Using the text resource, Spirit of Truth: The Communion of the Faithful (Sophia Institute Press, 2017), the eighth grade students continue their preparation for Confirmation through their study of the Church as a community of believers, how the coming of the Holy Spirit enlightened the early Church, and continues to strengthen the Church today.Throughout the curriculum, the students’ study and grow in the Catholic Faith through participation in weekly Mass and visits to the Adoration Chapel, the study of Sacred Scripture, and the offering of service to others.

Language Arts

Reading - Using a combination of resources including the textbook, The Language of Literature (McDougal Littell) as well as independent reading tools (a reading log to record reading responses, genre studies, vocabulary investigation, and cooperative learning literature circles), eighth grade students will concentrate on:

  • Identifying and analyzing theme and message in literature;
  • Analyzing how themes in fiction and nonfiction will develop over the course of a book or article;
  • Examining resources for author bias, validity, and reliability as a trustworthy source of information;
  • Learning how authors support their ideas through word choice, paragraph structure, and other literary methods; and
  • Making inferences from selected reading passages.

Writing - Using our textbook Voyages in English (Loyola Press, 2011), along with the corresponding practice workbook and other supplemental works*, the eighth grade writing curriculum focuses on giving the students the skills and tools to:

  • Learn and grow in understanding of the 6 Traits of Writing- Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, and Conventions;
  • Proficiently write in expository, persuasive, and narrative styles;
  • Use varied sentence structure, strong diction, and descriptive language, such as, metaphors and imagery, to develop their own “voice” as a writer;
  • Use research skills to analyze informational text, pull out main ideas, and organize information into an evidence-based research paper;
  • Expand their vocabulary and spelling skills through regular spelling and vocabulary units of study;
  • Support their ideas in writing with strong evidence and reasoning, precise word choice, smooth transitions, and varying sentence structure;
  • Edit and make revisions to improve writing through the steps of the writing process;
  • Utilize a Writer's Notebook and Binder to develop journaling skills, as well as, maintain notes of mini-lessons in grammar and composition, rhetorical tools such as figures of speech (e.g., puns, irony, etc.), and personal student checklists to measure their growth toward mastery of a writing standard/skill for assessment.

*Supplemental course materials for the writing portion of Language Arts include Writing Units of Study by Lucy Calkins and Audra Kirshbaum Robb, as well as, Power Point presentations, videos, and writing samples to improve specific skills.Spelling and word work follows the strategies of Words Their Way (Pearson, 2015.)

Social Studies

In eighth grade social studies, the students experience a blend of American history and civics instruction in preparation for their Constitution test.The textbook, United States: Civil War to Present (Harcourt), provides background for student exploration of American history, focusing on World War II, the Cold War, and the Civil Rights movement.Students use primary sources to analyze the major issues facing the country during each time period.

Eighth grade students also explore the meaning of citizenship and how it applies to them—both as a citizen of the United States and of the Holy Trinity Catholic School community—through the use of primary source documents, such as the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Constitution, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.Students examine the role that the Constitution plays in the formation of national, state, and local governments, as well as the impact that it has on the political and economic structure of the country.In doing so, students prepare to succeed on the State-mandated assessment of their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution at the end of the school year.

Students also familiarize themselves with current events by finding news stories that are of interest to them and reflecting on them using the lens of the five areas of social studies (geography, economics, government, sociology/culture, history) and Catholic Social Teaching.

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Holy Trinity Catholic School
108 South Linden Avenue
Westmont, IL 60559