8th Grade Curriculum
We are excited about our Middle School program at GFS!
We hope this video will help you gain a greater understanding of the offerings for 8th grade students as well as important choices for consideration.
Features of the 8th Grade Curriculum
- Study of the personal essay, poetry, novels, and drama
- Frequent writing builds stamina and voice
- Focus on the complexity and clarity of both critical and creative writing
- Continued work developing grammar and diction skills with support from IXL
- Study of Earth cycles and its interconnected systems
- Emphasis on environmental science
- Focus on research skills and writing papers and lab reports
- Experiment-based independent projects for Science Night, grades 8-12
Foreign Language Study
- Students continue with level 1b of their seventh grade language. They can add Latin 1 or Greek 1 as a second language.
- Questions about language choice can be directed to the relevant department chair: Amy Celentano, Head of Modern Language or Natasha Labbe, Head of Classics.
- Please speak with your student's advisor about the program implications of taking a second language in Upper School.
|Classical Language||Modern Language|
- Builds upon the Algebra I topics introduced in 7th grade, completing all topics in a rigorous Algebra I curriculum. (Complete Algebra 1)
- Emphasizes problem-solving, adaptive reasoning, and higher order thinking skills
- The standard course prepares students for higher level math courses that culminate in Calculus in senior year
- GFS also offers an Accelerated course, which covers the same content, but moves at a faster pace, considering material with greater depth. Following this curricular trajectory at GFS results in a two-year, sequential Calculus course in junior and senior year.
- The Math Department is open to engaging in conversation about moving into accelerated math at any stage and welcomes queries from families and students
- U.S. History
- Reconstruction to the present: civil rights, foreign policy, immigration, and economics
- Foundational work on research and writing skills
- Focus on social justice
- Develop fundamental motor and social skills through participation in group and partner work, especially problem-solving activities
- Engage in adventure education activities that emphasize group work and problem-solving
- Develop an appreciation for the diversity of fitness and skill levels
- Integral part of our school curriculum
- Experience the lessons of teamwork and sportsmanship
- Develop fundamental skills and game strategies
- Required to participate in two after-school sports out of three seasons
- Choices for the fall: Cross Country (B/G), Soccer (B/G), Field Hockey (G), Tennis (G)
- Choices for the winter: Basketball, Squash, Outdoor Track, Wrestling (all B/G)
- Choices for the spring: Lacrosse (G), Softball (G), Track & Field (B/G), Baseball (B), Tennis (B)
- Theater Movement Arts is an option for the Winter Season
- Focus on fundamentals: musical understanding through listening
- Study of the music of social justice
- Student participation in the annual musical
- Opportunity to participate in any of three performing ensembles: Orchestra, Chorus, and Jazz
- Study of the formal and conceptual issues of art
- Topics: color theory, composition and design, symmetry and balance, perspective, and personal voice
- Projects sequenced to build skills and understanding
- Art History through the lens of artistic problem solving
- Students have the option to elect Drama during their EXPO blocks
- These trimester-long sessions focus on the preparation and production of a short one-act play
- Theatre is integrated into classroom teaching; partnerships between drama faculty and other core teachers help to bring the power of theater into the teaching of curricular texts
- Opportunity to elect after-school Theatre Movement Arts for the winter season
- Advisor works with 10-11 students, serves as point person throughout the year
- Daily morning meetings and weekly grade-level group meetings
- Advisors meet with parents during conferences and communicate with students’ other teachers
Learn more about the 8th grade program.