English 8 provides the foundation for high school language arts skills.  Writing centers around mastery and practice of the five paragraph essay, while reading encompasses several selections of classic authors and poets from our reading anthology.  Students will read and analyze three full length novels by notable writers including Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place, and The Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter, and Messenger by Lois Lowry.  The class anthology provides advanced classic and contemporary literature selections, supported by skills instruction and practice in grammar and writing.  Literary concepts and active reading strategies are reinforced with numerous follow-up activities, as well as in class discussions.  The writing portion of our class is supported by curriculum that teaches key skills, provides an easy to follow approach to the writing process, and enhances oral communication skills. Writing is such an important component of their preparation for high school that VCS requires all 8th grade students to complete the year with a 70% or higher in the writing category, in order to pass English. Class discussions will help students practice critical thinking skills and analysis by putting their thoughts into clear spoken words that effectively communicate their ideas in preparation for high school.