Book lover

Here is my 8th-Grade ELA syllabus for 2020-2021.

Course Objective:

As a class, our objectives are to improve our knowledge and enjoyment of informational and literary texts across several different genres, focus on writing, acquire better communication skills, gain a grasp of grammar, achieve higher reading abilities, and improve our comprehension of literary text.


Units Covered: Each unit lasts approximately 4-6 weeks and are delivered in the order below.






(Sept/early Oct)

Poems:  “Identity” “Knock, Knock” “If” “The Road Not Taken”

Stories: “Raymond’s Run” “The Treasure of Lemon Brown” “The Medicine Bag”

Articles: “Sleeping Under a Roof, but Homeless Nonetheless”

Memoir Writing Assignment

Surprising Twists in Life


Poems: “The Raven” “Boots of Spanish Leather” “The Lesson of the Moth”

Stories: “The Tell-Tale Heart” “Johanna” “The Monkey’s Paw” “The Ransom of Red Chief” “The Hitchhiker”

Articles: “Dia de los Muertos” “Ronald Reagan on the Challenger Disaster” “Stress for Success” “The REAL Stories Behind These Disney Movies Will Ruin Your Childhood”

Mock Trial

Hero’s Journey



Choices: The Outsiders

Poems: “Paul Revere’s Ride” 

Articles: “Joseph Campbell: The Hero’s Journey”

Hero Essay



Poems: “Mother to Son” “My Father’s Song”

Stories: “Flowers for Algernon” 

Articles: Ethics TedTalk, “IQ tests are 'meaningless and too simplistic' claim researchers” “Limits of Empathy”

Multiple Assignments 


Tolerance and Compassion

(April - June)

*Springbreak and EOG’s


Novel: To Kill a Mockingbird

Poems: “Incident” “We Wear the Mask”

Stories: “The Birthday Party”

Articles: “Ain’t I a Woman” “On Being Informed” “Growing Up White in the 1930’s” “Who was Jim Crow?” “Herd Behavior” “Codeswitching” “The Scottsboro Boys” 

Taking a Stand Project 

 Classroom Expectations:                                            Grading Scale:

1. Be prepared.                                                               A = 90 - 100

2. Be respectful.                                                              B = 80 - 89

3. Be on time.                                                                  C = 70 - 79

4. Last but not least, LEARN.                                          D = 60 – 69

                                                                                     F = 59 and below         

Classwork Examples grammar, journals, vocabulary, speeches, skits from plays (in Zoom), posters, presentations, Paideia/Socratic Discussions, unit tests, quizzes, assessments, and collaborative group activities (using digital tools).


Supplies Required for Class: (Students must have these within the first week. I have some items that I can provide to students if needed. They can see me privately.)

·         1 Marble Composition Book and a pocket folder or binder for hard copies.

·         Pens (blue or black) and pencils

·         Colored pencils/marker

·         Highlighter(s)

Students have several avenues to share what they have learned through a variety of assessments and classwork, i.e.,  Classwork, Quizzes, Journal, Tests, and Projects (count twice). Most assignments are based on 100 point scale with tests and unit projects worth 200-300 points. Final grades are based on an accumulation of points from a wide variety of work over a nine week period. Assignments are categorized by the 5 standards of ELA Curriculum; Reading Literature, Reading Information, Writing, Language, and Speaking and Listening. 
While I do not randomly accept or assign extra credit, students are allowed to re-take any test below a C (by appointment), turn in late assignments up until the unit test (5 points deducted each day), use the computers in the media center before/after school with teacher permission, check out a text book (also available online) to take home for the night to study, and work at their own pace in the classroom (what is not finished, however IS homework).