MIDDLE SCHOOL SELECTED TOP PRIORITY STANDARDS

 

GRADE 6 SELECTED TOP PRIORITY STANDARDS

English

Students use their knowledge of word origins and word relationships, as well as historical and literary context clues, to determine the meaning of specialized vocabulary and to understand the precise meaning of grade-level-appropriate words.

  • Read aloud narrative and expository text fluently and accurately and with appropriate pacing, intonation, and expression.

Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material. They describe and connect the essential ideas, arguments, and perspectives of the text by using their knowledge of text structure, organization, and purpose. 

  • Identify the structural features of popular media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, online information) and use the features to obtain information.
  • Connect and clarify main ideas by identifying their relationships to other sources and related topics.
  • Clarify an understanding of texts by creating outlines, logical notes, summaries, or reports.
  • Follow multiple-step instructions for preparing applications (e.g., for a public library card, bank savings account, sports club, league membership).
  • Determine the adequacy and appropriateness of the evidence for an author's conclusions.

Students read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of literature that reflect and enhance their studies of history and social science. They clarify the ideas and connect them to other literary works.

  • Analyze the effect of the qualities of the character (e.g., courage or cowardice, ambition or laziness) on the plot and the resolution of the conflict.
  • Identify the speaker and recognize the difference between first-and third-person narration (e.g., autobiography compared with biography).
  • Identify and analyze features of themes conveyed through characters, actions, and images.
  • Explain the effects of common literary devices (e.g., symbolism, imagery, metaphor) in a variety of fictional and nonfictional texts.

Students write clear, coherent, and focused essays.

  • Choose the form of writing (e.g., personal letter, letter to the editor, review, poem, report, narrative) that best suits the intended purpose.
  • Create multiple-paragraph expository compositions:
  • Use a variety of effective and coherent organizational patterns, including comparison and contrast; organization by categories; and arrangement by spatial order, order of importance, or climactic order.
  • Use organizational features of electronic text (e.g., bulletin boards, databases, keyword searches, e-mail addresses) to locate information.
  • Compose documents with appropriate formatting by using word-processing skills and principles of design (e.g., margins, tabs, spacing, columns, page orientation).
  • Revise writing to improve the organization and consistency of ideas within and between paragraphs.

Students write narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive texts of at least 500 to 700 words in each genre. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard American English and the research, organizational, and drafting strategies.

  • Write narratives such as to establish and develop a plot and setting and present a point of view that is appropriate to the stories.
  • Write expository compositions (e.g., description, explanation, comparison and contrast, problem and solution):
  • Write research reports.
  • Write responses to literature such as in developing an interpretation exhibiting careful reading, understanding, and insight.
  • Write persuasive compositions.

Students write and speak with a command of standard English conventions appropriate to this grade level.

  • Use simple, compound, and compound-complex sentences; use effective coordination and subordination of ideas to express complete thoughts.
  • Identify and properly use indefinite pronouns and present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect verb tenses; ensure that verbs agree with compound subjects.
  • Use colons after the salutation in business letters, semicolons to connect independent clauses, and commas when linking two clauses with a conjunction in compound sentences. 

Students deliver focused, coherent presentations that convey ideas clearly and relate to the background and interests of the audience. They evaluate the content of oral communication.

    • Relate the speaker's verbal communication (e.g., word choice, pitch, feeling, tone) to the nonverbal message (e.g., posture, gesture).
    • Select a focus, an organizational structure, and a point of view, matching the purpose, message, occasion, and vocal modulation to the audience.
    • Support opinions with detailed evidence and with visual or media displays that use appropriate technology.
    • Use effective rate, volume, pitch, and tone and align nonverbal elements to sustain audience interest and attention.

Students deliver well-organized formal presentations employing traditional rhetorical strategies (e.g., narration, exposition, persuasion, description). Student speaking demonstrates a command of standard American English and the organizational and delivery strategies outlined in Listening and Speaking.

  • Deliver narrative presentations.
  • Deliver informative presentations.
  • Deliver oral responses to literature.
  • Deliver persuasive presentations.
  • Deliver presentations on problems and solutions.


MATH

By the end of grade six, students have mastered the four arithmetic operations with whole numbers, positive fractions, positive decimals, and positive and negative integers; they accurately compute and solve problems. They apply their knowledge to statistics and probability.

  • Students understand the concepts of mean, median, and mode of data sets and how to calculate the range. They analyze data and sampling processes for possible bias and misleading conclusions; they use addition and multiplication of fractions routinely to calculate the probabilities for compound events. Students conceptually understand and work with ratios and proportions; they compute percentages (e.g., tax, tips, interest).
  • Students know about pi and the formulas for the circumference and area of a circle. They use letters for numbers in formulas involving geometric shapes and in ratios to represent an unknown part of an expression. They solve one-step linear equations.
  • Students compare and order positive and negative fractions, decimals, and mixed numbers. Students solve problems involving fractions, ratios, proportions, and percentages.
  • Students calculate and solve problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • Students write verbal expressions and sentences as algebraic expressions and equations; they evaluate algebraic expressions, solve simple linear equations, and graph and interpret their results
  • Students analyze and use tables, graphs, and rules to solve problems involving rates and proportions:
  • Students investigate geometric patterns and describe them algebraically.
  • Students deepen their understanding of the measurement of plane and solid shapes and use this understanding to solve problems.
  • Students compute and analyze statistical measurements for data sets.
  • Students determine theoretical and experimental probabilities and use these to make predictions about events:
  • Students make decisions about how to approach problems.
  • Students use strategies, skills, and concepts in finding solutions.
  • Students move beyond a particular problem by generalizing to other situations.


SCIENCE

Focus on Earth Science:

Plate Tectonics and Earth's Structure.

Plate tectonics accounts for important features of Earth's surface and major geologic events. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know evidence of plate tectonics is derived from the fit of the continents; the location of earthquakes, volcanoes, and midocean ridges; and the distribution of fossils, rock types, and ancient climatic zones.
  2. Students know Earth is composed of several layers: a cold, brittle lithosphere; a hot, convecting mantle; and a dense, metallic core.
  3. Students know lithospheric plates the size of continents and oceans move at rates of centimeters per year in response to movements in the mantle.
  4. Students know that earthquakes are sudden motions along breaks in the crust called faults and that volcanoes and fissures are locations where magma reaches the surface.
  5. Students know major geologic events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building, result from plate motions.
  6. Students know how to explain major features of California geology (including mountains, faults, volcanoes) in terms of plate tectonics.
  7. Students know how to determine the epicenter of an earthquake and know that the effects of an earthquake on any region vary, depending on the size of the earthquake, the distance of the region from the epicenter, the local geology, and the type of construction in the region.

Shaping Earth's Surface

Topography is reshaped by the weathering of rock and soil and by the transportation and deposition of sediment. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know water running downhill is the dominant process in shaping the landscape, including California's landscape.
  2. Students know rivers and streams are dynamic systems that erode, transport sediment, change course, and flood their banks in natural and recurring patterns.
  3. Students know beaches are dynamic systems in which the sand is supplied by rivers and moved along the coast by the action of waves.
  4. Students know earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and floods change human and wildlife habitats.

