4832 Highland Ave.

Downers Grove, IL 60515

7:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Monday to Friday

8th Grade Curriculum


Text – Christ Our Life Loyola Press and Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio, USA 2002

The History of the Church

Goal:  The students will be able to identify key people and events in the Church’s history.

The First Years

The students learn how the Holy Spirit guided the Christians of the first century as the Church took shape and spread the Good News. They study the contributions of Peter, Paul, and Stephen, and other early Christians. They are encouraged to be witnesses today.

Built on Rock

The students consider the Roman persecutions that threatened to eliminate the Church and the heresy that divided her. They find inspiration in the actions of the martyrs and defenders of the faith. They learn about the Church Fathers and monks, and they are challenged to increase their trust in God’s love for them.

A Light in Darkness

The students receive an overview of the Church in the Middle Ages. They see how the Church was a light for a dark world of fighting and feudal power. They learn about the missionary monks, the cathedrals and universities, and the mendicant orders. They are reminded that they are to be a light for the world.

Rebirth and Reform

The students study the problems of schism, plagues, the Renaissance, and the worldliness of some Church leaders that harmed the Church. They are introduced to the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Reformation. They meet the saints who saw the Church through this chaotic period.

In a Changing World

The students consider how the Church, having lost economic and political power, emerged as a spiritual leader. They see the effects of the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, and two wars on the world and on the Church. They learn of the roles of the popes and the saints in teaching Gospel values of justice, love, truth, and peace. They study some of the changes the Second Vatican Council made.

The Church in North America

The students become familiar with the beginnings of the Church in North America and some landmarks in the course of its history. They study some heroes and heroines of the Church in North America and are led to appreciate its persistence in the face of difficulties.

The Church Today and Tomorrow!

The students are introduced to the need for change in the Church, which is alive. They reflect on some of the characteristics, concerns, and practices of the Church today, and they are encouraged to look to the future with hope. They learn centering prayer.

Ever Ancient, Ever New

The students review the main concepts of this unit. They participate in a celebration of the Spirit’s guidance in the Church.

Social Studies

American Government

  • Federal Constitution
  • Illinois Constitution

American History

  • French and Indian War
  • American Revolution
  • War of 1812
  • Mexican American War
  • Civil War
  • Reconstruction
  • Immigration
  • Imperialism
  • Spanish-American War
  • World War I
  • Depression
  • World War II
  • Cold War
  • Civil Rights


  • States and capitals
  • Bodies of water throughout the world


  • Make inferences about historical events and eras using historical maps and other historical sources.
  • Identify the differences between historical fact and interpretation.
  • Understand how different groups competed for power within the colonies and how that competition led to the development of political institutions during the early national period.
  • Understand how and why the colonies fought for their independence and how the colonists’ ideas are reflected in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.
  • Understand ways in which the United States developed as a world political power.
  • Understand economic motivations that attracted Europeans and others to the Americas, 1500-1750.
  • Understand relationships among the American economy and slavery, immigration, industrialization, labor and urbanization, 1700-present.
  • Understand how economic developments and government policies after 1865 affected the country’s economic institutions including corporations, bands and organized labor.
  • Understand the impact of urbanization and suburbanization, 1850-present, on the environment.


Life Science

  • Human Biology and Health
  • Healthy Body Systems
  • Bones, Muscle and Skin
  • Digestion
  • Circulation
  • Respiration and Excretion
  • Nervous System
  • Endocrine System and Reproduction
  • Fighting Disease
  • Vertebrate Dissection:  The Frog

Physical Science

  • Introduction to Matter
  • Changes in Matter
  • Elements and the Periodic Table
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Atoms and Bonding
  • Acids, Bases, and Solutions

Science Practices, Technology & Society

  • Scientific Method, Measurement, and Process Skills
  • Science Fair Project
  • Interactions of Society, Technology and Morality
  • Technological Design

Student Evaluation and Assessment

  • Class Participation and Daily Work
  • Homework
  • Quizzes and Test
  • Individual and Cooperative Group projects
  • Research Projects

Language Arts

Eighth Grade Language Arts Block Schedule:

  • Curriculum Goals
  • Transition  Year into High School
  • Stress more Academic Independence
  • Integration of Classic Literature and Writing; work on analysis of Literature
  • Downriver, A Christmas Carol, The Diary of Anne Frank, To Kill a Mockingbird, Romeo & Juliet, Short Stories
  • Continue to refine writing skills; especially Five Paragraph Essay
  • Proficiency in Types of Essays
  • Weekly Vocabulary Unit/Test
  • Annotation
  • Integrating the Science Fair Project Research into Language Arts Class
  • Research
  • Note cards & Outline


  • Visiting High Schools
  • 8th Grade Service Project
  • Coat Drive
  • Parent Availability – before and after school; or during plan period
  • Email on board/call and leave a message
  • Student Availability – Before and after school
  • Parent Teacher Conferences – early November
  • Confirmation – 1st Parent/Student Meeting:  early January

Math Curriculum