8th Grade Curriculum

Curriculum follows California Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards


In Eighth Grade, students will come to understand their role of discipleship in the Church and the school community. Continuing to study the history of the New Testament and the Church, the focus will be on the Liturgical Seasons of the Church and the Acts of the Apostles. Living a moral life and commitment to their faith becomes the utmost importance in preparing our students to face the challenges of high school. Throughout the year, we will use a Family Life program.The course of study is designed to be in accordance with the Religion outcomes determined by the Diocese of San Jose.

English Language Arts

The Eighth Grade Language Arts program is designed to prepare students as they move into high school, whether private or public. Students will delve deeply into complex fiction and non-fiction literature. All genres of literature will cover the elements of each: tone, imagery, irony, theme, character development, plot, setting, author’s purpose, and summarization. Students will learn the importance of research, critical thinking, and analysis when producing a clear and cohesive written product using different media. Citing correctly to avoid plagiarism will prepare students to effectively gather relevant sources and integrate such information. Learned vocabulary and grammar mechanics will be stressed to achieve excellence in writing. A balance between the wonderful literature of whole language and the important skills of language and reading comprise the basis of our language program. Lucy Caulkins Writing Program will engage students in a variety of narrative, informative, and argumentative assignments through formal essay and research projects. Specific writing assignments will challenge students to explore social justice topics including teen activism and relevant current events that inspire the students to strive to be their best.


Complex literature and informational text will challenge the student to critically analyze events, ideas, structure, writing style of the author, point of view, and personal message. Students will work collaboratively with diverse partners to expand ideas, while learning to express their point of view effectively and persuasively. Application of the writing process, using the Lucy Calkins writing program, helps to support the student’s effort to produce an effective piece of literature or informational text across all subject areas. Online adaptive programs that differentiate for learning are also implemented to the curriculum that coordinate with the Drexel blended learning philosophy


We offer two courses to provide students a placement that corresponds to their learning progress.


8th Grade Math

St. John Vianney Catholic School follows the California Common Core State Standards which contain many topics. Some of the key concepts studied in 8th grade are volume and surface area of three-dimensional geometric figures, equations, integer exponents, scientific notation, algebraic expressions, and other pre-algebra and algebra topics. Concepts will be reinforced and introduced to build a strong foundation that prepares students to progress confidently through algebra and geometry in future courses.


8th Grade Algebra 1

(This class is the equivalent of a freshman high school Algebra 1 course.)

St. John Vianney Catholic School follows the California Common Core State Standards which contain many topics. The full curriculum taught in this high school Algebra 1 course contain the following: foundations of algebra, equations, inequalities, functions, linear equations, systems of equations and inequalities, exponents and polynomials, factoring polynomials, and quadratic functions and equations. After completion of this course, students have the opportunity to challenge the Algebra 1 class at their future high school.


In Eighth Grade, the NGSS performance expectations in life science blend the core ideas with scientific and engineering practices as well as crosscutting concepts to support students in developing usable knowledge to explain real-world phenomena in scientific terms using Stemscopes, a computer based NGSS focused curriculum program, incorporates crosscutting concepts (integration with other subjects) and Science & Engineering practices (tools and techniques). The curriculum the students are exposed to focuses on how objects move and collide, non-contact forces influence phenoma, evolution explains life’s unity and diversity, and sustaining local and global biodiversity. Within each unit of study, a general topic focus is present and stands as the key fundamental learning element. Those key focus areas are forces and motion, electricity and magnetism, earth-sun-moon system, solar system and the universe, genes and heredity, natural selection and changes over time, history of earth, waves and electromagnetic radiation, information technologies, and human impact on the environment.

Social Studies

Students in Eighth Grade study the ideas, issues, and events from the framing of the Constitution up to Reconstruction. After reviewing the development of America’s democratic institutions founded on the Judeo-Christian heritage and English parliamentary traditions, particularly the shaping of the Constitution, students trace the development of American politics, society, culture, and economy and relate them to the emergence of major regional differences. They learn about the challenges facing the new nation, with an emphasis on the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War. They make connections between the rise of industrialization and contemporary social and economic conditions. National Geographic Learning wants students to think about the impact of their choices on themselves and others, to think critically and carefully about ideas and actions to become lifelong learners and teachers, and to advocate for the greater good as leaders in their communities. In addition, there is an emphasis on: discussion, note-taking protocol, research projects that reflect the particular area being studied, and Google presentations and other hands on projects.