8th Grade

NFS Curriculum Update :: December, 2015

Advanced Handbells

Students in Advanced Handbells dove right in! We have highlighted and played through several holiday pieces. We will be preparing a piece or two to play at the Holiday Meeting for Worship on the 18th and I am hoping to put a short program together to play at the end of the quarter!

Design Studio

Students are currently working on a typography project. Students were asked to transform an inspirational quote into a poster with a focus on font using only letters and words. We will move into a quick study of industrial design in which student will redesign an everyday product and focus on either ergonomic or aesthetic improvement.


As we move into December, eighth grade English students will explore new genres: nonfiction and historical fiction. Elie Wiesel’s memoir, Night, will serve as the introduction point to our study of literature related to World War II and the Holocaust. The unit will complement the study of the same time period in social studies, proving essential context and emotional access through the voices, real and imagined, of people connected to the events. This difficult yet essential literature offers us the opportunity to examine our history and our humanity. After we read and discuss Night as a class, students will work in book clubs to explore a related text of their choice. Selections will include both historical fiction, like The Book Thief and Milkweed, and nonfiction offerings like The Diary of Anne Frank. Upon completing their books, the clubs will work together to create a collaborative, multimedia presentation about their text.


This month the eighth grade Latin students will begin their work in Lesson 18, which introduces questions. They will learn how to use interrogative pronouns and adverbs to ask questions seeking a specific piece of information. They will then discover how to use interrogative particles and enclitics to ask yes-or-no questions, questions expecting a positive answer, and questions expecting a negative answer. Students will also explore the relationships between questions and answers, composing appropriate answers to different types of questions and reverse-engineering likely questions based on available answers. We will be working with these concepts through the end of the month.


On Level

Eighth graders will continue solving linear systems by graphing and learn substitution and elimination methods. We will interpret given scenarios and transform them into linear systems with two variables. Mixtures, interest, and wind/air speed are all new real-life applications that will be explored. As a class, we will explore when Netflix, Red Box, and movie rentals are most affordable. Students will also determine whether or not the NASA astronauts have enough oxygen to install solar panels on the International Space Station with regard to oxygen usage.

Right before break, the analysts will then choose between comparing cell phone plans, cable plans, or two cars to synthesize which is the better buy based on the group’s consumer’s needs and desires. The cooperative groups will construct scenarios, linear systems, and a conclusive report that will be shared with the class. The cumulative math midterm and culmination of the project will occur in mid-January.


Eighth graders have been exploring real-world connections with linear systems by reading word problems, constructing linear systems, solving for the intersection, and then summarizing what the point of intersection means. One specific application we will be investigating is determining whether or not the NASA astronauts have enough oxygen to install solar panels on the International Space Station with regard to oxygen usage. Students will also compare electricity plans to determine whether solar panels are worth the cost. Next, students will write and graph linear inequalities and systems of linear inequalities, concluding the acceptable range of solutions for the situations and explain what the range means.

Right before break, students will begin working in cooperative groups and create scenarios around a specific topic that involve a two or three-variable linear system. Within these scenarios, the groups will create and describe the scenario as a linear system, solve the system, and advise the client based on the results. The cumulative math midterm and culmination of this authentic project will be in mid-January.


December is the start of our basketball unit and many of the classes this month will focus on various basketball skills, drills, and activities. We will play basketball games called H-O-R-S-E and Twenty One. We will play large group games like BBK and Knockout. We will play full and half court basketball games too. This month's fitness skill challenge is "how many baskets can you make in one minute?" We will continue to use the rock wall once this month. Fitness and skill development remain an important part of our activities, as well as sportsmanship and fair play.


Eighth graders will continue their study of Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. If time permits during December, students will gain an understanding of forces in fluids as it relates to flight in our atmosphere. Student will apply Bernoulli’s Principle for a better understanding of flight. Students will also understand why airplanes fly using terms such as airfoil, ailerons, elevators, yaw, pitch, roll, drag, thrust, and lift.


This month the second batch of Service Learners will lay the groundwork for their service projects. Students have recently chosen issues in the world that are of concern to them and will now research the causes of and remedies for these issues. They will synthesize their findings into annotated bibliographies and present brief speeches to their classmates persuading them of the importance of their issues. After these presentations, students will form groups based on their shared interests, and they will begin to write their project proposals. As the end of the month approaches, groups will revise and edit their proposals to created detailed and easy-to-follow plans for their service projects.


In December the eighth grade social studies students will learn more about America’s involvement in World War II as well as the Holocaust. We will take a field trip to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. to get a better understanding of the experience of the people involved. We will also meet a Holocaust survivor. In December we will complete our first Document-Based Question (DBQ) Research Essay. The students have been working hard to find primary sources that will help them to answer a research question of their own choosing.


Eighth grade class will continue working on other negative command forms of irregular and regular verbs and conclude the unit with an assessment that describes a scenario in which students need to resolve the situation using negative and affirmative command structures. The class will then study the Inca. Each student will be assigned a cultural aspect of the Inca civilization to research, translate using past tenses and exchange Inca civilization facts.

Holiday Meeting for Worship

Friday, Dec. 18th, 9-10am

George School Meeting House

Parents are welcome to join us for Holiday Meeting for Worship on Friday, December 18th at 9 am in the George School Meeting House. This year's program includes performances from the Advanced Handbell Elective, the NFS Parent Chorus, and the Faculty Chorus.