U.S. National Standards for Eighth Grade English Language Arts

Adding New Words to Our Language
FreeOne way that words are added to our language is by word borrowing. Words are "borrowed" from other countries and from other languages. Examples: Tomahawk is the Native American word for a kind of weapon, Spaghetti is a word that came from Italy, Taco is a word that came from Mexico. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1
Capitalization
Which Words Should Be Capitalized? In English, there are very specific rules for capitalizing words. The following categories of words should always be capitalized: Languages: French; Races: Native Americans; Nationalities: Spanish; School: Subjects Math II; Brand Names: Coca Cola; Ships: Titanic; Books: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen; Newspapers: New York Times; Magazines: Newsweek; Songs: The Star-Spangled Banner; Movies: King Kong; Abbreviations: A.M. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1
Compound and Complex Sentences
Two or more sentences joined together are known as a compound sentence. The simple sentences in a compound sentence can be joined together with a comma and a conjunction, or with a semicolon. A complex sentence has one independent clause and one or more subordinate clauses. A subordinate clause does not express a complete thought. Subordinate clauses are either adjective clauses or adverb clauses. Read more...iWorksheets: 4Study Guides: 1
Descriptive Text
What is Descriptive Text? Descriptive writing appeals to the senses. Writers often create a mood by choosing specific descriptive words. Descriptive writing can be made more precise by using exact words. Figures of speech, such as similes and metaphors, are often used in descriptive writing. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1
Gerunds, Infinitives, and Participles
What is a Gerund? A gerund is a verb that is used as a noun. A gerund is formed by adding -ing to the present form of a verb. What is an Infinitive? An infinitive is a verb that is used as a noun, adjective, or adverb. The word to is known as the sign of the infinitive. What is a Participle? A participle is a verb that is used as an adjective. The two types of participles are present participles and past participles. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1
Modifiers-Adverbs
What is an Adverb? A word that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb is called an adverb. Modify means to change. Since adverbs change the meanings of verbs and adjectives, adverbs are also called modifiers. Adverbs answer the questions: How? When? Where? or To What Extent? Read more...iWorksheets: 4Study Guides: 1
Persuasive Text
What is Persuasive Text? Persuade means to convince. In persuasive text, the author attempts to convince the reader to believe that the author's viewpoint is correct. Some common persuasive techniques are: Bandwagon, Stacking the Deck, Testimonials, Citing Statistics, and Emotional Words. An author uses the Bandwagon technique when he/she tries to make us believe that we should do something because everyone is doing it. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1
Prepositions, Conjunctions, and Interjections
What is a Preposition? A preposition is a connective that shows a relationship between the noun or pronoun following the preposition and another word in the sentence. What is a Conjunction? A conjunction is a word that connects words, phrases, or simple sentences. What is an Interjection? An interjection is a word or group of words that expresses strong feelings. Read more...iWorksheets: 4Study Guides: 1
Reading Rate
What is Reading Rate? Reading rate is the speed at which a person reads a particular text. A person needs to determine the purpose for reading before he/she chooses a reading rate. Purposes of Reading: Scanning - reading to find a specific fact or detail; Skimming - reading to get an overview of the text; Reading for comprehension - demands careful, thoughtful reading from the student, and rereading may be required. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1
Reading-Drama
Drama is a genre that uses dialogue to tell a story. The elements of drama are: characters, setting, plot and theme. A list of characters in the play is called the cast. The place and time of the play is known as the setting. The main events in the play make up the plot. The main idea of the play is called the theme. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1
Reading-Structural Analysis
What is Structural Analysis in Reading? In order to derive the meanings of words, it is helpful to analyze the structure of the words in English: Is there a Latin or a Greek root word? Is the word a base word that can stand alone? Are there prefixes and suffixes added to the base word? What are the meanings of the affixes added to the base word? Is the word a shortened form of a longer word? Read more...iWorksheets: 4Study Guides: 1
Regular and Irregular Verbs
What is a Verb? A verb is the "action" or "being" part of the predicate of a sentence. The different forms of a verb are called tenses and express present, past, and future times. The principal parts of a verb are: the infinitive, the present participle, the past tense, and the past participle. Regular verbs form their past tenses by adding -d or -ed to the infinitive. Irregular verbs form their past tenses in a different way. Read more...iWorksheets: 4Study Guides: 1
Sentences
What is a Sentence? A sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought. A sentence must contain a subject and a predicate. An incomplete sentence is known as a sentence fragment. Two or more sentences written together are known as a run-on sentence. Read more...iWorksheets: 4Study Guides: 1
Text Features
What are Text Features? The elements of a textbook that are useful in helping to understand the content of the book are called the text features. An effective reader uses the text features to preview the textbook before beginning to read: The title page contains the title of the book, the author, the publisher, and the place where the book was published. The glossary contains the definitions of words from the textbook. Read more...iWorksheets: 4Study Guides: 1
Titles and Authors
A student searching for a terrific book may want to try a book that has won a Newbery Medal. The Newbery Medal has been presented yearly since 1922 to the author of the most outstanding book written for children in the United States in the preceding year. The winning author must be either a citizen or a resident of the United States of America. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1
Usage
The way in which the English language is used is known as usage. To speak and write our language properly, certain rules must be followed. Some Usage Guidelines for English:
Who and whom. Who is a subject. Whom is an object. Who went to the nurse's office? You expect to go to the dance with whom? Read more...
iWorksheets: 4Study Guides: 1
Using References
What is a Reference? A reference is a book or an online source where a student can find facts. Examples: Encyclopedia, Atlas, Dictionary, Thesaurus, Almanac, Magazine, Pamphlet, Catalog. What reference is the Guinness Book of World Records? Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1
Writing a Research Report
The process of preparing a research report has numerous steps. The student chooses a subject, prepares a list of questions to guide his/her research, gathers information from two or more sources, organizes the information, and presents it to the reader in a readable form. Read more...iWorksheets: 3Study Guides: 1

