Language Arts 800

Language Arts 800 is a survey of literature that explores the work of various writers of different time periods through a historical lens, studying a range of classic and contemporary literature to convey themes of American history, natural history, world civilization, and air and space. Students will also develop writing skills while producing informative, argumentative, and narrative compositions. Supported by a balance of fictional and informational texts, students will learn and practice close reading, modeled reading, writing, speaking, and listening strategies. To become critical consumers of text, students will be exposed to increasingly more complex texts to apply those skills, including high-quality contemporary works, the classics of American literature, and Homer’sIliad. 

  • Unit 1: Skill Workshop:Students will demonstrate a mastery of the foundational writing and reading skills necessary to succeed in this course and are provided with an opportunity to refresh knowledge of writing, research, and content-area vocabulary. 
  • Unit 2: American History Collection:Students will examine Louisa May Alcott’sLittle Women and foundational American documents, utilizing the literature for an examination of literary elements such as theme, historical context, and characterization as well as a backdrop for the dissection of foundational parts of speech, such as homophones, subjunctives, and active/passive voice.
  • Unit 3: Display of Natural History:Students will examine a variety of literature, including Jules Verne’sJourney to the Center of the Earth and work by Edgar Allan Poe, interpreting theme, character, mood, tone, allusions, and author purpose; this unit culminates in a focused research project and multimedia presentation. 
  • Unit 4: World Civilization:Students will explore the literature and culture of ancient civilizations in Egypt, Greece, and Japan, synthesizing information from various texts to uncover universal themes within literature, examining the role of historical context in literary analysis, and composing an original argumentative essay and visual presentation based on the topic of culture and customs.
  • Unit 5: Fine Art Gallery:Students will encounter a variety of nonfiction texts and poetry centered on the themes and experiences expressed in the art and literature of a society, including Vincent Van Gogh: Portrait of an Artist, by Jan Greenburg; this unit engages students’ writing skills through the composition of original poetry, informational text, literary analyses, and a focused research essay.
  • Unit 6: Air & Space Mezzanine:Students will explore the autobiographical memoir,The Early History of the Airplane, as well as a variety of other fiction and nonfiction works united by the themes of destiny, determination, and vision; using a critical eye to interpret and write academic texts about character, mood, point of view, dialogue, figurative language and structure.

State: National
Grade Level: 8
Category: English Language Arts
Course Length: Year