Physical Sciences:

Heat (Thermal Energy)

Heat moves in a predictable flow from warmer objects to cooler objects until all the objects are at the same temperature. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know energy can be carried from one place to another by heat flow or by waves, including water, light and sound waves, or by moving objects.
  2. Students know that when fuel is consumed, most of the energy released becomes heat energy.
  3. Students know heat flows in solids by conduction (which involves no flow of matter) and in fluids by conduction and by convection (which involves flow of matter).
  4. Students know heat energy is also transferred between objects by radiation (radiation can travel through space).

Energy in the Earth System.

Many phenomena on Earth's surface are affected by the transfer of energy through radiation and convection currents. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know the sun is the major source of energy for phenomena on Earth's surface; it powers winds, ocean currents, and the water cycle.
  2. Students know solar energy reaches Earth through radiation, mostly in the form of visible light.
  3. Students know heat from Earth's interior reaches the surface primarily through convection.
  4. Students know convection currents distribute heat in the atmosphere and oceans.
  5. Students know differences in pressure, heat, air movement, and humidity result in changes of weather.

Ecology (Life Sciences):

Organisms in ecosystems exchange energy and nutrients among themselves and with the environment. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know energy entering ecosystems as sunlight is transferred by producers into chemical energy through photosynthesis and then from organism to organism through food webs.
  2. Students know matter is transferred over time from one organism to others in the food web and between organisms and the physical environment.
  3. Students know populations of organisms can be categorized by the functions they serve in an ecosystem.
  4. Students know different kinds of organisms may play similar ecological roles in similar biomes.
  5. Students know the number and types of organisms an ecosystem can support depends on the resources available and on abiotic factors, such as quantities of light and water, a range of temperatures, and soil composition.

Resources:

Sources of energy and materials differ in amounts, distribution, usefulness, and the time required for their formation. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know the utility of energy sources is determined by factors that are involved in converting these sources to useful forms and the consequences of the conversion process.
  2. Students know different natural energy and material resources, including air, soil, rocks, minerals, petroleum, fresh water, wildlife, and forests, and know how to classify them as renewable or nonrenewable.
  3. Students know the natural origin of the materials used to make common objects.

Investigation and Experimentation.

Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:

  1. Develop a hypothesis.
  2. Select and use appropriate tools and technology (including calculators, computers, balances, spring scales, microscopes, and binoculars) to perform tests, collect data, and display data.
  3. Construct appropriate graphs from data and develop qualitative statements about the relationships between variables.
  4. Communicate the steps and results from an investigation in written reports and oral presentations.
  5. Recognize whether evidence is consistent with a proposed explanation.
  6. Read a topographic map and a geologic map for evidence provided on the maps and construct and interpret a simple scale map.
  7. Interpret events by sequence and time from natural phenomena (e.g., the relative ages of rocks and intrusions).
  8. Identify changes in natural phenomena over time without manipulating the phenomena (e.g., a tree limb, a grove of trees, a stream, a hill slope). 


GRADE 7 SELECTED TOP PRIORITY STANDARDS

ENGLISH

 1. Students use their knowledge of word origins and word relationships, as well as historical and literary context clues, to determine the meaning of specialized vocabulary and to understand the precise meaning of grade-level-appropriate words.

  • Identify idioms, analogies, metaphors, and similes in prose and poetry.

2. Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material. They describe and connect the essential ideas, arguments, and perspectives of the text by using their knowledge of text structure, organization, and purpose.

  • Understand and analyze the differences in structure and purpose between various categories of informational materials (e.g., textbooks, newspapers, instructional manuals, signs).
  • Identify and trace the development of an author's argument, point of view, or perspective in text.
  • Assess the adequacy, accuracy, and appropriateness of the author's evidence to support claims and assertions, noting instances of bias and stereotyping.

3. Students read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of literature that reflect and enhance their studies of history and social science. They clarify the ideas and connect them to other literary works.  Articulate the expressed purposes and characteristics of different forms of prose (e.g., short story, novel, novella, essay).

  • Identify events that advance the plot and determine how each event explains past or present action(s) or foreshadows future action(s).

4. Students write clear, coherent, and focused essays. The writing exhibits students' awareness of the audience and purpose. Essays contain formal introductions, supporting evidence, and conclusions. Students progress through the stages of the writing process as needed.

  • Create an organizational structure that balances all aspects of the composition and uses effective transitions between sentences to unify important ideas.
  • Use strategies of note taking, outlining, and summarizing to impose structure on composition drafts.
  • Identify topics; ask and evaluate questions; and develop ideas leading to inquiry, investigation, and research.
  • Give credit for both quoted and paraphrased information in a bibliography by using a consistent and sanctioned format and methodology for citations.
  • Create documents by using word-processing skills and publishing programs; develop simple databases and spreadsheets to manage information and prepare reports.
  • Revise writing to improve organization and word choice after checking the logic of the ideas and the precision of the vocabulary.

5. Students write narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive texts of at least 500 to 700 words in each genre. The writing demonstrates a command of standard American English and the research, organizational, and drafting strategies.

  • Write responses to literature by developing, organizing, and justifying interpretations that shows careful reading and textual evidence.
  • Write research reports.
  • Write persuasive compositions.

6. Students write and speak with a command of standard English conventions appropriate to the grade level.

  • Place modifiers properly and use the active voice.
  • Identify and use infinitives and participles and make clear references between pronouns and antecedents.
  • Identify all parts of speech and types and structure of sentences.
  • Demonstrate the mechanics of writing (e.g., quotation marks, commas at end of dependent clauses) and appropriate English usage (e.g., pronoun reference).
  • Deliver focused, coherent presentations that convey ideas clearly and relate to the background and interests of the audience. Students evaluate the content of oral communication.
  • Ask probing questions to elicit information, including evidence to support the speaker's claims and conclusions.
  • Organize information to achieve particular purposes and to appeal to the background and interests of the audience.
  • Arrange supporting details, reasons, descriptions, and examples effectively and persuasively in relation to the audience.
  • Use speaking techniques, including voice modulation, inflection, tempo, enunciation, and eye contact, for effective presentations.
  • Provide constructive feedback to speakers concerning the coherence and logic of a speech's content and delivery and its overall impact upon the listener.

7. Students deliver well-organized formal presentations employing traditional rhetorical strategies (e.g., narration, exposition, persuasion, description). Student speaking demonstrates a command of standard American English and the organizational and delivery strategies outlined in Listening and Speaking.

  • Deliver narrative presentations.
  • Deliver oral summaries of articles and books.
  • Deliver research presentations.
  • Deliver persuasive presentations.


MATH

By the end of grade seven, students are adept at manipulating numbers and equations and understand the general principles at work. Students understand and use factoring of numerators and denominators and properties of exponents. They know the Pythagorean theorem and solve problems in which they compute the length of an unknown side.

Students know how to compute the surface area and volume of basic three-dimensional objects and understand how area and volume change with a change in scale. Students make conversions between different units of measurement. They know and use different representations of fractional numbers (fractions, decimals, and percents) and are proficient at changing from one to another.

They increase their facility with ratio and proportion, compute percents of increase and decrease, and compute simple and compound interest. They graph linear functions and understand the idea of slope and its relation to ratio.

