ADW Language Arts Standards (Grade 8)


The expectation for eighth grade English and Literature is that each student grow and develop as an effective writer of standard English prose that is clear, creative, concise, and precise.   Part of concise, clear writing is vocabulary that matches the intent of the writer.  Thus, we study Vocabulary Workshop word lists for their spelling, meaning, connotation, and part(s) of speech.

In particular, as a writer, the student should be able to compose sentences that are grammatically correct and stylistically effective; employ a variety of transitional devices to develop coherent paragraphs; employ the fundamental rules of composition and rhetoric and to combine these into essays in each of the expository modes (narrative, description, argument, and analysis).   The study of grammar is done both discretely and as an integral aspect of clear writing.

Selected Goals
  • Challenge students to become more independent readers
  • Develop confidence by reading progressively more difficult materials
  • Become flexible in confronting different genres and styles; skilled in navigating new lexical and/or syntactical complexity; and imaginative in accommodating the diverse social and historical contexts
  • Write with accuracy in appropriating the text, care in thinking about it, and clarity in communicating those thoughts to others
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Books include but are not limited to: Sir Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles; Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet; Fredrick Douglass’ Autobiography; Ann Renaldo’s Cast Two Shadows; Remarque’s All’s Quiet on the Western Front;  Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons; Sophocles’ Antigone; Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities; Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird; Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest; William Golding’s Lord of the Flies
  • Use of rubrics that include attentiveness to writing mechanics
Mathematics (Algebra 1)

ADW Math Standards (Grade 8)     ADW Math Standards (Algebra)



The Algebra I Honors curriculum is designed so that 8th grade students will complete a full Algebra I and be placed into an advanced level math class at the beginning of high school.  Students are challenged to solve a variety of equations in one and two-variables through the use of a wide array of strategies including factoring.  Difficult word problems require that students are able to first discern what information is sought, then set up an appropriate equation and solve it!  Throughout the year, students develop strategies for attacking many different types of equations and inequalities.  Graphic representation of answers is also developed using graph paper, graphing calculators and even computers.  Double-math Fridays give us the chance to explore some of the many real-world uses that Algebra supports.
Use of technology is frequent–using graphing calculators, Geometer’s Sketchpad software or spreadsheets to analyze patterns or build and test our own function rules.


The Algebra I Standard curriculum at HTS is designed so that students are exposed to a good amount of algebra before entering high school.  Some students will be able to place into an accelerated or honors course sequence in 9th grade (varies among high schools), while others will be well prepared for an intense high school version of Algebra I.  Students are asked and challenged to learn the “basics” of algebra while applying it to real-world situations (word problems).  A strong emphasis is placed on setting up an equation(s) involving one or two variables to represent and model the situation.  Students learn and are required to express what each component (number, variable, operation) of an equation represents through the use of a verbal model and the proper identification of any variables.  Classic Algebra I topics such as the algebraic and graphic representations of linear relationships and factoring of quadratic equations is covered.

Selected Goals


  • Develop students’ ability to solve a variety of difficult word problems involving rate-time-distance, consecutive integers, coin and age puzzle problems, and area and perimeter challenges
  • Learn factoring 101 from GCF, to Difference of Perfect Squares, Reverse FOIL, Grouping and more…
  • Discover everything you ever wanted to know about Linear Equations – Using two given points to find slope, y-intercept, and 3 forms of the equation for the linear equation that connects those points and many others
  • Graph equations and inequalities in two variables and Solve systems of equations in two variables using graphing, substitution and linear combination (AKA elimination)
  • Explore squares and square roots, rational and irrational.  Then see how these are used in solving and graphing quadratic equations
  • Help students to realize that some math questions have no answers that work, or to recognize identities where any value of the variable will work and when to look for one answer, two solutions or more


  • Continue to develop students’ ability to solve multi-step equations and inequalities in one variable, including appropriate treatment of decimals, fractions, integers, like terms, variables on both sides, and the distributive property when present
  • Develop an understanding of a linear relationship by exploring real situations that may be modeled using a linear equation or inequality
  • In-depth study of the graphs linear equations and inequalities with two variables highlighting at least three strategies for graphing on the coordinate plane:  using a function table, using the x and y-intercepts, and using the slope and y-intercept
  • Writing a linear equation in slope-intercept and point-slope forms given the slope and the y-intercept, given the slope and a solution point, or given two solution points
  • Solving problems where two linear equations may be used (linear systems) through a variety of methods including graphing, substitution, and linear combinations (elimination)
  • Using the properties of positive, negative, and zero exponents to multiply, divide, and simplify algebraic expressions
  • Introduction to polynomials, learning the terminology associated with them.  Students also learn how to add, subtract, and multiply polynomials
  • Using various factoring techniques to solve different types of quadratic equations
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Almost daily homework assignments to reinforce concepts discussed in class (challenging word problems requiring further thought or the application of in-class ideas may also be assigned)

ADW Science Standards (Grade 8)


Science is a fundamental part of the educational process. By its very nature, it enables the students to understand their place in the world and to have an appreciation for all of God’s creations. It is closely connected to the beliefs of our Catholic faith. The integration of science into other disciplines empowers the child to discover the connections between personal experiences and the natural world.

