• Eighth Grade Common Learning Standards
    ELA
     
    Literature
     
    The following standards offer a focus for instruction each year and help ensure that students gain adequate
    exposure to a range of texts and tasks. Rigor is also infused through the requirement that students read
    increasingly complex texts through the grades. Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet
    each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered in
    preceding grades.
     
    Key Ideas and Details
     
    1. Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as
    inferences drawn from the text.
    2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including
    its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.
    3. Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a
    character, or provoke a decision.
     
    Craft and Structure
     
    4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative
    meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to
    other texts.
    5. Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the different structure of each text
    contributes to its meaning and style.
    6. Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created
    through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.
    a. Analyze full-length novels, short stories, poems and other genres by authors who represent diverse world
    cultures.
    Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
    7. Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from
    the text or script, evaluating the choices made by the director or actors.
    8. (Not applicable to literature)
    9. Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy
    stories) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.
    Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
    1. By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades
    6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
    Responding to Literature
    11. Recognize, interpret, and make connections in narratives, poetry, and drama, ethically and artistically to
    other texts, ideas, cultural perspectives, eras, personal events, and situations.
    a. Self-select text based on personal preferences.
    b. Use established criteria to classify, select and evaluate texts to make informed judgments about the
    quality of the pieces.
     
    Information Text
    Key Ideas and Details
     
    1. Cite textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as
    inferences drawn from the text.
    2. Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; including its
    relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
    3. Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g.,
    through comparisons, analogies, or categories.
    Craft and Structure
    4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and
    technical meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone, including analogies or
    allusions to other texts.
    5. Analyze in detail the structure of a specific paragraph in a text, including the role of a particular sentences in
    developing and refining a key concept.
    6. Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and
    responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.
    Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
    7. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video,
    multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.
    8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound
    and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced.
    9. Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify
    where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation.
    a. Use their experience and their knowledge of language and logic, as well as culture, to think analytically,
    address problems creatively, and advocate persuasively.
    Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
    9. By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 6-8 text
    complexity band independently and proficiently.
     
    Writing
     
    The following standards for 6-12 offer a focus for instruction each year to help endure that students gain
    adequate mastery of a range of skills and applications. Each year in their writing, students should
    demonstrate increasing sophistication in all aspects of language use, from vocabulary and syntax to the
    development and organization of ideas, and they should address increasingly demanding content and sources.
    Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards and retain
    or further develop skills and understandings mastered in preceding grades.
     
    Text Types and Purposes
     
    1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
    a. Introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims,
    and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
    b. Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and
    demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
    c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among
    claims(s),counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
    d. Establish and maintain a formal style.
    e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
    2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through
    the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
    a. Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information
    into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and
    multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    b. Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or
    other information and examples.
    c. Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationship among ideas
    and concepts.
    d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    e. Establish and maintain a formal style.
    f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or
    explanation presented.
    3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant
    descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
    a. Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator
    and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
    b. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, pacing, and reflection, to develop
    experiences, events, and/or characters.
    c. Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from
    one time frame or setting to another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.
    d. Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the
    action and convey experiences and events.
    e. Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.
    Production and Distribution of Writing
    4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to
    task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3
    above.)
    a. Produce text (print or nonprint) that explores a variety of cultures and perspectives.
    5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning,
    revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been
    addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3).
    6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between
    information and ideas efficiently as well as t interact and collaborate with others.
    Research to Build and Present Knowledge
    7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question(including a self-generated question), drawing on
    several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of
    exploration.
    8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; access the
    credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while
    avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
    9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    a. Apply grade 8 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on
    themes, pattern of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as
    the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new”).
    a. Apply grade 8 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the argument and
    specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and
    sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced”).
    Range of Writing
    10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time
    frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
    11. Create a presentation, art work, or text in response to a literary work with a commentary that identifies
    connections and explains divergences from the original.
    a. Make well-supported personal, cultural, textual, and thematic connections across genres.
    b. Create poetry, stories, plays, and other literary forms (e.g. videos, art work).
    Speaking and Listening
    The following standards for 6-12 offer a focus for instruction each year to help ensure that students gain
    adequate mastery of a range of skills and applications. Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet
    each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered in preceding grades.
     
    Comprehension and Collaboration
     
    1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with
    diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that
    preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under
    discussion.
    b. Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and
    deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
    c. Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others’ questions and
    comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.
    d. Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, modify their own views in
    light of the evidence presented.
    e. Seek to understand other perspectives and cultures and communicate effectively with audiences or
    individuals from varied backgrounds.
    2. Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively,
    orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.
    a. Use their experience and their knowledge of language and logic, as well as culture, to think analytically,
    address problems creatively, and advocate persuasively.
    3. Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and the
    relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced.
    Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
    4. Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence,
    sound valid reasoning, well chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear
    pronunciation.
    5. Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims
    and evidence, and add interest.
    6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or
    appropriate.
     
    Language
     
    The following standards for grades 6-12 offer a focus for instruction each year to help ensure that
    students gain adequate mastery of a range of skills and applications. Students advancing through the
    grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and
    understandings mastered in preceding grades. Beginning in grade 3, shills and understandings that are
    particularly likely to require continued attention in higher grades as they are applied to increasingly
    sophisticated writing and speaking are marked with an asterisk (*).
     
    Conventions of Standard English
     
    1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    a. Explain the function of verbals (gerunds, participles, infinitives) in general and their function in
    particular sentences.
    b. Form and use verbs in the active and passive voice.
    c. Form and use verbs in the indicative, imperative, interrogative, conditional, and subjunctive mood.
    d. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in the verb voice and mood.*
    2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when
    writing.
    a. Use punctuation (comma, ellipsis, dash) to indicate a pause or break.
    b. use an ellipsis to indicate an omission.
    c. Spell correctly.
     
    Knowledge of Language
     
    3. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
    a. Use verbs in the active and passive voice and in the conditional and subjunctive mood to achieve
    particular effects (e.g., emphasizing the actor or the action; expressing uncertainty or describing a
    state contrary to fact).
    Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
    4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 8
    reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
    a. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in
    a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
    b. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a
    word (e.g., precede, recede, secede).
    c. Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses),
    both print and digital, to find the pronunciation and determine or clarify the precise meaning of its
    part of speech.
    d. Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the
    inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
    5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
    a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., verbal irony, puns) in context.
    b. Use the relationship between particular words to better understand each of the words.
    c. Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions)
    (e.g., bullheaded, willful, firm, persistent, resolute).
    6. Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases;
    gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.