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 (2006)
Development Date: 2012
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.
In the Oral Presentations unit, students will be guided through various presentation strategies: using vocal effects, non-verbal cues, and visual communication. They will learn to appropriately select and apply these strategies to their own persuasive, entertaining, or informative presentations. They will also examine the use of quotation marks and determine how they are used correctly in dialogue. Then, they will explore strategies for reading a script, identifying script elements and summarizing a scene. Next, they 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, students will summarize a scene in a play. Lastly, in the unit assessment, they will write a scene in a play. Throughout the unit, students will discover ways to enhance their oral presentation skills and effectively communicate a wide range of topics.
In the Digital Literacy unit, students 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 they can analyze their purpose and audience. First, they will examine the text features of web pages. Then, they will explore forms in digital literacy by exploring the forms of social media posts and internet advertisements. Next, they will focus on digital literacy skills, such as evaluating a digital source for reliability and responding to and evaluating media texts. They 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. They will consider perspectives in media and connect these to the process of messaging. Then, they will analyze digital texts by observing elements of form in online news articles and press releases. Students will practise their grammar skills by focusing on commas when introductory words and phrases are present. Following the grammar lesson, they will reflect on their own digital literacy skills. In the last lesson, students will learn how to write an outline for a blog post. The final assessment in the unit will require them to write a blog post.
In the Non-Fiction unit, students 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, they will consider how meaning is created in text forms such as self-help books and digital magazine articles. Then, they will observe text patterns and elements of news articles. Next, they will examine the purposes of reading, with a focus on creation myths. They will continue their journey into cultural texts by reading and analyzing cultural texts while considering cultural perspectives. The second half of the course will begin with a lesson on interpreting messages. Students will compare experiences and reflect on connections to texts. Next, they will use listening and reading comprehension strategies to take notes and learn how to conduct an interview. They will practise grammar by analyzing active and passive voice. Next, they will participate in a writer’s workshop where they will create an outline for a work of creative non-fiction. In the last lesson, students will work on revising. Finally, in the unit assessment, they will write a work of creative non-fiction.
In the Advertising unit, students will use strategies to analyze, evaluate, and create advertisements. First, they will explore purpose and audience in advertising, focusing on core concepts and engagement in digital advertising. Then, they will practise using some of the common conventions and techniques in advertising, including creating meaning, storytelling, and signs and symbols. Next, they will consider how audiences react to advertisements, focusing on identity. After considering the role audience response plays, they will determine which strategies are the most persuasive and learn how to identify these. Then, they will explore the ways companies and organizations use persuasion to sell a product. The second half of the course begins with an inspection of bias in advertising. Students will practise spelling and grammar by learning about ellipses and dashes. Next, they will apply conventions and techniques in advertising to PSAs. The following lesson is a writer’s workshop lesson where they will write a radio advertisement. The last lesson before the final assessment will focus on reflecting on their new skills for assessing media. Finally, for the unit assessment, students will create your own audio advertisement for a podcast.
Essay Writing Process
In the Essay Writing Process unit, students will learn about each step in the essay writing process. They will begin by learning how to develop and brainstorm an interesting topic to write about. They will then learn how to organize their ideas effectively to write the best essay possible. Next, they will focus on research by gathering and citing sources to prepare to write an essay. Then, they will begin to look at effective researching techniques such as connecting ideas and thesis statement development. After this, they will explore the proper structure of an essay to maximize logical effectiveness. They will then practice grammar by examining subordinate conjunctions. Students will wrap up the unit by examining how to write introductions and conclusions and proofread and edit their work. In this unit, they will learn to write an effective argument and communicate their perspective compellingly and convincingly. Finally, in the unit assessment, students will write an argumentative essay.
In the Debating unit, students will explore the basics of debate. First, they 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 they will learn to speak confidently and clearly during debates. Next, they will consider some of the fundamentals of arguments, including premises and conclusions, purpose, and point of view. Then, they 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, they will consider clear thinking regarding classifying ideas into fact, value, and policy resolutions. Next, students will explore delivery, using reason, character, and logic to present solid spoken arguments. Then they 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, students will have the opportunity to explore various elements of style and forms of poetry. As they read through the poems in this unit, they will learn to evaluate their effectiveness based on strategies used to create meaning. They will read, hear, and view poetry to discover how interpretations can vary based on each individual’s perspective and personal connection to the poem. This unit will provide students with examples that will assist them in selecting words, structures, and poetic elements to connect with their audience and communicate the theme. They will also have a chance to explore adverbs and prepositions and how they aid in clear communication. Throughout the unit, students will learn ways to enhance their poetic voice by applying various strategies and their own unique point of view. As they go through the unit, students will reflect on and establish their own poetic style. This will help them prepare to select poems for their poetry portfolio.
In the Novel Study unit, students will make important connections to texts by employing several strategies. First, they will learn how to read fluently by adjusting their reading strategy and reading expressively. Then, they will summarize important ideas in detail. Next, they will make inferences about characters and consider stated and implied ideas. They 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, they will learn how to create a movie poster while taking elements of form, audience, and genre into consideration. Next, students will focus on grammar by studying subject and verb agreement. Then, in a writer’s workshop lesson, they will create a work of fiction. While writing their work of fiction, they 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, students will write a short essay interpreting the novel they 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 (oral communication, reading, writing, and media literacy) 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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