| Eighth grade represents a culmination of the skills that students have developed throughout middle school. This year is about choice, independence, leadership, responsibility, questioning, and risk-taking. Students engage with the world beyond their school community by becoming active citizens and thinking about how they can effect change. |
In studying the larger world through a social justice lens, eighth graders ask probing questions, synthesize disparate ideas, and display deep learning. They focus on process over product as they zoom in and out between the world and themselves. Additionally, eighth graders’ social relationships are changing, and they learn to navigate this with independence and confidence. Students also continue in their chosen performing arts elective, collaborating with seventh grade students in these intergrade-level ensemble classes. Eighth graders take on leadership roles within the middle school community. Students leave eighth grade as young adults ready for high school, on their way to being global citizens and lifelong learners.
One of the major themes of the eighth grade curriculum is active citizenship. In humanities classes, students work on the “Social Justice Project." Students identify civil and human rights topics in which they are interested, and work in small groups to educate themselves and take action to address the issue. Eighth graders do research and work with professionals in the field, and then organize, document, and share their findings. The project requires students to practice choice, responsibility, citizenship, and leadership.
Eighth graders also apply skills from various subject areas to their social justice project. For example, a digital art component gives them the opportunity to understand design thinking and its effect in the real world. Students learn about the elements and principles of design, which they use to complete their public service announcement and monuments projects.For their “Science for Change” project, students choose a community sustainability problem that they care about and design an invention to solve the problem. These eighth grade projects encompass LREI’s Four Cs: they require students to be courageous, and to use critical thinking and creativity, as they become active citizens in the world.