Mrs. Sue Durk-8th Grade English Language Arts

Mrs. Sue Durk
8th Grade
English Language Arts

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“Read for escape, read for adventure, read for romance, but read the great writers...they touch your imagination and your deepest can lead you down paths you never dreamed you would travel.”

--Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis


All content covered in this course will adhere to the Illinois Learning Standards Based on the Common Core: Reading for Literature, Reading for Informational Text, Conventions of Writing, Knowledge of Language, and Speaking and Listening. 


Pearson Common Core Literature Grade 8 Textbook         

MMS Writing Guide                                                                                            

Required Materials- Everyday

Pencils                                                                                                   Navy blue or black ink pen-no gel pens!

English Binder/10 Pocket Folder                                                      Agenda

Paper                                                                                                     Chrome Book

Grading Policy:

Total points will determine final grades. The school’s grading scale can be found in the student handbook.

Course Outline:

Quarter 1

Crafting Sentences with Credibility

  • Fiction Literature -theme, plot, character traits, point of view, comparing characters
  • Close reading and annotation
  • Basic handbook (writing process/grammar)
  • MLA Guidelines/Plagiarism
  • Sentence Structure
  • Narrative Writing

Quarter 2

Reaching Someone with Words

  • Nonfiction Literature - persuasive techniques, comparing types of organization (text structure), author’s perspective, point of view, main idea and support
  • Poetry Analysis
  • Figurative Language
  • Active/Passive Voice in Writing
  • Informative and Compare/Contrast Writing

Quarter 3

Expressing Your Belief

  • Nonfiction speeches and writings as they apply to The Glory Field by Walter Dean Myers
  • Art of Argument: Making Claims, providing evidence
  • Argumentative Writing
  • Writing with Parallel Structure

Quarter 4

Acknowledging Similarities and Differences

  • The Diary of Anne Frank
  • Comparison/Contrast of historical experience
  • Finding and Evaluating Credibility of Sources
  • Holocaust research-making claims with supporting evidence
  • Historical Narrative Essay

Absent Policy:

Mascoutah Middle School’s absent policy reads as follows in the student agenda: “Students who are absent will be required to make up work in each class. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain all make-up work from his/her teachers immediately upon return to class. Work is due on the date designated by the teacher.” It is the student’s responsibility to check the school website to find out what they missed and then ask for materials if needed.  Simply asking the teacher, “What did I miss yesterday?” or saying “I wasn’t here yesterday” is not acceptable.

Late Work Policy:

All work is due by the assigned date and time. If a student attempts to turn in an assignment after the teacher has collected that work from the class, the assignment is considered late.

Daily assignments will be collected by the teacher will be accepted one day late for 50% of the grade earned.  No late credit, however, will be awarded for daily assignments that the teacher checks for a completion/effort grade or assignments that the students and teacher review together during class.


The English Department deems plagiarism illegal and unethical.  Any amount of plagiarism will result in failure of the project or paper and discipline procedures as indicated in the Student Agenda.  Some examples of plagiarism and academic dishonesty include the following:

  • Inserting another person’s language (words, phrases, sentences) into one’s work without   using quotation marks and without citing the original source.
  • Using another person’s ideas or research in one’s work without citing the original source.  Even summaries and paraphrases in a student’s own words must be properly cited.
  • Inserting another person’s graphic image into a formal paper without citing the original source.
  • Turning in part or all of a work that was completed for a previous class or teacher without the consent of the current teacher.
  • Padding a works cited or reference page by including unused sources or falsifying sources.


Note: Students often ask friends, family members, and tutors to help them with assignments.  When students begin using the words and ideas of these friendly helpers without acknowledging them as sources, plagiarism has occurred.




Contact Information

Mrs. Sue Durk

School Email:

School Phone:  (618) 566-2305