ELA Standards for 8th Grade
8th Grade ELA Standards

Grade 8 Overview

Eighth-grade students apply and expand the skills they have acquired in the earlier grades as they become increasingly more sophisticated readers and writers. Both on their own and with their peers, they read a variety of informational texts as well as four major types of literary texts: fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, and drama. Adolescents continue to develop their own areas of reading interest. Informational text is analyzed for the purpose of discovering how texts reflect the backgrounds, attitudes, and beliefs of the authors. Students compare/contrast different perspectives on similar topics or themes. They evaluate elements of the author’s craft (for example, the use of tone and imagery) to create emotional responses in the reader.

Possessing a rich and authentic vocabulary allows any individual to be a skillful and appreciative reader. In order to read fluently, adolescent students use word analysis and other interpretive strategies. As they learn to master texts that use complex vocabulary, they transfer that knowledge of language into their own writing and speaking.

Writing for a variety of purposes and audiences, eighth graders increase their control over the written language. They blend elements of description into other modes of written works (for example, narrative, expository, and persuasive). They plan, draft, revise, edit, and publish their writings. They learn to pay careful attention to the author’s craft—examining the content and development, the organization, the quality of voice, and the use of language conventions in their own writing and the writings of others. They also learn to use a variety of sentence structures to express their thoughts in both oral and written form.

In the eighth grade, students continue to read and write for pleasure and to expand their knowledge. The research process offers them the opportunity to be actively involved in learning about topics that are relevant to their lives and that appeal to their interests. Eighth graders access information in print and electronic forms and use both primary and secondary sources as reference materials. They distinguish between their own ideas and the ideas of others in their research and in their writing. Using evidence to support the ideas they examine, they properly credit the work of others by documenting the sources they use. They deliver oral presentations about issues and show evidence to support their views and solutions. Through research, students learn how to access, to analyze, and to evaluate information and thus equip themselves for a lifetime of learning. 76

 Grade 8

READING

Understanding and Using Literary Texts

Standard 8-1 The student will read and comprehend a variety of literary texts in print and nonprint formats.

Students in grade eight read four major types of literary texts: fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, and drama. In the category of fiction, they read the following specific types of texts: chapter books, adventure stories, historical fiction, contemporary realistic fiction, science fiction, folktales, tall tales, and myths. In the category of literary nonfiction, they read personal essays, classical essays, memoirs, autobiographical and biographical sketches, character sketches, and speeches. In the category of poetry, they read narrative poems, lyrical poems, humorous poems, free verse, odes, songs/ballads, and epics.

The teacher should continue to address earlier indicators as they apply to more difficult texts.

Indicators

8-1.1 Compare/contrast ideas within and across literary texts to make inferences.

8-1.2 Explain the effect of point of view on a given literary text.

8-1.3 Interpret devices of figurative language (including extended metaphor, oxymoron, and paradox).

8-1.4 Analyze a given literary text to determine its theme.

8-1.5 Analyze the effect of the author’s craft (including tone and the use of imagery, flashback, foreshadowing, symbolism, irony, and allusion) on the meaning of literary texts.

8-1.6 Create responses to literary texts through a variety of methods (for example, written works, oral and auditory presentations, discussions, media productions, and the visual and performing arts).

8-1.7 Compare/contrast literary texts from various genres (for example, poetry, drama, novels, and short stories).

8-1.8 Read independently for extended periods of time for pleasure. 77

Grade 8

READING

Understanding and Using Informational Texts

Standard 8-2 The student will read and comprehend a variety of informational texts in print and nonprint formats.

Students in grade eight read informational (expository/persuasive/argumentative) texts of the following types: essays, historical documents, research reports, contracts, position papers (for example, persuasive brochures, campaign literature), editorials, letters to the editor, informational trade books, textbooks, news and feature articles, magazine articles, advertisements, encyclopedia entries, reviews (for example, book, movie, product), journals, and speeches. They also read directions, schedules, and recipes embedded in informational texts. In addition, they examine commercials, documentaries, and other forms of nonprint informational texts.

The teacher should continue to address earlier indicators as they apply to more difficult texts.

Indicators

8-2.1 Compare/contrast central ideas within and across informational texts.

8-2.2 Compare/contrast information within and across texts to draw conclusions and make inferences.

8-2.3 Analyze informational texts for author bias (for example, word choice and the exclusion and inclusion of particular information).

8-2.4 Create responses to informational texts through a variety of methods (for example, drawings, written works, oral and auditory presentations, discussions, and media productions).

8-2.5 Analyze the impact that text elements (for example, print styles and chapter headings) have on the meaning of a given informational text.

 

8-2.6 Analyze information from graphic features (for example, charts and graphs) in informational texts.

8-2.7 Identify the use of propaganda techniques (including card stacking, plain folks, and transfer) in informational texts.

8-2.8 Read independently for extended periods of time to gain information. 78

Grade 8

READING

Building Vocabulary

Standard 8-3 The student will use word analysis and vocabulary strategies to read fluently.

The teacher should continue to address earlier indicators as they apply to more difficult texts.

Instructional appendixes are provided as the baseline expectations for instruction and are not intended to be all-inclusive documents.

