Core Course and Elective Descriptions
Christian Studies 8, World Views: Light-bearers (Required, one semester)
The 8th grade Christian Studies course is designed to teach students the importance of understanding and living by a Christian worldview. The course answers questions such as: Where did I come from? What is my purpose? How do I determine right from wrong? What happens when I die? These questions are discussed and answered using the teaching of the Bible. Students also learn about alternative worldviews that permeate our culture and how to detect them in the media, on the web, and in music. Progress of Redemption Art Portfolio, art projects, and Bible memory verse are all utilized as part of the instructional process. Textbook: Bible (NLT), Summit Ministries, Light-bearers
English 8 (Required, full year)
Students are required to read various works during the summer before eighth grade. These novels are discussed and students are tested over these works at the beginning of the course. The study of grammar, mechanics, and vocabulary is continued with emphasis on application in students’ writing. Students concentrate on writing effective papers including a research paper, a compare and contrast paper as well as other shorter, more informal papers, letters and poems. Students read various genres of literature, Romeo and Juliet, and a comprehensive unit on the Holocaust culminating with the reading of the play, The Diary of Anne Frank. Textbook: The Language of Literature, McDougal Littell
Mathematics (Required, full year)
Eighth grade students take either PreAlgebra or Algebra I. PreAlgebra begins the formal study of Algebra. In this course students explore algebraic concepts including the real number system, variables, order of operations, exponents and roots, ratios, proportions, percent, probability, statistics and linear equations. Geometric concepts such as perimeter, area, and volume are also explored. Textbook: PreAlgebra, McDougal Littell
Algebra I begins the formal study of functions and includes many types such as: linear, absolute value, quadratic, rational, and square root. Functions are used to model real-world phenomena. In order to foster a conceptual understanding of functions, this course approaches the study of Algebra utilizing the “Rule of Four,” meaning that topics will be approached numerically, algebraically or symbolically, graphically, and verbally. Other topics of study include solving equations and inequalities: linear, quadratic, radical and rational. Systems of equations and inequalities, exponents and radicals, and polynomials are also included in the Algebra I course. Prerequisite: Pre-Algebra Textbook: Algebra I, McDougal Littell
Chemistry (Required, one semester)
This is a one-semester course which takes a STEM approach into learning the basics of chemical properties and reactions. Students will use a laboratory approach to analyze various chemistry phenomenon. Students will master skills of measuring, graphing, and analyzing data as well as developing an understanding of vocabulary and principles in chemistry. Textbook: Science & Technology: Physical Science, Holt
Physics (Required, one semester)
This is a one-semester course which takes a STEM approach to learning the basics of physics. Students will use a laboratory approach to understand phenomenon like acceleration, velocity, projectiles, circuitry, and various other topics. Students will master skills of measuring, problem solving, graphing, and analyzing data as well as developing an understanding of the vocabulary and principles in physics. Textbook: Science & Technology: Physical Science, Holt
American History (Required, full year)
The eighth grade social studies unit focuses on American History. The course stresses knowledge in every aspect of the development of America, paying particular attention to the foundation and changes in our government. Contributions of particular individuals are discussed as well as key documents and legislations. Textbook: The American Nation, Prentice Hall
Middle School Art (Elective, spring semester)
Students learn the elements and principles of design and apply basic techniques to create finished works. Emphasis is placed on self-expression and visual communication. A variety of mediums is explored.
Middle School Band (Elective, full year)
Performing in both the Marching Band and Concert Band, this enrichment course is for students who have experience with an instrument. Whether it’s marching in the half time show of varsity football games, or performing in two special concert programs during the school year on our campus, this group experience helps students prepare for any challenge.
Middle School Choir (Elective, full year)
This course is open for students who are interested in performing in a concert setting. The emphasis is on excelling in vocal technique and choral standards. Students are graded on participation and musical skills. This group also participates in choral festivals in the southeast taking trips to various destinations such as Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Orlando. Eighth grade students who participate in Middle School Choir are eligible to audition for the Middle School Honor Choirs sponsored by the Middle Tennessee Vocal Association.
Middle School Theatre (Elective, fall semester)
The theatre program for eighth grade is a one semester course, offered the first semester. It is designed to teach students the basic fundamentals of acting. Students learn these techniques through a variety of activities. These activities range from improvisational games to writing original works that are memorized and performed. Individuality and teamwork are emphasized throughout the course.
Physical Education and Athletics (Required, full year)
The Middle School Physical Education program is made up of two parts, PE and Athletics, and is designed to ensure that each student actively participates. Physical Education units include basketball, field hockey, tennis, soccer, and weight training. Athletic teams use this time for practice. Middle School fall sports are cheerleading, cross-country, football, soccer, and volleyball. Winter and spring sports include basketball, baseball, softball, tennis, and track.
Spanish 8 (Required, one semester)
DCA students are exposed to Spanish throughout their elementary years. In Spanish 8, they expand their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Students read, write and speak in Spanish, at a basic level, about a typical school day. They talk about schedules, classes, what they have to do, and how often they have to do different everyday activities. The students learn about gender in Spanish nouns and about using “–ar” verbs to talk about daily activities. Students compare and contrast their own culture with that of the Spanish-speaking world as they learn through different mediums such as food, music, art, videos, etc. Textbook: Avancemos 1a, Holt McDougal