Grade 8 Update - March 2019

Grade 8 Update - March 2019
Posted on 04/02/2019
Students have begun looking at function and non-function tables. We will analyze and compare different representations of functions, such as graphs and equations, in order to interpret the feature of the functions. Later, we will evaluate and create functions to represent real world situations, such as the volume of water in a cone over time.

We have started our third and final unit of the year: “Why do organisms look the way they do?” In this unit, students will focus their investigations on heredity, variation within and between species, and natural selection. So far our investigations have focused on using human pedigrees and plant models to look at what traits get passed on and determining patterns in traits throughout multiple generations. Students’ interest has also peaked as they have been able to explain why they have a particular variation of a trait. We have also had the opportunity to have scientists from the BROAD Institute volunteer their time to work with us. The scientists have designed engaging and interactive activities that will help students make connections from this unit to the real world and the scientists’ research. The BROAD scientists will be with us for six weeks!

Students are completing argumentative essays about the play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, by William Shakespeare, in which they analyze the theme of control between characters in the play. We are beginning Unit 3, where students will create a character confessional for one of the characters. In this further exploration of the theme of control and free will, students will have the choice to write a narrative or create a video confessional from the point of view of one of the characters.

Social Studies
Students are currently wrapping up our “Rights & Responsibilities” unit by completing a district DBQ (Document Based Question) about whether or not voting should be mandatory. They are analyzing charts, speeches, articles, and images in order to gather evidence and will then outline and write a convincing essay that proves their theses. Once this essay is finished, we will head into a unit about Prince Hall, a figure from US history who had a great impact and who exemplifies how to act when our country does not conduct itself in the way we think it should.
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