Building upon the exploration of the questions ”Where do I come from?” and “Who am I?” in grades 6 & 7, the grade 8 curriculum focuses on the essential question, “Where am I going?” Through an interdisciplinary approach and the integration of technology, eighth graders develop their understanding of their role as leaders within the Middle School community, and look forward to their places in Upper School and as global citizens. It is year of self-reflection as they contemplate who they are and who they will become. Some of the questions that they will be exploring throughout the year are:
- What does it mean to be a responsible global citizen?
- How can I use my talents to improve each of the communities of which I am a part?
- What are my responsibilities to all my communities?
- What do I want my impact/legacy to be?
In addition to studying the etymologies of key vocabulary words, Grade 8 English works in conjunction with Grade 8 History and topics of human rights. Students read, discuss, and respond to pertinent literature, including South African short stories about apartheid, Harper Lee's epic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird
, and poems from the Middle East. In terms of the guiding question, "Where am I going?" the girls are encouraged to think about how they can improve the quality of life for others in the world. Grade 8 can be a time of tremendous growth in terms of compassion and social awareness, so the idea of defending the human rights of others is a natural fit. The final term centers around Shakespeare: students recite monologues for the Shakespeare Recitation Contest in April; in May, students join more than one hundred city schoolchildren for a performance as part of Shakespeare in the City. In its third year, this program has featured hundreds of kids from all over the city in Hamlet
(2009), Romeo and Juliet
(2010), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream
(2011).Pre-Algebra (4) Students in the Eighth Grade take either Pre-Algebra or Algebra I
Eighth Grade Pre-Algebra is a continuation of Seventh Grade Pre-Algebra. The students sharpen their skills with fractions, decimals and percents, work with the rules for order of operations and for exponents, learn to simplify simple algebraic expressions and solve equations, and learn the skills needed to create circle graphs and graphs of linear equations. Throughout the course, the students are expected to develop a strong, working mathematical vocabulary allowing them to succeed in subsequent mathematics courses.Algebra I (4) Students in the Eighth Grade take either Pre-Algebra or Algebra I
Algebra I is an introduction to the language of mathematics. The students study the properties of real numbers, solve equations (both linear and quadratic), perform a variety of operations on polynomials, factor quadratic expressions, work with rational expressions, graph straight lines, and learn various methods to solve word problems algebraically.History (4)
In Grade 8 History, students learn about world cultures and human rights. We study particular areas of the world, including South Africa, India, and Israel, studying their histories and human rights issues by examining current events and political environments. In connection with the Grade 8 essential question "Where am I going?" we will be considering how personal responsibility and action can impact current events and issues.
Students explore history by using the GGREASES method: government, religion, economics, art and architecture, science and technology, education, and social life to conduct research about the history topics. This discussion-based course will enable students to hone their reading, writing, research and organizational skills and will culminate in a joint History/English research project and Human Rights Convention in the spring. At this exciting event, Grade 8 will teach the Lincoln community about activism.Science (4)
Grade 8 Science, entitled Introductory to Physical Science, opens the world of laboratory science to our students. What is matter made of? Elements, atoms, mixtures, solutions, solids, liquids and gasses... they're all here in Eighth-Grade Introduction to Physical Science. We will be experimenting with investigating what makes up the "stuff" of the world through chemical reactions and physical changes, exploring the process of science through laboratory experiment and analysis. Get on your goggles and get ready!
All students in Grades 6-8 are required to take French or Spanish. Additionally, all 7th and 8th Graders are required to take Latin I. The complete study of French, Spanish, or Latin in the Middle School constitutes Level 1. New 8th graders to Lincoln should ideally register for Level 1 language courses in Upper School.
Spanish or French
Middle school French and Spanish take students on an exciting trip to new cultures while introducing them to basic grammar, language functions and everyday vocabulary. Individual and collaborative activities provide ample opportunity for the students to develop and use the language creatively and personally. Evaluation of student performance is based on participation in the classroom and on frequent skills testing (listening, speaking, reading and writing) throughout the year. Each year builds upon the other, allowing students to recycle the old with the new. At the end of 8th grade, the student has finished the level 1 course.
International Language Program:
This course introduces students to the elements of the Latin language. Students in this course learn all six tenses of the verb and all five Latin noun declensions. They also learn hundreds of Latin words and how these words are often the ancestors of words that we use today. In addition to learning to read Latin students will learn about the origins of the Romans and the role Roman culture played and continues to play in shaping the modern world. At the end of 8th grade, the student has finished the level 1 course.
