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Grade 8

Unit 1:
In this unit, students will trace the development of themes in a variety of texts to explore how authors use figurative language, sentence structure, diction, dialogue, and organizational structures to enhance theme development.  Students will identify a piece of art that best represents the theme of the studied text, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and write an argument justifying their choice. The unit will end with students composing an original narrative accurately developing characters and theme in an imagined "deleted scene" or alternate ending to the novel.

Unit 2:
In this unit, students analyze scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Walk Two Moons, and “A Tell-Tale Heart” to examine character archetypes, use of dramatic irony, and development of theme.  In addition, students will determine the contributions of point of view, figurative language, and structure on meaning and style. Students will write an extended literary analysis essay that analyzes how an author creates tension through point of view, traditional character types, suspense, and humor.  

Unit 3:
In this unit, students read Chasing Lincoln’s Killer and other shorter literary and nonfiction texts.  While reading, they will examine multiple perspectives and analyze the author’s purpose by focusing on descriptive details, structure, diction, point of view, and tone. Students will end the unit by writing a brief narrative scene that alters the plot and sequence of events based on changing an action or choice made by a conspirator from the novel, Chasing Lincoln’s Killer

Unit 4:
In this unit, students read a self-selected text in a literature circle format to analyze an author’s stylistic choices.  The focus for analysis is on how structure and style contribute to meaning. Students will participate in seminar-style discussion to compare texts. They will compose a literary analysis essay to compare and contrast the structure of two poems. 

Click here to view the Grade 8 Year at a Glance document