Grade Eight - Exploring Integration and Interconnectivity
Aiden and Benjamin In the cornfield

With the advent of puberty, eighth-graders’ capacity for logical thinking and independent judgment fully awakens. The class teacher brings enthusiasm to the individual student’s search for truth. Children stand at the doorway to adulthood, and they prepare to leave our school. For this reason, the eighth grade curriculum contains much more than would normally be the case, so that they can experience a sense of completion to their years here.

As children become physically and intellectually mature, it is important that they gain a clear picture of history up to the present day. Thus, the eighth-grade history curriculum covers the period from the end of the Renaissance through the Twentieth Century. Special attention is given to the emergence of the ideals of human freedom that led to the American, French, and Russian Revolutions, and the way those ideals manifested themselves differently in each nation, and to the pivotal role of individuals such as Charles Darwin in laying the foundation for the modern scientific worldview.

In Chemistry the students examine sugars, starches, proteins, fats, and oils in the body. They analyze the parallels between the uses of these materials in the human body with their uses in industry and commercial production. In Physics the class studies hydraulics, aeromechanics and the practical applications of electromagnetism in motors.

The students' study of World Geography includes surveys of landforms, ocean currents, atmosphere, climates and the ecological "life zones" of the whole earth. Students explore these topics to understand their connections and influences. The curriculum specifically emphasizes how these interrelated factors affect life, the ecosystem and cultures in the present as well as in the historical record of the past.

The students take a more active role in Drama as the 8th grade play gets a high public profile and is performed for the entire school community. The 8th grade play is a culmination of all the public performing talents that students have worked to develop throughout their grade school experience.

The 8th grade class trip is an active outdoor adventure-themed socially bonding experience. Trips are chosen to build and support students' confidence and independence in a structured, supervised setting. Examples of past trips have included London, England, Costa Rica, an Indian Reservation in the southwest and many more.

Main Learning Objectives

  • Main Lesson Skills: American, French and Industrial Revolutions, Understanding Interconnected Spheres of Influence, Analyzing Historical and Cultural Movements
  • Language Arts: Conceptual and Discursive Reasoning, Independent Writing, Reading, Vocabulary, Grammar
  • Mathematics: Algebra, Mechanical/Mathematical Geometry
  • Sciences: Physics- hydraulics, aeromechanics and electromagnetism. Chemistry- sugars, starches, proteins, fats, and oils
  • Geography: Global Perspective- surveys of landforms, ocean currents, atmosphere, climates and ecosystem's life zones

Special Subjects

  • Foreign Language: Spanish
  • Practical Arts: Woodworking, Handwork (sewing)
  • Music: Orchestra, Choral Singing
  • Gym: Physical activities and strategic games are interwoven with social dynamics, communications skills and organizational thinking.


  • Write rough drafts; present & incorporate revisions to book reports and research papers.
  • Study and prepare for end-of block math, vocabulary and subject-based tests.
  • Organize their Main Lesson block books for periodic assessment & feedback.
  • Learn their parts to perform in and stage the 8th grade play with public presentation.
  • Practice for orchestral or band performances with string instruments (Violin, Viola, Cello or Bass).