Language Arts 8th Grade Standards

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Language Arts 8th Grade Standards

EL.8.1 2006 - READING: Word Recognition, Fluency, and Vocabulary Development

Students use their knowledge of word parts and word relationships, as well as context (the meaning of the text around a word), to determine the meaning of specialized vocabulary and to understand the precise meaning of grade-level-appropriate words.

EL.8.1.1 2006

Vocabulary and Concept Development:

Analyze idioms and comparisons - such as analogies, metaphors, and similes - to infer the literal and figurative meanings of phrases.
• Idioms: expressions that cannot be understood just by knowing the meanings of the words in the expression, such as to be an old hand at something or to get one's feet wet
• Analogies: comparisons of the similar aspects of two different things
• Metaphors: implied comparisons, such as The stars were brilliant diamonds in the night sky.
• Similes: comparisons that use like or as, such as The stars were like a million diamonds in the sky.

EL.8.1.2 2006

Understand the influence of historical events on English word meaning and vocabulary expansion.

Example: Recognize how the early influences of Spanish explorers in North America expanded American English vocabulary, adding words such as tornado, tomato, and patio.

EL.8.1.3 2006

Verify the meaning of a word in its context, even when its meaning is not directly stated, through the use of definition, restatement, example, comparison, or contrast.

Example: Understand the meaning of pickle in a sentence, such as The pickle was an important part of metal working. Use a dictionary to help clarify the use of the word pickle in this context.

addEL.8.2 2006 - READING: Comprehension and Analysis of Nonfiction and Informational Text

Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material. The selections in the Indiana Reading List illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students. At Grade 8, in addition to regular classroom reading, students read a variety of nonfiction, such as biographies, autobiographies, books in many different subject areas, magazines, newspapers, reference and technical materials, and online information.

EL.8.2.1 2006

Structural Features of Informational and Technical Materials:

Compare and contrast the features and elements of consumer materials to gain meaning from documents.
Example: Compare examples of a variety of instructional or technical manuals, such as those for a computer, hair appliance, camera, or electronic game, brought to class by different students. Describe what features make certain instructions easier than others to understand and follow.

EL.8.2.2 2006

Analyze text that uses proposition (statement of argument) and support patterns.

Example: Read and analyze the organization of the "pro" and the "con" editorials on a topic of interest in USA Today. In each, decide if the argument is simply and clearly stated. Decide if there are at least three major points in support of the argument, with the strongest argument given first.

EL.8.2.3 2006

Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Nonfiction and Informational Text:

Find similarities and differences between texts in the treatment, amount of coverage, or organization of ideas.
Example: Read articles or biographies about cultural or historical figures with Indiana connections such as Supreme Court Justice Sherman Minton or leaders in the Underground Railroad movement Levi and Catharine Coffin. Compare the amount of or types of coverage such figures received.

EL.8.2.4 2006

Compare the original text to a summary to determine whether the summary accurately describes the main ideas, includes important details, and conveys the underlying meaning.

Example: After writing summaries or creating graphic organizers on an informational text read for class, exchange the summary or organizer with another student. Evaluate this classmate's summary, based on how well the student describes the most important elements of the text.

EL.8.2.5 2006

Use information from a variety of consumer and public documents to explain a situation or decision and to solve a problem.

Example: Decide which is the most practical and economical wireless telephone to purchase by reading articles, brochures, Web pages, and other consumer sources, such as Consumer Reports.

EL.8.2.6 2006

Expository (Informational) Critique:

Evaluate the logic (inductive or deductive argument), internal consistency, and structural patterns of text.
Example: Read The Brooklyn Bridge: They Said It Couldn't Be Built by Judith St. George and evaluate the techniques and the effectiveness of the development of the main idea of the book.

EL.8.2.7 2006

Analyze the structure, format, and purpose of informational materials (such as textbooks, newspapers, instructional or technical manuals, and public documents).

EL.8.2.8 2006

Understand and explain the use of simple equipment by following directions in a technical manual.

EL.8.2.9 2006

Make reasonable statements and draw conclusions about a text, supporting them with accurate examples.

addEL.8.3 2006 - READING: Comprehension and Analysis of Literary Text

Students read and respond to grade-level-appropriate historically or culturally significant works of literature, such as the selections in the Indiana Reading List, which illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students. At Grade 8, students read a wide variety of fiction, such as classic and contemporary literature, historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, mysteries, adventures, folklore, mythology, poetry, short stories, dramas, and other genres.

