Grade 8 Language

In Grade 8 Language, our students consolidate their language knowledge, skills, strategies, and ability to use them independently. They will create increasingly complex oral, print, and media texts. Non-fiction texts are closely inspected in this course, as well as traditional poetry and key concepts in popular culture. This course is designed to be 200-300 instructional hours.

Curriculum Information: Language (2023)

Developed by: D2L

Development Date: 2024

Please note that elementary courses do not have prerequisites, and Ontario schools do not issue transcript credits at the elementary level. All courses are available in the facilitated and independent pathways.



Oral Presentations

In the Oral Presentations unit, you will be guided through various presentation strategies: using vocal effects, non-verbal cues, and visual communication. You will learn to appropriately select and apply these strategies to your own persuasive, entertaining, or informative presentations. You will also examine the use of quotation marks and determine how they are used correctly in dialogue. Then, you will explore strategies for reading a script, identifying script elements and summarizing a scene. Next, you will consider three types of presentations—persuasive, entertaining, and informative—and explore the elements of form and strategies associated with them. In the last lesson, you will summarize a scene in a play. Lastly, in the unit assessment, you will write a scene in a play. Throughout the unit, you will discover ways to enhance your oral presentation skills and effectively communicate a wide range of topics.

Digital Literacy

In the Digital Literacy unit, you will examine elements of form in common digital media such as web pages, social media posts, internet advertisements, online news articles, and blogs. These media forms will be broken down so you can analyze their purpose and audience. First, you will examine the text features of web pages. Then, you will explore forms in digital literacy by exploring the forms of social media posts and internet advertisements. Next, you will focus on digital literacy skills, such as evaluating a digital source for reliability and responding to and evaluating media texts. You will also learn how to make inferences and interpret digital media pieces. These concepts will be explored by examining elements of irony and satire. The ability to understand messaging will be taught as well. You will consider perspectives in media and connect these to the process of messaging. Then, you will analyze digital texts by observing elements of form in online news articles and press releases. You will practise your grammar skills by focusing on commas when introductory words and phrases are present. Following the grammar lesson, you will reflect on your own digital literacy skills. In the last lesson, you will learn how to write an outline for a blog post. The final assessment in the unit will require you to write a blog post.


In the Non-Fiction unit, you will use non-fiction texts to learn about events or topics covered in news articles, understand creation stories from various cultures and traditions, and listen to interviews with interesting public figures. First, you will consider how meaning is created in text forms such as self-help books and digital magazine articles. Then you will observe text patterns and elements of news articles. Next, you will examine the purposes of reading, with a focus on creation myths. You will continue your journey into cultural texts by reading and analyzing cultural texts while considering cultural perspectives and points of view. The second half of the course will begin with a lesson on interpreting messages. You will compare experiences and reflect on connections to texts. Next, you will use listening and reading comprehension strategies to take notes and learn how to conduct an interview. You will practise grammar by analyzing active and passive voice. Next, you will participate in a writer’s workshop where you will create an outline for a work of creative non-fiction. In the last lesson, you will work on revising. Finally, in the unit assessment, you will write a work of creative non-fiction.


In the Advertising unit, you will use strategies to analyze, evaluate, and create advertisements. First, you will explore purpose and audience in advertising, focusing on core concepts and engagement in digital advertising. You will also learn about tracking in digital advertising and how you can positively affect your digital identity. Then, you will practise using some of the common conventions and techniques in advertising, including creating meaning, storytelling, and signs and symbols. Next, you will consider how audiences react to advertisements, focusing on identity. After considering the role audience response plays, you will determine which strategies are the most persuasive and learn how to identify these. Then, you will explore the ways companies and organizations use persuasion to sell a product. The second half of the unit begins with an inspection of bias in advertising. Then you will practise spelling and grammar by learning about ellipses and dashes. Next, you will apply conventions and techniques in advertising to PSAs. The following lesson is a writer’s workshop lesson where you will write a radio advertisement. The last lesson before the final assessment will focus on reflecting on your new skills for assessing media. Finally, for the unit assessment, you will create your own audio advertisement for a podcast.

