Eighth Grade Reading

A complete description of the middle school language arts Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills can be found at the Texas Education Agency web site. Some of the knowledge and skills emphasized in eighth grade, specific to reading, are described below.

Across genres, students will analyze literary works that share similar themes across cultures; compare and contrast the similarities and differences in mythologies from various cultures; analyze works written on the same topic and compare how the authors achieved similar or different purposes; and compare and contrast persuasive texts that reached different conclusions about the same issue and explain how the authors reached their conclusions through analyzing the evidence each presents.

With literary texts, students will work primarily with fiction to analyze linear plot developments to determine whether and how conflicts are resolved; and analyze how the central characters' qualities influence the theme of a fictional work and resolution of the central conflict. Students will also explain how the values and beliefs of particular characters are affected by the historical and cultural setting of the literary work; compare and contrast the relationship between the purpose and characteristics of different poetic forms; analyze how different playwrights characterize their protagonists and antagonists through the dialogue and staging of their plays; analyze different forms of point of view, including limited versus omniscient, subjective versus objective; analyze passages in well-known speeches for the author's use of literary devices and word and phrase choice to appeal to the audience; and explain the effect of similes and extended metaphors in literary text.

With informational texts, students will work primarily with expository text to  summarize the main ideas, supporting details, and relationships among ideas in text succinctly in ways that maintain meaning and logical order; make subtle inferences and draw complex conclusions about the ideas in text and their organizational patterns; and synthesize and make logical connections between ideas within a text and across two or three texts representing similar or different genres and support those findings with textual evidence. Students will also distinguish factual claims from commonplace assertions and opinions and evaluate inferences from their logic in text; analyze the use of such rhetorical and logical fallacies as loaded terms, caricatures, leading questions, false assumptions, and incorrect premises in persuasive texts; evaluate graphics for their clarity in communicating meaning or achieving a specific purpose; evaluate the role of media in focusing attention on events and informing opinion on issues; and evaluate various techniques used to create a point of view in media and the impact on audience.