Grade 8

The eighth grade curriculum brings the students into the modern world and aims to help them understand the present day.

Grade 8 is the culmination of Brooklyn Waldorf Middle School and it begins on the first day of school with a Rose Ceremony to greet the incoming Grade 1 children.  Students continue to extend themselves as Brooklyn Waldorf ambassadors throughout the year as they complete the high school admissions process and engage in their most challenging studies.  The school community celebrates their hard work in a grand-finale graduation ceremony and reception. The students take their final bow at Brooklyn Waldorf in a moving and symbolic Rose Ceremony on the last day of school.

Each day begins with the in-depth main lesson.  Read how main lesson promotes learning.


History begins with the Reformation and then focuses on the revolutionary period, including the French, Russian, American and Industrial revolutions. The rejection of the old and creation of the new social orders echoes the eight graders’ own need for independence as their individuality develops. The students study American history from the revolution through the twentieth century. They become familiar with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the biographies of leaders who helped to shape our nation.

Language Arts

Writing lessons emphasize research reports, including writing outlines, note-taking, paraphrasing, summarizing, and citations. Grammar lessons include subordinate, dependent, and independent clauses, passive and active verbs, and direct and indirect objects. Spelling and vocabulary continue. Eighth graders usually perform a play by Shakespeare.


Eighth graders explore the physical and cultural geography of Asia and Africa. Map- making skills become more sophisticated. The students also study global atmosphere and the effects of wind, ocean currents, geological features, climate, and weather systems on our planet.

Physics lessons complement these historical and geographical surveys. In addition to further studies in acoustics, thermodynamics, mechanics, climate, electricity, and magnetism, the students are now introduced to hydraulics, aerodynamics, and meteorology.

Anatomy continues, now examining the muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems. Organic chemistry focuses on the nature and function of carbohydrates, proteins, oils, fats, and cellulose. Nutrition is addressed, including metabolism and the effects of organic compounds on the body.


In math, the students review previous work in algebra and learn to solve linear equations, manipulate polynomials, factor monomials and binomials, and perform operations with negative numbers. Students also learn to graph linear equations, to solve quadratic equations, and to work with rational and irrational numbers.

Students are introduced to geometry in three dimensions. They learn about the platonic solids and construct them in paper and clay.

Specialty Subjects

Following main lesson, students engage in 40 minute specialty subject classes, interspersed by short breaks and lunch.

Read about the specialty subjects…..

High School Process

Eighth grade students continue to prepare for and begin to apply to high schools.  Seventh and eighth grade families work closely with the high school placement adviser to find high schools that are the best fits for the student and family.  See where BWS graduates are accepted to high school.