Skip to main content

Eighth Grade Literature

   Welcome to 8th grade literature! If you had me for 7th grade English last year, be prepared for an entirely different experience. I certainly hope you remember the grammar and writing instruction from last year, because you will still need those skills in literature class. However, our focus in literature is on learning and identifying important literary elements in both short excerpts and in longer works of literature. We will read a variety of poetry and prose through the year, and you will have an opportunity to show what you learn about both fiction and non-fiction works through class discussions, written responses, completing individual and group projects, and producing some works of your own. Whether you think you like reading or you don't, you will learn that literature can not only create new imaginary worlds for readers to enjoy, but can also help us make sense of actual events that have occurred as well. 8th grade literature can introduce you many new people, real and fictional, who can teach you about your world, past. present, and future. Buckle up, and get ready to read not only the words on a page, but what lies between the lines and in the heart of the writer.

Links to pdfs of novels we read in class are found on the educational website page.

Poetry project due date is Thursday, Feb 1. Don’t let the day sneak up on you….

ASSIGNMENT ALERT!  In November, you selected reading/research materials to begin a more in-depth study of a topic related to our explorations into the Civil Rights Movement or World War II. Just before Christmas break, you were given further information on project ideas to demonstrate the new knowledge you have gained in your chosen area that you are to share with the class through your project. Remember! This project can be nearly anything that speaks to your interests and strengths, but the goal is to teach the class something NEW, something that springboards off our common knowledge, but goes beyond what we learned in class as a group. Do NOT do a project that simply re-hashes information we have already covered together! Your project must give us new information that is related to what we learned, but teach us new ideas and concepts that YOU researched and learned about. Make your project something you can be proud of, not just now but later in life! A successful project will take extended time and effort on your part. Put in the time and effort required!

Completed projects must be submitted NO LATER THAN MARCH 29! This due date will give you ample time to complete a great project, but it does NOT give you time to waste. Be working on your project at a steady pace that allows you to submit your project on or before the due date.

WWII/Civil Rights Movement projects information:



Purpose: to present NEW knowledge, moving the class beyond what we learned together. Topics must be relevant and clearly related to both our classwork and to your assigned reading and/or research. This is a MAJOR undertaking, and the finished product should show that you invested time and interest and should clearly demonstrate your knowledge of the topic.  All work must be your own. This project is a major test grade.  All written work must be typed, double-spaced, in size 12 Times New Roman font, including titles, with a 1-inch margin on all sides.  All written work must have complete, properly formatted MLA citations for any material (ideas, information, photos, etc.) that is not original, and be free from all spelling and grammatical errors

Project ideas:

1. Complete an oral history project. Interview a veteran of WWII, someone who worked in war production efforts, or someone with relevant experiences connected to the Civil Rights Movement. Submit a filmed documentary of the oral history interview.  You will need to write open-ended, thought-provoking questions to ask, and submit a typed transcript of everything said in the documentary.  Please note on the transcript the name, age, and other pertinent information of the veteran.  This documentary must be submitted on a video format that will play on school equipment. The interview should be at least 10-15 minutes after editing.

2. Read an approved book (or books) or conduct research on some person/group/aspect of WWII or the Civil Rights movement—the Resistance Movement; internment camps; Nazi propaganda efforts; the political boundary changes in Europe before, during, and after the war; how working in war-production factories changed the role of women in the United States; how the war was reflected in art or music of the time; the March on Birmingham; the Montgomery Bus Boycott; pivotal people, groups, or events (Freedom Riders, Holocaust camps, Japanese internment camps in the United States), etc. Use at least 3 reliable, substantial sources for any research. Submit a properly formatted citation page for all sources including visual material as necessary (maps, photos, charts, etc.) that you use in your project in any way.

Select one of the following options to show others what you learned from your reading/research:

  • Make a documentary film (actual people or avatars) or animated film. Films or animations should be 10 minutes in length and saved in mp4 format on a disc or stick.
  • Create a comic book drawn by hand or using technology. Comic book formats must be at least 15 pages long with at least six story frames per page. 
  • Write and present an original play or monologue based on research or a book you read.  These presentations must be 6-8 minutes long, and must clearly convey key concepts/important information in regard to the topic.  You may either present live before an audience or record and edit your performance and burn it to a DVD. You must give credit to any sources orally before or after a live presentation, or display written credit on the projector screen at the end of a recorded performance.
  • Write an original short story of at least 10 pages with at least three major characters that clearly explains the topic conflicts, impact on people’s lives, etc.
  • Create a fictional diary of an individual that explains important events through the personal thoughts of a real or fictional person. Diaries must be a minimum of 25 pages (excluding covers) at least 5” by 8” in size. Diaries must have at least 1½ pages of properly cited annotations to explain the context of the work.

3. These options require advance written teacher and parent approval!

Submit an ORIGINAL musical score, collection of poetry, or pieces of artwork to demonstrate knowledge of and reflection upon the events of WWII or the Civil Rights Movement.

  • Musical scores must be written and performed by the student, and have a minimum length of 3 minutes, burned on a CD.  It may be on DVD if it is accompanied by visuals. *
  • Poetry focusing on a research topic must include a minimum of 15 poems that are bound together into a book, including an original illustrated cover.  Poems should actually be displayed as appropriate in the book, but the combined poems must be of sufficient length to equal at least 3 pages of text if they were written as expository prose.  Poems must have true poetic merit and use only poetic forms suitable to a serious topic to be acceptable.
  • Art pieces should include at least 3 major images/pieces.  They may be individual or be a series of related pieces. *      (IMPORTANT: This is ART, expressing meaning related to your research with original work, having true artistic merit, and does NOT involve tracing or copying anything, drawing or coloring a “picture,” or anything not 100% original ART!)

*Each of the above bulleted options must have at least 1½ pages of properly cited annotations and a citation page to explain the context of the work presented.

4. You may also work on a project of your own design, but you must present a written proposal to me. We must discuss the project details and write a formal agreement before you may begin.   



The following sites (or similar sites) may be used if desired for comic books or animated works. Do not download anything on your home computer without parental permission!                                         Powtoon Edu