Middle School Curriculum » Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade

8th Grade Art

“How very drab the lives of our children would be
If they looked, but did not see
Touched, but did not feel
Listened, but never took a curtain call.”
Wilson Riles

Art concepts taught at the Solomon Schechter School of Queens, consist of: Line, shape, form, color, pattern, texture, space and composition.
Introduction to Art begins with drawing lines to form a turtle and a school bus. The children transpose their drawings to clay, where it becomes a three dimensional piece of art. From kindergarten through the 8th grade, drawing continues, consisting of gesture, contour drawing of heads, hands and body, one point perspective to optical illusions.
Throughout the grades, students will be exposed to painting, paper mache, collage, wire sculpture and clay. All children will view the art of the following artists: Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro and Henri Rousseau.
8th Grade Computer Science

All classrooms are equipped with multiple computers and a printer. Most of our classrooms have a Smartboard, an interactive whiteboard that turns your computer and data projector into a powerful tool for teaching and presenting.

The library has a computer center which allows our students the ability to do research through the software on the internet, create signs and write reports.

Our Computer Lab is equipped with twenty-seven flat screen multi-media computers, a printer and a scanner. Through the generous contribution of the Gruss Life Monument Fund, our students are able to have access to numerable enrichment materials in Math and English.
8th Grade English Language Arts

• Study of various topics through novels, short stories, poetry and non-fiction literature:
o Friendship e.g. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck (novel)
o Prejudice e.g. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (novel)
o Science Fiction e.g. “All Summer in a Day”, Ray Bradbury (short story)
o Individual vs. Nature e.g. Lord of the Flies, William Golding (novel)
o Holocaust e.g. Night (Elie Wiesel (memoir)
o Drama e.g. “The Tempest” , William Shakespeare (play)

• Demonstrate ability to write an expository paragraph
o Demonstrate ability to write an expository paragraph
? Compose a topic sentence
? Chose evidence as textual support
? Character description and background information
? Understand use of quotations in paragraphs
o Use of proper parenthetical citation to document written work
o Develop ability to identity and summarize relevant non-fiction material
o Write a three-page research report using three sources
o Strengthen writing skills to create essays on character descriptions, comparisons of novels and literary elements (such as plot, setting, theme and tone)
o Master ability to write a first-person narrative on a personal experience

• We continue to study and expand upon the skills learned in seventh grade

• We continue to study and expand upon the skill learned in seventh grade

• We continue to study and expand upon the skill learned in seventh grade
8th Grade Hebrew Language Arts
The curriculum is based on the NETA program. Children are given a placement exam at the end of fifth grade to determine their level. NETA is an innovative Hebrew language curriculum designed for Middle and High school students, created by Hebrew language curriculum specialists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem NETA provides a comprehensive linguistic and educational framework that enables students to advance to high levels of Hebrew proficiency. Grounded in principles of second-language learning, this framework includes an intellectually rich and sequential curriculum, The NETA curriculum is linguistically sequential; texts and tasks increase in length and complexity as the student’s Hebrew improves.

The curriculum consists of four levels: true beginners (Alpha NETA), advanced beginners, intermediate, and advanced. The true beginners level is designed for one year of study, while the other levels are each designed for two years of study. Lessons are centered on themes of interest to teenagers, ranging from computers and sports to friendship and freedom. Each theme is presented from three perspectives: Jewish tradition, modern Israeli culture and general world knowledge, including art, science, mathematics, literature and philosophy. Each unit of study incorporates art, music, prose, poetry, news articles and Jewish texts, in layers of language ranging from biblical Hebrew to current scientific Hebrew terminology and common colloquialisms.

A unique and important feature of the NETA curriculum is its adherence to a steady pace that allows students to experience tangible progress in their Hebrew proficiency so that by the end of the advanced level students will be able to study subject matter in Hebrew. The curriculum specifies clear goals and measures of achievement, and is accompanied by standardized tests written by the curriculum development team and educational evaluation experts. Prior to entering the program, each student’s level is determined by a multiple-choice placement test.
8th Grade Judaic Studies

Eighth grade curriculum combines a special unit rereading the creation story and the Joseph narrative with in-depth analysis and insight, including philosophical questions about humanity and creation, as well as family relations and dreams as expressed through the Joseph narrative.

NAVI (Prophets)
The curriculum is in a process of transition, currently undergoing revision. Each grade begins the year with selections from the book of Psalms that correspond to the High Holiday season.Eighth grade will continue with the study of Samuel and Kings.

The eighth graders focus on the history of Zionism beginning with the late 1880’s until the present time, in preparation for the eighth grade trip to Israel.