Essay Writing Process

In the Essay Writing Process unit, you will learn about each step in the essay writing process. You will begin by learning how to develop and brainstorm an interesting topic to write about. You will then learn how to organize your ideas effectively to write the best essay possible. Next, you will focus on research by gathering and citing sources to prepare to write an essay. Then, you will begin to look at effective researching techniques such as connecting ideas and thesis statement development. After this, you will explore the proper structure of an essay to maximize logical effectiveness. You will then practice grammar by examining subordinate conjunctions. You will wrap up the unit by examining how to write introductions and conclusions and proofread and edit your work. In this unit, you will learn to write an effective argument and communicate your perspective compellingly and convincingly. Finally, in the unit assessment, you will write an argumentative essay.


In the Debating unit, you will explore the basics of debate. First, you will study active listening strategies, including how to write a flowsheet to keep track of other debater’s arguments. Then, the focus will shift to speaking strategies, and you will learn to speak confidently and clearly during debates. Next, you will consider some of the fundamentals of arguments, including premises and conclusions, purpose, and point of view. Then, you will explore the ways debaters can be successfully persuasive. The unit’s second half will begin with a grammar lesson on relative pronouns. Following the grammar lesson, you will consider clear thinking regarding classifying ideas into fact, value, and policy resolutions. Next, you will explore delivery, using reason, character, and logic to present solid spoken arguments. Then you will evaluate strategies for rebuttal and the art of responding to another debater’s point of view. The final lesson in the unit will ask how a judge’s scorecard helps us appreciate the complementary skills debaters bring to evaluating arguments.


In the Poetry unit, you will have the opportunity to explore various elements of style and forms of poetry. As you read through the poems in this unit, you will learn to evaluate their effectiveness based on strategies used to create meaning. You will read, hear, and view poetry to discover how interpretations can vary based on each individual’s perspective and personal connection to the poem. You will learn about Indigenous poets and how their experience and voice influences their poems. This unit will provide you with examples that will assist you in selecting words, structures, and poetic elements to connect with your audience and communicate the theme. You will also have a chance to explore adverbs and prepositions and how they aid in clear communication. Throughout the unit, you will learn ways to enhance your poetic voice by applying various strategies and your own unique point of view. As you go through the unit, you will reflect on and establish your own poetic style. This will help you prepare to select poems for your poetry portfolio.

Novel Study

In the Novel Study unit, you will make important connections to texts by employing several strategies. First, you will learn how to read fluently by adjusting your reading strategy and reading expressively. Then, you will summarize important ideas in detail. Next, you will make inferences about characters and consider implicit and implied ideas. You will continue to make connections and analyze texts by considering evidence and interpretations, in addition to identifying elements such as setting. The second half of the course will begin with an exploration of voice, considering genre and style. Then, you will learn how to create a movie poster while taking elements of form, audience, and genre into consideration. Next, you will focus on grammar by studying subject and verb agreement. Then, in a writer’s workshop lesson, you will create a work of fiction. While writing your work of fiction, you will consider scene writing and how to put a scene together. The last lesson before the assessment will focus on reading skills, including making interpretations. Finally, for the final unit assessment, you will write a short essay interpreting the novel you read in this unit.

This course is entirely online and does not require nor rely on any textbook. Students will require the following resources:

  • A scanner, smartphone camera, or similar device to digitize handwritten or hand-drawn work
  • A device to record audio
  • A printer
  • A physical binder, folder, or notebook for offline activities
  • A dictionary
  • Scissors, glue, paint, markers, cardboard, and tape
  • Various household items to complete offline activities

By weaving together the four strands of language (literacy connections and applications, foundations of language, comprehension, and composition) throughout each unit and course, students develop a strong understanding of the English language. Through the interconnected skills of reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and representing, they will analyse a mixture of literary texts and informational texts, and learn to create and analyse their own versions of these as their knowledge of the writing process increases. A strong emphasis is placed on building mastery of the basics through phonics, word recognition, building vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Students are also constantly encouraged to think critically about what they are reading, leading to improved research skills and better understanding of internet safety. Students are engaged in the content using bespoke storylines, videos, graphics, audio clips, and interactives which are assessed in a variety of online, offline, and blended ways. Every page in the Language courses builds a foundation of literary skills and strategies that students will use throughout the elementary grades.

The course relies on the assistance of a learning coach who supports young students as they move through the content. The learning coach will be involved in facilitating technical aspects of the course and in participating in discussion-based activities to assist students in developing communication skills.

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