  1. Students know the properties of, and compute with, rational numbers expressed in a variety of forms.
  2. Students use exponents, powers, and roots and use exponents in working with fractions.
  3. Students express quantitative relationships by using algebraic terminology, expressions, equations, 
    inequalities, and graphs.
  4. Students interpret and evaluate expressions involving integer powers and simple roots:
  5. Students graph and interpret linear and some nonlinear functions.
  6. Students solve simple linear equations and inequalities over the rational numbers:
  7. Students choose appropriate units of measure and use ratios to convert within and between measurement systems to solve problems.
  8. Students compute the perimeter, area, and volume of common geometric objects and use the results to find measures of less common objects. (They know how perimeter, area, and volume are affected by changes of scale.)
  9. Students know the Pythagorean theorem and deepen their understanding of plane and solid geometric shapes by constructing figures that meet given conditions and by identifying attributes of figures.
  10. Students collect, organize, and represent data sets that have one or more variables and identify relationships among variables within a data set by hand and through the use of an electronic spreadsheet software program:
  11. Students make decisions about how to approach problems:
  12. Students use strategies, skills, and concepts in finding solutions:
  13. Students determine a solution is complete and move beyond a particular problem by generalizing to other situations.

SCIENCE

Focus on Life Science

Cell Biology

All living organisms are composed of cells, from just one to many trillions, whose details usually are visible only through a microscope. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know cells function similarly in all living organisms.
  2. Students know the characteristics that distinguish plant cells from animal cells, including chloroplasts and cell walls.
  3. Students know the nucleus is the repository for genetic information in plant and animal cells.
  4. Students know that mitochondria liberate energy for the work that cells do and that chloroplasts capture sunlight energy for photosynthesis.
  5. Students know cells divide to increase their numbers through a process of mitosis, which results in two daughter cells with identical sets of chromosomes.
  6. Students know that as multicellular organisms develop, their cells differentiate.

Genetics

A typical cell of any organism contains genetic instructions that specify its traits. Those traits may be modified by environmental influences. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know the differences between the life cycles and reproduction methods of sexual and asexual organisms.
  2. Students know sexual reproduction produces offspring that inherit half their genes from each parent.
  3. Students know an inherited trait can be determined by one or more genes.
  4. Students know plant and animal cells contain many thousands of different genes and typically have two copies of every gene. The two copies (or alleles) of the gene may or may not be identical, and one may be dominant in determining the phenotype while the other is recessive.
  5. Students know DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the genetic material of living organisms and is located in the chromosomes of each cell.

Evolution

Biological evolution accounts for the diversity of species developed through gradual processes over many generations.

Earth and Life History (Earth Sciences)

Evidence from rocks allows us to understand the evolution of life on Earth. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know Earth processes today are similar to those that occurred in the past and slow geologic processes have large cumulative effects over long periods of time.
  2. Students know the history of life on Earth has been disrupted by major catastrophic events, such as major volcanic eruptions or the impacts of asteroids.
  3. Students know that the rock cycle includes the formation of new sediment and rocks and that rocks are often found in layers, with the oldest generally on the bottom.
  4. Students know fossils provide evidence of how life and environmental conditions have changed.
  5. Students know how movements of Earth's continental and oceanic plates through time, with associated changes in climate and geographic connections, have affected the past and present distribution of organisms.
  6. Students know how to explain significant developments and extinctions of plant and animal life on the geologic time scale.

Structure and Function in Living Systems

The anatomy and physiology of plants and animals illustrate the complementary nature of structure and function. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know plants and animals have levels of organization for structure and function, including cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and the whole organism.
  2. Students know organ systems function because of the contributions of individual organs, tissues, and cells. The failure of any part can affect the entire system.
  3. Students know how bones and muscles work together to provide a structural framework for movement.
  4. Students know how the reproductive organs of the human female and male generate eggs and sperm and how sexual activity may lead to fertilization and pregnancy.
  5. Students know the function of the umbilicus and placenta during pregnancy.
  6. Students know the structures and processes by which flowering plants generate pollen, ovules, seeds, and fruit.
  7. Students know how to relate the structures of the eye and ear to their functions.

Physical Principles in Living Systems (Physical Sciences)

Physical principles underlie biological structures and functions. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know visible light is a small band within a very broad electromagnetic spectrum.
  2. Students know that for an object to be seen, light emitted by or scattered from it must be detected by the eye.
  3. Students know light travels in straight lines if the medium it travels through does not change.
  4. Students know how simple lenses are used in a magnifying glass, the eye, a camera, a telescope, and a microscope.
  5. Students know that white light is a mixture of many wavelengths (colors) and that retinal cells react differently to different wavelengths.
  6. Students know light can be reflected, refracted, transmitted, and absorbed by matter.
  7. Students know the angle of reflection of a light beam is equal to the angle of incidence.
  8. Students know how to compare joints in the body (wrist, shoulder, thigh) with structures used in machines and simple devices (hinge, ball-and-socket, and sliding joints).
  9. Students know how levers confer mechanical advantage and how the application of this principle applies to the musculoskeletal system.
  10. Students know that contractions of the heart generate blood pressure and that heart valves prevent back flow of blood in the circulatory system.

Investigation and Experimentation

Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:

  1. Select and use appropriate tools and technology (including calculators, computers, balances, spring scales, microscopes, and binoculars) to perform tests, collect data, and display data.
  2. Use a variety of print and electronic resources (including the World Wide Web) to collect information and evidence as part of a research project.
  3. Communicate the logical connection among hypotheses, science concepts, tests conducted, data collected, and conclusions drawn from the scientific evidence.
  4. Construct scale models, maps, and appropriately labeled diagrams to communicate scientific knowledge (e.g., motion of Earth's plates and cell structure).
  5. Communicate the steps and results from an investigation in written reports and oral presentations.

SOCIAL STUDIES

World History and Geography: Medieval and Early Modern Times

Students in grade seven study the social, cultural, and technological changes that occurred in Europe, Africa, and Asia in the years A. D. 500Ð 1789. After reviewing the ancient world and the ways in which archaeologists and historians uncover the past, students study the history and geography of great civilizations that were developing concurrently throughout the world during medieval and early modern times. They examine the growing economic interaction among civilizations as well as the exchange of ideas, beliefs, technologies, and commodities. They learn about the resulting growth of Enlightenment philosophy and the new examination of the concepts of reason and authority, the natural rights of human beings and the divine right of kings, experimentalism in science, and the dogma of belief. Finally, students assess the political forces let loose by the Enlightenment, particularly the rise of democratic ideas, and they learn about the continuing influence of these ideas in the world today.

Students analyze the causes and effects of the vast expansion and ultimate disintegration of the Roman Empire.

  • Study the early strengths and lasting contributions of Rome (e.g., significance of Roman citizenship; rights under Roman law; Roman art, architecture, engineering, and philosophy; preservation and transmission of Christianity) and its ultimate internal weaknesses (e.g., rise of autonomous military powers within the empire, undermining of citizenship by the growth of corruption and slavery, lack of education, and distribution of news).

Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of Islam in the Middle Ages.

