Just think about reading a delightful book like Strangers in the Land by Louise A. Vernon for an entire month. You and your children don’t just read the book and walk away. No, instead there’s a thorough language arts curriculum using it as the foundation.
Sentences from the book are used for grammar study. Words chosen for vocabulary and spelling. Events used as a springboard for writing assignments.
And it’s all there laid out for you in the Daily Lesson Guide.
I received 2 units of Grade 8 Pathways Reading and Language Arts for free and was compensated for my time. All opinions are my honest opinions and I was not required to post a positive review. For more information, please read my disclosure.
Engaging Reading & Language Arts
Pathways Reading and Language Arts works through 9 units or books a year. Each unit has a different theme, book, and an order in which to teach it. I’ve listed the 8th grade units below:
- (Heroes) The Unlikeliest Hero
- (My world and Others) Days of Terror
- (Living Things) Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science
- (Spiritual Journey) Heartwarming Stories of Adventist Pioneers: You Will See Your Lord a-Coming
- (Friends and Family) Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold
- (Environment) The Case of the Monkeys That Fell From the Trees and Other Mysteries in Tropical Nature
- (Personal Feelings and Growth) Song of the Trail
- (Yesterday) Strangers in the Land
- (Social Issues and Culture) The Book of Luke
We chose to check out the units Phineas Gage and Strangers in the Land.
Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science is a fascinating book about the real life story of Phineas Gage. Phineas Gage amazingly survived a rod going through his skill. The book is a fascinating tale of Phineas Gage after his accident, the doctors who studied him, 19th century medicine, and an introduction into brain science.
Over the course of the month kids spelling and vocabulary words come from Phineas Gage. They learn spelling words such as embellishment, miraculous, and consciousness. There are recommended projects for kids to use modeling clay to create neurons, dissect a sheep’s brain, and write a 5-paragraph paper about the importance of each part of the brain.
You’re not expected to complete every suggested activity. Instead there’s a plethora so you can pick and choose the ones which fit your family best.
Strangers in the Land
Strangers in the Land is about a young 12 year old huguenot boy in 16th century France. It’s a heart-wrenching story of a family persecuted for their religion.
Again the assignments and projects use the story as the heart of the unit. You’re given assignments which include grammar, researching persecutions of Christians and other religious groups, and writing letters to characters in the novel.
I especially adored the daily oral language lessons. In the back of the Daily Lesson Guide you find a large group of blackline masters. Four of the masters are titled Daily Oral Language – Week 1, Daily Oral Language – Week 2, etc.
Each week gives 5 sentences from the unit’s book, one for each day of the week. For instance in Strangers in the Land the first sentence is:
at the port of la rochelle where a ship had just arrived the longshoremen stopped their unloading
As you can see there’s no punctuation or capitalization. Your kids have to correct the sentence, find the pronouns and antecedents. Each week changes the instructions. That’s 5 days of grammar practice!
In addition a Writer’s Handbook was included with the units. This is a thorough reference book which includes information about grammar, diagramming, the writing process, writing tools and more.
It’s an awesome resource in and of itself.
I love how Pathways Reading and Language Arts curriculum uses each unit’s book as the stepping stone for all the various language arts skills kids need. You’re not juggling several readers or various programs trying to cover all your bases.
Everything you need for a thorough language arts program is provided.
If you’re looking for a language arts curriculum centered upon engaging books, be sure to check out Pathways Reading and Language Arts Curriculum!
Kendell Hunt RPD
Kendall Hunt RPD strives to be more than just a publishing company. Instead they’re a group who works with you to meet the needs of your community. They offer the resources, guidance, and leadership needed to create programs which meet top academic standards while maintaining your core values and teachings.
Pathways Reading and Language Arts is a comprehensive elementary reading program which is based upon the belief that students should not only learn how to read, but also want to read, write, and learn. The components and activities included in the curriculum address 10 key principles.
The 10 Key Principles of Pathways Reading and Language Arts
- Reading Instruction that fosters inquiry and a deeper student involvement in learning
- Spiritual Growth that helps students make good choices in life as well as in reading content
- Reading motivation that helps students develop a lifelong passion for reading
- Writing and Expression that grows from reading and learning and helps create meaning for students
- Selective Topics that support and encourage writing practice for different purposes and audiences
- Reading Comprehension that grows from systematic instruction and learning strategies that students apply to literature and content subjects
- Phonics Skills that are developed through a sequential program of phonics that includes systematic, daily practice
- Spelling Instruction that is systematic, coordinated with phonics instruction, and addresses the specific developmental level of each student
- Assessment that not only provides teachers and parents with information and tools about student development, but helps students asses their own growth
- Classroom Management that includes whole-class, small group, and individual student activities