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Curriculum Overview

  • Theme: The Age of Revolutions
  • Algebra, geometry, math skills class
  • Poetry, essays, compositions, research papers, drama, English skills class
  • Physics, organic chemistry, physiology, computer science
  • American, French, and Industrial Revolutions; geography of Africa and Asia
  • Composition and proportion, pastels, clay modeling
  • Choir, musical instrument (as available)
  • Spanish
  • Class Play
  • Physical Education/Movement/Games

Life Skills

  • Assume responsibility for self and work
  • Maintain an organized assignment planner and complete homework assignments in timely fashion
  • Work independently and quietly with focus on a task for up to 45 minutes
  • Work collaboratively and do fair share of the task
  • Work neatly with desire to do best work
  • Respect teachers, classmates, property, and materials
  • Keep personal and school belongings well organized
  • Be prepared and ready for class on time
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Work constructively with feedback from teachers and classmates
  • Support classmates and the group
  • Practice social inclusion and be included in social activities
  • Use group process and discussion to work through social issues and class projects
  • Participate in class discussion
  • Intrinsically motivated participation and engagement
  • Deepening Capacity for discernment/judgement

Eighth grade marks the culmination of the eight-year primary school journey, and it brings the students to a crossroads. The work becomes more challenging in preparation for the independent thinking that will be expected in high school. This is also the year when Main Lessons may conclude with formal and graded tests. The work is precise and filled with many layers, be it the lofty language of Shakespeare or the complex processes of organic chemistry.

During this year, the students step wholeheartedly into adolescence. With this leap comes a deepening capacity for judgment, a call to greater responsibility, and the quest to discover who they are and what they will become. As students leave the grade school, their sense of authority turns inwards, and they begin to look for direction within themselves.

If the seventh grader is said to be on a voyage of discovery, the eighth grader can be thought of as a revolutionary. Revolutionary periods are studied in history, the world in geography, the short story in Language Arts and the platonic solids in Geometry. Anatomy and Physiology add to the student’s knowledge of him/herself, and Meteorology enhances his or her understanding of the greater world. Students continue to find artistic expression in chorus, playing an instrument, and working with their hands in sewing and woodwork. At the end of the year, each student presents a project they have been working on independently throughout the school year and the class performs a major play, often a Shakespearean work.

The students have traveled so far from their initial first grade lesson when they were introduced to straight and curved lines; as eighth grade comes to a close, students are ready to launch into high school with skill, poise, and intention.

Language Arts
  • Grammar and Composition
  • Creative Writing
  • Spelling
  • Reading
  • Report Writing
  • Original Business Writing
  • Note-Taking Skills
  • Researching
  • Newspaper Reporting
  • Drama
  • Epic-Dramatic Poetry
  • Literary Forms
  • Elements of Style
  • Shakespeare
  • Literature Analysis
  • Number Bases
  • Pythagorean Theorem
  • Mensuration
  • Percentages and Growth
  • Proportions
  • Dimensional analysis
  • Algebra
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Physiology
  • Geography
Social Studies
  • American History
  • Modern Events
  • Life and Work of Shakespeare
  • Folklore of the World
  • Industrial Revolution
Physical Geography
  • Surveys of Landforms
  • Ocean Currents
  • Atmosphere
  • Climates
World Language
  • Spanish
Fine Art
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • 3D Constructions (Platonic Solids)
  • Clay Sculpture
  • Other Media
  • Choral
  • Violin (as available)
  • Other instrument (as available)
Physical Education
  • Movement
  • Team Games
  • Cooperative Games
  • Hiking
  • Nature-Based Field Trips
  • 'Rites of Passage' Outdoor Activities

Eighth Grade Teacher

Ellyn Hillard

Ms. Ellyn's extensive experience as a Waldorf teacher and administrator, both private and charter, has contributed to her ability to create a dynamic classroom environment where she brings learning alive with engaging field trips, experiential learning, and insightful group discussions. Her students have fun while being challenged, and they love to discover the world around them.