English: The Classics – Honors
The 8th-grade English course provides students a solid foundation in literature, writing, and grammar and prepares them for Honors- and AP-level work in a Catholic high school. We will read some of the most important, age-appropriate works of the Western canon, focusing on the ancient Greeks, Shakespeare, and similarly themed literature from more recent writers. Students will be introduced to all three major genres of literature: prose, poetry, and drama. Our readings will deal with such themes as leadership, justice, and the importance of seeing oneself in the context of a journey. These ideas are especially important to our students as they grow into young men in a Catholic setting.
The middle-school years are crucial in students’ growth as communicators, and the curriculum will focus on mastering the structure of the English language. In grammar studies, students will learn to isolate and identify the parts of speech and sentence, as well as different types of phrases and clauses. Writing instruction will stress sentence structure and the organization of ideas into paragraphs. By the end of the year, students will be able to write a unified two-page essay that develops from a thesis statement. Public speaking is another important aspect of communication and, throughout the year, students will be required to present their work before the class.