Virginia Standards of Learning 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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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

VA.CML.8. Communication and Multimodal Literacies

8.1. The student will participate in, collaborate in, and report on small-group learning activities.

8.1.e. Make statements to communicate agreement or tactful disagreement with others’ ideas.
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
8.1.f. Use a variety of strategies to listen actively and speak using appropriate discussion rules with awareness of verbal and nonverbal cues.
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

8.2. The student will develop and deliver multimodal, interactive presentations collaboratively and individually.

8.2.c. Use effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills to deliver multimodal presentations.
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
8.2.d. Cite information sources.
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

VA.R.8. Reading

8.4. The student will apply knowledge of word origins, and figurative language to extend vocabulary development within authentic texts.

8.4.a. Identify and analyze the construction and impact of an author’s use of figurative language.
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
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
8.4.b. Use context, structure, and connotations to determine meaning and differentiate among multiple meanings of words and phrases.
Vocabulary
What Is Vocabulary? Vocabulary refers to a collection of words. Our English vocabulary developed in a variety of ways: Names of people and places provide some English words. Rudolf Diesel invented an engine that is named after him. The first letters of words, called acronyms, provide new words for our language. Shortened words provide some new English words. The word hamburger provides the shortened word burger. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
8.4.c. Use roots, affixes, synonyms, and antonyms to determine the meaning(s) of unfamiliar words and technical vocabulary.
Structural Analysis
In order to derive the meanings of words, it is helpful to analyze the structure of the words in our language: 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? Is the word a shortened form of a longer word? Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
Vocabulary
What Is Vocabulary? Vocabulary refers to a collection of words. Our English vocabulary developed in a variety of ways: Names of people and places provide some English words. Rudolf Diesel invented an engine that is named after him. The first letters of words, called acronyms, provide new words for our language. Shortened words provide some new English words. The word hamburger provides the shortened word burger. 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
8.4.d. Identify the meaning of common idioms.
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
8.4.e. Use word-reference materials to determine meanings and etymology.
Dictionary Skills
A dictionary is a useful tool in the study of words. Words are listed alphabetically in a dictionary so that they are easy to find. We look up words in a dictionary to find out about the word, including how to use it, what it means, and other important attributes of the word. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study 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
8.4.f. Discriminate between connotative and denotative meanings and interpret the connotation.
Vocabulary
What Is Vocabulary? Vocabulary refers to a collection of words. Our English vocabulary developed in a variety of ways: Names of people and places provide some English words. Rudolf Diesel invented an engine that is named after him. The first letters of words, called acronyms, provide new words for our language. Shortened words provide some new English words. The word hamburger provides the shortened word burger. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1

8.5. The student will read and analyze a variety of fictional texts, literary nonfiction, poetry, and drama.

8.5.a. Analyze how authors’ development of characters, conflict, point of view, voice, and tone convey meaning.
Narrative Text
What is Narrative Writing? Writing that tells a story is known as narrative writing. A narrative that tells a story based on imagined events is known as a fictional narrative. The characters, setting, and plot make up the elements of a story. Characters-the people involved in the plot of a narrative. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
8.5.c. Explain the development of the theme(s).
Narrative Text
What is Narrative Writing? Writing that tells a story is known as narrative writing. A narrative that tells a story based on imagined events is known as a fictional narrative. The characters, setting, and plot make up the elements of a story. Characters-the people involved in the plot of a narrative. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
8.5.d. Explain the use of symbols and figurative language.
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
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
8.5.e. Make inferences and draw conclusions based on explicit and implied information using references to the text for support.
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
8.5.h. Compare and contrast the authors’ use of word choice, dialogue, form, rhyme, rhythm, and voice in different texts.
Narrative Text
What is Narrative Writing? Writing that tells a story is known as narrative writing. A narrative that tells a story based on imagined events is known as a fictional narrative. The characters, setting, and plot make up the elements of a story. Characters-the people involved in the plot of a narrative. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study 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
8.5.j. Use reading strategies to monitor comprehension throughout the reading process.
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

8.6. The student will read, comprehend, and analyze a variety of nonfiction texts.

8.6.b. Apply knowledge of text features and organizational patterns to analyze selections.
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
8.6.d. Make inferences and draw conclusions based on explicit and implied information using evidence from text as support.
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
8.6.e. Analyze the author’s qualifications, viewpoint, word choice, and impact.
Author's Purpose
The Author's Purpose is the reason that the author wrote the piece. If the author's purpose is to inform, he/she plans to teach the reader. If the author's purpose is to entertain, he/she plans to amuse the reader. If the author's purpose is to persuade, he/she plans to convince the reader to believe his/her point of view. If the author's purpose is to create a mood, he/she plans to use much description to stir emotions in the reader. Read more...iWorksheets :4Study Guides :1
8.6.f. Analyze details for relevance and accuracy.
Expository Text
Expository writing explains a topic(s) to the reader. This type of writing may also inform the reader, or compare and contrast different subjects. Example: "How To," or Process Directions: How to Climb a Rock Wall, How to Train for a Marathon. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study 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
8.6.h. Identify the main idea.
Expository Text
Expository writing explains a topic(s) to the reader. This type of writing may also inform the reader, or compare and contrast different subjects. Example: "How To," or Process Directions: How to Climb a Rock Wall, How to Train for a Marathon. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
8.6.i. Summarize the text identifying supporting details.
Expository Text
Expository writing explains a topic(s) to the reader. This type of writing may also inform the reader, or compare and contrast different subjects. Example: "How To," or Process Directions: How to Climb a Rock Wall, How to Train for a Marathon. Read more...iWorksheets :3Study Guides :1
8.6.k. Evaluate, organize, and synthesize information for use in written and other formats.
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
8.6.m. Use reading strategies to monitor comprehension throughout the reading process.
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

VA.W.8. Writing

8.8. The student will self- and peer-edit writing for capitalization, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, paragraphing, and Standard English.

8.8.a. Use and punctuate correctly varied sentence structures to include conjunctions and transition words.
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
8.8.g. Use correct spelling for frequently used words.
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
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

VA.Re.8. Research

8.9. The student will find, evaluate, select, and synthesize appropriate resources to produce a research product.

8.9.b. Collect and synthesize information from multiple sources.
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
8.9.c. Evaluate and analyze the validity and credibility of resources.
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
8.9.d. Analyze information gathered from diverse sources by identifying misconceptions, main and supporting ideas, conflicting information, point of view, or bias.
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
8.9.e. Cite primary and secondary sources using Modern Language Association (MLA) or American Psychological Association (APA) style.
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
Standards

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