The eighth-grade curriculum increases the emphasis on reading, writing, and communication through the study of literature, vocabulary, and grammar. Persuasive writing skills are interwoven with the literature. Learning how to write the five-paragraph essay is emphasized as a major component of the eighth grade curriculum. In the fall, the students are introduced to the genre of tragedy and the heroic ideal. Throughout the year, the study of literature and development of writing skills are supplemented with grammar and vocabulary work. The study of grammar begins with a brief review of the parts of speech and the verb types, followed by the study of commas and sentence types. Expansion of student vocabulary is achieved through the use of the book, Vocabulary Energizers II. The literature studied and texts utilized include: Brown Girl Dreaming, Things Fall Apart, House on Mango Street, Antigone, When The Emperor Was Divine, Maus I & II, Macbeth, and The Great Gatsby.