The focus in the grade 7 & 8 social studies
curriculum is to build the students' awareness of
the history of the United States and the Principals
that guide our government. Teachers create a variety
of academically integrated activities focused on
major events from Columbian times to modern history.
Grade 7 focuses on events up to and including the
Civil War and Grade 8 studies U.S. post-Civil War
history. Integrated activities include field trips,
role-playing, debate, literature readings, primary
source analysis, instruction on research techniques
and film or documentary study. Additionally, middle
school students at Saint Paul study a variety of
civics curriculum through the We the People program.
This civics programs involves intense instruction on
the role of elected leaders and provides real-world
opportunity for students to engage with our
government through Project Citizen and a mock
The Skills Program at Saint Paul's consists of two
distinct programs. The first is direct vocabulary
instruction and the second is creative writing. The
framework for the vocabulary instruction is the
Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop. The students
engage in a rigorous program that involves the study
of word choice, the Principals of grammar in
context, spelling, sentence fluency, and analogies.
The creative writing program focuses on the six
traits of good writing which include; organization,
voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions,
and presentation. To practice these skills, each
student endeavors to create a writing portfolio,
which includes: a how-to essay, a persuasive essay,
an autobiography, a research paper, and a
cause-effect essay. Each portfolio is assessed on
improvement shown over time and all students are
encouraged on their path to becoming published
Middle School Science Curriculum
The strengths of the middle school science
curriculum begin by challenging students to become
active participants and to take responsibility for
their learning. In addition to the teacherís
dedication to the subject, students are encouraged
to be actively involved. The text books used, which
are published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, are
the most up to date at this time, as are the
pedagogical methods utilized. By differentiating
instruction in order to meet individual student
needs, and embrace the varied levels of interest,
maturity and motivation, students are guided through
the middle school science curriculum. The text books
use a clear outline-style method to allow the
ability to find information easily, and are
accompanied with web sites associated with each
chapter to further enhance student understanding.
Students are given the opportunity to exhibit their
scientific knowledge through an annual science fair
as well as various projects and experiments in which
Beginning in the sixth grade with Life Science,
students learn the abilities necessary to do
scientific inquiry. From studying the structure and
function in living systems to the Earthís
Ecosystems, students build from this foundation as
they enter the next grade level.
In seventh grade science students carry on where
they left off, studying Environmental Science. They
begin with science and the environment, reinforcing
the scientific method and exploring the Earth and
In the eighth grade, students embark on Physical
Science, along with Earth and Space Science.
Beginning with the Earthís atmosphere and origins of
the universe, the students move onto machines and
energy. Based on and in compliance with, the
National Science Education Standards, the curriculum
is designed to provide students with the skills and
knowledge they need to successfully prepare them for
the transition from middle school, onto high school.
Middle School English Language Arts
- The Middle School language arts program consists
of 3 components, direct vocabulary instruction,
creative writing and the study of classic and modern
literature. The vocabulary instruction is conducted
using the highly acclaimed Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary
Workshop. This spiral curriculum gives students
multiple opportunities to study units of 20 new
words on a weekly basis. In addition to the
vocabulary exercises in the text, there is a website
that provides opportunity for learners to use and
play with words in many ways. Teachers also provide
numerous opportunities for word play activities
through fun and creative review activities, le
Jeopardy and Concentration.
The Creative Writing program focuses on seven traits
of good writing: Ideas, organization, voice,
word-choice, sentence fluency, conventions and
presentation. Each student is guided through each
step and is often given the opportunity to write on
subjects of personal interest. Exercises to foster
the traits of good writing include lessons on draft
revision, editing and proofreading. Students also
are required to write in different genres, including
persuasive essays, how-to articles, compare and
contrast articles and research papers. A writing
portfolio is kept and assessment is based on student
progress throughout the semester.
Middle school literature focuses on reading
comprehension along with response to literature.
Through the use of grade level and age appropriate
novels and short stories, students build on their
reading fluency and understanding, as well as their
listening and oral communication skills. Students
read from a variety of genres in addition to
choosing novels based on their own interests, to
analyze in written form and in oral presentations.
The Middle School Math curriculum is structured to
build upon skills developed in the elementary
grades, to guide students to independent learning,
and to prepare students for the challenge of higher
mathematics. This new program places a priority on
the key skills and concepts needed to develop
algebra proficiency. Eighth grade Math opens with a
review of material presented in seventh grade.
Multi-step Algebraic equations and inequalities are
introduced, discussed, and practiced. Usage of
positive and negative exponents in conjunction with
Scientific Notation is taught. Formulas are
introduced as methods to be used in problem solving.
The entire curriculum is designed to introduce
mathematical skills, to develop those skills, and to
maintain and apply them as appropriate.
Morality and Church History are the topics addressed
in the eighth grade Religion course. Moral choices
are discussed within the framework of learning and
understanding the Ten Commandments, The Great
Commandment, and the Beatitudes. The second part of
the course focuses on the history of the Church from
the time of the apostles to the present discussing
itsí growth, itsí challenges, and itsí reforms.
One 1-inch, 3-ring binder
Six 3-hole punched pocket folders (one for each
2 boxes Kleenex
6-12 blue or black pens only
Pocket dictionary and thesaurus (Great Option-
Collins Cobuild Studentís Dictionary)
2 Packages of loose leaf paper
2 packages of 3x5 index cards
Plastic storage container (12x7) for art
1 Roll of transparent tape
1 Package Crayons
Non-Toxic, erasable markers
One bottle of school glue or glue sticks
Scissors (rounded edges) Students should have all supplies with
them on opening day. Students will keep all handouts,
assignments and tests in a 3-ring binder for better
organization. Binders will be inspected periodically.
Students will also be provided with a planner at the start
of the school year. Additionally, all students are expected
to come to each class, throughout the year, prepared.
Please check with your student periodically to make sure
they have all necessary supplies.
Following please find a recommended list of books for your middle school student. Summer reading may not be at the top of your sonís or daughter's list, but it can be with your help. Although these are only a few suggestions there are hundreds of books for middle school students to choose from. Along with helpful hints to get your child started you can check the internet; a good start is education.com. Please note those books intended for middle school are level (M).
In addition to these suggestions for summer reading, students entering or returning to middle school will be required to read at least two books, on which they will be assessed upon their return to school. One of the books will be required for social studies and the second for literature. School begins on Wednesday August 31, 2016; the assessments will be given some time during this first week of school, and will be your childís first test grade for the year in both literature and social studies.
Eighth Grade Required Reading
1. The Giver, by Lois Lowry ( literature )
2. Lyddie by Katherine Patterson ( social studies )
Mr. Patterson received a Bachelor of Arts
degree in Sociology from Providence College.
After serving in the military, Mr. Patterson
worked for many years in vocational counseling.
Mike earned his Masterís degree in Education
Counseling. He possesses lifetime national
certification in athletic coaching and as an
instructor. Mr. Patterson joined Saint Paul in
2001. He teaches math and religion at the middle
school level. He also coaches the Saint Paul
School cross country track and basketball teams