  1. Identify the physical features and describe the climate of the Arabian Peninsula, its relationship to surrounding bodies of land and water, and nomadic and sedentary ways of life.
  2. Trace the origins of Islam and the life and teachings of Muhammad, including Islamic teachings on the connection with Judaism and Christianity.
  3. Explain the significance of the Qur'an and the Sunnah as the primary sources of Islamic beliefs, practice, and law, and their influence in Muslims' daily life.
  4. Discuss the expansion of Muslim rule through military conquests and treaties, emphasizing the cultural blending within Muslim civilization and the spread and acceptance of Islam and the Arabic language.
  5. Describe the growth of cities and the establishment of trade routes among Asia, Africa, and Europe, the products and inventions that traveled along these routes (e.g., spices, textiles, paper, steel, new crops), and the role of merchants in Arab society.
  6. Understand the intellectual exchanges among Muslim scholars of Eurasia and Africa and the contributions Muslim scholars made to later civilizations in the areas of science, geography, mathematics, philosophy, medicine, art, and literature.

Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of China in the Middle Ages.

  1. Describe the reunification of China under the Tang Dynasty and reasons for the spread of Buddhism in Tang China, Korea, and Japan.
  2. Describe agricultural, technological, and commercial developments during the Tang and Sung periods.
  3. Analyze the influences of Confucianism and changes in Confucian thought during the Sung and Mongol periods.
  4. Understand the importance of both overland trade and maritime expeditions between China and other civilizations in the Mongol Ascendancy and Ming Dynasty.
  5. Trace the historic influence of such discoveries as tea, the manufacture of paper, wood-block printing, the compass, and gunpowder.
  6. Describe the development of the imperial state and the scholar-official class.

Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the sub-Saharan civilizations of Ghana and Mali in Medieval Africa.

  1. Analyze the importance of family, labor specialization, and regional commerce in the development of states and cities in West Africa.
  2. Describe the role of the trans-Saharan caravan trade in the changing religious and cultural characteristics of West Africa and the influence of Islamic beliefs, ethics, and law.

Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of Medieval Japan.

  1. Describe the significance of Japan's proximity to China and Korea and the intellectual, linguistic, religious, and philosophical influence of those countries on Japan.
  2. Discuss the reign of Prince Shotoku of Japan and the characteristics of Japanese society and family life during his reign.
  3. Describe the values, social customs, and traditions prescribed by the lord-vassal system consisting of shogun, daimyo, and samurai and the lasting influence of the warrior code in the twentieth century.
  4. Trace the development of distinctive forms of Japanese Buddhism.
  5. Study the ninth and tenth centuries' golden age of literature, art, and drama and its lasting effects on culture today, including Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji.
  6. Analyze the rise of a military society in the late twelfth century and the role of the samurai in that society.

Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of Medieval Europe.

  1. Know the significance of developments in medieval English legal and constitutional practices and their importance in the rise of modern democratic thought and representative institutions (e.g., Magna Carta, parliament, development of habeas corpus, an independent judiciary in England).
  2. Discuss the causes and course of the religious Crusades and their effects on the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish populations in Europe, with emphasis on the increasing contact by Europeans with cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean world.
  3. Map the spread of the bubonic plague from Central Asia to China, the Middle East, and Europe and describe its impact on global population.
  4. Know the history of the decline of Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula that culminated in the Reconquista and the rise of Spanish and Portuguese kingdoms.

Students compare and contrast the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the Meso-American and Andean civilizations.

Students analyze the origins, accomplishments, and geographic diffusion of the Renaissance.

Students analyze the historical developments of the Reformation.

  1. Understand the institution and impact of missionaries on Christianity and the diffusion of Christianity from Europe to other parts of the world in the medieval and early modern periods; locate missions on a world map.
  2. Describe the Golden Age of cooperation between Jews and Muslims in medieval Spain that promoted creativity in art, literature, and science, including how that cooperation was terminated by the religious persecution of individuals and groups (e.g., the Spanish Inquisition and the expulsion of Jews and Muslims from Spain in 1492).

Students analyze the historical developments of the Scientific Revolution and its lasting effect on religious, political, and cultural institutions.

  1. Discuss the roots of the Scientific Revolution (e.g., Greek rationalism; Jewish, Christian, and Muslim science; Renaissance humanism; new knowledge from global exploration).
  2. Understand the significance of the new scientific theories (e.g., those of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton) and the significance of new inventions (e.g., the telescope, microscope, thermometer, barometer).
  3. Understand the scientific method advanced by Bacon and Descartes, the influence of new scientific rationalism on the growth of democratic ideas, and the coexistence of science with traditional religious beliefs.

Students analyze political and economic change in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries (the Age of Exploration, the Enlightenment, and the Age of Reason).

  1. Know the great voyages of discovery, the locations of the routes, and the influence of cartography in the development of a new European worldview.
  2. Discuss the exchanges of plants, animals, technology, culture, and ideas among Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and the major economic and social effects on each continent.
  3. Describe how democratic thought and institutions were influenced by Enlightenment thinkers (e.g., John Locke, Charles-Louis Montesquieu, American founders).
  4. Discuss how the principles in the Magna Carta were embodied in such documents as the English Bill of Rights and the American Declaration of Independence. 


GRADE 8 SELECTED TOP PRIORITY STANDARDS
English

Students use their knowledge of word origins and word relationships, as well as historical and literary context clues, to determine the meaning of specialized vocabulary and to understand the precise meaning of grade-level-appropriate words.

  • Analyze idioms, analogies, metaphors, and similes to infer the literal and figurative meanings of phrases.

Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material. They describe and connect the essential ideas, arguments, and perspectives of the text by using their knowledge of text structure, organization, and purpose.

  • Compare and contrast the features and elements of consumer materials to gain meaning from documents (e.g., warranties, contracts, product information, instruction manuals).
  • Compare the original text to a summary to determine whether the summary accurately captures the main ideas, includes critical details, and conveys the underlying meaning.
  • Evaluate the unity, coherence, logic, internal consistency, and structural patterns of text.

Students read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of literature that reflect and enhance their studies of history and social science. They clarify the ideas and connect them to other literary works.

  • Determine and articulate the relationship between the purposes and characteristics of different forms of poetry (e.g., ballad, lyric, couplet, epic, elegy, ode, sonnet).
  • Identify significant literary devices (e.g., metaphor, symbolism, dialect, irony) that define a writer's style and use those elements to interpret the work.
  • Analyze a work of literature, showing how it reflects the heritage, traditions, attitudes, and beliefs of its author. (Biographical approach)

Students write clear, coherent, and focused essays. The writing exhibits students' awareness of audience and purpose. Essays contain formal introductions, supporting evidence, and conclusions.

  • Create compositions that establish a controlling impression, have a coherent thesis, and end with a clear and well-supported conclusion.
  • Establish coherence within and among paragraphs through effective transitions, parallel structures, and similar writing techniques.
  • Plan and conduct multiple-step information searches by using computer networks and modems.
  • Revise writing for word choice; appropriate organization; consistent point of view; and transitions between paragraphs, passages, and ideas.

Students write narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive essays of at least 500 to 700 words in each genre. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard American English and the research, organizational, and drafting strategies outlined in Writing Standard.

