8th Grade Reading

Class Description: Throughout this class, you will have a variety of reading and writing activities that are structured to help you improve and enjoy reading and writing. This class will mainly focus on exploring different types of texts: novels, plays, short stories, poetry, and nonfiction texts. Additionally, you will be asked to evaluate, analyze, and reflect on things you have read.

Units and Topics Covered

  • First Semester
    • Unit 1: Short Stories
      • Focus: While reading a series of short stories both fiction and nonfiction, students will focus on analyzing how story elements interact (setting, characters, plot, and theme), using literacy skills (i.e. summarizing, synthesizing, and predicting) to improve comprehension, and applying and defining key vocabulary in order to better understand the stories.
      • Read: "The Sniper", "A Retrieved Reformation", "The Last Cover", "The Medicine Bag", excerpts from Of Mountain Men
    • Unit 2: Novel Study
      • Focus: During this unit, students will be reading And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. This unit will allow students to use prediction skills to create interest and improve comprehension, analyze how an author's point of view creates suspense/mystery, and examine how dialogue develops characters.
      • Read: And Then There Were None
  • Second Semester
    • Unit 3: “Dear Kitty…”
      • Focus:  During this unit, students will focus primarily on comparing actual historical events to those presented in the Diary of Anne Frank and additional short stories and poems.  Additionally, students will define content specific vocabulary (i.e. terms such as Holocaust, propaganda, Judaism, Passover, anti-Semetic, etc.) in order to improve comprehension.  Finally, students will compare the Diary of Anne Frank to its filmed version to see how a director and actors interpret the characters and events in the story. 
      • Read:  Students main text for this unit will be the Diary of Anne Frank; however, they will be reading some poems relating to the Holocaust or issues associated with Holocaust, viewing photographs/film from that time period, viewing interviews from Holocaust survivors, reading nonfiction background information, and several other short pieces relating to the Holocaust.   
    • Unit 4:  Mythology
      • Focus:  During this unit, students will read a variety of myths from many cultures as each culture explores concepts of human nature, natural phenomenon, or scientific observations.  Students will be exposed to these important myths which will given them a strong literary basis for more complex texts such as Shakespeare and British poetry.  Students will employ prediction skills, summarizing skills, and comparing/contrasting skills as they move from one myth to another.   
      • Read:  Students will read a variety of myths, fables, and folktales from a variety of different regions, focusing mainly on Greek and Roman myths.   


Independent novel: Throughout the course of the school year, students will self-select books based on their own interests and ability levels.  Students will keep a reading log charting the dates and pages read in addition to answering questions about setting, characters, and plot. 

**Note: The above units are only tentative plans and can/will be changed at the discretion of your teacher.


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kwagner@starmont.k12.ia.us,
Sep 3, 2012, 5:24 PM
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kwagner@starmont.k12.ia.us,
Mar 1, 2013, 12:49 PM
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