What’s Taught In The Eighth Grade?

Written by Dan

Last updated

Do you remember what it was like to be an 8th grader? Whether you’re a parent of a current 8th grader or your own experience is decades away, this exciting time of life can bring back fond memories.

From the changing social dynamics and more complex classes to finally feeling “old enough”, eighth grade provides students with incredible experiences that help propel them into high school.

If you’re curious about what is taught in 8th grade, read on! We’ll outline the core academic curriculum and some fun extracurricular activities offered at many schools.

Related: For more, check out our article on How To Improve Writing In Eighth Grade  here.

What Do They Teach In Eighth Grade Math?

In eighth grade math, students are generally introduced to more complex mathematical concepts than in previous years. Here are some of the key topics that are typically covered:

  1. Algebra: Students build upon their knowledge of algebraic expressions, equations, and inequalities and learn how to solve more complex problems involving multiple variables.
  2. Geometry: Students learn about the properties and relationships of shapes and figures, including angles, lines, circles, polygons, and three-dimensional objects.
  3. Functions: Students study how to plot and graph various positions, including linear, quadratic, and exponential functions.
  4. Statistics and Probability: Students learn to analyze and interpret data, including measures of central tendency, spread, and correlation. They also study basic concepts of probability, including the probability of events and the use of simulations to model real-world situations.
  5. Mathematical Reasoning: Students develop critical thinking skills, including problem-solving, logic, and analysis. They also learn how to communicate their mathematical ideas and reasoning effectively.

Eighth grade math aims to equip students with the essential skills and knowledge to excel in higher-level math courses in high school and beyond.

Mastery of these fundamental concepts will prepare students to succeed in college and various professions that demand a firm grounding in mathematics.

What Do They Teach In Eighth Grade English Language Arts?

Eighth grade ELA focuses on developing reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills to improve communication and expand language, literature, and media knowledge. The course covers topics such as language structure, literature, and media in depth.

  1. Reading and Literature: Students read and analyze various types of literature, including fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry. They learn to analyze the author’s purpose, message, tone, and style. They also examine literary elements such as character development, plot structure, and theme.
  2. Writing: Students develop advanced writing skills in multiple genres, such as narrative, expository, and argumentative. They learn how to write with a clear purpose, to use evidence to support their claims, and to organize their ideas effectively.
  3. Grammar and Language: Students learn to use standard English grammar and conventions effectively. They study sentence structure, verb tenses, punctuation, and capitalization.
  4. Speaking and Listening: Students learn how to make effective presentations and how to participate in group discussions actively. They effectively develop their listening skills by analyzing content, tone, and context.
  5. Media Literacy: Students learn to evaluate and analyze media messages critically. They study the impact of media on society and learn how to analyze and produce various types of media, such as videos, speeches, podcasts, and social media posts.

Eighth-grade ELA develops essential communication skills vital for success in high school, career, and daily life.

What Do They Teach In Eighth Grade Science?

Eighth grade science covers more advanced scientific concepts than previous years and involves studying fundamental principles of various scientific branches such as biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics. Some of the topics typically covered include:

  1. Physical Science: Students learn about the properties of matter, including mass, volume, and density, as well as the principles of motion and energy. They also study electricity, magnetism, and waves.
  2. Earth Science: Students learn about the Earth’s dynamic systems, including geology, meteorology, and astronomy. They explore the Earth’s landforms, weather patterns, and space.
  3. Life Science: Students build upon their previous knowledge of biology, including the structure and function of cells, genetics, and evolution. They also study the relationships between organisms and their environments.
  4. Scientific Inquiry: Students develop their science process skills, including observation, data collection and analysis, and drawing conclusions based on evidence.
  5. Science, Technology, Society, and the Environment: Students examine the relationships between science, technology, society, and the environment. They explore the impact of science on society and the environment and learn how scientific discoveries and innovations can be used to solve real-world problems.

The purpose of eighth-grade science is to teach students more advanced scientific concepts and help them get ready for higher-level science courses in high school and beyond. By understanding these important topics, students will be ready to work in STEM fields or have a strong knowledge of science as responsible members of society.

What Do They Teach In Eighth Grade Social Studies?

Eighth grade social studies covers various topics related to history, geography, economics, and government, to help students understand the world better and prepare them for high school. Some important topics that students usually study as part of the course include:

  1. United States History: Students study a broad overview of US history, including the colonial period, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. Students also learn about the contributions of various groups to American history, such as African Americans, women, and immigrants.
  2. World History: Students study world history, including ancient civilizations, medieval times, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment. They also learn about the global impact of significant events such as the World Wars and the Cold War.
  3. Geography: Students learn about physical geography, including landforms, weather patterns, and natural resources. They also study cultural geography, including worldwide languages, religions, and traditions.
  4. Economics: Students learn about economic systems, including capitalism, socialism, and communism. They also study concepts such as supply and demand, inflation, and the role of government in the economy.
  5. Government and Civics: Students learn about the structure and functions of US government at the federal, state, and local levels. They also study the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and other essential documents that guide the American government.