  • Write biographies, autobiographies, short stories, or narratives.
  • Write responses to literature such as exhibiting careful reading and insight in their interpretations and supporting judgments through references to the text, other works, other authors, or to personal knowledge.
  • Write research reports.
  • Write persuasive compositions.
  • Write documents related to career development, including simple business letters and job applications.
  • Write technical documents.

Students write and speak with a command of standard English conventions appropriate to this grade level.

  • Use correct and varied sentence types and sentence openings to present a lively and effective personal style.
  • Identify and use parallelism, including similar grammatical forms, in all written discourse to present items in a series and items juxtaposed for emphasis.
  • Edit written manuscripts to ensure that correct grammar is used.

Students deliver focused, coherent presentations that convey ideas clearly and relate to the background and interests of the audience. They evaluate the content of oral communication.

  • Prepare a speech outline based upon a chosen pattern of organization, which generally includes an introduction; transitions, previews, and summaries; a logically developed body; and an effective conclusion.
  • Use precise language, action verbs, sensory details, appropriate and colorful modifiers, and the active rather than the passive voice in ways that enliven oral presentations.
  • Use appropriate grammar, word choice, enunciation, and pace during formal presentations.
  • Evaluate the credibility of a speaker (e.g., hidden agendas, slanted or biased material).

Students deliver well-organized formal presentations employing traditional rhetorical strategies (e.g., narration, exposition, persuasion, description). Student speaking demonstrates a command of standard American English and the organizational and delivery strategies outlined in Listening and Speaking Standard.

  • Deliver narrative presentations (e.g., biographical, autobiographical).
  • Deliver oral responses to literature.
  • Deliver research presentations.
  • Deliver persuasive presentations.

MATH

Symbolic reasoning and calculations with symbols are central in algebra. Through the study of algebra, a student develops an understanding of the symbolic language of mathematics and the sciences. In addition, algebraic skills and concepts are developed and used in a wide variety of problem-solving situations. 

  1. Students identify and use the arithmetic properties of subsets of integers and rational, irrational, and real numbers, including closure properties for the four basic arithmetic operations where applicable.
  2. Students understand and use such operations as taking the opposite, finding the reciprocal, taking a root, and raising to a fractional power. They understand and use the rules of exponents.
  3. Students solve equations and inequalities involving absolute values.
  4. Students simplify expressions before solving linear equations and inequalities in one variable, such as 3(2x-5) + 4(x-2) = 12.
  5. Students solve multistep problems, including word problems, involving linear equations and linear inequalities in one variable and provide justification for each step.
  6. Students solve a system of two linear equations in two variables algebraically and are able to interpret the answer graphically. Students are able to solve a system of two linear inequalities in two variables and to sketch the solution sets.
  7. Students add, subtract, multiply, and divide monomials and polynomials. Students solve multistep problems, including word problems, by using these techniques.
  8. Students apply basic factoring techniques to second- and simple third-degree polynomials. These techniques include finding a common factor for all terms in a polynomial, recognizing the difference of two squares, and recognizing perfect squares of binomials.
  9. Students simplify fractions with polynomials in the numerator and denominator by factoring both and reducing them to the lowest terms.
  10. Students solve a quadratic equation by factoring or completing the square.
  11. Students know the quadratic formula and are familiar with its proof by completing the square.
  12. Students use the quadratic formula to find the roots of a second-degree polynomial and to solve quadratic equations.
  13. Students use the quadratic formula or factoring techniques or both to determine whether the graph of a quadratic function will intersect the x-axis in zero, one, or two points.
  14. Students apply quadratic equations to physical problems, such as the motion of an object under the force of gravity.

SCIENCE

Focus on Physical Science

Motion

The velocity of an object is the rate of change of its position. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know position is defined in relation to some choice of a standard reference point and a set of reference directions.
  2. Students know that average speed is the total distance traveled divided by the total time elapsed and that the speed of an object along the path traveled can vary.
  3. Students know how to solve problems involving distance, time, and average speed.
  4. Students know the velocity of an object must be described by specifying both the direction and the speed of the object.
  5. Students know changes in velocity may be due to changes in speed, direction, or both.
  6. Students know how to interpret graphs of position versus time and graphs of speed versus time for motion in a single direction.

Forces

Unbalanced forces cause changes in velocity. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know a force has both direction and magnitude.
  2. Students know when an object is subject to two or more forces at once, the result is the cumulative effect of all the forces.
  3. Students know when the forces on an object are balanced, the motion of the object does not change.
  4. Students know how to identify separately the two or more forces that are acting on a single static object, including gravity, elastic forces due to tension or compression in matter, and friction.
  5. Students know that when the forces on an object are unbalanced, the object will change its velocity (that is, it will speed up, slow down, or change direction).
  6. Students know the greater the mass of an object, the more force is needed to achieve the same rate of change in motion.
  7. Students know the role of gravity in forming and maintaining the shapes of planets, stars, and the solar system.

Structure of Matter

Each of the more than 100 elements of matter has distinct properties and a distinct atomic structure. All forms of matter are composed of one or more of the elements. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know the structure of the atom and know it is composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons.
  2. Students know that compounds are formed by combining two or more different elements and that compounds have properties that are different from their constituent elements.
  3. Students know atoms and molecules form solids by building up repeating patterns, such as the crystal structure of NaCl or long-chain polymers.
  4. Students know the states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) depend on molecular motion.
  5. Students know that in solids the atoms are closely locked in position and can only vibrate; in liquids the atoms and molecules are more loosely connected and can collide with and move past one another; and in gases the atoms and molecules are free to move independently, colliding frequently.
  6. Students know how to use the periodic table to identify elements in simple compounds.

Earth in the Solar System (Earth Sciences)

The structure and composition of the universe can be learned from studying stars and galaxies and their evolution. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know galaxies are clusters of billions of stars and may have different shapes.
  2. Students know that the Sun is one of many stars in the Milky Way galaxy and that stars may differ in size, temperature, and color.
  3. Students know how to use astronomical units and light years as measures of distances between the Sun, stars, and Earth.
  4. Students know that stars are the source of light for all bright objects in outer space and that the Moon and planets shine by reflected sunlight, not by their own light.
  5. Students know the appearance, general composition, relative position and size, and motion of objects in the solar system, including planets, planetary satellites, comets, and asteroids.

Reactions

Chemical reactions are processes in which atoms are rearranged into different combinations of molecules. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know reactant atoms and molecules interact to form products with different chemical properties.
  2. Students know the idea of atoms explains the conservation of matter: In chemical reactions the number of atoms stays the same no matter how they are arranged, so their total mass stays the same.
  3. Students know chemical reactions usually liberate heat or absorb heat.
  4. Students know physical processes include freezing and boiling, in which a material changes form with no chemical reaction.
  5. Students know how to determine whether a solution is acidic, basic, or neutral.

Chemistry of Living Systems (Life Sciences)

Principles of chemistry underlie the functioning of biological systems. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know that carbon, because of its ability to combine in many ways with itself and other elements, has a central role in the chemistry of living organisms.
  2. Students know that living organisms are made of molecules consisting largely of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur.
  3. Students know that living organisms have many different kinds of molecules, including small ones, such as water and salt, and very large ones, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and DNA.