N.1. Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works. (NCTE)

Reading Process
What Is the Reading Process? The steps a student follows in reading effectively are called the reading process. The step in the reading process when a student looks over the selection is. Certain genres of literature need to be read more than once. This step in the reading process is called rereading. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1

N.2. Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience. (NCTE)

Reading Process
What Is the Reading Process? The steps a student follows in reading effectively are called the reading process. The step in the reading process when a student looks over the selection is. Certain genres of literature need to be read more than once. This step in the reading process is called rereading. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
Thinking Skills
What are Thinking Skills? Thinking skills are reading tools used to better comprehend the text. Examples: Analysis-separating the text into its parts; Classifying-arranging information into categories; Comparing and Contrasting-finding likenesses and differences between items; Drawing Conclusions-coming to a decision based on the text; Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1

N.3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics). (NCTE)

Reading Process
What Is the Reading Process? The steps a student follows in reading effectively are called the reading process. The step in the reading process when a student looks over the selection is. Certain genres of literature need to be read more than once. This step in the reading process is called rereading. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
Thinking Skills
What are Thinking Skills? Thinking skills are reading tools used to better comprehend the text. Examples: Analysis-separating the text into its parts; Classifying-arranging information into categories; Comparing and Contrasting-finding likenesses and differences between items; Drawing Conclusions-coming to a decision based on the text; Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1

N.4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes. (NCTE)

Speaking
Speaking, a type of communication, can be categorized into formal speaking and informal speaking. Informal speaking involves a situation where a speaker does not prepare ahead of time to speak, like answering the telephone and introducing people to each other. A prepared speech is an example of formal speaking. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1

N.5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes. (NCTE)

Process Writing
The stages that writers go through in order to complete a written piece are called the writing process, or process writing. Examples: The stage at which writers plan their writing is called the prewriting stage. The stage at which writers get their ideas down on paper is called the drafting stage. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1

N.6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts. (NCTE)