EL.8.3.1 2006

Structural Features of Literature:

Determine and articulate the relationship between the purposes and characteristics of different forms of poetry (including ballads, lyrics, couplets, epics, elegies, odes, and sonnets).
• Ballad: a poem that tells a story
• Lyric: words set to music
• Couplet: two successive lines of verse that rhyme
• Epic: a long poem that describes heroic deeds or adventures
• Elegy: a mournful poem for the dead Ode: a poem of praise
• Sonnet: a rhymed poem of 14 lines
Example: Describe the different forms of poetry. Compare poems such as John Ciardi's "Elegy for Jog," Pablo Neruda's "Odes to Common Things," and Edgar Allan Poe's sonnet "To Science."

EL.8.3.2 2006

Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Literary Text:

Evaluate the structural elements of the plot, such as subplots, parallel episodes, and climax; the plot's development; and the way in which conflicts are (or are not) addressed and resolved.
Example: Read a book, such as Holes by Louis Sachar, and discuss how the plot is developed, including the climax and its resolution and how different subplots are incorporated into the story.

EL.8.3.3 2006

Compare and contrast the motivations and reactions of literary characters from different historical eras confronting either similar situations and conflicts or similar hypothetical situations.

Example: Compare literary works that deal with the theme of the impact of war, both on those who fight in the battles and those who remain at home. Works could include Walt Whitman's poem "Drum-Taps" from the Civil War period, John Hersey's novel A Bell for Adano from World War II, or Graham Greene's novel The Quiet American, set in Vietnam at the beginning of the Vietnam conflict.

EL.8.3.4 2006

Analyze the importance of the setting to the mood, tone, or meaning of the text.

Example: Discuss the importance of the setting, including the place, the time period, and the customs, to books, such as Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West or Stranded by Ben Mikaelsen.

EL.8.3.5 2006

Identify and analyze recurring themes (such as good versus evil) that appear frequently across traditional and contemporary works.

Example: Explore the theme that heroism demands unusual courage and risk-taking. Read classic myths found in Alice Low's The MacMillan Book of Greek Gods and Myths or dramatic literature such as Rod Serling's television play Requiem for a Heavyweight to identify what both real and imaginary heroes have done.

EL.8.3.6 2006

Identify significant literary devices, such as metaphor, symbolism, dialect or quotations, and irony, which define a writer's style and use those elements to interpret the work.

• Metaphor: an implied comparison in which a word or phrase is used in place of another, such as He was drowning in money.
• Symbolism: the use of an object to represent something else; for example, a dove might symbolize peace.
• Dialect: the vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation used by people in different regions.
• Irony: the use of words to express the opposite of the literal meaning of the words, often to be humorous.
Example: Read several short stories by Mark Twain and discuss his use of dialect in his stories. Watch Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's musical My Fair Lady, an adaptation of Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, and discuss how the musical presents dialect and how this dialect is important to the conflict in the story.

EL.8.3.7 2006

Literary Criticism:

Analyze a work of literature, showing how it reflects the heritage, traditions, attitudes, and beliefs of its author.
Example: Read books by Charles Major such as The Bears of Blue River or Uncle Tom Andy Bil to analyze how he incorporates his understanding of frontier Indiana attitudes.

EL.8.3.8 2006

Contrast points of view - such as first person, third person, third person limited and third person omniscient, and subjective and objective - in narrative text and explain how they affect the overall theme of the work.

• First person: the narrator tells the story from the "I" perspective.
• Third person: the narrator tells the story from an outside perspective.
• Limited narration: the narrator does not know all thoughts of all characters.
• Omniscient narration: the narrator knows all thoughts of all characters.
• Subjective: the point of view involves a personal perspective.
• Objective: the point of view is from a distanced, informational perspective, as in a news report.

EL.8.3.9 2006

Analyze the relevance of setting (places, times, customs) to mood, tone, and meaning of text.

addEL.8.4 2006 - WRITING: Processes and Features

Students discuss, list, and graphically organize writing ideas. They write clear, coherent, and focused essays. Students progress through the stages of the writing process and proofread, edit, and revise writing.

EL.8.4.1 2006

Organization and Focus:

Discuss ideas for writing, keep a list or notebook of ideas, and use graphic organizers to plan writing.

EL.8.4.10 2006

Create an organizational structure that balances all aspects of the composition and uses effective transitions between sentences to unify important ideas.

EL.8.4.11 2006

Identify topics; ask and evaluate questions; and develop ideas leading to inquiry, investigation, and research.

EL.8.4.2 2006

Create compositions that have a clear message, a coherent thesis (a statement of position on the topic), and end with a clear and well-supported conclusion.

EL.8.4.3 2006

Support theses or conclusions with analogies (comparisons), paraphrases, quotations, opinions from experts, and similar devices.

EL.8.4.4 2006

Research Process and Technology:

Plan and conduct multiple-step information searches using computer networks.