Periodic Table

The organization of the periodic table is based on the properties of the elements and reflects the structure of atoms. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know how to identify regions corresponding to metals, nonmetals, and inert gases.
  2. Students know each element has a specific number of protons in the nucleus (the atomic number) and each isotope of the element has a different but specific number of neutrons in the nucleus.
  3. Students know substances can be classified by their properties, including their melting temperature, density, hardness, and thermal and electrical conductivity.

Density and Buoyancy

All objects experience a buoyant force when immersed in a fluid. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know density is mass per unit volume.
  2. Students know how to calculate the density of substances (regular and irregular solids and liquids) from measurements of mass and volume.
  3. Students know the buoyant force on an object in a fluid is an upward force equal to the weight of the fluid the object has displaced.
  4. Students know how to predict whether an object will float or sink.

Investigation and Experimentation

Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:

  1. Plan and conduct a scientific investigation to test a hypothesis.
  2. Evaluate the accuracy and reproducibility of data.
  3. Distinguish between variable and controlled parameters in a test.
  4. Recognize the slope of the linear graph as the constant in the relationship y=kx and apply this principle in interpreting graphs constructed from data.
  5. Construct appropriate graphs from data and develop quantitative statements about the relationships between variables.
  6. Apply simple mathematic relationships to determine a missing quantity in a mathematic expression, given the two remaining terms (including speed = distance/time, density = mass/volume, force = pressure × area, volume = area × height).
  7. Distinguish between linear and nonlinear relationships on a graph of data.

 SOCIAL STUDIES

United States History and Geography: Growth and Conflict

Students in grade eight study the ideas, issues, and events from the framing of the Constitution up to World War I, with an emphasis on America's role in the war. 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.

Students understand the major events preceding the founding of the nation and relate their significance to the development of American constitutional democracy.

  • Describe the relationship between the moral and political ideas of the Great Awakening and the development of revolutionary fervor.
  • Analyze the philosophy of government expressed in the Declaration of Independence, with an emphasis on government as a means of securing individual rights (e.g., key phrases such as "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights").
  • Analyze how the American Revolution affected other nations, especially France.
  • Describe the nation's blend of civic republicanism, classical liberal principles, and English parliamentary traditions.

Students analyze the political principles underlying the U.S. Constitution and compare the enumerated and implied powers of the federal government.

  • Discuss the significance of the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and the May-flower Compact.

Students understand the foundation of the American political system and the ways in which citizens participate in it.

  • Describe the basic law-making process and how the Constitution provides numerous opportunities for citizens to participate in the political process and to monitor and influence government (e.g., function of elections, political parties, interest groups).
  • Understand the functions and responsibilities of a free press.

Students analyze the aspirations and ideals of the people of the new nation.

  • Analyze the rise of capitalism and the economic problems and conflicts that accompanied it (e.g., Jackson's opposition to the National Bank; early decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court that reinforced the sanctity of contracts and a capitalist economic system of law).
  • Discuss daily life, including traditions in art, music, and literature, of early national America (e.g., through writings by Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper).

Students analyze U.S. foreign policy in the early Republic.

  • Understand the political and economic causes and consequences of the War of 1812 and know the major battles, leaders, and events that led to a final peace.

Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced, with emphasis on the Northeast.

  • Discuss the influence of industrialization and technological developments on the region, including human modification of the landscape and how physical geography shaped human actions (e.g., growth of cities, deforestation, farming, mineral extraction).
  • Outline the physical obstacles to and the economic and political factors involved in building a network of roads, canals, and railroads (e.g., Henry Clay's American System).
  • List the reasons for the wave of immigration from Northern Europe to the United States and describe the growth in the number, size, and spatial arrangements of cities (e.g., Irish immigrants and the Great Irish Famine).
  • Study the lives of black Americans who gained freedom in the North and founded schools and churches to advance their rights and communities.
  • Trace the development of the American education system from its earliest roots, including the roles of religious and private schools and Horace Mann's campaign for free public education and its assimilating role in American culture.

Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people in the South from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced.

  • Describe the development of the agrarian economy in the South, identify the locations of the cotton-producing states, and discuss the significance of cotton and the cotton gin.
  • Trace the origins and development of slavery; its effects on black Americans and on the region's political, social, religious, economic, and cultural development; and identify the strategies that were tried to both overturn and preserve it (e.g., through the writings and historical documents on Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey).

Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people in the West from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced.

Students analyze the early and steady attempts to abolish slavery and to realize the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.

Students analyze the character and lasting consequences of Reconstruction.

  • List the original aims of Reconstruction and describe its effects on the political and social structures of different regions.
  • Identify the push-pull factors in the movement of former slaves to the cities in the North and to the West and their differing experiences in those regions (e.g., the experiences of Buffalo Soldiers).

Students analyze the transformation of the American economy and the changing social and political conditions in the United States in response to the Indus-trial Revolution.

  • Trace patterns of agricultural and industrial development as they relate to climate, use of natural resources, markets, and trade and locate such development on a map.
  • Identify the reasons for the development of federal Indian policy and the wars with American Indians and their relationship to agricultural development and industrialization.
  • Explain how states and the federal government encouraged business expansion through tariffs, banking, land grants, and subsidies.
  • Discuss entrepreneurs, industrialists, and bankers in politics, commerce, and industry (e.g., Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Leland Stanford).
  • Examine the location and effects of urbanization, renewed immigration, and industrialization (e.g., the effects on social fabric of cities, wealth and economic opportunity, the conservation movement).
  • Discuss child labor, working conditions, and laissez-faire policies toward big business and examine the labor movement, including its leaders (e.g., Samuel Gompers), its demand for collective bargaining, and its strikes and protests over labor conditions.
  • Identify the new sources of large-scale immigration and the contributions of immigrants to the building of cities and the economy; explain the ways in which new social and economic patterns encouraged assimilation of newcomers into the mainstream amidst growing cultural diversity; and discuss the new wave of nativism.
  • Identify the characteristics and impact of Grangerism and Populism.
  • Name the significant inventors and their inventions and identify how they improved the quality of life (e.g., Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Orville and Wilbur Wright).

GRADE 8 SELECTED TOP PRIORITY STANDARDS
ENGLISH

Students use their knowledge of word origins and word relationships, as well as historical and literary context clues, to determine the meaning of specialized vocabulary and to understand the precise meaning of grade-level-appropriate words.

  • Analyze idioms, analogies, metaphors, and similes to infer the literal and figurative meanings of phrases.

Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material. They describe and connect the essential ideas, arguments, and perspectives of the text by using their knowledge of text structure, organization, and purpose.

  • Compare and contrast the features and elements of consumer materials to gain meaning from documents (e.g., warranties, contracts, product information, instruction manuals).
  • Compare the original text to a summary to determine whether the summary accurately captures the main ideas, includes critical details, and conveys the underlying meaning.
  • Evaluate the unity, coherence, logic, internal consistency, and structural patterns of text.

Students read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of literature that reflect and enhance their studies of history and social science. They clarify the ideas and connect them to other literary works.

