Language Arts

Language Arts in Eighth Grade is split between our dedicated English teacher and our dedicated Reading and Writing teacher. Middle school Language Arts provides an in-depth study of both areas as students move forward and prepare for high school.

Reading and Writing:

This curriculum is an essential core class structured to engage, nurture, challenge and further academic growth for students. Reading classes are project-based with an emphasis on perspective, service and character, as reading ties in with each core curriculum class. Our cross-curricular approach strengthens not only reading and writing skills, but understanding of other core curriculum classes. Along with our in-class unit, students are expected to read one "choice novel" per month, and to complete a project on that novel that is presented to the class.

Texts used include:

-"To Kill a Mockingbird", Harper Lee


-Various Black History Month and Civil Rights texts and presentations (cross-curricular collaborative projects)

Strategies and methods include:

-Novels and writing that is heavily focused on social justice and perspective

-Literature circles focused on fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, and literary elements

-Discussions and debates

-Research and writing

-Text analysis

-Poetry analysis

-HSPT Prep

-Field Trips that revolve around current reading selections

-Scantron testing to gauge student progress


Eighth grade English class will focus on grammar, vocabulary, and writing. Students will continue to master grammar form, while expanding their vocabulary usage through reading, as well as the study of Greek/Latin roots. Students will develop these skills daily and practice them through the use of their workbooks and written assignments. Students will have regular vocabulary quizzes to practice and demonstrate their knowledge.

Writing instruction will focus on sentence structure and paragraph development including the use of clauses, parallelism, and inverted word order. To help foster clarity in writing, all students will engage in regular editing and revision practice using the 12 Step Writing Process.

Texts used include:

-Worldy Wise

-Exercises in English

English studies focus on the following areas:

-A persuasive research paper

-A historical research paper

-An extensive biographical research paper on their chosen Saint


Each lesson involves board work, practice problems, and worksheets. The students will sharpen their computation accuracy with a timed drill, review homework, and practice the skill. Daily assignments will give them the opportunity to practice and master the material. On a typical day, students learn mathematical concepts by analyzing patterns and writing mathematical rules. Instruction frequently includes work at the board, the use of hands-on materials, and working with partners or in small groups. Homework is assigned daily, along with weekend enrichment and cumulative review assignments. Curricular Goals: -To expand the students knowledge and understanding of basic concepts involving whole numbers, decimals, fractions, percent, integers, ratio and proportion. -To review and improve understanding of basic algebraic concepts. -To strengthen logical reasoning, analytical and problem solving skills. -To develop understanding and skill in more advanced algebraic concepts, including inequalities, factoring, rational expressions, equations, graphs and functions, polynomials and radicals -To stimulate interest in math


Students continue to develop their understanding of the Catholic faith. Curriculum in Eighth Grade is primarily focused is on Sacrament preparation, specifically Confirmation. Students identify key people and events in the Church’s history, and realize what it means to live a Christian life and to live by Christ’s moral standards.

Eighth Grade students are lea through a discovery of the saints in their journey towards Confirmation. Students write a biography of their chosen saint in English Class. This cross curricular approach approach gives the students a starting point to dive deeper into a reflection of the saint’s life during Religion class and realize how their saints can become a role model in witnessing to Christ. Students proclaim their chosen saint during the All Saints Day Mass to the entire school.

Service is an important part of our Catholic identity. Students learn that they can put into action Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy by engaging in meaningful service activities. Eighth Grade students lead service projects such as Cup of Joe, Thanksgiving Food Drives, Coat Drives, and Drives for the needy at Christmas.

Student service culminates in a Reflection Project. Students write a paper that both reflects on their service experiences and why they chose that specific area of service. Students write about how they see their service as a continuation of the work of Jesus, and whether or not that work was easy or challenging, or both. Ultimately, students write about how they will continue to include service in their lives and why it is important to a life of faith.

Eighth grade students attend a Confirmation Retreat. Retreats are intended to provide a thoughtful period of time to get away from the everyday things that may prevent them from focusing on our Lord. Students learn that retreats are an important part of recharging our spiritual batteries.

As our "older students", Eighth Grade students prepare to move into the larger world with belief-in-action experiences such as the Youth Rally and the Mass for Life. These events help cement who they are in Christ and in His Church. The experience first hand a call to evangelization, and in doing so, they lead by example, forging a path for the younger children of St. Bartholomew School.