EL.8.4.5 2006

Achieve an effective balance between researched information and original ideas.

EL.8.4.6 2006

Use a computer to create documents by using word-processing skills and publishing programs; develop simple databases and spreadsheets to manage information and prepare reports.

EL.8.4.7 2006

Evaluation and Revision:

Review, evaluate, and revise writing for meaning and clarity.

EL.8.4.8 2006

Edit and proofread one's own writing, as well as that of others, using an editing checklist or set of rules, with specific examples of corrections of frequent errors.

EL.8.4.9 2006

Revise writing for word choice; appropriate organization; consistent point of view; and transitions among paragraphs, passages, and ideas.

addEL.8.5 2006 - WRITING: Applications (Different Types of Writing and Their Characteristics)

At Grade 8, students continue to write narrative, expository (informational), persuasive, and descriptive essays (research reports of 700 to 1,000 words or more). Students are introduced to writing technical documents. Student writing demonstrates a command of Standard English and the research, organizational, and drafting strategies outlined in Standard 4 - Writing Processes and Features. Writing demonstrates an awareness of the audience (intended reader) and purpose for writing.

EL.8.5.1 2006

Write biographies, autobiographies, and short stories that:

• tell about an incident, event, or situation, using well-chosen details.
• reveal the significance of, or the writer's attitude about, the subject.
• use narrative and descriptive strategies, including relevant dialogue, specific action, physical description, background description, and comparison or contrast of characters.
Example: Write an autobiographical account of one of your most memorable first days of school. Describe the day and its importance clearly enough so the reader can see and feel the day from your perspective.

EL.8.5.2 2006

Write responses to literature that:

• demonstrate careful reading and insight into interpretations.
• connect response to the writer's techniques and to specific textual references.
• make supported inferences about the effects of a literary work on its audience.
• support statements with evidence from the text.
Example: After reading The Giver by Lois Lowry, write a final chapter to the book, describing what happens to the main character after the point where Lowry ends the book. Then, plan a class presentation explaining the new ending and how it is supported by the rest of the book.

EL.8.5.3 2006

Research Application:

Write or deliver a research report that has been developed using a systematic research process (defines the topic, gathers information, determines credibility, reports findings) and that:
• uses information from a variety of sources (books, technology, multimedia) and documents sources independently by using a consistent format for citations.
• demonstrates that information that has been gathered has been summarized and that the topic has been refined through this process.
• demonstrates that sources have been evaluated for accuracy, bias, and credibility.
• organizes information by categorizing and sequencing, and demonstrates the distinction between one's own ideas from the ideas of others, and includes a bibliography (Works Cited).
Example: Research the topic of the benefits and drawbacks of public transportation. Conduct research to learn why some experts argue that we should use more public transportation. Survey parents and friends to find out how often they use public transportation for school, business, or pleasure travel. Summarize the findings and write a report on the pros and cons of public transportation.

EL.8.5.4 2006

Write persuasive compositions that:

• include a well-defined thesis that makes a clear and knowledgeable appeal.
• present detailed evidence, examples, and reasoning to support effective arguments and emotional appeals.
• provide details, reasons, and examples, arranging them effectively by anticipating and answering reader concerns and counterarguments.
Example: Using the research completed on public transportation, write a persuasive letter to the mayor on why the community should or should not invest more resources into public transportation.

EL.8.5.5 2006

Write technical documents that:

• identify the sequence of activities needed to design a system, operate a tool, or explain the bylaws of an organization's constitution or guidelines.
• include all the factors and variables that need to be considered.
• use formatting techniques, including headings and changing the fonts (typeface) to aid comprehension.
Example: Write a report of a science experiment that was conducted in class, describing both the process and the scientific conclusions. Describe the steps clearly, using precise scientific vocabulary, so that another reader could follow exactly what the experiment involved and could understand the reasoning behind the conclusion. Add graphics and text design to make the content clearer and easier to follow.

EL.8.5.6 2006

Write using precise word choices to make writing interesting and exact.

Example: Write stories, reports, articles, and letters using a variety of word choices. (Use adequately instead of enough. Use encyclopedia or mystery novel instead of book.)

EL.8.5.7 2006

Write for different purposes and to a specific audience or person, adjusting tone and style as necessary.

Example: Write a letter to the editor in response to an opinion column in your school or community newspaper.

EL.8.6 2006 - WRITING: English Language Conventions
Students write using Standard English conventions appropriate to this grade level.

EL.8.6.1 2006

Sentence Structure:

Use correct and varied sentence types (simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex) and sentence openings to present a lively and effective personal style.

EL.8.6.2 2006

Identify and use parallelism (use consistent elements of grammar when compiling a list) in all writing to present items in a series and items juxtaposed for emphasis.

