Language Arts 800 Fundamentals

Students will continue to build on the sequential development and the integration of communication skills in four major areas: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students will expand an increasingly advanced understanding of the structure of language and grammar and use this knowledge to write academic-level essays, short stories, literary analyses, and focused research projects. In addition, students will read and comprehend a variety of literature, including poetry and a variety of fiction and nonfiction text. As a result of the reading, writing, speaking, and listening students will do in this course, they will grow their vocabulary and their understanding of how to communicate effectively by making skillful choices when expressing themselves with language.

  • Unit 1: Strategies for Reading and Writing: Students will establish a functioning understanding of strategies for successful reading, writing, listening and speaking, including such topics as defining unknown vocabulary, using language appropriately, and speaking and listening effectively. 
  • Unit 2: Mechanics and the Sentence:Students will utilize increasingly advanced elements of writing mechanics, including a mastery of coordination and subordination in sentences, and the correct use of punctuation such as the hyphen, parentheses, and apostrophe.
  • Unit 3: History of Language and Modern Grammar: Students will expand their knowledge of history of the English language, as well as the nature of modern English. 
  • Unit 4: Exposition: The Formal Essay: Students will read and analyze a variety of formal essays, using this knowledge to compose their own, demonstrating their skill in working with elements such as the thesis statement, introductions and conclusions, and proper source documentation. •Unit 5: Exposition:Students will understand the purpose and use of persuasive techniques in the written and spoken word, closely evaluating propaganda, slanted news, and evaluating the validity of facts vs. opinions. 
  • Unit 6: The Power of Words:Students will examine the nuances of language, including developing effective listening strategies, identifying nonverbal cues, and understanding literal and implied meaning. 
  • Unit 7: Short Stories: Students will analyze short story elements through a close examination of short stories such as “The Monkey’s Paw” and “The Gift of the Magi,” using a critical eye to interpret plot, conflict, characters, mood, symbolism, theme, and other literary elements; the unit culminates with students composing an original short story. 
  • Unit 8: Nonfiction Literature: Students will delve into a wide variety of nonfiction literature, including historical texts and autobiography, and will compose several written pieces to measure their understanding of the unit concepts. 
  • Unit 9: Functional Texts and Reading Strategies: Students will advance their active reading strategies, working with skills such as summarizing and paraphrasing, and will also examine functional and professional texts. Unit 10: Sampling Literature: Students will dissect the elements of literature, taking a close look at the world of poetry, short stories, and drama to understand aspects such as poetic devices, figures of speech, irony, and etc. 

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