• Mara-Lea Coston
    8th Language Arts 

    “All the world’s a stage.”  William Shakespeare

    Course Description:

    This course emphasizes critical reading of various literary selections and analysis through discussion, compositions, projects, and speeches.  Students will examine the links among culture, history, and literature. 


    Areas of Study:

    Literature: Short stories, novels, informational texts, poetry

    Writing:  Research paper, literary analyses, descriptive and persuasive essays

    Grammar:  Standard English conventions

    Speaking:       Oral reading and presentations, debates


    General Assignments:

         Vocabulary: Vocabulary words and quizzes will be assigned weekly.

         Literature: Reading assignments will vary by unit.

         Research Paper: Writing of a well-written paper of an appropriate length and content

         Miscellaneous:  Book Projects, discussions, speeches, etc.



    Students will be graded based on performance and effort for each assignment.  Most assignments will count once, while major projects or other assignments will count twice.  Bonus points will be awarded throughout the year for students.  These bonus points may be used before the grading period ends and will not carry over to the next grading period.


    Assignment Policy:

    Late work will be accepted with a grade penalty based on how late the assignment is.  Any work that is “nameless” will have a deduction of 20 points.  That means the highest grade the students can receive is an 80.  Students should be diligent with their work and turn in their work on time.  If absent, the student has three days per day missed, to turn their work in according to the WSFCS policy.  Students are responsible for obtaining any missing work if they are absent.

    Major Texts:

    Selections will vary throughout the year for each class but these are the texts that we plan to read.  Although NOT REQUIRED, students may purchase their own copy of the novels from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  ISBN numbers have been included below.

    Double Brace: You should know:
-  I never give up on my students.
-  I believe in my students.
-  I respect my students.


    -  “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes (Literature Book)

    The Giver by Lois Lowry (ISBN: 0-440-23768-8)

    -  Various short stories, informational texts and poems


    3rd/4th PERIODS:

    Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick (ISBN: 0-439-28606-9)

    Breaking Through by Francisco Jimenez


    -  Book club selections


    5rd/6th  PERIODS:

          -  A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks (ISBN: 0-446-60895-5)

          -  Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (ISBN: 0-152-06154-1)

    -  Book club selections

    Weekly Updates:

    I will do my best to contact parents collectively and individually through e-mail (or alternative ways) on a regular basis.  The updates will include what we have been studying in class, any upcoming important dates and/or major assignment details.  Please check correspondence regularly.


    Final Thoughts:

    Students and parents should understand that this class will follow the North Carolina Common Core Standards.  By doing this, we will explore interesting topics that will challenge students’ thinking.  We must be open to new ideas, thoughts and opinions throughout this course.  Through our classroom community, we should respect ourselves and each other.

    Please feel free to contact me at mcoston@wsfcs.k12.nc.us
    I am looking forward to a great year with my students!