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Join Us for Middle School Information Night


Tuesday, December 11, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Grades 4 - 8

Grade 8

Our Grade 8 students are the leaders of our student body. Their academic work allows them to consider the world outside of our School and the broader perspective helps to shape them as learners and leaders. In this year, the girls solidify their academic, artistic, and athletic skills, and become more self-aware. 

Special projects in Grade 8 include the Nashoba Brooks School-Fenn School Spring Musicals, the Washington DC trip, Big Sisters-Little Sisters with Grade 4, Student Government.

In Grade 8 we focus on developing the following skills:
  • Critical reading
  • Critical thinking
  • Persuasive writing
  • Research papers
  • Managing long-term assignments
  • Discussion skills
  • Giving presentations
  • Decision-making
  • Learning by revision
  • Learning language and cultural awareness
  • Leadership skills
  • Planning for the future
  • Strategies for solving problems

Click on an item below to see a summary of Grade 8 work in that subject area. Please note: Each subject includes a guiding question or questions, some of the topics we address in that area, and an overview of some of the skills we work to build through this subject.


About Grade 8

List of 13 items.

  • A Sample Day In Grade 8

    Students can arrive as early as 7:30 AM and spend time with friends in the Dining Commons. There is no charge for early arrival. 

    The school day starts promptly at 8:25 AM. In Grade 8, the day begins with either Homeroom or Advisor meetings and a typical day may include:

    • Science
    • Latin
    • English
    • Snack & Recess - students bring their own snacks
    • Health
    • Visual Arts
    • Social Studies
    • Lunch & Recess - the School provides lunch
    • Mathematics
    • Drama
    • Physical Education
    Eighth graders are dismissed at 3:35 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and at 12:30 PM on Tuesdays.

    Students in Grades 6-8 also have the option of being part of our intramural athletic teams which have practice and games after the end of the school day.

    At the end of the day, we also offer fee-based External Programs and Supervised Study that allow students to stay as late as 5:45 PM.

  • Drama in Grade 8

    What can you learn from your work on the Nashoba Brooks-Fenn musical?

    Skills We Teach:
    Auditioning • Character development • Reading a script • Memorizing lines • Taking direction • Moving to the music • Singing in character • Handling the lights and sound equipment for those who prefer the role of “techie” • Developing self-confidence • Collaborating toward a common goal with each other and the Fenn School participants
  • Health & Wellness in Grade 8

    How can you use your position of leadership and seniority to positively impact your community? How is your experience the same or different from those around you; How does this help you to build empathy? What are some behaviors and conditions that put young teens at risk? How do we keep ourselves and our friends safe? How can we build empathy and understanding?

    Topics of Study:
    Interview preparation for secondary school placement • Power of positive • Leadership • Stress management • Healthy relationships • Multicultural awareness • Personal safety • Mental health • Substance abuse • Human sexuality
  • Language Arts in Grade 8

    What is identity? What is the importance of identity? How does society influence our identity and the choices we make? How does one voice inform our understanding of a historical event? How do literary devices drive a story?


    Topics of Study:
    Short stories and poetry • Close reading of novels (which may include Night, Lord of the Flies, A Raisin in the Sun, Of Mice and Men, Romeo and Juliet, The House on Mango Street) • Grammar, mechanics and usage • Vocabulary development and etymology • The Art of Styling Sentences • Composing an original short story • Literary analysis essays • Year-long research project

    Skills We Teach:
    Developing critical reading skills • Text Annotation • Participation in Harkness and Socratic discussions • Ethical Research Practices • Question Formulation Techniques • Creative writing • Analytical writing
  • Latin in Grade 8

    Why is Latin relevant today? How can we gain an understanding of the size of and diversity within the Roman Empire? How can we compare and contrast this with our own society and culture?

    Topics of Study:
    Conjugations of verbs • Present infinitive active • Imperatives • Present active participle • Pluperfect tense • Neuter nouns • Continued study of all six cases • 4th and 5th declensions • Adjective agreement • English vocabulary derived from Latin • Roman Britain • Roman Egypt • Science and mathematics in Roman times • Continued exploration of art and mythology of the ancient world

    Skills We Teach:
    Applying understanding of grammar to reading • Memorizing • Building English and Latin vocabulary • Translating longer sentences with multiple clauses • Gaining respect for those learning English as a second language • Comparing/contrasting diverse cultures and civilization contemporaneously and across the centuries
  • Mathematics in Grade 8

    Algebra I

    How do I use Algebraic tools to explore, model and solve real life problems?