French (grades 5-8) (for students who have already attained fluency in French)
The goal of this program is to facilitate students maintaining a relationship with the language and culture while developing their linguistic skills and cultural awareness to be successful citizens in a multicultural world. This new program is designed for students in 5th through 8th grade who demonstrate an appropriate level of fluency in French. The students will be placed in one group, 5-8th grade. Classes will meet 4 times per week (3x for 5th grade) with a French teacher, who will incorporate different learner strategies and emphasize hands-on, interactive, and collaborative learning. After completion of the entrance examination and an interview about language background, expectations and future goals with both the parents and the student, an individual program will be tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual student. In addition, there will be a specific, rotating curriculum each year to ensure that there is no repetition and to ensure that the students are introduced to a wide variety of topics as they advance through the program. Technology will be integrated into the curriculum and students will visit the language lab weekly.
This tailor-made course continues to work on building strong language skills through a wide variety of individual and collaborative activities. Each unit is thematically based and is enhanced with multiple resources such as novels, short stories, magazine articles, films, music, and computer-accessed materials, which provide ample opportunities for the students to sharpen language skills in both creative and personal ways. Within each unit, the individual student will work at her own pace and with age appropriate assignments and activities to meet her particular needs. Evaluation of student performance is based on participation in the classroom and on frequent skills testing (listening, speaking, reading comprehension, and writing) throughout the year. The language laboratory will be used once each week.Visual Arts (2)
The middle school art curriculum combines Art History with the Principles and Elements of Design, showing the students how art and artists have reflected the culture and technology of every past era, and developing the students' own skills and creativity for self-expression.
In Grade 8, the students review and utilize the Principles and Elements of Design in more advanced and challenging drawing, pastel, printmaking and sculpture projects. Their work in small groups to complete a number of large-scale paintings prepares them for their introduction to oil painting. Starting with a still life, the students begin to learn the medium, and then progress to an independent study investigation and the application of all these skills in the completion of a few self-portraits in both graphite and acrylic paint. Performing ArtsMusical
Each year the 8th grade class takes part in a class musical in the late fall. Students are invited to act or sing on stage, run lights and sound, provide accompaniment, create sets and props and to produce their own publicity for the show. With four instructors present for the production of the musical, each student is able to choose her own path, on stage or off, and create an exciting and event.Middle School Chorus (3)
The Lincoln School Middle School Chorus is a treble chorus available to all students in the Middle School who are interested in ensemble music. The purpose of the group is to instill an appreciation for the choral arts and to develop the students’ voices as ensemble instruments. The chorus focuses heavily on language, lyric diction and proper vocal production for developing young voices. Rhythm reading, music theory and music history are also incorporated into weekly rehearsals. The chorus performs approximately 8 or 9 times per year and frequently combines with the Upper School Vocal Ensemble and other performing ensembles both during and outside of the school day.Grade 8 Handchimes / Genres of American Music
One trimester of Handchimes and one trimester of Genres.
Handchimes is an introduction to handbell ringing. Classes occur 3 times weekly and are dedicated to learning proper ringing technique and musicality through the development of beginning handchime repertoire. By using handchimes as their applied instrument, students will also conquer the basics of music theory and study how music interacts with society today. Crossroads: American Music 1900 to 2008
From techno to marching band, Delta blues to Shape Note, from Cajun to Motown to Broadway, from 50 Cent to Tin Pan Alley, what is American music? This survey approaches ‘how to listen to music’ with basic musical concepts, vocabulary and social/historical context. Individual students will select an aspect of American music to explore in depth through listening, research, and writing.Academic Support
The goal of Academic Support classes in the Middle School is to provide students with the skills to be successful in their instructional program. Academic Support classes focus on organization of the student's work time and their materials, study skills, written language skills, reading comprehension skills, and math skills.Physical Education/Health
Through exposure to a broad variety of activities, each student in the Lincoln School Physical Education program is encouraged to build her physical potential. The goal is to develop in each student competency in basic skills, an interest in physical fitness, an understanding of and appreciation for a variety of team and individual sports, and the confidence and desire to participate in physical activities throughout life.
Typical sports skill offerings include soccer, field hockey, football, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, team handball, badminton, and softball. The units emphasize skill development, game strategies, positioning and rules. Other activities include Fitness Center training, S.A.F.E. self-defense program, yoga, and Zumba. Recreational games, team-building activities, and intramural opportunities are included throughout the year.