7th & 8th Grade Curriculum Highlights
In 7th and 8th grade students go through a 2-year cycle of Old Testament and New Testament History including:
I. Old Testament
- The Bible: Content and Reliability
- God’s Grace in Ancient Times: The Book of Genesis
- God’s Chosen People: Exodus – Deuteronomy
- God’s People in the Promised Land – Joshua - Ruth
- The Kingdom of Israel: I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, I & II Chronicles
- The Prophets and Their Message: Isaiah – Malachi
II. New Testament
- Overview of New Testament: Sections and Authority
- The Message of the Gospels
- Jesus Ministry and Message: The Book of Mark
- The Early Christian Church: Acts
- The Epistles and Revelation: Romans – Revelation
The 7th and 8th grade Social Studies curriculum includes a 2-year United States history program for which the two grades are combined. In one year of the program students cover U.S. history from its origins through the Civil War. During this year, the Constitution will be examined and the students will take a look at the three branches of government. They will look closely at one Supreme Court case which they will present to the class. The opposite year will cover westward expansion following the Civil War through the present day. Throughout both grades we take time to discuss current events and how they may relate or compare to other events or situations we have studied. All of this will culminate with the 8th grade trip to Washington D.C. during which students are able to visit various buildings relating to the branches of government and attend many museums.
There are two different levels of grammar between 7th and 8th grade. Each is structured the same way increasing in difficulty for 8th grade. The year begins by covering and reviewing all eight parts of speech. Next, we examine phrases and clauses and learn about the four types of sentence structures. Then these two components are merged together through the examination of how the parts of speech are used within sentences. Punctuation is taught throughout and is reviewed at the conclusion of each course. Throughout the year, proper grammar usage is encouraged in all student writing.
Our 7th and 8th grades are combined for Literature on a two-year loop. Novels covered between the two years include Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird, Freak the Mighty, The Diary of Anne Frank, The House of Dies Drear, The Outsiders., Across Five Aprils, and The Giver. Often novels coincide with time periods and events being covered in Social Studies class and are used to cover various forms of writing such as narration, description, persuasion, and expository. We also cover units on short stories, poetry, drama, and non-fiction. Everything that is read is used to discuss a variety of literary techniques such as symbolism, story structure, similes and metaphors, and more. Students are expected to have a book for silent reading at all times and use the Accelerated Reader program to set their own goals and improve comprehension.
Most of the books we use are from the Prentice Hall Science Explorer Series (Pearson Education Group). Each book is a Science “module”; that is, a smaller book with 4-6 chapters in each book. This gives us the flexibility to cover different topics in Science. Most Science books would not have all of these modules in any one book.
Through the course of a student’s 7th and 8th grade year, the Science program will cover Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science.
Since school year 2002-2003, there has been a Science Fair at The Lutheran School of Saint Luke in alternating years. The last Science Fair was held in February of 2015. The next Science Fair would be held in school year 2016-2017. Normally the fair occurs sometime between late January and the middle of March. In non-Science Fair years, students are given topics to research and write reports on.
By the time a student graduates from 8th grade at Saint Luke, they have received instruction in the scientific method and the use of basic lab equipment and procedures. We also spend considerable time teaching the Metric system and converting from one unit to another.
Program Overview: St. Luke has two Math tracks. One track is for the average student and is designed to prepare them to be able to succeed in Algebra 1 as a freshman in high school. The other track is an advanced Math program. In this program, students take Pre-Algebra in 7th grade and Algebra I in 8th grade. This enables them to enroll in higher level Math classes as freshmen. Generally, students need to score above the 90th percentile on the Math portion of their achievement tests, and have a 90% or better average in 6th grade Math.
Students in the upper grades have the opportunity to participate in a variety of athletics, as well as Student Council. Many students are also involved with our growing band program and in handbell choir.
In Seventh Grade mathematics becomes Pre-Algebra. Understanding the logic of Algebra does not come easily to all students so we work collaboratively in a think-it-out manner. Students thinking through problems together is highly effective as each student gets a moment to shine by providing input. The best way to learn is to be part of the teaching process.
Both Seventh and Eighth Grade Language Arts classes dig into deeper understanding of our English language and its roots. Students are required to identify unfamiliar words and discover meaning and nuance. Making new words part of the students schema expands boundaries and helps comprehension and enjoyment in Literature class. In-class cooperative reading helps students who struggle with reading by allowing them to hear the words in a different voice. Add the elements of Language Arts and Literature together and the sum is better writing. Students work on writing different types of works: Autobiographical Narratives, Persuasive Essays, Information Text, and Poetry.
Social Studies combines History, Economics, Sociology, and Geography to ensure students understand culture and our place in the world in our era.
STEM Science is today's standard for learning Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Students learn to keep a Science journal and make daily entries of topics covered and labs performed.
Saint Luke keeps the Arts alive with Music and Choir lessons, and keeps bodies strong with Physical Education class.
Students learn multiple facets of computer use and social media etiquette in Computer class.
Eighth Grade students add to all of this with High School level Algebra, so they are well prepared to enter their high school of choice after graduation.