students are required to change clothing for gym class to promote good personal hygiene.


Life Skills – Students in grades 6-8 receive instruction in a variety of topics that prepare for the challenges experienced in life.  This course has addressed issues related to fitness and health, food planning and preparation, technology skills, sewing, personal hygiene, how to defend the Christian faith in a secular world, and study skills.  Four units are instructed during the school year using a variety of instructional resources including technology and guest speakers from the community.


Spanish- Spanish instruction is offered at Holy Ghost Lutheran School for 7th and 8th Grade students.  The students work for these two years accomplishing curriculum goals that lead to taking the Spanish proficiency test at the end of their 8th Grade year.  Students passing the Spanish proficiency test are awarded high school credit.