Texts used include:

-The Bible

-Christ our Life 8

Teaching methods include:

-Independent Study

-Cooperative Learning Groups

-Whole Group Instruction

-Play based instruction

-Project based learning (often cross curricular)

-Seder Meal participation for the upper school to remind students of our Jewish heritage while calling to mind the Paschal sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Eighth grade students help serve the meal and two eighth grade students act as leaders by recreating the role of the mother and father in the meal.

Eighth Grade students also continue leadership and social responsibility as they serve as Mass buddies for our Second Grade students.


The main focus of our science curriculum is to study not only specific subject matter, but to also understand the history of science, to gain and increase general knowledge and learning how science a valuable tool in understanding our world. Science is a field of study that helps us interconnect systems of knowledge and is greatly helpful in promoting problem solving in the curriculum. In science, we focus on how and why things work.

Students engage in multiple types of learning, including:



-Student-created reviews

-Group projects

-Interactive modules including, videos, games, Powerpoints, and Chromebook use and daily Mimeo Board use.

Science in the Eighth Grade is focused on Physical Science. The course is designed around various areas including the study of







There will be numerous demonstrations, experiments, hands-on activities, and videos.

Social Studies

Middle school Social Studies is structured to prepare students for the high school experience. While these are survey courses, students should be pushed to excel and be accountable for their work. Themes woven into the classwork during the year include duty, patriotism, civic service, current events, and social justice.

Classwork consists of essential skills building, including:



-MLA citing




Teaching methods and Strategies include:

-Chromebook interactive work

-Mimeo interactive board work

-Collaborative Projects, including Black History Month Presentations and Civil Rights Research Paper

-Field Trips to Annapolis for Advocacy Day to speak on behalf of Catholic Schools


-Analyzing art

-Identifying primary vs. secondary sources

-Utilizing and understanding geography and maps

-Geography Bee

Texts and resources used include:

-Prentice Hall: Houghton Mifflin - US History "Civil War to the Present"

-"A Young People's History of the US", Howard Zinn

-Smithsonian's "Tween Tribune" for current events


-Kahoot and Chromebooks

-ADW Social Studies Weebly

Assessments consist of regular review of homework that is turned in, exams and quizzes, midterms and finals.


The middle school Spanish program at St Bartholomew is intended to build student's confidence in communicating in Spanish. The curriculum presents grammar concepts verbally, visually, through interactive exercises, and through reading in order to improve comprehension, retention, and confidence. We engage students in activities that enable them to apply the concepts taught in an environment where the student feels safe to participate actively. Participation in class, which is conducted in Spanish, reinforces concepts, enhances vocabulary, improves pronunciation, and builds confidence. There is discussion of the different customs of Spanish-speaking countries, with a focus on specific places, local foods, holidays, and other traditions. Students are assigned projects throughout the year that reinforce reading and writing skills. Listening skills are taught through activities that include games, songs, and dramatization. During these four years students attend two hours of class weekly.

Teaching materials include textbooks, videos, CDs, presentations, and the internet. Their textbook includes a workbook which the student should use for practice at home, and an interactive website with various activities.

Areas of study in Eighth Grade include:

-Integrating content area concepts and skills through relevant activities

-Using digital media and culturally authentic resources to study target cultures

-Recognizing and using a variety of language structures


Students will continue to learn and build skills in the following areas:

-Microsoft Word 2010

-History of Computers,

-Power Point

-Internet Safety and Surfing


-Computer Languages





-Windows 7

-Typing Drills

Students continue to work with their secure school email accounts so that they can work on Google Docs and Google Slides at home and in the classroom with Chromebooks. Students in Eighth Grade come to the computer lab once a week.

STEM Class

STEM class is currently offered once a week for students in grade 5-8, in addition to an after school club offered for all ages. Each week, STEM class works to address science, technology, engineering, and math skills in a highly engaging environment. Students develop communication and collaborative skills by working in groups to solve real-world problems and develop robotics skills. Throughout their projects, students will use the engineering design process to

  1. Ask what the problem is
  2. Imagine possible solutions
  3. Plan to create a prototype
  4. Create and test a prototype
  5. And improve that design

The St. Bartholomew curriculum complies with the Archdiocese of Washington's accredited curriculum standards.  

To find out more about our specific program at each grade level, select subjects to the left.