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English Language Arts Standards » Kindergarten-Grade 12 » Language » Grade 8

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The following standards for grades 6–12 offer a focus for instruction each year to help ensure that students gain adequate mastery of a range of skills and applications. Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered in preceding grades. Beginning in grade 3, skills and understandings that are particularly likely to require continued attention in higher grades as they are applied to increasingly sophisticated writing and speaking are marked with an asterisk (*).

Standards in this domain:

Conventions of Standard English

L.8.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • Explain the function of verbals (gerunds, participles, infinitives) in general and their function in particular sentences.
  • Form and use verbs in the active and passive voice.
  • Form and use verbs in the indicative, imperative, interrogative, conditional, and subjunctive mood.
  • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood.*

L.8.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • Use punctuation (comma, ellipsis, dash) to indicate a pause or break.
  • Use an ellipsis to indicate an omission.
  • Spell correctly.

Knowledge of Language

L.8.3. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

  • Use verbs in the active and passive voice and in the conditional and subjunctive mood to achieve particular effects (e.g., emphasizing the actor or the action; expressing uncertainty or describing a state contrary to fact).

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

L.8.4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words or phrases based on grade 8 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

  • Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
  • Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., precede, recede, secede).
  • Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.
  • Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).

L.8.5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

  • Interpret figures of speech (e.g. verbal irony, puns) in context.
  • Use the relationship between particular words to better understand each of the words.
  • Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., bullheaded, willful, firm, persistent, resolute).

L.8.6. Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 21, 2014 at 12:20am.