The 8th grade Science curriculum intertwines scientific skills and real time applications with earth science concepts. The overarching theme is “Mother Earth” and the interconnectedness between the living and non living components. Students first explore the importance of the earth’s non living resources and then the biotic (living) factors are investigated to include their interaction with each other. Finally there is the merging of the two components: the interconnectedness and dependence, cycles, and natural changes to these relationships and cycles. The physical structure of the earth, it’s dynamic and every changing surface and the forces that shape it are also explored.

Selected Goals
  • To Prepare our students for the future, students examine the current state of the world’s resources, and evaluate the role of society and human impact on the living and non-living environment
  • Use of resources, pollution, sustainable development and conservation issues
  • Case studies are use to see the application of the concepts as well as to provide real life examples.
  • The application piece is further enhanced by labs and field trips that model and demonstrate the concepts
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Science Labs
  • Science Journals
  • Science Experiments
  • Science Fair
  • Discussions
Social Studies

ADW Social Studies Standards (Grade 8)


Eighth Grade Social Studies is a course designed to familiarize the student with the basic themes in the social, political, economic and diplomatic history of the United States.

Selected Goals
Knowledge outcomes.  Students will:
  • Distinguish/characterize significant periods of historical experience
  • Describe events/developments in American history in terms of continuity, change and causation
  • Appreciate the complexities involved in interpreting societies and social changes

Skills outcomes.  Students will:

  • Recall factual claims about the past and draw correlations
  • Read documents closely and critically
  • Formulate well-organized, well-supported research papers
  • Participate effectively in class discussions

Selected Activities and Approaches

  • Work with original sources
  • Work with current events
  • Individual and Group projects


  • www.classzone.com (follow links to the Creating America textbook)
  • The Washington Post
  • The Washington Times
  • Time magazine
  • Calliope
  • This Week (ABC)
  • The McLaughlin Group (local)
  • All Things Considered (NPR)
  • Meet the Press (NBC)

In 8th grade, students build on previous knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation through class assignment, homework and daily use of the target language (strongly encouraged). The course is designed to teach the beginning Spanish student (Spanish I) the four major skills of World Language study: speaking, listening and understanding, reading, and writing in the Spanish language.

The students are also exposed to cultural differences as well as an appreciation for the lifestyle of the people of the Spanish-speaking world.

Selected Goals
  • Attain a desirable level of proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing
  • Exposure to Spanish phrases and expressions through oral exercises, written drills and games
  • Learning and reciting prayers in Spanish
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Meeting each student where they are and differentiating learning to meet differing styles and prior exposure to the language
  • Preparing dialogues using basic vocabulary (greetings, interchange of personal questions, etc.
  • Incorporating role play and skits
  • Reading and translating short stories
  • Using the smart board to play spelling games and present reading material
  • Preparing Oral participation using power point and other visual materials

Art – Curriculum

  • Students will use personal experience, observation and experimentation to generate ideas for artwork.
  • They will follow appropriate steps and use materials safely.  They will use reflection as part of the art process.
  • Students will use a variety of media, techniquesand art forms when producing artwork.
  • Students will use goodcraftsmanship.  They will apply knowledgeand relationships from other disciplines.
  • Students will understand art inrelationship to history and culture. Students will apply criticism and aesthetics when producing and responding to artworks.

The library’s mission is to ensure that students can analyze, evaluate and use information effectively in their journey to become lifelong learners.  The library provides students in grades fifth through eighth with a collection of over 12,000 volumes that have been selected to meet the needs of a diverse curriculum and to promote reading for pleasure.  A range of electronic resources, pre-selected websites, and the online catalog are available from school and home so students have the resources to meet their informational needs.  Students come to the library with teachers as needed to meet these needs.


Eighth grade students continue studying music history, building upon the material learned in fifth and sixth grade. The class will review major historical events with attention to culture and the development of musical styles within select periods of history. The class follows the Archdiocese of Washington Standards for Music, which provides a framework for teaching rhythm, harmony, melody, notation, texture, form, and performance techniques. Musical theatre, opera, jazz and American Pop Music will be explored. The class format will include readings, discussions, and listening to a wide range of musical literature. Music for school liturgies will also be a regular part of our class. Students will sing, dance, and perform on class instruments, both pitched instruments (xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels and hand bells) and non-pitched instruments.
Eighth grade is responsible for leading the annual Christmas Show. Students will memorize readings and music and take the lead in presenting this tradition to family and friends of HTS.