  • Determine and articulate the relationship between the purposes and characteristics of different forms of poetry (e.g., ballad, lyric, couplet, epic, elegy, ode, sonnet).
  • Identify significant literary devices (e.g., metaphor, symbolism, dialect, irony) that define a writer's style and use those elements to interpret the work.
  • Analyze a work of literature, showing how it reflects the heritage, traditions, attitudes, and beliefs of its author. (Biographical approach)

Students write clear, coherent, and focused essays. The writing exhibits students' awareness of audience and purpose. Essays contain formal introductions, supporting evidence, and conclusions.

  • Create compositions that establish a controlling impression, have a coherent thesis, and end with a clear and well-supported conclusion.
  • Establish coherence within and among paragraphs through effective transitions, parallel structures, and similar writing techniques.
  • Plan and conduct multiple-step information searches by using computer networks and modems.
  • Revise writing for word choice; appropriate organization; consistent point of view; and transitions between paragraphs, passages, and ideas.

Students write narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive essays of at least 500 to 700 words in each genre. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard American English and the research, organizational, and drafting strategies outlined in Writing Standard.

  • Write biographies, autobiographies, short stories, or narratives.
  • Write responses to literature such as exhibiting careful reading and insight in their interpretations and supporting judgments through references to the text, other works, other authors, or to personal knowledge.
  • Write research reports.
  • Write persuasive compositions.
  • Write documents related to career development, including simple business letters and job applications.
  • Write technical documents.

Students write and speak with a command of standard English conventions appropriate to this grade level.

  • Use correct and varied sentence types and sentence openings to present a lively and effective personal style.
  • Identify and use parallelism, including similar grammatical forms, in all written discourse to present items in a series and items juxtaposed for emphasis.
  • Edit written manuscripts to ensure that correct grammar is used.

Students deliver focused, coherent presentations that convey ideas clearly and relate to the background and interests of the audience. They evaluate the content of oral communication.

  • Prepare a speech outline based upon a chosen pattern of organization, which generally includes an introduction; transitions, previews, and summaries; a logically developed body; and an effective conclusion.
  • Use precise language, action verbs, sensory details, appropriate and colorful modifiers, and the active rather than the passive voice in ways that enliven oral presentations.
  • Use appropriate grammar, word choice, enunciation, and pace during formal presentations.
  • Evaluate the credibility of a speaker (e.g., hidden agendas, slanted or biased material).

Students deliver well-organized formal presentations employing traditional rhetorical strategies (e.g., narration, exposition, persuasion, description). Student speaking demonstrates a command of standard American English and the organizational and delivery strategies outlined in Listening and Speaking Standard.

  • Deliver narrative presentations (e.g., biographical, autobiographical).
  • Deliver oral responses to literature.
  • Deliver research presentations.
  • Deliver persuasive presentations.

MATH

Symbolic reasoning and calculations with symbols are central in algebra. Through the study of algebra, a student develops an understanding of the symbolic language of mathematics and the sciences. In addition, algebraic skills and concepts are developed and used in a wide variety of problem-solving situations. 

  1. Students identify and use the arithmetic properties of subsets of integers and rational, irrational, and real numbers, including closure properties for the four basic arithmetic operations where applicable.
  2. Students understand and use such operations as taking the opposite, finding the reciprocal, taking a root, and raising to a fractional power. They understand and use the rules of exponents.
  3. Students solve equations and inequalities involving absolute values.
  4. Students simplify expressions before solving linear equations and inequalities in one variable, such as 3(2x-5) + 4(x-2) = 12.
  5. Students solve multistep problems, including word problems, involving linear equations and linear inequalities in one variable and provide justification for each step.
  6. Students solve a system of two linear equations in two variables algebraically and are able to interpret the answer graphically. Students are able to solve a system of two linear inequalities in two variables and to sketch the solution sets.
  7. Students add, subtract, multiply, and divide monomials and polynomials. Students solve multistep problems, including word problems, by using these techniques.
  8. Students apply basic factoring techniques to second- and simple third-degree polynomials. These techniques include finding a common factor for all terms in a polynomial, recognizing the difference of two squares, and recognizing perfect squares of binomials.
  9. Students simplify fractions with polynomials in the numerator and denominator by factoring both and reducing them to the lowest terms.
  10. Students solve a quadratic equation by factoring or completing the square.
  11. Students know the quadratic formula and are familiar with its proof by completing the square.
  12. Students use the quadratic formula to find the roots of a second-degree polynomial and to solve quadratic equations.
  13. Students use the quadratic formula or factoring techniques or both to determine whether the graph of a quadratic function will intersect the x-axis in zero, one, or two points.
  14. Students apply quadratic equations to physical problems, such as the motion of an object under the force of gravity.

SCIENCE

Focus on Physical Science

Motion

The velocity of an object is the rate of change of its position. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know position is defined in relation to some choice of a standard reference point and a set of reference directions.
  2. Students know that average speed is the total distance traveled divided by the total time elapsed and that the speed of an object along the path traveled can vary.
  3. Students know how to solve problems involving distance, time, and average speed.
  4. Students know the velocity of an object must be described by specifying both the direction and the speed of the object.
  5. Students know changes in velocity may be due to changes in speed, direction, or both.
  6. Students know how to interpret graphs of position versus time and graphs of speed versus time for motion in a single direction.

Forces

Unbalanced forces cause changes in velocity. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know a force has both direction and magnitude.
  2. Students know when an object is subject to two or more forces at once, the result is the cumulative effect of all the forces.
  3. Students know when the forces on an object are balanced, the motion of the object does not change.
  4. Students know how to identify separately the two or more forces that are acting on a single static object, including gravity, elastic forces due to tension or compression in matter, and friction.
  5. Students know that when the forces on an object are unbalanced, the object will change its velocity (that is, it will speed up, slow down, or change direction).
  6. Students know the greater the mass of an object, the more force is needed to achieve the same rate of change in motion.
  7. Students know the role of gravity in forming and maintaining the shapes of planets, stars, and the solar system.

Structure of Matter

Each of the more than 100 elements of matter has distinct properties and a distinct atomic structure. All forms of matter are composed of one or more of the elements. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know the structure of the atom and know it is composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons.
  2. Students know that compounds are formed by combining two or more different elements and that compounds have properties that are different from their constituent elements.
  3. Students know atoms and molecules form solids by building up repeating patterns, such as the crystal structure of NaCl or long-chain polymers.
  4. Students know the states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) depend on molecular motion.
  5. Students know that in solids the atoms are closely locked in position and can only vibrate; in liquids the atoms and molecules are more loosely connected and can collide with and move past one another; and in gases the atoms and molecules are free to move independently, colliding frequently.
  6. Students know how to use the periodic table to identify elements in simple compounds.

Earth in the Solar System (Earth Sciences)

The structure and composition of the universe can be learned from studying stars and galaxies and their evolution. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know galaxies are clusters of billions of stars and may have different shapes.
  2. Students know that the Sun is one of many stars in the Milky Way galaxy and that stars may differ in size, temperature, and color.
  3. Students know how to use astronomical units and light years as measures of distances between the Sun, stars, and Earth.
  4. Students know that stars are the source of light for all bright objects in outer space and that the Moon and planets shine by reflected sunlight, not by their own light.
  5. Students know the appearance, general composition, relative position and size, and motion of objects in the solar system, including planets, planetary satellites, comets, and asteroids.

