SMA Tennets and Tag

Middle School Grade 8 Curriculum

8th grade


The religion program involves a hands on approach to the study of the Church formed by Jesus. Students begin with a study of the need for a Church, then move on to a study of the capital sins and their opposing virtues, the after life, and the communion of saints. The year ends with a survey of the major eras of Church history. Throughout the year, students are taught the value of the Rosary and various other Catholic devotions which they may want to make a part of their prayer lives.   Students frequently work in small groups to become involved with the material learned and to apply it in numerous ways. By the end of the year, students should be able to recite all major Catholic prayers, give the life story of one of the saints, and discuss how the Church benefited the world in various periods of Church history.

Language Arts

  • English

The English program starts daily with creative writing and vocabulary. The Latin and Greek Roots Book IV text is used. Each unit includes spelling, part of speech, definition, and usage of each word. The grammar portion focuses on learning the parts of speech, writing in a variety of genres, proper proofreading, and writing long and short essays.

  • Literature

Emphasis is on preparing students in literary analysis and essay writing as groundwork for high school and beyond. Students will identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of themes, structure, and elements of a wide variety of genres and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding. Reading selections will come from a variety of sources including American and British writers


Students gain proficiency in the Latin language by being exposed to an active approach to the language. Research has shown that students acquire a foreign language quickly and effectively by actively speaking, writing, and listening in the target language. Coursework facilitates the active approach to learning Latin by exposing the students graduated readings, using both familiar and unfamiliar vocabulary words. In addition to acquiring Latin vocabulary and grammatical structures, students will cover cultural topics such as, Roman history, mythology, Roman dining habits, daily life, and gladiatorial combat.


The curriculum for Algebra I is: working with real numbers, solving equations and word problems, polynomials, factoring polynomials, algebraic fractions, graphing and functions, systems of linear equations, inequalities, rational and irrational numbers. The students complete a full year of Algebra I.


Students study Physical ScienceThe topics include: matter, motion and forces, work, the atom, machines and energy, interactions of matter, electricity, and sound and light. The students have many investigations (labs) in which they use science equipment to develop scientific methods to solve problems. Students will learn to take proper measurements, manipulate science equipment, and develop safety skills in the science lab. Much of the program is a hands on approach where students are expected to draw conclusions that enhance science concepts and laws.

Social Studies

Students will learn about the growth and strengthening of the United States as a nation and a competing world power. From the industrial revolution, the growth of cities, and the impact ofimmigration of the late 1800’s to the emergence of the country in international relations and entanglements in foreign wars of the 1900’s. Students will become aware of the vast changes in the United States. This will include a study of cultural, social, and economic aspects including current events and the use of multiple resources: maps, text, periodicals, field trips, and primary sources.