8th Grade English

Through careful study of classic and contemporary texts, students explore a timeless question: are human beings fundamentally good or evil?

Course Summary

In 8th grade, students explore a timeless question: are human beings fundamentally good or evil? Through careful study of classic and contemporary texts, students will consider how access to power influences human behavior, and how everyday people respond in the face of unjust leadership, violent oppression, and cruelty. Students will grapple with some of the darkest events of the 20th century, and contemplate their power as young people to create the future they wish to see.

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1

Seeking Justice: To Kill a Mockingbird

Students explore human nature through the story of a young white girl facing the harsh realities of racial injustice in the Jim Crow south.

35 Lessons

2

Encountering Evil: Night

Students explore human nature through the memoir of Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor who vividly describes the horrors he experienced.

23 Lessons

3

Abusing Power: Animal Farm and Wicked History

Students explore human nature through careful study of the Russian Revolution, focusing on the ways in which leaders manipulated and oppressed their own people.

30 Lessons

4

Surviving Repression: Persepolis

Students explore human nature through the story of a young girl coming of age during the Iranian Revolution, and the challenges she faced during this violent, turbulent time.

25 Lessons

5

Facing Calamity: An Inconvenient Sequel

Students explore human nature by studying the climate crisis and its causes and impact, and the role of government, businesses, and individuals in finding solutions.

25 Lessons

6

Making Change: Speeches, Essays, and Articles

Students explore human nature through the stories of teenagers challenging the status quo and making real change in the world.

11 Lessons

Looking for a unit from our 2018-2019 curriculum? Please visit our archive.