• Correct: Students having difficulty and needing help should stay after class.
• Incorrect: Students having difficulty and who need help should stay after class.

EL.8.6.3 2006

Use subordination, coordination, noun phrases that function as adjectives (These gestures - acts of friendship - were noticed but not appreciated.), and other devices to indicate clearly the relationship between ideas.

EL.8.6.4 2006

Edit written manuscripts to ensure that correct grammar is used.

EL.8.6.5 2006


Use correct punctuation.

EL.8.6.6 2006


Use correct capitalization.

EL.8.6.7 2006


Use correct spelling conventions.

EL.8.6.8 2006

Identify and use infinitives (the word to followed by the base form of a verb, such as to understand or to learn) and participles (made by adding -ing, -d, -ed, -n, -en, or -t to the base form of the verb, such as dreaming, chosen, built, and grown).

addEL.8.7 2006 - LISTENING AND SPEAKING: Skills, Strategies, and Applications

Students deliver focused, coherent presentations that convey ideas clearly and relate to the background and interests of the audience. They evaluate the content of oral communication. Students deliver well-organized formal presentations using traditional speech strategies, including narration, exposition, persuasion, and description. Students use the same Standard English conventions for oral speech that they use in their writing.

EL.8.7.1 2006


Paraphrase (restate) a speaker's purpose and point of view and ask questions concerning the speaker's content, delivery, and attitude toward the subject.

EL.8.7.10 2006

Speaking Applications:

Deliver narrative presentations, such as biographical or autobiographical information that:
• relate a clear incident, event, or situation, using well-chosen details.
• reveal the significance of the incident, event, or situation.
• use narrative and descriptive strategies to support the presentation, including relevant dialogue, specific action, physical description, background description, and comparison or contrast of characters.

EL.8.7.11 2006

Deliver oral responses to literature that:

• interpret a reading and provide insight, connect personal responses to the writer's techniques and to specific textual references.
• make supported inferences about the effects of a literary work on its audience.
• support judgments through references to the text, other works, other authors, or personal knowledge.

EL.8.7.12 2006

Deliver research presentations that:

• define a thesis (a position on the topic).
• research important ideas, concepts, and direct quotations from significant information sources and paraphrase and summarize important perspectives on the topic.
• use a variety of research sources and distinguish the nature and value of each.
• present information on charts, maps, and graphs.

EL.8.7.13 2006

Deliver persuasive presentations that:

• include a well-defined thesis (position on the topic).
• differentiate fact from opinion and support arguments with detailed evidence, examples, reasoning, and persuasive language.
• anticipate and effectively answer listener concerns and counterarguments through the inclusion and arrangement of details, reasons, examples, and other elements.
• maintain a reasonable tone.

EL.8.7.15 2006

Deliver descriptive presentations that:

• establish a clear point of view on the subject of the presentation.
• establish the presenter's relationship with the subject of the presentation (whether the presentation is made as an uninvolved observer or by someone who is personally involved).
contain effective, factual descriptions of appearance, concrete images, shifting perspectives, and sensory details.

EL.8.7.2 2006

Organization and Delivery of Oral Communication:

Match the message, vocabulary, voice modulation (changes in tone), expression, and tone to the audience and purpose.

EL.8.7.3 2006

Outline the organization of a speech, including an introduction; transitions, previews, and summaries; a logically developed body; and an effective conclusion

EL.8.7.4 2006

Use precise language, action verbs, sensory details, appropriate and colorful modifiers (describing words, such as adverbs and adjectives), and the active (I recommend that you write drafts.) rather than the passive voice (The writing of drafts is recommended.) in ways that enliven oral presentations.

EL.8.7.5 2006

Use appropriate grammar, word choice, enunciation (clear speech), and pace (timing) during formal presentations.

EL.8.7.6 2006

Use audience feedback, including both verbal and nonverbal cues, to reconsider and modify the organizational structure and/or to rearrange words and sentences for clarification of meaning.

EL.8.7.7 2006

Analysis and Evaluation of Oral and Media Communications:

Analyze oral interpretations of literature, including language choice and delivery, and the effect of the interpretations on the listener.

EL.8.7.8 2006

Evaluate the credibility of a speaker, including whether the speaker has hidden agendas or presents slanted or biased material.

EL.8.7.9 2006

Interpret and evaluate the various ways in which visual image makers (such as graphic artists, illustrators, and news photographers) communicate information and affect impressions and opinions.

EL.8.7.14 2006

Recite poems (of four to six stanzas), sections of speeches, or dramatic soliloquies (sections of plays in which characters speak out loud to themselves) using voice modulation, tone, and gestures expressively to enhance the meaning.

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