Reactions

Chemical reactions are processes in which atoms are rearranged into different combinations of molecules. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know reactant atoms and molecules interact to form products with different chemical properties.
  2. Students know the idea of atoms explains the conservation of matter: In chemical reactions the number of atoms stays the same no matter how they are arranged, so their total mass stays the same.
  3. Students know chemical reactions usually liberate heat or absorb heat.
  4. Students know physical processes include freezing and boiling, in which a material changes form with no chemical reaction.
  5. Students know how to determine whether a solution is acidic, basic, or neutral.

Chemistry of Living Systems (Life Sciences)

Principles of chemistry underlie the functioning of biological systems. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know that carbon, because of its ability to combine in many ways with itself and other elements, has a central role in the chemistry of living organisms.
  2. Students know that living organisms are made of molecules consisting largely of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur.
  3. Students know that living organisms have many different kinds of molecules, including small ones, such as water and salt, and very large ones, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and DNA.

Periodic Table

The organization of the periodic table is based on the properties of the elements and reflects the structure of atoms. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know how to identify regions corresponding to metals, nonmetals, and inert gases.
  2. Students know each element has a specific number of protons in the nucleus (the atomic number) and each isotope of the element has a different but specific number of neutrons in the nucleus.
  3. Students know substances can be classified by their properties, including their melting temperature, density, hardness, and thermal and electrical conductivity.

Density and Buoyancy

All objects experience a buoyant force when immersed in a fluid. As a basis for understanding this concept:

  1. Students know density is mass per unit volume.
  2. Students know how to calculate the density of substances (regular and irregular solids and liquids) from measurements of mass and volume.
  3. Students know the buoyant force on an object in a fluid is an upward force equal to the weight of the fluid the object has displaced.
  4. Students know how to predict whether an object will float or sink.

Investigation and Experimentation

Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:

  1. Plan and conduct a scientific investigation to test a hypothesis.
  2. Evaluate the accuracy and reproducibility of data.
  3. Distinguish between variable and controlled parameters in a test.
  4. Recognize the slope of the linear graph as the constant in the relationship y=kx and apply this principle in interpreting graphs constructed from data.
  5. Construct appropriate graphs from data and develop quantitative statements about the relationships between variables.
  6. Apply simple mathematic relationships to determine a missing quantity in a mathematic expression, given the two remaining terms (including speed = distance/time, density = mass/volume, force = pressure × area, volume = area × height).
  7. Distinguish between linear and nonlinear relationships on a graph of data.

SOCIAL STUDIES

United States History and Geography: Growth and Conflict

Students in grade eight study the ideas, issues, and events from the framing of the Constitution up to World War I, with an emphasis on America's role in the war. 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.

Students understand the major events preceding the founding of the nation and relate their significance to the development of American constitutional democracy.

  • Describe the relationship between the moral and political ideas of the Great Awakening and the development of revolutionary fervor.
  • Analyze the philosophy of government expressed in the Declaration of Independence, with an emphasis on government as a means of securing individual rights (e.g., key phrases such as "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights").
  • Analyze how the American Revolution affected other nations, especially France.
  • Describe the nation's blend of civic republicanism, classical liberal principles, and English parliamentary traditions.

Students analyze the political principles underlying the U.S. Constitution and compare the enumerated and implied powers of the federal government.

  • Discuss the significance of the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and the May-flower Compact.

Students understand the foundation of the American political system and the ways in which citizens participate in it.

  • Describe the basic law-making process and how the Constitution provides numerous opportunities for citizens to participate in the political process and to monitor and influence government (e.g., function of elections, political parties, interest groups).
  • Understand the functions and responsibilities of a free press.

Students analyze the aspirations and ideals of the people of the new nation.

  • Analyze the rise of capitalism and the economic problems and conflicts that accompanied it (e.g., Jackson's opposition to the National Bank; early decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court that reinforced the sanctity of contracts and a capitalist economic system of law).
  • Discuss daily life, including traditions in art, music, and literature, of early national America (e.g., through writings by Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper).

Students analyze U.S. foreign policy in the early Republic.

  • Understand the political and economic causes and consequences of the War of 1812 and know the major battles, leaders, and events that led to a final peace.

Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced, with emphasis on the Northeast.

  • Discuss the influence of industrialization and technological developments on the region, including human modification of the landscape and how physical geography shaped human actions (e.g., growth of cities, deforestation, farming, mineral extraction).
  • Outline the physical obstacles to and the economic and political factors involved in building a network of roads, canals, and railroads (e.g., Henry Clay's American System).
  • List the reasons for the wave of immigration from Northern Europe to the United States and describe the growth in the number, size, and spatial arrangements of cities (e.g., Irish immigrants and the Great Irish Famine).
  • Study the lives of black Americans who gained freedom in the North and founded schools and churches to advance their rights and communities.
  • Trace the development of the American education system from its earliest roots, including the roles of religious and private schools and Horace Mann's campaign for free public education and its assimilating role in American culture.

Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people in the South from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced.

  • Describe the development of the agrarian economy in the South, identify the locations of the cotton-producing states, and discuss the significance of cotton and the cotton gin.
  • Trace the origins and development of slavery; its effects on black Americans and on the region's political, social, religious, economic, and cultural development; and identify the strategies that were tried to both overturn and preserve it (e.g., through the writings and historical documents on Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey).

Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people in the West from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced.

Students analyze the early and steady attempts to abolish slavery and to realize the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.

Students analyze the character and lasting consequences of Reconstruction.

  • List the original aims of Reconstruction and describe its effects on the political and social structures of different regions.
  • Identify the push-pull factors in the movement of former slaves to the cities in the North and to the West and their differing experiences in those regions (e.g., the experiences of Buffalo Soldiers).

Students analyze the transformation of the American economy and the changing social and political conditions in the United States in response to the Indus-trial Revolution.

  • Trace patterns of agricultural and industrial development as they relate to climate, use of natural resources, markets, and trade and locate such development on a map.
  • Identify the reasons for the development of federal Indian policy and the wars with American Indians and their relationship to agricultural development and industrialization.
  • Explain how states and the federal government encouraged business expansion through tariffs, banking, land grants, and subsidies.
  • Discuss entrepreneurs, industrialists, and bankers in politics, commerce, and industry (e.g., Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Leland Stanford).
  • Examine the location and effects of urbanization, renewed immigration, and industrialization (e.g., the effects on social fabric of cities, wealth and economic opportunity, the conservation movement).
  • Discuss child labor, working conditions, and laissez-faire policies toward big business and examine the labor movement, including its leaders (e.g., Samuel Gompers), its demand for collective bargaining, and its strikes and protests over labor conditions.
  • Identify the new sources of large-scale immigration and the contributions of immigrants to the building of cities and the economy; explain the ways in which new social and economic patterns encouraged assimilation of newcomers into the mainstream amidst growing cultural diversity; and discuss the new wave of nativism.
  • Identify the characteristics and impact of Grangerism and Populism.
  • Name the significant inventors and their inventions and identify how they improved the quality of life (e.g., Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Orville and Wilbur Wright).

Address:
9 Moo 11, Tambon Banpa, Amphoe Kaeng Khoi,
Saraburi 18110, Thailand

 
California Prep International School
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