Academic standards list

English/Language Arts - Grade 8 — English Language Arts


Academic standards define the expectations for knowledge and skills that students are to learn in a subject by a certain age or at the end of a school grade level. This page contains a list of standards for a specific content area, grade level, and/or course. The list of standards may be structured using categories and sub-categories.


Standard 1 — Language
Language is the systematic means of communicating ideas and feelings through the use of signs, gestures, words, and/or auditory symbols. Language Arts is the name given to the curriculum area that includes four types of language: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Language Arts teaching constitutes a significant area in education, since listening, speaking, reading, and writing pervade the curriculum. They are vital to learning and the display of learning in all areas- math, science, and social studies. Teachers must teach students to be proficient in all four areas of language to be successful in their learning across the curriculum.Conceptual StrandStandard American English conventions and vocabulary are essential to ensure effective use of language and promote success in college as well as all types of career opportunities.Guiding QuestionIn what ways do Standard American English conventions and vocabulary promote success in education and in careers?
Grade Level Expectation
Demonstrate control of Standard English through grammar usage, and mechanics (punctuation, capitalization, and spelling).
Employ a variety of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, and usage of words and phrases.
Understand and use correctly a variety of sentence structures.
State Performance Indicator
Identify the correct use of nouns (i.e., common/proper, singular/plural, possessives, direct/indirect objects, predicate nouns) and pronouns (i.e.,
Identify the correct use of verbs (i.e., action/linking, regular/irregular, agreement, perfect tenses, verb phrases) within context.
Identify the correct use of adjectives (i.e., common/proper, comparative/superlative, adjective clauses) and adverbs (i.e., comparative/superlative)
Identify the correct use of conjunctions (i.e., coordinating, correlative, subordinating) and interjections within context.
Identify the correct use of prepositional phrases (place correctly according to the words they modify within the sentence) within context.
Identify the correct use of commas (i.e., compound sentences, coordinating conjunctions, introductory words, appositives, interrupters) within context.
Identify within context a variety of appropriate sentence-combining techniques (i.e., comma with coordinating conjunction, use of semicolon, introductory
Select the most appropriate method to correct a run-on sentence (i.e., conjunctions, semicolons, periods to join or separate elements).
Identify the appropriate use of gerund and participial phrases.
Identify the correct use of appositives/appositive phrases and infinitives/infinitive phrases within context.
Select the correct pronoun-antecedent agreement for personal pronouns within context.
Identify correctly or incorrectly spelled words in context.
Form singular and plural possessives using apostrophes correctly.
Recognize usage errors occurring within context (i.e., subject-verb agreement, pronoun case, double negatives, comparative/superlative forms, troublesome
Select the appropriate use of underlining/italicizing with titles, specific words, numbers, letters, and figures.
Use context clues and/or knowledge of roots and affixes to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.
Choose the correct meaning/usage of a multi-meaning word by replacing the word in context with an appropriate synonym or antonym.
Recognize the effect of stressed or unstressed syllable to aid in identifying the meaning of multiple meaning words.
Recognize and use grade appropriate and/or content specific vocabulary.
Identify commonly used foreign words and phrases (i.e., RSVP, dj vu, faux pas, du jour, bon voyage, alma mater, cum laude, femme fatale, esprit de corps,


Standard 2 — Communication
Communication is the practice of conveying information from one person to another. The language arts are all essential to the communication process. Listening and speaking are fundamental to oral communication. Reading and writing are vital to written communication; viewing and visually representing are critical to visual communication. Listening, reading, and viewing are ways to receive information. Speaking, writing, and visually representing are ways of sharing information.Conceptual StrandEffective communication through clear and persuasive expression and attentive listening is necessary for success in school, the workplace, and the larger community. Guiding QuestionHow do good listening and speaking skills help to communicate clearly and persuasively in all interactive settings?
Grade Level Expectation
Demonstrate critical listening skills essential for comprehension, evaluation, problem solving, and task completion.
Distinguish among summaries, paraphrases, and critiques.
Identify the thesis and main points of a speech.
Analyze the organizational structure of a speech.
Understand strategies for expressing ideas clearly and effectively in a variety of oral contexts.
Deliver effective oral presentations.
Participate in work teams and group discussions.
State Performance Indicator
Identify the purpose of a speech (i.e., to inform, to describe, to explain, to persuade, to entertain).
Identify the targeted audience of a speech.
Identify the thesis and main points of a speech.
Determine the most effective methods of engaging an audience during an oral presentation (e.g., making eye contact, adjusting speaking rate).
Organize a series of note cards in the most effective order for an oral presentation.
Identify and analyze the organizational structure of a speech (e.g., sequential, chronological, problem-solution, comparison-contrast, cause-effect).
Select the most appropriate strategies for participating productively in a team (e.g., gain the floor in orderly ways, meet or set deadlines for completing each
Identify the functions and responsibilities of individuals within an organized group (i.e., reporter, recorder, information gatherer, leader, timekeeper).
Distinguish between a summary and a critique.