Indicators

8-3.1 Use context clues (for example, those that provide an example, a definition, a restatement, or a comparison/contrast) to generate the meanings of unfamiliar and multiple-meaning words.

8-3.2 Analyze the meaning of words by using Greek and Latin roots and affixes within texts. (See Instructional Appendix: Greek and Latin Roots and Affixes.)

 

8-3.3 Interpret the meaning of idioms and euphemisms encountered in texts.

8-3.4 Interpret the connotations of words to understand the meaning of a given text.

8-3.5 Spell new words using Greek and Latin roots and affixes. (See Instructional Appendix: Greek and Latin Roots and Affixes.) 79

Grade 8

WRITING

Developing Written Communication

Standard 8-4 The student will create written work that has a clear focus, sufficient detail, coherent organization, effective use of voice, and correct use of the conventions of written Standard American English.

The teacher should continue to address earlier indicators as they apply to more difficult texts.

Instructional appendixes are provided as the baseline expectations for instruction and are not intended to be all-inclusive documents.

By the end of eighth grade, students should have mastered the concepts listed below. Review and/or reteaching may be necessary.

Conventions of Grammar

Mechanics of Editing

Parts of Speech

nouns (common and proper nouns, singular and plural nouns, collective nouns, agreement of nouns and their modifiers)

pronouns (personal pronouns, nominative and objective-case pronouns, pronoun-antecedent agreement, indefinite pronouns, pronoun case)

verbs (past, present, and future verb tenses; past participles of commonly misused verbs; subject-verb agreement; consistent verb tenses; verb formation)

adverbs (adverbs of time, place, manner, and degree; irregular adverbs; formation of comparative and superlative adverbs)

adjectives (comparative and superlative adjectives, proper adjectives, irregular comparative and superlative adjectives, formation of comparative and superlative

adjectives)

conjunctions (and, but, or, because, since, yet, until, although, while, neither, nor)

prepositions and prepositional phrases

Capitalization

first word of a sentence; the names of people; the pronoun I; proper nouns; the initials of a person’s name; courtesy titles (for example, Mr. and Ms.); days of the week; months of the year; titles of books, poems, and songs; geographic names; holidays; historical and special events; titles of works of art; titles of publications; brand names; proper adjectives; names of organizations; names of ethnic and national groups; names of established religions and languages

Punctuation

end punctuation (periods,

exclamation points, question marks)

commas (to enclose appositives; to separate items in a series; in dates, addresses, and greetings and closings in letters; in compound sentences; between main clauses; to separate introductory clauses and long introductory phrases from the main body of sentences)

periods in abbreviations

apostrophes (contractions, possessive nouns)

 

interjections

Usage

subject-verb agreement

subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement with collective nouns

 main and subordinate clauses

 idiomatic usage

 placement of modifiers

 shifts in construction

quotation marks (to show dialogue, in direct quotations, to indicate titles of short pieces within longer pieces, underlining or italics of titles of separately published works)

colons

hyphens

semicolons

ellipses

parentheses

Spelling

high-frequency words; three- and four-letter short-vowel words; words that do not fit regular spelling patterns; basic short-vowel, long-vowel, r- controlled, and consonant-blend patterns; misused homonyms; commonly confused words; words that have blends; contractions; compound words; words with orthographic patterns; words with suffixes and prefixes; multisyllabic words; commonly confused words; double consonant patterns; irregular vowel patterns in multisyllabic words; and words with Greek and Latin roots and affixes

Grade 8

WRITING

Producing Written Communications in a Variety of Form

Standard 8-5 The student will write for a variety of purposes and audiences.

The teacher should continue to address earlier indicators as they apply to more difficult texts.

Indicators

8-5.1 Create informational pieces (for example, reports and letters of request, inquiry, or complaint) that use language appropriate for the specific audience.

8-5.2 Create narratives (for example, memoirs) that communicate the significance of particular personal relationships.

8-5.3 Create descriptions for use in other modes of written works (for example, narrative, expository, and persuasive).

8-5.4 Create persuasive pieces (for example, editorials, essays, or speeches) that support a clearly stated position with concrete evidence. 82

Grade 8

RESEARCHING

Applying the Skills of Inquiry and Oral Communication

Standard 8-6 The student will access and use information from a variety of sources.

The teacher should continue to address earlier indicators as they apply to more difficult texts.

Indicators

8-6.1 Clarify and refine a research topic.

8-6.2 Use direct quotations, paraphrasing, or summaries to incorporate into written, oral, auditory, or visual works the information gathered from a variety of research sources.

8-6.3 Use a standardized system of documentation (including a list of sources with full publication information and the use of in-text citations) to properly credit the work of others.

8-6.4 Use vocabulary (including Standard American English) that is appropriate for the particular audience or purpose.

8-6.5 Use appropriate organizational strategies to prepare written works, oral and auditory presentations, and visual presentations.

8-6.6 Select appropriate graphics, in print or electronic form, to support written works, oral presentations, and visual presentations.

8-6.7 Use a variety of print and electronic reference materials.

8-6.8 Design and carry out research projects by selecting a topic, constructing inquiry questions, accessing resources, evaluating credibility, and selecting and organizing information.