    Topics of Study:
    Algebraic expressions • Functions • Rational numbers, • Cartesian coordinate graphs • Developing and solving linear functions and inequalities • Working with systems of equations and inequalities • Graphing and solving exponential and quadratic functions • Polynomials and factoring • Radicals and applying the quadratic formula • Data analysis 

    Skills We Teach:
    Simplifying expressions • Solving multi-step one-variable equations and inequalities • Graphing and analyzing linear, quadratic, absolute value, and exponential functions • Calculating and simplifying rational, exponential and radical expressions • Solving systems • Factoring polynomials • Using a variety of methods to solve quadratic functions • Solving word problems • Preparing for a cumulative exam
  • Music in Grade 8

    Our Grade 8 Voices

    Topics of Study:
    Composing a children's song using personal narration and expresion • Performing in the Nashoba Brooks-Fenn musical • Our voices through song: our final performances

    Skills We Teach:
    Auditioning in a mixed group • Working with both boys and girls in rehearsals • On-stage singing • Practicing effectively • Critical listening • Composing a simple children's song to accompany a childhood book
  • PE in Grade 8

    What skills and wisdom will enable me to stay strong and play on?

    In addition to team sports, Physical Education includes the following:

    Topics of Study:
    Flag football • Ultimate frisbee • Touch rugby • Yoga • Floor hockey • Tennis • Health/fitness • Self-defense • Team handball • Adapted sports awareness • Kayaking

    Skills We Teach:
    How to be strong leaders and team players • Applying rules and strategies to games • Self-defense maneuvers • Kayaking basics and water safety
  • Science in Grade 8

    Introduction to Physical Science

    How do we, as scientists, understand our universe? What tools and thought processes can we effectively investigate our world?  

    Topics of Study:
    Lab safety and equipment • Experimental design • Measurement • Properties of matter • Atoms and molecules • The classification of elements • Forces and motion • Energy

    Skills We Teach:
    Logic and reasoning • Asking scientific questions • Conducting and designing experiments • Analyzing numeric data • Taking detailed notes • Working in collaborative groups • Thinking critically
  • Social Studies in Grade 8

    Implementing Change in an Imperfect Democracy

    How did the Declaration of Independence and Constitution establish American identity? Who has been left out of the picture and how have they fought for inclusion and social justice?

    Topics of Study:
    Thinking Like A Historian • Foundation, functions, and forms of government • C-SPAN StudentCam Documentary Competition • Women’s rights and roles: Suffrage to today • Constitutional amendments • Significant US court cases and impact • Civil Rights Movement: school integration, sit-ins, freedom rides, legislation, protests, marches and legacy of social change • 20% Time • TEDx Talks

    Skills We Teach:
    Developing, implementing, and communicating new ideas to others • Acting on creative ideas to make tangible innovations • Defining, prioritizing, and completing tasks • Understanding the interconnections among systems • Identifying and asking significant questions that clarify various points of view and lead to better solutions • Articulating thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively through speaking and writing • Exercising flexibility and willingness to be helpful in making necessary compromises to accomplish goals • Assuming shared responsibility for collaborative work • Utilizing time efficiently and managing workload
  • Spanish in Grade 8

    How does the study of Spanish help me better understand and communicate with others locally and globally? How and why is shopping an important part of culture? What language structures and cultural norms exist in the Spanish speaking market? How is the natural world an important part of Hispanic culture?

    Topics of Study:
    Shopping for clothing and food • The Spanish speaking market • Travel • Daily Routines •Camping and nature

    Students will be able to:

    Identify and describe clothing in detail • Shop for clothing and food, and bargain for a price at the market • Use the numbers 1-1000 in order to pay for something • Compare and contrast shopping in the Spanish speaking world with their own experiences • Describe daily routines using reflexive verbs • Discuss travel and vacations • Talk about packing for a trip • Talk about climate, geography and nature in Latin America • Compare and contrast cultural customs of a variety of Spanish speaking countries • Narrate detailed stories using various verb tenses (present, present progressive, preterite, imperfect, future)
  • Technology in Grade 8

    How can we best use technology as a resource and tool to demonstrate what we have learned?

    Skills We Teach:
    Incorporating previously learned skills, including technology-related vocabulary, problem solving, personal device management, into daily technology use • Using Google Apps for Education, other software, and iPad apps across content areas to support learning • Using Google Classroom • Developing independence with music production software • Using web-based video communication independently • Incorporating extensive video and audio editing • Blogging • Increasing use of various coding languages across disciplines • Using digital resources for research with increased independence
  • Visual Arts in Grade 8

    How do I want the world to see me?

    Topics of Study:
    Observational drawing • Focus and point of view • Painting- favorite Children’s book cover painting• Altered books • Clay and assembled sculpture- ceramic rooms • Working as an artist: creating work that reflects personal concerns and interests- Identity Box assemblage

    Skills We Teach:
    Using the principles of design • Observational drawing • Multiple painting techniques, • Color and value • Building skills with a variety of media while creating both flat and 3-dimensional pieces of art
Our eighth graders approach the future with confidence and enthusiasm. They feel well prepared for their secondary schools and life beyond Nashoba Brooks.

Grade 8 Homeroom Teachers

List of 2 members.

  • Kate Carson 

    Middle School Math & Science Teacher
    Smith College - B.A.
    Tufts University - M.S.
  • Elaine Rabb 

    Grade 8 Homeroom / Grades 7-8 English
    Temple University - B.A.

View Our Curriculum By Subject Area


Nashoba Brooks School is a coed Lower School from Preschool to Grade 3 and an all-girls Middle School from Grades 4 to 8 located in Concord, Massachussetts.