Standard 3 — Writing
Writing is a way of sharing language in a visual or tactile form. Throughout the world writing systems have been developed independently using a variety of symbols to represent speech, punctuation, and numbers. All of the writing systems utilize visible representations except the Braille system used for the visually impaired. Writing is one of the most commanding communication tools.Conceptual StrandThe ability to write clearly and coherently to a specific topic is vital to effective communication. Authors write for a variety of purposes and to a variety of audiences.Guiding QuestionIn what ways does good writing contribute to effective communication in a variety of purposes and to a variety of audiences?
Grade Level Expectation
Write in a variety of modes for different audiences and purposes.
Employ various prewriting strategies.
Organize ideas into an essay with an introduction, developing paragraphs, conclusion, and appropriate transitions.
Refine strategies for editing and revising written work.
State Performance Indicator
Identify the purpose for writing (i.e., to inform, to describe, to explain, to persuade, to entertain).
Identify the targeted audience for a selected passage.
Select an appropriate thesis statement for a writing sample.
Rearrange multi-paragraphed work in a logical and coherent order.
Select appropriate time-order or transitional words/phrases to enhance the flow of a writing sample.
Choose the supporting sentence that best fits the context and flow of ideas in a paragraph.
Identify sentences irrelevant to a paragraphs theme or flow.
Select vivid words to strengthen a description (adjective or adverb) within a writing sample or passage.
Select illustrations, explanations, anecdotes, descriptions and/or facts to support key ideas.
Select an appropriate title that reflects the topic of a written selection.
Identify individual written selections as technical, narrative, persuasive, and/or descriptive in mode.
Complete a graphic organizer (e.g., clustering, listing, mapping, webbing) with information from notes for a writing selection.
Select the most appropriate format for a work-related text.


Standard 4 — Research
Research is the dynamic, attentive, and systematic process of inquiry to discover, interpret, or rework facts, events, behaviors, or theories. Additionally, it makes practical applications with the help of facts, laws, or theories. The term research is also used to describe the collection of information about a particular subject.Conceptual StrandEffective research is the ability to frame, to analyze, and to investigate solutions to problems, while building on and evaluating the credibility of existing research. Effective research leads to the formulation of questions and ultimately to the exploration of new ideas.Guiding QuestionHow does effective research enhance inquiry about any aspect of life?
Grade Level Expectation
Define and narrow a problem or research topic.
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
Make distinctions about the credibility, reliability, consistency, strengths, and limitations of resources, including information gathered from websites.
Write a research paper, using primary and secondary sources and technology, a strandard format, and graphics, as appropriate.
State Performance Indicator
Select the most focused research topic.
Identify levels of reliability among resources (e.g., eyewitness account, newspaper account, supermarket tabloid account, Internet source).
Determine the most appropriate research source for a given research topic.
Distinguish between primary sources (i.e., interviews, letters, diaries, newspapers, autobiographies, personal narratives) and secondary sources (i.e.,
Discern irrelevant research material from written text.


Standard 5 — Logic
From Guide To Inductive & Deductive Reasoning Induction vs. Deduction October, 2008, by The Critical Thinking Co.™ Staff Logic refers to the systematic study and application of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is the skill of correct thinking and conceptual development. It is the thinking through of similarities, comparisons, and differences in order to induce the correct general conclusions. Studying logic and practicing logical thinking prepares students for the development of reasoning. Logic is often divided into two parts: inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning. The first is associated with drawing general conclusions from specific examples; the second involves drawing logical conclusions from definitions and axioms.Conceptual StrandLogic is the ability to reason soundly, to think critically, to argue persuasively, and to infer appropriately in order to function successfully in society. Guiding QuestionHow is the ability to reason soundly, to think critically, to argue persuasively, and to infer appropriately necessary to function successfully in school and the workplace?
Grade Level Expectation
Use logic to make inferences and draw conclusions in a variety of oral and written contexts.
Analyze text for fact-opinion, cause-effect, inferences, evidence, and conclusions.
Demonstrate an understanding of deductive and inductive reasoning.
Analyze written and oral communication for persuasive devices.
Explore the concept of premises, including false premises.
Explore the concept of logical fallacies.
State Performance Indicator
Recognize a reasonable prediction of future events of a given text.
Evaluate text for fact or opinion.
Analyze cause/effect relationships in text.
Identify examples of persuasive devices (i.e., bandwagon, loaded words, testimonial, name-calling, plain folks, snob appeal).
Choose a logical word to complete an analogy, using synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, categories/subcategories, whole/part, functions, verb forms, rhymes, scrambled
Identify an example of deductive or inductive reasoning in text.
Identify a false premise in text.
Identify instances of bias and stereotyping in print and non-print texts.
Make inferences and draw conclusions based on evidence in text.

