Middle School

8th Grade

Eighth graders are on the cusp of high school, and they grapple with accordingly big subjects and challenges in preparation for that big step.

They begin the year with a four-day trip to the woods with teachers and classmates, building and strengthening relationships that last a lifetime, and which serve as a wellspring of support throughout the year.  Every day, they begin by refreshing these relationships in advisory, learning from (and leaning on) other students and trusted adults as they navigate the challenges of growing up.

Whether working with the nationally-syndicated program StoryCorps to beta-test a new app, or applying mathematical principles to real-world questions of physics and entrepreneurship, they are frequently reminded that their studies are not just academic exercises, but rather a growing empowerment to affect and improve the world around them.

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In social studies, they address complex questions like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran’s role in the Middle East, and the history of the Kurdish people.  In clubs and after-school activities, they extend their learning, exercise their artistic chops, and nurture their bodies with safe, fun athletics.

And after the school year is over, eighth graders have the chance to extend their learning through trips to places like Puerto Rico, Yellowstone National Park, and China.

Curriculum

English

Eighth grade English at Moses Brown is focused on the importance of stories.  In all forms and genres, story is the engine that provides drive to literature, and we help students take that engine apart and re-assemble it. The year begins with a six-week-long immersion in StoryCorps, the Peabody- and Emmy Award-winning radio show and...

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Math

Eighth graders at Moses Brown complete a full course of Algebra I in preparation for Geometry in upper school (regular, honors, or accelerated).  They work in small groups to discover their own strengths, how to learn from talented classmates, and how to put it all together to succeed as a team. Accelerated Conceptual Algebra accepts...

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History/Humanities

The eighth grade history course, which we call Global Thinking, gives students the chance to examine how the history of various regions of the world help us understand the events of the present. For example, students study European colonialism in Africa in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and go on to examine the...

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Science

At Moses Brown, we challenge eighth graders to dig into the forces that shape our world, and give them the tools to evaluate what they discover. Students begin with an exploration of Newtonian physics and the laws of motion, using their scientific and mathematical abilities to calculate speed, velocity, and acceleration.  They then learn what...

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STEM

In addition to reading, writing, and arithmetic, today’s eighth graders need to learn how to create digital environments, not just use them.  Coding introduces kids to the process of computational thinking, in which students break a problem down and express a solution in steps that a computer can understand.  After all, in the 21st century the...

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World Languages

Eighth grade Latin moves at a faster pace, preparing students for upper-school-level work.  With their understanding of pronouns, adjectives, adverbs and verbs, they begin to translate with more precision, focusing on the works of Roman authors, historians, and poets.  They learn more Latin expressions that have been absorbed into English (i.e. habeas corpus, sub poena,...

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Arts

Eighth graders at Moses Brown have an extensive menu of fine and performing arts opportunities available to them. Developmentally, middle schoolers are grappling with their own emerging sense of identity as they prepare for upper school.  The art room is a place where they can discover the tools and techniques of art-making, and how making...

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