Grade 8 Academic Program

Language Arts

Language Arts in Grade 8 at Lumen Verum Academy will include writing, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, fictional and nonfictional literature, and poetry. In all courses, students will participate in meaningful discussions, which includes listening to others respectfully as well as articulating their own ideas. In grammar, students will review punctuation based on sentence structure including semicolons and commas with phrases and clauses. Students will review and know other punctuation including punctuation of quotations and dialog, use of parentheses, hyphens, dashes, colons, italics, and apostrophes. Students will know kinds of parallelism and how to correct faulty parallelism. Students will learn varying sentence length and structure in order to avoid monotony. Students will also study various sentence openings. Students will continue to craft their skill in expository writing and research papers. Students will write in various ways to naturally order thoughts to the truth with an accurate expression of intent, knowledge, and feelings.

Students will give short speeches to their class. Focus will be on ensuring the speech is well-organized and well-supported. Students will also learn to use standard pronunciation in formal speaking. In vocabulary, students will continue to concentrate on learning Latin and Greek roots, which have formed many common words in the English language. Students will continue to explore the great works of poetry and literature. They will study fiction, nonfiction, and drama. Students will learn and know the poetry of Cummings, Sandburg, Thomas, Browning, Wordsworth, Frost, Shelley, Shakespeare, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Langston Hughes. Students will read short stories by Chekov, Hawthorne, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Crane. They will also read the novels Animal Farm by George Orwell and The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. They will also study and know the literary elements of poetry and literature. Students will also analyze and study literature that reflects the transmission of a Catholic culture and worldview.


This course will provide students with a thorough review of material they learned in 7th grade in preparation for a comprehensive study of Algebra and Geometry. Major algebraic topics that will be taught this year include: properties of real numbers, fractional powers, solving equations with absolute value, relations and functions, graphs of linear equations, slope intercept form and standard form of linear equations, factoring, arithmetic of rational expressions, and quadratic equations. Major geometric topics that will be taught this year include: similar triangles, midpoints, trigonometry, and proof writing. In addition to developing skills such as problem solving, attention to detail, perseverance, and verifying answers, students will be taught how careful inquiry and abstract reasoning are necessary skills in order to understand why mathematical principles are true, thus increasing their capacity to understand the implications of how a topic fits into the larger field of mathematics.

History and Geography

In Grade 8 History, students will study the decline of European colonialism and the post WWII world. They will study the fragmentation of the British Empire, the troubles of Ireland, and Indian nationalism and independence; they will also study the creation of the People’s Republic of China. Students will learn about the origins of the Cold War. They will hear of the Truman Doctrine and the containment of Communism. Students will learn of the Korean War and America in the Cold War. Students will study the Eisenhower and Kennedy presidencies. They will also study the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. Students will read about the politics of the Middle East and the impact the region has had on world affairs since the end of WWII. Grade 8 will also have a civics component in which students will study The Constitution of the United States. In particular, students will study the principles and structure of American government. This study of the U.S. Constitution will include, but not be limited to: James Madison, the Founders’ view of human nature, the separation of powers, the Bill of Rights, and the branches of government. Students will also embark on extensive study of the geography of the regions they study.

Most importantly, in all History classes at Lumen Verum, students will study history in the context of the Catholic understanding of God and man. Students will study great people of the past so that they can emulate their virtue and reject their vice. Students will learn about the Catholic Church’s role in history and properly understand history as a way of understanding what God does for humanity.


In Grade 8 Science, students will study physics, electricity and magnetism, electromagnetic radiation and light, sound waves, and chemistry of food and respiration. The study of physics will include: learning about motion, forces, density and buoyancy, energy, and power. The study of electricity and magnetism will include the basic terms of electricity, electricity as the basic charge of electrons, static electricity, flowing electricity, and the Earth’s magnetism. The study of sound waves will include learning about the general properties of waves, the travel of sound waves through different mediums, and the frequency of sound waves. The study of the chemistry of food and respiration will include the knowledge that energy for most life on Earth comes from the sun and that most living cells get their energy from chemical reactions. Students will also study energy in plants and energy in humans. They will learn about human respiration and health. Students will know about famous scientists Albert Einstein, Dorothy Hodgkin, James Maxwell, and Charles Steinmetz. They will also learn about key Catholic scientists such as Copernicus, Mendel, DaVinci, Bacon, Pasteur, Volta, and St. Albert the Great.

An important goal of the science curriculum is to inspire wonder and awe at God’s creation. Students will study the natural world as God’s creation and learn to revere it as such. Students will exhibit care and concern for all stages of human life. Students will study science as a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. They will come to appreciate the truths that the study of science can reveal and their proper relationship with faith.

Visual Arts

In Grade 8 Visual Arts students will study art since World War II. Students will examine and know artists and works including: Jackson Pollack, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein. Students will also study the impact that photography has had on art. They will study influential photographers such as Edward Steichen, Alfred Steiglitz, Dorothea Lange, and Ansel Adams. Students will study 20th Century sculpture. They will study influential works such as “The Thinker” by Rodin, “Bull’s Head” by Pablo Picasso, “Black Wall” by Louise Nevelson, and “Clothespin” by Claes Oldenburg. Students will also be exposed to truly beautiful art, art that will inspire them to contemplate the beauty of God’s creation. Students will come to appreciate art as a means of lifting their hearts and minds to God.


Students will study the elements of music. They will learn about the orchestra and the families of instruments. They will learn frequently used Italian terms and the vocal ranges. They will learn to recognize themes and variations as well as many different musical terms and notations.

In Grade 8, students will be exposed to music from a variety of lands. They will become familiar with the scales and instruments from around the world such as the sitar in India, the steel drums of the Caribbean, and the Japanese koto. Students will also study the Nationalists and Modern works of Jean Sibelius, Bela Bartok, Joaquin Rodrigo, and Aaron Copeland. Students will study modern music and be exposed to works of modern composers such as Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky. Students will study vocal music as well, which will include opera and American Theater musicals.


In Grade 8 Religion, students will study the History of the Catholic Church and Morality. Students will take a survey of Church history from Christ to the present. Students will learn about various periods in the Church’s history and be able to put them in their proper context. Students will not only learn about historical events, they will also learn about the great saints of every period and will learn about the universal call to holiness. In the study of morality, students will learn a true definition of morality. Students will learn about free will, properly forming one’s conscience, and the Ten Commandments. Students will study Jesus as the model for holiness and the Beatitudes. Students will learn the elements of a good moral decision and the process of making a good moral decision. Students will study temptation and the reality of sin. Students will also study mercy and justification. Students will learn that prayer, imitating the saints, and participating in the sacraments will lead to holiness and the living of a moral life. Students will study the civil government’s role in protecting human dignity and the common good. Students will know that love and marriage are part of God’s plan for man and woman. Students study the Theology of the Body and true expressions of love.