8th grade will work through the literature textbook provided by the school along with other supplimentary books, as we discuss and analyze common themes in literature. We will study the difference between fiction and non fiction, and study the common elements and differences between literary genres, such as short stories, poetry, drama, letters, essays, media articles, persuasive writing, and creative writing. We will do much creative writing in class as well, the specific type depending on the unit of study. For example, after studying and analyzing the poetry unit, students will construct poems of their own based on what they have learned. I am very exited for this, as it promotes creativity and student voice.
When appropriate, this literature class will support the social studies class. This cross – curriculum will benefit the student in many ways, specifically the fact that studying for one class will inherently be the same as studying for the other class. For example, during the study of the American Revolution, we will read, discuss, and analyze novels which take place during that time period. This adds an empathetic and extra cultural inclusion to the study of history, which allows for greater connection to be made between the past and present. The best way to read this literary works is to provide the historical context for which they take place, and by enacting cross cultural curriculum theories, we gain not only instructional time, but transfer of knowledge and greater understanding as well.
Finally, there will be a huge emphases on student led discussion, and student collaboration in this literature class. Students will have reading circle groups to support and scaffold reading skills, as well as facilitate discussion and analysis of the texts we read. It is important that students work together productively and constructively as these social and collaborative skills will assist them later in life. I ask for respect for all students, and that students come to class with a positive attitude and an open mind to these reading circle groups.