Upper School Chorus

Seventh and eighth grade students are invited to join the Upper School Chorus to sing popular songs (in 2-part harmony) and to sing at school liturgies, the Georgetown University Community Christmas party, and other events throughout the year. Rehearsals are held Thursdays during lunch/recess.

Selected Goals
  • Understand how music contributes to liturgy
  • Sing on pitch, independently and in ensembles, expressively with attention to dynamics, phrasing, and articulation
  • Sing songs of various styles and cultures
  • Sing (a cappella and with varied accompaniment) in unison and in 2- and 3-part harmony; sing partner songs, and rounds
  • Sing using a score and from memory; follow the cues of a conductor
  • Play rhythmic patterns by rote and by reading; play an ostinato on a rhythm instrument
  • Sing or play call and response conversations
  • Improvise rhythmic accompaniments
  • Create appropriate rhythmic movement to accompany a song or instrumental piece
  • Read, notate, and perform music using whole, half, dotted half, quarter, dotted quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes and rests in a variety of meters
  • Identify and apply musical terms for dynamics, tempo, articulation, and expression
  • Describe musical elements such as rhythmic and melodic ideas, tonality, form, expressive qualities, and timbre through discussion, writing, or illustration, including how these elements convey a particular emotion or mood
  • Use appropriate terminology to describe various musical styles, genres, cultures, and time periods
  • Explore music and composers from the Renaissance period through listening, reading, and discussion. Eighth grade will also explore Contemporary music (20th century)
  • Identify music related to a contemporary event or topic such as Spirituals and Black History Month; explore interdisciplinary connections that involve music performance, dramatization, related art, reading, writing, and other potential activities
  • Explore past and contemporary uses of music to influence societal change related to issues such as human rights or the right to vote
  • Investigate the origins and development of American musical genres such as jazz, musical theatre, rock, or hip hop, including recognized musicians within each genre
  • Identify performing artists from recent decades that influenced American culture, find examples of their songs, and discuss how specific songs reflected the culture at a particular time
  • Explore the roles of music and musicians in various cultures including our own, and identify potential careers in music and the necessary educational preparation
  • Time signatures: simple vs. compound meter, duple vs. triple meter, mixed meter (5/4, 6/8, 9/8, 2/2)
  • Note-reading: continue learning about the staff; study chords (I, V, V7, IV)
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Plan music for class-sponsored liturgy
  • Develop a musical show based on material in 8th grade English, Literature and History classes and perform it for parents and the school community
  • Lead the annual Christmas Show
  • Write and present a report on a Jazz musician
  • Perform a song or instrumental piece for Grandparent’s Day, Lower School buddies
  • Learn folk dances and popular dance forms from the United States, Ireland, and other countries
  • Have the opportunity to serve as cantor at a school mass
Physical Education

To engage students in developmentally appropriate activities that creates maximum opportunities for development of skills, knowledge, health-related fitness, and ultimately, the confidence to enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle.

Selected Goals
  • Fitness Development
  • Cooperative Games
  •  Soccer Skills and Ultimate Frisbee Skills and Tactics
  • Frisbee Golf
  • Tennis Skills and Tactics
  • Flag Football
  • Team Handball Tactics and Concepts
  • Development of Weight Training Skills and Concepts
  • BasketballTactics and Skills
  • Volleyball Skills and Badminton Skills
  • Hockey and Racquetball Skills and Concepts
  • Track and Field Activities
  • Softball Skills and Concepts
  • Lacrosse Skills and Concepts
  • Review of Games
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Regular attendance is required
  • Correct uniform is required
  • Emphasis on effort, sportsmanship, and skill development
  • Students are graded on effort, participation, sportsmanship and skill development

A variety of software programs are used for students to continually develop skills and confidence to use them in the curriculum.  Critical thinking skills and problem solving strategies are a primary focus so students will become independent users of many applications.  Collaboration with classroom teachers makes the skills transferable to classroom projects.  Writing using word processing is stressed through good keyboarding skills.  Students create presentations that incorporate text, graphics, images, and sound to communicate their information effectively.  These projects may be presented in multimedia or web page formats.  Use of databases, spreadsheets, and graphs are taught in support of the math and science curriculums.  Skills to help students be knowledgeable users of internet resources for research are incorporated into class projects.  During the second semester the primary focus is on programming in the Logo computer language to help build skills in planning, sequencing and “chunking” where students design and construct projects one section at a time.

Selected Goals and Activities for the Year
  • Students demonstrate proficiency in use of MS Office applications including Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Students design a web page for the school website including use of graphics, rollover images and links
  • Students experiment with animation using Geometer’s Sketchpad and build an animated greeting card for younger HTS students
  • Design and program from scratch a project using MicroWorlds EX (programming using the LOGO computer language).  Projects range from animation to simulations, games to puzzles and involve a variety of skills and creative ideas
Updated:  June 2011