Eighth graders will focus on moral dilemmas, and Talmudic study skills, as well as a special unit on how to write a Dvar Torah in preparation for the children contributing their own torah thoughts in the weekly Thursday Notes school publication. Each grade studies a special Chanukah unit in preparation for the annual exciting Chanukkah Quiz Bowl.

The eighth graders devote the year looking at ultimate questions regarding the role of God in the universe, the meaning of evil, comparing religions, and the meaning and purpose of life.

A highlight of the Middle school experience is the eighth grade Israel trip in which the students spend two weeks in Israel with their class and teaches, translating the knowledge they have received over the years at school deepening their identity as Zionist Jews with first hand experiences hiking through the land, visiting historical sites, and encountering Israeli society as they bond and share together one last time with the friends they have made in school over the years.

Holidays are celebrated and noted in various ways depending on the nature of the day. Certain days like Rabin Memorial Day, Krystalnacht Memorial, Holocaust Day, and Israel Memorial Day are celebrated with appropriate assemblies. Chanukkah time there is an annual quiz bowl. Purim, Israel Independence Day and Jerusalem Day generally include a fun school program like a thematic game, or a performer. On Sukkot the children eat lunch in the school Sukkah. Different grades conduct Tu Bishvat Seders with an emphasis on ecology. Before Pesach community rabbis come to teach the children texts from the Haggadah in anticipation of the upcoming Passover Seder.On Lag B’Omer the entire school goes out on a picnic.
8th Grade Mathematics
On Grade Level
• Integers and algebraic expressions
• Equations and inequalities
• Graphing in the coordinate plane
• Real numbers
• Applications of proportions
• Applications of Percents
• Exponents and powers
• Geometry
• Measurement
• Using graphs to analyze data
• Probability
• Working with polynomials
• Problem solving
• Preparation for High School placement exams

Advanced (9th Grade Algebra Curriculum)
• Algebraic expressions
• Variables, function patterns and graphs
• Rations numbers
• Solving equations and inequalities
• Graphs and functions
• Linear equations and their graphs
• Systems of equations and inequalities
• Exponents and exponential functions
• Polynomials and factoring
• Quadratic equations and functions
• Radical expressions, equations and functions
• Preparation for High School placement exams
• Preparation for 9th Grade Math regents, which we administer in June
8th Grade Physical Education

Physical education continues to be a favorite of all our students. The PE program is designed to develop lifetime activities in order to keep their bodies strong and healthy. Social skills, positive self concepts, cooperative and team play all provide a strong basic foundation. The program will continue to increase skill level during modified sport games. This will include more advanced rules, player positions and strategies. The 8th grade PE curriculum includes a variety of basic sports that provide maximum student participation where inclusion is encouraged and promoted. Sports include: football, track and field, volleyball, soccer, basketball, and softball. Students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the sport skills. Students will design and change in order to reach competency in all skill levels and to reach their personal best. The 8th Grade students will graduate SSSQ with a strong understanding that physical activity and sports provide the opportunity for enjoyment, challenge, self expression and communication.
8th Grade Science
  • Branches of Earth Science
  • Minerals and Rocks
  • Earth's Resources
  • Weathering, Soil and Mass Movements
  • Glaciers, Deserts and Wind
  • Plate Tectonics
  • Earth's History
  • Oceanography
  • Meterology
    • The Atomosphere
    • Moisture, Clouds and Precipitation
    • Weather Patterns
    • Climate
  • Astronomy
    • Origin of Modern Astronomy
    • Study of Sun
    • Beyond our Solar System
  • Advanced students sit for the New York State Earth Scine Regents which we give in June
8th Grade Social Studies

• Reconstruction
• Second Industrial Revolution
• Nation heads West
• Twentieth Century
o Roaring Twenties
o Great Depression
o Golden Age
o Vietnam era
• Modern politics and culture
• Primary source documents
• Research reports
8th Grade Spanish

Spanish classes are built upon using new vocabulary inserted in contextual and meaningful sentences. From the very beginning, the students are able to communicate in Spanish. The four basic skills- reading, writing, listening, and speaking - are present in every lesson. They are highly interactive and dynamic, using games and songs to reinforce the process of learning.

Spanish is becoming increasingly crucial in the global economy. It will, no doubt, play a major role in the students' personal development.

The settings of all the readings, lessons, and activities are related to the Spanish speaking community’s traditions. The aim is to help students understand different cultures and to broaden their world view.

After reviewing 7th grade topics, the 8th graders will learn to:
• Express feelings
• Use the simple present and present progressive tenses
• Express what has just happened
• Describe the weather
• Make comparisons
• Ask for and give directions
• Discuss shopping, making purchases, and bargaining
• Discuss means of transportation
• Discuss types of food and request food in a restaurant
• Use the direct and indirect objects
• Use the imperative form of verbs
• Conjugate irregular verbs
• Conjugate past tense verbs