Figurative Language
FreeLiteral language uses words exactly according to their conventionally accepted meanings. Figurative use of language is the use of words or phrases that implies a non-literal meaning which does make sense. When authors use figurative language, they use similes, metaphors, hyperbole, onomatopoeia, personification and idioms to make their writing more descriptive. Read more...iWorksheets :4Study Guides :1
Punctuation
What Are Punctuation Marks? Punctuation marks are symbols to help readers understand how to read sentences. Examples: Period-ending marks, abbreviations; Question mark-ending marks; Exclamation point-ending marks; Comma-separating items or words, direct address, dates. Read more...iWorksheets :4Study Guides :1
Spelling
Are There Any Tricks to Becoming a Successful Speller? One technique for successful spelling is to say, or pronounce, the word correctly. Another technique for successful spelling is to write the word. It is helpful to refer to a dictionary for the correct spellings of questionable words. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
Conducting Interviews and Discussions
What is an Interview? A conversation in which the purpose is to gather information is known as an interview. An effective interview should have a clear purpose. Before an interview, the interviewer should prepare a list of questions. An interviewer should make an appointment with the person he/she is interviewing. An interviewer should be prompt for his/her appointment. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
Punctuation
What are Punctuation Marks? Punctuation marks are symbols to help readers understand how to read sentences. Examples: Period-ending marks, abbreviations; Question mark-ending marks; Exclamation point-ending marks; Comma-separating items or words, direct address, dates; Semicolon-joining two parts of a compound sentence; Read more...iWorksheets :4Study Guides :1
Reading-Figurative Language
Figurative language is the opposite of literal language. The writer uses techniques like repetition, exaggeration, alliteration, personification, onomatopoeia, similes, and metaphors to create images in the reader's mind. Using a sound, word, or phrase more than once is known as repetition. When a writer intentionally stretches the truth, he/she is using exaggeration. When a writer repeats a consonant sound at the beginning of several words in a row, he/she is using alliteration. Poems are divided into groups of lines called stanzas. Words that end with the same sound are called rhyming words. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
Spelling
Are There Any Tricks to Becoming a Successful Speller? One technique for successful spelling is to say, or pronounce, the word correctly. Another technique for successful spelling is to write the word. It is helpful to refer to a dictionary for the correct spellings of questionable words. A memory device may be of use: c-a-p-i-t-o-l is the spelling for our nation’s Capitol Building; the "o" looks like the dome of the Capitol Building. Read more...iWorksheets :4Study Guides :1
Thinking Skills
What are Thinking Skills? Thinking skills are reading tools used to better comprehend the text. Examples: Analysis-separating the text into its parts; Classifying-arranging information into categories; Comparing and Contrasting-finding likenesses and differences between items; Drawing Conclusions-coming to a decision based on the text; Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1

N.7. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience. (NCTE)

Thinking Skills
What are Thinking Skills? Thinking skills are reading tools used to better comprehend the text. Examples: Analysis-separating the text into its parts; Classifying-arranging information into categories; Comparing and Contrasting-finding likenesses and differences between items; Drawing Conclusions-coming to a decision based on the text; Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1

N.8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge. (NCTE)

Library Skills
What Can Be Found in a Library? Books, almanacs, atlases, magazines, newspapers, dictionaries, and encyclopedias can be found in a library/media center. Most libraries are divided into areas, called sections: The Stacks: fiction and nonfiction books; Periodicals: magazines and newspapers; Reference, encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, and almanacs; Catalog: online catalog or card catalog drawers. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
Reading and the Internet
The letters that are typed in to find a particular website are called the web address. A website address that is saved in the computer's memory is called a bookmark. An email address contains three parts: the name, the "at" symbol, and the name of the Internet Service Provider. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
Thinking Skills
What are Thinking Skills? Thinking skills are reading tools used to better comprehend the text. Examples: Analysis-separating the text into its parts; Classifying-arranging information into categories; Comparing and Contrasting-finding likenesses and differences between items; Drawing Conclusions-coming to a decision based on the text; Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1

N.10. Students whose first language is not English make use of their first language to develop competency in the English language arts and to develop understanding of content across the curriculum. (NCTE)

Reading Process
What Is the Reading Process? The steps a student follows in reading effectively are called the reading process. The step in the reading process when a student looks over the selection is. Certain genres of literature need to be read more than once. This step in the reading process is called rereading. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1

N.11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities. (NCTE)

Process Writing
The stages that writers go through in order to complete a written piece are called the writing process, or process writing. Examples: The stage at which writers plan their writing is called the prewriting stage. The stage at which writers get their ideas down on paper is called the drafting stage. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
Speaking
Speaking, a type of communication, can be categorized into formal speaking and informal speaking. Informal speaking involves a situation where a speaker does not prepare ahead of time to speak, like answering the telephone and introducing people to each other. A prepared speech is an example of formal speaking. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1

N.12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information). (NCTE)

Process Writing
The stages that writers go through in order to complete a written piece are called the writing process, or process writing. Examples: The stage at which writers plan their writing is called the prewriting stage. The stage at which writers get their ideas down on paper is called the drafting stage. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
Speaking
Speaking, a type of communication, can be categorized into formal speaking and informal speaking. Informal speaking involves a situation where a speaker does not prepare ahead of time to speak, like answering the telephone and introducing people to each other. A prepared speech is an example of formal speaking. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
Conducting Interviews and Discussions
What is an Interview? A conversation in which the purpose is to gather information is known as an interview. An effective interview should have a clear purpose. Before an interview, the interviewer should prepare a list of questions. An interviewer should make an appointment with the person he/she is interviewing. An interviewer should be prompt for his/her appointment. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
Standards

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