Informational Text

Standard 6 — Informational Text
In the Information Age the importance of being able to read and write informational texts critically and well cannot be overstated. Informational literacy is central to success, and even survival, in schooling, the workplace, and the community. - Nell Duke, Michigan State University Informational text is designed to convey factual information rather than tell or advance a narrative. Informational texts contain ideas, facts, and principles related to the physical, biological, or social world. They may take many different forms: picture books, photo essays, chapter books, articles and essays, letters, diaries and journals, observational notes, factual references (almanacs, books of statistics, books of world records), brochures, manuals, and text books. Informational text may employ techniques such as lists, comparing/contrasting, or demonstrating cause/effect, and may be accompanied by graphs or charts.Conceptual StrandThe world is filled with a variety of informational texts; learners must have a comprehensive set of skills for effective interpretation of this type of text.Guiding QuestionWhy is it important for learners to have a comprehensive set of skills for interpreting a variety of texts?
Grade Level Expectation
Comprehend and summarize the main ideas and supporting details of informational texts.
Analyze the organizational structures of informational texts.
Read, interpret, and analyze text features that support informational texts.
State Performance Indicator
Formulate appropriate questions before, during, and after reading.
Identify the main idea and supporting details in text.
Use text features to locate information and make meaning from text (e.g., headings, key words, captions, footnotes).
Interpret factual, quantitative, technical, or mathematical information presented in text features (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, time lines, tables, and diagrams).
Choose the correct order of a set of instructions.
Identify the organizational structure of a text (i.e., chronological, cause-effect, comparison-contrast, sequential, problem-solution).


Standard 7 — Media
According the National Association for Media Literacy Education: The purpose of media literacy education is to help individuals of all ages develop the habits of inquiry and skills of expression that they need to be critical thinkers, effective communicators and active citizens in todays world. Media (or Cine) literacy is a repertoire of competences that enable people to analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres, and forms. Education for media literacy often uses an inquiry-based pedagogic model that encourages people to ask questions about what they watch, hear, and read. Media literacy education provides tools to help people critically analyze messages, offers opportunities for learners to broaden their experience of media, and helps them develop creative skills in making their own media messages.Conceptual StrandAll students must understand, analyze and use multi-media technology in all facets of life to keep pace with society and ensure lifelong learning. Guiding QuestionHow can students understand, analyze and use multi-media technology to keep pace with society and ensure lifelong learning?
Grade Level Expectation
Analyze media for their ability to inform, persuade, and entertain.
Examine the relationship between the visual (e.g., media images, painting, film, graphic arts) and the verbal in media.
Recognize how visual and sound techniques and design elements (e.g., special effects, camera angles, music) carry or influence messages in various media.
Apply and adapt the principles of written composition to create coherent media productions.
State Performance Indicator
Choose the most appropriate medium for a prescribed purpose and audience.
Select a visual image that best reinforces a viewpoint or enhances a presentation.
Identify the purpose of a medium (i.e., to inform, to persuade, to entertain, to describe).
Draw an inference from a non-print medium.
Choose the statement that best summarizes/communicates the message presented by a medium.
Select the type of conflict (e.g., person vs. person, person vs. self, person vs. environment, person vs. technology) represented in a non-print medium.


Standard 8 — Literature
Literature is a term used to describe written or spoken material. Broadly speaking, "literature" is used to describe anything from creative writing to more technical or scientific works, but the term is most commonly used to refer to works of the creative imagination, including works of poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction.Conceptual StrandStudents will become educated members of society by gaining knowledge of themselves and others through the study of literature, thus becoming critical readers and lifelong learners. Guiding QuestionHow does the knowledge gained through the study of literature enable students to become critical readers and lifelong learners?
Grade Level Expectation
Read and comprehend a variety of works from various forms of literature.
Understand the characteristics of various literary genres (e.g., poetry, novel, biography, short story, essay, drama).
Recognize the conventions of various literary genres.
Analyze works of literature for what is suggested about the historical period in which they were written.
Identify and analyze common literary terms (e.g., personification, conflict, theme).
State Performance Indicator
Demonstrate an understanding of the basic elements of plot: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution/denouement.
Identify and analyze the authors point of view (i.e., first person, third-person objective, third-person limited, third-person omniscient).
Determine how a story changes if the point of view is changed.
Distinguish among different genres (e.g., poetry, drama, biography, novel) using their distinguishing characteristics.
Analyze the development of similar themes across two or more literary texts.
Identify and analyze how the author reveals character (i.e., what the author tells us, what the other characters say about him or her, what the character does,
Identify and analyze examples of literary elements that shape meaning within context (i.e., flashback, foreshadowing, irony, mood, symbolism, tone).
Analyze figurative language (i.e., idiom, metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, pun) within context.
Analyze examples of sound devices within context (i.e., rhyme scheme, alliteration, onomatopoeia, free verse, repetition, internal rhyme, slant rhyme).
Identify the kind(s) of conflict present in a literary plot (i.e., person vs. person, person vs. self, person vs. environment, person vs. technology).
Identify and analyze a literary characters moral dilemma.
Recognize and identify words within context that reveal particular time periods and cultures.
Determine the influence of culture and ethnicity on the themes and issues of literary texts.
Identify the authors purpose for writing.
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