8th Grade Learning Previews - October 2019

8th Grade Learning Previews - October 2019
Posted on 10/15/2019
Social Studies: Mr. Thomas Trainor
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8th Graders will begin their exploration of civics by examining political institutions. This unit addresses basic challenges for every resident in a democracy: understanding the purposes of government, how the institutions of government are structured for those purposes, and the rights and responsibilities that citizens have in relation to those institutions. Democratic institutions are constructed so as to secure the rights of their citizens and the safety and happiness of the people as a whole. Civic actors need to understand how the institutions of democracies are supposed to secure their rights. 

Using a video game specifically designed for 8th Graders around the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, the game explores democratic institutions and constitutions. Set in the years from 1766 to 1776, the six-episode game is designed to help players diagnose social and political problems in the colonies to understand different perspectives on those problems (including those of the Sons of Liberty, women, enslaved and free African Americans, Native Americans, and indentured servants), to identify solutions to the problems using a rights-based framework, and to make their own action choices in relation to that problem. We will learn about the self-evident truths—the basic rights—that they thought every government should protect in order to secure the safety and happiness of the people. 

We will read the text of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. Finally, we will learn how to write a constitution to protect these rights and to establish self-government

English Language Arts: Mr. Nathan Saveriano
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8th graders are truly readers and researchers. Before beginning the National Book Award winning novel Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai, our students are spending a handful of academic days researching the complex history of the Vietnam War, the author, and the plight of refugees. Soon students will put on their reading caps and jump into Lai’s novel that is told in poetic journal entries. As readers, we will determine the best text evidence to help us analyze character. We are also considering how word choice affects tone and how tone affects meaning. 

Science: Mr. Suchy
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8th grade students have begun their study of climate. They have investigated the effects of latitude, Earth’s tilted axis, and revolution around the sun on our climate and will now move on to explain the role of heat transfer through the atmosphere and oceans. Students will complete many hands on investigations in which they will gather and analyze data and construct arguments that explain the hard to understand subtleties of climate. The ultimate goal of the climate unit is to take on the many global issues created by climate change. Talk to your child about the essential question they will be working on. 

1. What is climate and how does it affect our daily lives?
2. How do we use data from the past to explain our present and predict our future?
3. How do we know the sun’s energy hasn’t disappeared even when we can’t see its light? 

Math: Mr. Jose Oliveira
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Last week we began our unit on solving linear equations. Students are learning how to solve an equation algebraically so that both sides of the equation remain balanced. We will continue our work on solving linear equations and will soon begin the portion of our unit on systems of linear equations and systems of linear inequalities. Be sure to ask your student what must be done to keep an equation balanced. Additional math help is available Tuesday-Friday mornings before school (starting at 8:00 AM) and after school (by appointment).
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