Grade 8

A Time of Intellectual Awakening

Eighth graders have sharp observational skills and keen reasoning abilities. They are engaged in the community and serve as role models for younger students. They work productively on class projects and performances, and reach new heights in research, writing, and presentation.

The class examines U.S. History, and world events and people who helped define our time. They discover the mechanical principles that led to the development of our technological society, study organic chemistry, and construct the five Platonic solids in geometry.

Ideals of Human Freedom

The class studies history from the Industrial Revolution to the present, exploring the major political and cultural events that shaped the modern world. Special attention is given to the ideals of human freedom that led to the American, French, and Russian Revolutions, and how those ideals manifested in each nation.


Language Arts

  • Strengthen understanding of grammatical foundations
  • Development of techniques in various forms of written expression, including composition, reports, poetry, and letter writing
  • Class Play
  • Creative writing
  • Biographies and other class readers
  • Curriculum Project on topic of interest: research, written report, artistic project, and community presentation.


  • Algebra I course: linear equations graphed on a coordinate plan, algebraic expressions simplified, equations with two unknowns
  • Reexamination of properties of numbers: commutative, associative and distributive laws
  • Geometry: explore and construct the five platonic solids.
  • Volume and surface area of more complex shapes: cylinder, cone, pyramid, prism, and sphere.


  • Physics: hydraulics, aerodynamics, magnetism; electricity; Meteorology
  • Chemistry: organic chemistry, focusing on processes by which substances are formed and transformed
  • Anatomy and Physiology

Social Studies

  • Geography of Africa and Asia
  • American, French, and Russian Revolutions
  • Industrial Revolution to Modern history


  • Report and oral presentation
  • Conversational skills: descriptions or people, places, likes and dislikes
  • Reading comprehension and ability to freely re-tell passages in present tense and beginning use of past tense
  • Use of reflexive verbs, demonstrative and possessive adjectives and present progressive
  • Recitation of poetry
  • Reading comprehensive: short stories
  • Written story summaries; create own stories
  • Presentation of cultural topics


Note: Since the Mandarin program is fairly new at the school, our current middle-school age students are building language skills at levels dependent on the year the school transitioned.

  • Review both Zhuyin and Pinyin alphabet systemsFocus on reading more complex Chinese characters
  • Practice more advanced grammar and grammatical structuresUse human anatomy as the theme to introduce more Chinese radicals and characters
  • Conversation practice amongst students and teachers
  • Creative writing exercises; writing whole paragraphs by combining different sentence structures
  • Short story reading and comprehension
  • Practice in use of Chinese / English dictionary to look up unfamiliar words
  • Chinese culture through ancient Chinese Dynasties / History and Chinese poems
  • Practice of Chinese calligraphy


  • Singing in harmonies; playing, and singing music in triple meter
  • Class orchestra and opportunities for solo performance


  • Machine sewing pajamas: shopping for flannels; directional prints; use of grain lines
  • Straight and curved stitch lines, controlled reverse and zig-zag stitching, elastic casing, hems, and pockets


  • Construction of a simple, four-legged stool


  • Instruction from the High School Eurythmy Teacher
  • Movement to poetry and exploration of spoken word with consonants, vowels, gestures, character, and mood
  • Study of a musical piece – pitch, intervals, rhythm, and tones

Games & Gym

  • Themed games from cultures around the modern and urban games
  • Spatial Dynamics and Bothmer Gymnastics
  • Parkour games and challenges, fitness training, track meet training
  • Warm up exercises, skill development activities, and stretching

Grade 8 Faculty

Tamar Resnick
Class Teacher

Febe Chacon
Christine Wang

Stacey Hubbard

Kristine Joyce-Ragudo

Astrid Thiersch

Mona Nemetz
Games and Gym

Yoriko Yamamoto

Rodney Sutton

Laurence Jaquet
Upper Grades Resource Teacher


Research & Presentation

Students select a topic for in-depth research. Their findings are presented to the community. Topics range from Combustion to Cardiovascular Health to the History of Hetch Hetchy.