8th Grade Curriculum Guide


Committed to providing an excellent Catholic Education since 1961.

St. Teresa Catholic School

Mission Statement

The mission of St. Teresa Catholic School is to provide a quality education that challenges and empowers students to develop their full potential. Our program is based on Gospel values and Catholic traditions and is implemented in a Christ-centered community that stresses excellence for all students.


At St. Teresa School we believe that each person is a child of God, blessed with unique gifts and talents, and so we endeavor to:

    • Promote the holistic development of each individual
    • Provide a program of learning which challenges and empowers   students
    • Integrate spiritual beliefs and values with learning and living
    • Form a partnership between home and school to enrich each child’s life
    • Promote respect for the dignity and uniqueness of each individual.

Curriculum Guide Introduction

The purpose of this Curriculum Guide is to summarize the major objectives of the instructional program at this grade level at St. Teresa Catholic School.  The curriculum has been designed to follow the recommendations of the Diocese of Orlando, and meets or exceeds the expectations set forth in the Florida Standards.


Students continue their religious education by reinforcing their knowledge of Scripture and how it relates to them.  They explore church doctrine and history and understand what is necessary to lead a Christian life filled with love, prayer, and service.  These programs provide the basis for strong moral and ethical behavior while assisting the student to appreciate the value of their individual uniqueness. As part of their eighth grade religion classes, students will take a standardized test, called the ACRE test.  This is an assessment of their religious knowledge as well as an opinion on their moral values and religious practices.  A service component is  part of the religion program.  Students are expected to understand the need to serve others by sharing their time and talents as they actively create and promote our Christian community.

Language Arts 

The students in eighth grade are engaged in learning and reinforcing their knowledge of the various parts of speech, sentence structure, and punctuation.  They are perfecting their writing skills by writing in various genres such as expository, narrative, poetic, and essay.  Students enjoy reading and discussing many types of literature.  They are constantly working on increasing their vocabulary with their literature experiences as well as through a separate vocabulary textbook.  Our goals are to challenge the students to increase their writing skills, to understand and analyze literature in its various forms including evaluation of informational texts, to have a working knowledge of and the ability to recognize specific literary terms, and to enhance their vocabulary.  Additionally students participate in Journalism class each week, at which time they learn about writing to inform, conducting research, and interviews.  Many of the articles they write are published in our school newspaper.

Social Studies-American History

The eighth grade students begin their study of American history with the indigenous people and continue to the Reconstruction Era.  The objectives of this program are to recognize the diversity and accomplishments of the various pre-Columbian cultures, to understand and respect the Constitution of the United States of America as a document that is unique and has been applicable throughout the history of this nation, to be knowledgeable of the people and events that helped to shape this nation and are continuing to shape it, and to respect the many cultures that have contributed to this country’s strengths and accomplishments.  Textbook study, research projects, written and oral reports are some of the means used to accomplish these goals.  Students are expected to have knowledge of current events from various media, in particular the periodical—Upfront, published by Scholastic and written specifically for the 8th grade age group.


The eighth grade mathematics class is divided into two levels- Algebra I and Algebra I Honors. Assignment to a class is determined by the student’s developmental abilities.  Algebra I covers basic Algebra concepts; the Honors Class expands on these basic concepts and challenges the students to solve more difficult problems.  Students solve multi-step linear equations and inequalities using the operations of equality and inequality.  They solve for a given variable in a formula and solve equations containing absolute value.  They graph and analyze linear equations and inequalities by determining the slope and y- intercept of a line and using the slope- intercept form.  They add, subtract, multiply, divide and factor polynomials and rational expressions.    Students solve and graph systems of equations and equalities by graphing and using substitution or elimination with addition, subtraction or multiplication.  Quadratic equations are solved by graphing, completing the square or by using the quadratic formula. The students are taught to simplify and perform operations with radical expression and the Pythagorean Theorem.  Problem solving, critical thinking, and test strategies are emphasized in this program throughout the year.  Online study tools are available for students to enhance instruction at this level.  Students prepare and take the Florida End of Course Assessment (EOC) to receive public high school credit upon successful completion of the class.


The eighth grade students study of science includes exploration of chemistry and physical science.  The primary focus of this course is to master the basic concepts of chemistry.  Students explore the nature of matter through classification, atomic structure, and the periodic table.  The properties of elements are explored through chemical bonding and various chemical reactions.  Physics:  The exploration of electricity, magnetism, electromagnetic waves, and the motion of molecules in matter are some of the concepts explored.  Students perform hands-on activities in a laboratory environment and practice using the scientific method of experimentation. Laboratory skills and safety are also taught.   Students participate in a judged School Science Fair in January and may qualify to compete in County, Regional, and State, Science Fairs throughout the spring trimester.


The Eighth Grade Music Program aims at developing in students a deeper appreciation of the qualities of good music. Students are involved in a variety of classroom activities including listening to and critiquing various styles of music.  The highlight of their year is a production of a short musical during the spring.  Students select a work, audition for parts, rehearse, and develop props, and costumes for this production.


Eighth grade students continue to use ¡Asi Se Dice! as the class textbook.  They also expand their knowledge of Spanish Literature, including Don Quixote. They continue to expand comprehension through oral and written activities.   They extend their ability to conjugate verbs in both present and past tense.  The students become familiar with the aspects of irregular verbs, reflexive verbs, enlarge their vocabulary, and are encouraged to express themselves orally in Spanish.  Students who excel in this year’s program may be eligible to enter Spanish II in their freshman year of High School.

 Physical Education

The physical education curriculum includes both individual student performance and appreciation of team activities.  Students practice concepts of respect and safety for themselves and others in a dynamic environment.  They are expected to demonstrate a certain level of proficiency in some type of physical activity and to appreciate their performance as a vehicle of self-expression.  A greater understanding of the structure and function of the human body as it relates to health and wellness is also developed.  Sports offered at this level will include:  soccer (co-ed), flag football, volleyball, basketball, softball, cross country, and track & field.


Students will learn the fundamentals of journalism, including writing, research, reporting, newsroom operations, and the writing skills required for modern media.

Students will write and edit articles, organize information in accepted newspaper story forms, with emphasis on grammar, effective structure, and the presentation of accurate information.  Students will also examine the writing processes and reinforce the ability to write using narrative, descriptive, and analytical methods.


Visual art lessons for students at this level are designed to nurture the student’s creativity and problem solving skills.  Themes from language arts, social studies, math and science are integrated into lessons while incorporating multi-cultural study and creative problem solving.  Students study art history, aesthetics, and art criticism and work with a variety of media including two dimensional and three-dimensional sculpture. The curriculum also continues the exploration and understanding of color.  Students choose a medium, apply elements of art and principles of design, use appropriate vocabulary, include content and symbolism, reflect on and evaluate their own work and the work of others during the completion of a project.