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Course Descriptions for Grade 8 Courses
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English 8

This course will involve; creative writing, essay writing, short story and poetry reading, reading response activities, and journal writing.  This course is aimed at enhancing the student’s knowledge and appreciation of the literary and cultural aspects of the English language.  It is designed to build upon the student’s basic language skills so as to enable them to express their feelings and opinions coherently both in formal and creative writing and in oral presentation.  Students will be encouraged to read, write and think critically.


Mathematics 8

Students will be expected to describe what they are doing in mathematics and explain why they are doing it. Problem-solving skills will be applied in all the strands. Mental math and estimation skills will be stressed as well as the proper use of the calculator. Specific expectations include finding area and perimeter of irregular two-dimensional shapes, determining surface area and volume of rectangular prisms, determining congruency and investigating tiling patterns, solving equations and evaluating simple expressions, using and applying their knowledge of probability, and operations with integers and measures of central tendencies.


French 8

In Grade 8, students continue to listen and talk about simple oral texts in structured and open-ended situations. They express ideas, feelings, and opinions in conversations and discussions, using learned language structures and a variety of vocabulary and expressions. As well, they write in a variety of forms adjusting language to suit the audience. They continue to identify and use the vocabulary and grammar conventions appropriate for this grade level in oral communication and in reading and writing.


Science 8

This course continues to allow students to increase their scientific knowledge in the disciplines of Biology, Physics and Environmental Studies. The students will learn scientific concepts and conduct investigations related to Fluids, Mechanical Efficiency, Cells, Tissues, Organs and Systems, and Water Systems. Research, experimentation, and scientific literacy remain integral parts of the program.


The course is built upon the scientific model of learning; that is, exploring inquiring, predicting, planning, collecting, deciding, communicating, evaluating, and applying data. Through the use of controlled variables, the construction of models and data interpretation, students are encouraged to observe, question, and manipulate elements of their environment.


Fine Arts 8 (Visual Arts 8 and Drama 8 combined)


Part I – Visual Arts 8

The first half of the course will include studio and art history components.  The studio portion  will focus on drawing, sketching and painting techniques through 2-D and 3-D activities.  The historical art study will concentrate on the exploration  of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  The second half of the course will further explore the Seven Wonders through a variety of media and dramatic forms.


Part II – Drama 8

Students in Grade 8 will develop or extend understanding of the following concepts through participation in various drama experiences. The students will analyse the background, motivation, speech, and actions of characters to build roles; using voice, stance, gesture, and facial expression to portray character. The students will analyse relationships to develop the interplay between characters. They will study time and place using props, costumes, and furniture to establish setting; modifying production elements to suit different audiences. They will use various stage effects to produce specific audience reactions. They will study focus and emphasis using a wide range of devices to highlight the central theme for the audience; making deliberate artistic choices to sharpen focus.


Social Studies 8

This Social Studies course aims at ensuring that students understand the basic concepts of social studies, history and geography. Through continual development of their skills, strategies and habits of mind required for effective inquiry and communication, students are able to successfully apply and relate the knowledge acquired to the world outside the classroom in these areas.


Part I – Geography

Students will build on what they have learned in earlier grades about Earth’s physical features and processes in order to explore the relationship between these features/processes and human settlement patterns around the world. They will focus on where people live and why they live there, and on the impact of human settlement and land use on the environment. They will enhance their ability to apply a geographic perspective to their investigation of issues, including issues related to human settlement and sustainability and to global development and quality of life. In addition, students will study factors that affect economic development and quality of life on a global scale and will examine responses to global inequalities. Students will be introduced to new types of maps and graphs, including choropleth maps, scatter graphs, and population pyramids, and, at the same time, will continue to develop their ability to use a variety of sources, tools, and spatial technologies to study various geographic issues.

The expectations provide opportunities for students to explore a number of concepts connected to the citizenship education framework, including democracy, equity, freedom, perspective, power and authority, relationships, rights and responsibilities, and stewardship.


Part II – History

Students will build on their understanding of earlier Canadian history, examining how social, political, economic, and legal changes in Canada between 1850 and 1914 affected different groups in an increasingly diverse and regionally distinct nation. They will explore experiences of and challenges facing Canadians around the beginning of the twentieth century and will compare them to those of present-day Canadians. Students will examine the internal and external forces that led to Confederation and territorial expansion and of the impact of these developments on long-time Canadians, including First Nations, as well as new immigrants. Through an examination of inequalities in the new nation, students will learn that many of the rights and freedoms we have in Canada today are the result of actions taken by people in this era to change their lives. Students will develop their ability to apply the concepts of historical thinking as well as the historical inquiry process, using both primary and secondary sources to explore the perspectives of groups on issues of concern to Canadians from the mid-nineteenth century to the eve of World War I.

The expectations provide opportunities for students to explore a number of concepts connected to the citizenship education framework, including democracy, equity, inclusiveness, law and justice, power and authority, relationships, respect, and rights and responsibilities.


Spelling Grammar 8

The aim of this course is to provide the means that will enable the student to understand the process of writing.  The student will learn to apply conventions of language in order to express ideas, feelings, and information clearly and precisely.  Listening and speaking skills will also develop as the student learns to communicate more freely using bias-free language.  The student will know how to direct questions and talk through ideas to clarify thinking, promote reflection, and generate ideas for written work.  Spelling, grammar and composition are consistently interwoven over a five-day cycle to help the student reach his/her potential in English language skills.

This course is in lieu of French 8.


Exploring Communications Technology 9 (TGJ1O)

This exploratory course introduces students to concepts and skills in communications technology, which encompasses television/video and movie production, radio and audio production, print and graphic communications, photography, and interactive new media and animation. Students will develop an awareness of related environmental and societal issues, and will begin to explore secondary and postsecondary pathways leading to careers in the field.


Healthy Active Living Education 9 – Compulsory (PPL1O)

This course equips students with the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy choices now and lead healthy, active lives in the future. Through participation in a wide range of physical activities, students develop knowledge and skills related to movement competence and personal fitness that provide a foundation for active living. Students also acquire an understanding of the factors and skills that contribute to healthy development and learn how their own well-being is affected by, and affects, the world around them. Students build their sense of self, learn to interact positively with others, and develop their ability to think critically and creatively.

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