The purpose of eighth-grade social studies is to give students a comprehensive understanding of history, geography, economics, and government.

This helps students value diversity and realize how everything is linked. Besides, students develop essential skills like critical thinking, social responsibility, and how to be good citizens.

What Do They Teach In Eighth Grade Physical Education?

The eighth-grade physical education course aims to assist students in achieving and sustaining a healthy and physically active lifestyle. It intends to enhance their physical fitness, motor skills, and comprehension of fitness principles.

The following are some of the essential subjects commonly addressed:

  1. Physical Fitness: Students learn about the components of physical fitness, including cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility. They participate in activities that improve their fitness levels, such as running, jumping, and strength training.
  2. Team Sports: Students learn about sportsmanship and teamwork while participating in games such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, and flag football. They also learn the rules and strategies of each sport.
  3. Individual Sports and Activities: Students participate in individual sports and activities such as yoga, dance, and fitness challenges. They learn how to set personal fitness goals and track their progress.
  4. Health Education: Students learn about health-related topics such as nutrition, stress management, and disease prevention. They know how to make healthy lifestyle choices and how to maintain physical and mental wellness.
  5. Safety and First Aid: Students learn about injury prevention and basic first aid. They also learn how to recognize and respond to emergencies.

Participating in eighth-grade physical education can help students acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitude needed to embrace a healthy and active lifestyle.

They will learn about various health-related subjects and engage in activities, ensuring they build long-lasting habits promoting physical and mental well-being.

What Do They Teach In Eighth Grade About Well-Being?

In eighth grade, students are introduced to topics related to well-being and wellness. They learn the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, building positive relationships, and managing stress and emotions.

Here are some of the key topics that are typically covered:

  1. Personal Wellness: Students learn about the components of personal wellness, including physical, mental, emotional, and social health. They learn how to identify individual strengths and weaknesses and how to set and achieve wellness goals.
  2. Healthy Habits: Students learn about the importance of healthy habits, including proper nutrition, physical activity, and rest. They know how to make healthy choices and integrate healthy habits into their daily lives.
  3. Stress Management: Students learn about the causes and effects of stress and how to manage stress effectively. They learn techniques for relaxation, such as deep breathing and visualization, and how to develop a positive attitude.
  4. Relationships: Students learn about building positive relationships with family, friends, and peers. They learn about communication skills, conflict resolution, and establishing healthy boundaries.
  5. Career and Life Planning: Students learn about the connection between education and career success and how to develop skills related to goal-setting and decision-making. They explore various careers and learn about the education and training required to pursue those careers.

Eighth-grade students benefit from well-being education as it teaches them valuable skills and knowledge for a healthy and rewarding life.

Topics covered include wellness, stress management, relationships, and career planning, which help students with daily challenges and achieving their goals. A well-rounded education makes students better equipped to live a happy and balanced life.

Eighth grade is a critical year for students and their families to consider, as it often sets the groundwork for high school and college.

Learning necessary thinking skills, developing skills in algebra, studying language arts and literature, learning about the geography and history of different parts of the world, honing computer science ability, strengthening Spanish fluency, and more are all part of eighth grade.

However, individual experiences vary from school to school. As always, it’s essential to stay in touch with what your student is learning each year so that they can succeed.

To explore this question further, investigate resources such as Khan Academy or your local library or course-management provider.

But if you want to learn more about educational topics like this, visit our other articles! We have hundreds of posts covering various educational topics to help you find what you want. Get a better perspective on education today by visiting us online!


Q: What subjects are typically taught in eighth grade?

A: The main subjects taught in eighth grade are English Language Arts (ELA), math, science, social studies, and physical education.

Q: What are the key topics covered in eighth-grade ELA?

A: Key topics in eighth-grade ELA include reading and analyzing literature, writing in various genres, grammar and language, speaking and listening skills, and media literacy.

Q: What concepts are covered in eighth-grade math?

A: Key concepts in eighth-grade math include algebra, geometry, functions, statistics, probability, and mathematical reasoning.

Q: What topics are typically covered in eighth-grade science?

A: Key topics in eighth-grade science include physical science, earth science, life science, scientific inquiry, and the relationships between science, technology, society, and the environment.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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