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 mythic traditions 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, accomplished through the practice of sentence diagramming, begins with a brief review of the parts of speech and the prepositional phrase, followed by the study of clauses and sentence types. Expansion of student vocabulary is achieved through the use of the book, Vocabulary Energizers I. The literature studied and texts utilized include: Beowulf, comparitive mythology, The Old Man and the Sea, poetry, Macbeth, Maus I & II, The Moon is Down, Anthem, and To Kill a Mockingbird.