September Update: 8th Grade

Now that Labor Day has come and gone, "real" school is beginning.  We've reviewed the rules, practiced the procedures, and gotten some grades. The Culminating Project looms over the horizon, but it's not here just yet.  We still have time...

8th Grade Religion

Religion this month explores the early Church.  We have spent quite a bit of time reading through the Acts of the Apostles to find out what Peter and Paul were up to.  Students also compared the ancient liturgy that St. Justing Martyr described in his apology to the Roman emperor, with today's liturgy-just so you know, really nothing has changed.  While movies glamorize the Roman Empire, the reality was a far better story.  There were not 300 years of Christians being crucified or fed to starving lions in the Coliseum.  Yes, that did happen, some decades more than others, but as the Apostles and their successors spread throughout the Empire and beyond, thousands of souls accepted their message and were baptized.  The Church experienced growth despite persecution because of the daily witness of those who proclaimed Christ crucified and raised on the third day.  The Church Fathers are treasures of our Faith and their words echo through the centuries.  They wrote and spoke the truth that drove out heresy, developed the canon of Scripture, and eventually became the Creed we profess each week.

In Language Arts, we are reading several short stories, paying particular attention to characters (traits, motivation, whether they are static or dynamic).  Students identify the conflict within the story and then comment on important points of rising action.  They also identify the climax-that high point of the story.  Along the way, they explore vocabulary and ways to use words (synonyms/antonyms, figurative language, and word choice). In grammar, we will finish the first chapter which is just an overview of subjects, verbs, and sentence types.  Language usage and revision scores on the state assessment were somewhat lower than I would have liked, so we will use Moby Max to practice and improve these skills.  Because I now have three different classes writing saint reports, the 8th graders will begin theirs this month.  They will check out their books and start reading it.  We'll write it during the first week of October, but not present it until later in the fall.