English 8 delivers instruction, practice, and review designed to build students' communication and reading comprehension skills. Reading comprehension lessons strengthen students' critical analysis skills as they study how nonfiction and literature can be used to share ideas. Writing lessons combine free-response exercises with drafting strategies and exemplars to help students communicate clearly and credibly in narrative, argumentative, and informational styles. To develop skills specific to public discourse, speaking and listening lessons guide students as they evaluate one another's speeches and adjust to new audiences and situations. In language lessons, students build foundational grammar skills they need to articulate their ideas and understand challenging words.
The two-semester course is arranged in units that each center on a set of skills or a broad topic. Each unit has four lessons: three instructional lessons and one lesson of assessment. The instructional lessons include a variety of activities, such as direct instruction, assignments, discussions, and both formative and summative assessments. The assessment lesson presents the unit test after giving students a chance to review. Throughout the course, students engage with the subject matter in an interactive, feedback-rich environment as they progress through standards-aligned content and demonstrate their learning through computer- and teacher-scored applications.