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English Language Arts - Grade 8

All West Virginia teachers are responsible for classroom instruction that integrates content standards, learning skills, and technology tools. Students in eighth grade will continue enhancing skills in a developmentally-appropriate progression of standards. In grades 6-8, students should be exposed to texts that fall in the 926-1185 Lexile range in order to meet college- and career-readiness expectations. By the end of the programmatic level (grade 8) and over the course of the entire instructional day, the distribution of text types should shift to 45% literary and 55% informational, and writing types should shift to 35% argumentative, 35% informative, and 30% narrative.

Reading

Key Ideas and Details

ELA.8.1

Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the literary text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

ELA.8.2

Determine a theme or central idea of a literary text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.

ELA.8.3

Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.

ELA.8.4

Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the informational text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

ELA.8.5

Determine a central idea of an informational text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.

ELA.8.6

Analyze how an informational text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).

Craft and Structure

ELA.8.7

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a literary text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

ELA.8.8

Compare and contrast the structure of two or more literary texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style.

ELA.8.9

Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor in a literary text.

ELA.8.10

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in an informational text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

ELA.8.11

Analyze in detail the structure of a specific paragraph in an informational text, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept.

ELA.8.12

Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in an informational text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

ELA.8.13

Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choices made by the director or actors.

ELA.8.14

Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works, such as the Bible, including describing how the material is transformed in the modern work (e.g., how a modern interpretation of a Shakespearean text draws from the original text).

ELA.8.15

Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, and/or multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea

ELA.8.16

Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in an informational text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced.

ELA.8.17

Analyze a case in which two or more informational texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation.

Range of Reading and Text Complexity

ELA.8.18

By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of grades 6–8 text complexity range independently and proficiently.

ELA.8.19

By the end of the year, read and comprehend nonfiction and other informational texts at the high end of the grades 6–8 text complexity range independently and proficiently.

Writing

Text Types and Purposes

ELA.8.20

Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

  • Introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
  • Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
  • Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
  • Establish and maintain a formal style.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
ELA.8.21

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

  • Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts or tables), and multimedia when useful to aid comprehension.
  • Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
  • Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
  • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
  • Establish and maintain a formal style.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
ELA.8.22

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

  • Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
  • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
  • Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence, signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.
  • Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
  • Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.

Production and Distribution of Writing

ELA.8.23

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in Text Types and Purposes.)

ELA.8.24

With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of the Language standards up to and including grade 8.)

ELA.8.25

Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing, present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently, and interact and collaborate with others.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

ELA.8.26

Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

ELA.8.27

Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation (e.g., MLA or APA).

ELA.8.28

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

  • Apply grade 8 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works, such as the Bible, including describing how the material is transformed in the modern work (e.g., how a modern interpretation of a Shakespearean text draws from the original text)”).
  • Apply grade 8 Reading standards to nonfiction and other informational texts (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced”).

Range of Writing

ELA.8.29

Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Speaking & Listening

Comprehension and Collaboration

ELA.8.30

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing ideas clearly.

  • Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
  • Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
  • Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.
  • Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, when warranted, qualify or justify views in light of the evidence presented.
ELA.8.31

Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, and/or orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, or political) behind its presentation.

ELA.8.32

Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence; identify when irrelevant evidence is introduced.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

ELA.8.33

Present claims and findings, emphasizing significant points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound, valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

ELA.8.34

Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.

ELA.8.35

Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 8 Language standards for specific expectations.)

Language

Conventions of Standard English

ELA.8.36

Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • Explain the function of verbals (gerunds, participles, and infinitives) in general and their function in particular sentences.
ELA.8.37

Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • Use punctuation (comma, ellipsis, or dash) to indicate a pause or break.
  • Use an ellipsis to indicate an omission.
  • Spell correctly.

Knowledge of Language

ELA.8.38

Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

  • Use verbs in the active and passive voice (e.g., emphasizing the actor or the action).
  • Use verbs in the indicative, imperative, interrogative, conditional and subjunctive mood to achieve particular effects (e.g., expressing uncertainty or describing a state contrary to fact).
  • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood.

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

ELA.8.39

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words or phrases based on grade 8 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

  • Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph or a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
  • Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., precede, recede, or secede).
  • Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, and/or thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.
  • Verify the initial determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
ELA.8.40

Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

  • Interpret figures of speech (e.g. verbal irony, and/or puns) in context.
  • Use the relationship between particular words to better understand each of the words.
  • Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., bullheaded, willful, firm, persistent, or resolute).
ELA.8.41

Acquire and accurately use grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

Teaching Resources