7th Grade


Throughout history and in societies around the world, perseverance has often been the key to a person’s achieving his or her goals and making a positive contribution to the future. Perseverance can take many forms. For characters in A Long Walk to Water, it was required simply to survive. To Malala, who experienced personal risk, it was required to achieve an equal opportunity in education. Ultimately, in both works, individuals choose to persevere in ways that benefited themselves and countless unknown persons in generations to come.

developing different perspectives

Students consider how individual perspectives are shaped by knowledge and memory. Through the study of dystopian literature and related texts, students will explore common themes, characters, and contrasting points of view. Students will also compare various texts to evaluate whether perfection is worth a sacrifice.

the middle ages

Students are introduced to captivating stories of lords and ladies, millers and pardoners, peasants, poachers, pilgrims, courtly love, castle life, and the plague. As they explore the daily lives of a wide range of medieval Europeans, students focus on identity and character, and the impact of society on both. They will be immersed in the Middle Ages, the period from about 500 to AD 1500, in which other parts of the world flourished, while Europe remained in a dark age, with its population largely uneducated and illiterate. Their study of spirited characters and faraway scenes will include an examination of how authors create vivid characters and how we create effective stories.

8th grade 

(7th accelerated)

knowledge and human desire for improvement

Students consider the nature of knowledge and the human desire to seek improvement. Through the various texts, students explore what we learn about ourselves through our interactions with and treatment of others. Even more, students compare various perspectives on this topic to form their own conclusion.

conflict, choice & consequences

Students explore how conflicts. choices and consequences shape an individual, and how the choices one makes now can influence their future self.

hope, despair, & memory

This unit teaches students about the importance of hope and remembrance during times of tragedy. Students explore the different ways characters and historical figures have embraced humanity and created civility as a response to injustice.

perception vs. reality

Students explore the role of narrator and point of view in a text. Students will understand how the narrative voice of a text can blur the line between fact and fiction and how a “story truth” is often different from but relates to “happening truth.” Students will also investigate the motives and bias present in various media.

chicago: a great american city

Students explore how authors, artists, and citizens create the myth of a great American city such as Chicago. This module explores the spirit of Chicago—its personality as informed by the writers, artists, and everyday citizens who left testaments to their city’s greatness and its sorrows—as well as myths about the city through the lens of both literature and history.

8th grade accelerated

the influence of literature

Students explore the power of written language to educate and influence others. They read various argumentative essays and engage in virtual collaboration to develop their own arguments. Students will come to understand the importance of reading writing, books, and stories.

how laughter works

Student s will understand that specific structures and literary elements create humorous effects in a variety of print and nonprint sources. Students explore the development of humor to determine a text’s deeper meaning and purpose, and apply these understandings and tools in their own writing.

hope, despair & memory

This unit teaches students about the importance of hope and remembrance during times of tragedy. Students explore the different ways characters and historical figures have embraced humanity and created civility as a response to injustice. Through the analysis of diction, tone, rhetoric, and the author’s purpose, students will evaluate how effectively the literary and informational text of the unit deliver their message.

society shapes and influences people

Students will engage in a variety of activities that will explore how society influences and shapes the people within it. Students will explore their personal perspectives, initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions on topics, texts, and issues. Students will make connections to Social Sciences and Economics, the Great Depression, History, and the Civil Rights Era in regards to the social norms (acceptance of Jim Crow laws) and customs of the day.

conflict, choice & consequences

Students explore how patterns and contrasts in language (diction, imagery, figurative language) reveal central ideas in texts and develop various motifs (light vs. dark, dreams vs. reality, high vs. low etc.) in Romeo and Juliet. They come to understand how those motifs emphasize internal and external conflicts that result from love, hate, loyalty, and friendship. Students examine the extent to which characters’ reactions to conflict and opposition dictate the outcomes of a situation and learn about the science and psychology behind the way teenagers think about choice, conflict, and consequences.