8th Grade

Welcome to St. Emily 8th Grade!  We have a unified 8th grade with a dual purpose of highlighting the past years at St. Emily School and transitioning to the larger world beyond our doors.  We prepare the children spiritually, socially, and academically for the challenges of high school.


The goal of this class is for the students to come to a deeper understanding of their faith, and to understand the importance of Jesus in their ever-changing lives.  It is hoped that as the students mature in their faith, they will be able to “think outside the box” and share their thoughts and feelings with the class.  It is also a goal for them to come to an understanding of the world around them and their part in making a difference.  We will be discussing issues of social justice throughout the year.  The main focus of our class is the study of the Sacrament of Confirmation. We will focus on all aspects of the Sacrament, including the importance of service in their lives.



Believing that literacy is a vital component in our society, our goal is to foster the student’s individual growth by placing each at the appropriate level.  Students in St. Emily’s 8th Grade will find the three levels of Literature challenging as they continue to strengthen their love of reading while we prepare them at their own diverse paces for high school.

  • Students in the Comprehensive Literature class are afforded the opportunity of receiving instruction in the numerous skills necessary to read with insight and comprehension.  Through the use of a wide variety of novels, emphasis is placed on fine-tuning their oral fluency, enhancing critical thinking skills, and understanding the author’s theme, character and plot development.
  • Student in Literature will read a variety of works from American and British authors.  This moderately-paced class will focus on character development as well as setting and themes.   Exposure to the appreciation of figurative language will aid students in analyzing the beauty of the written word as they examine the five elements of each story: the Exposition, Rising Action, Conflict, Falling Action, and Resolution.  Study of the author’s biography as well as the timeline the novel is set in will help students become well-rounded, well-read people.  Additionally, students will read eight books of their own choosing and write a book report in essay-form.
  • In Advanced Literature various novels, which include classic and contemporary literature from American & British authors, will be read as a class at a faster pace with focus on how the author develops each character and his or her traits.  Aspects of figurative language found in literature will be scrutinized in greater depth while students study the timeframe of the author’s background and the novel’s setting.  Students will explore the components of each book, which includes the Exposition, Rising Action, Conflict, Falling Action, and Resolution.  Themes will be discussed, and students will learn to defend their opinions with support from evidence found in the text.  Independent reading of eight novels is mandatory during the year, and the students will write a book report in paragraph form on each one.
  • Vocabulary, which is a separate grade at St. Emily, is incorporated into the Literature classes.  We use Sadlier-Oxford’s Vocabulary Workshop – Level C.  Students will be quizzed on knowledge of the definitions as well as the correct spelling. The goal is to allow the students to analyze words for meaning and to have them apply these new-found words into their writing and everyday speech.


St. Emily School Junior High Math program continually strengthens students’ foundation of basic mathematic skills and challenges students in problem solving applications.  The diversity in pacing and content depth in St. Emily’s multi-level program offers the opportunity to meet the needs of each student with proven success in local and standardized assessments.

  • The General Math level currently works with the McDougal Littell Middle School Course 3 curriculum which serves as an outstanding tool in helping our students acquire the knowledge, skills, and problem solving abilities necessary to meet our high mathematics standards.
  • The Algebra class builds on the skills developed in the Pre-Algebra classes and covers the equivalent of a semester of high school Algebra.  Some Geometry is also incorporated into the curriculum.
  • The Accelerated Algebra level is a faster paced course that covers a full year of high school Algebra.  Students are challenged with more difficult material that incorporates abstract problem solving skills.  Geometry with Algebra applications is also a part of the curriculum.

All the levels of the Math program prepare students for the high school Math curriculum at different levels.

Social Studies       

The eighth grade Social Studies curriculum covers the time period of the Civil War through World War II, the Illinois Constitution, Geography Studies, and Current Events.  In addition, the students develop the following Study Skills:  Outlining, Note taking, Summarization, Critical Thinking, Compare/Contrast, Cause/Effect, Studying and Preparation, Test Taking Strategies, Interviewing, and Presentations/Speeches.


In junior high, the goal of the Science curriculum is to allow the students to learn about the natural world through the study of earth science, physics, biology and chemistry.  However, the 8th grade curriculum is more concentrated on the physical sciences.  Some of the subject areas that are covered in 8th grade include: Chemistry of Matter (Atoms & Atomic Structure, the Periodic Table, & Chemical Reactions); Motions, Forces & Energy (Motion, Acceleration & Momentum, Newton’s Laws); and Physical Interactions (Electricity, Magnetism, & Waves, Sound & Light). The students will be involved in hands on science and will be expeced to type up a lab report on any experiments done.  We will also be doing many projects throughout the year that the students will complete in class.


Students will be instructed in several writing styles, including but not limited to Poetry, Persuasive, Expository, Descriptive, and Narratives.  Students will also demonstrate mastery of research methods and tools, including technology, to communicate their knowledge through the creation of a formal research paper.  We use Holt’s Elements of Language and Perfection Learning’s Write in Style, which conforms to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.


The 8th grade students will continue to hone and expand upon their knowledge of Spanish vocabulary, pronunciation, sentence structure, essay writing, verb conjugation, grammar, cultural traditions, expressions, and prayer in written, listened, and spoken forms.  They will attend Spanish class three times a week.

Each week’s lessons will include new vocabulary and grammar concepts, as well as review of material covered in previous classes and in the previous school year.  Vocabulary and grammar curricula will derive from Avancemos, a high school-level beginner Spanish textbook.  Material covered will be the equivalent to the first semester of Spanish I in high school, with the goal of making the transition to  – and success in – high school Spanish, easy.   

 8th Grade Activities and Events

·         Bake Sales

·         All-School Masses

·         SeptemberFest

·         Junior Achievement

·         Field Trips to High School Plays

·         Tour of the Holocaust Museum

·         Classroom Holiday Parties

·         Junior High Dances

·         Scouting

·         Greater Chicago Food Depository

·         Track-a-Thon

·         Spirit Assemblies

·         Sporting Events

·         High School Placement Test Preparation

·         Candlelighting Ceremony

·         Christmas Program

·         Fire Safety Visit

·         Catholic Schools Week

·         Fun Fair

·         Living Stations

·         Talent Show

·         All-School Field Trip

·         Alumni Games

·         Springfield Field Trip

·         May Crowning

·         Ribbon Day

·         Recognition Night

·         Graduation


Our expectation is that this information gives you an idea of what your child will experience in 8th Grade at St. Emily School.  Our goal is to challenge each of them to achieve to the best of their ability, and we hope that they will continue to grow in faith and maturity throughout the school year.

Click on the link to view our Junior High website: https://sites.google.com/site/stemilyjuniorhigh/