8th Grade Writing Assignments and Activities

You can assign a variety of activities in your language arts classroom that teach 8th graders to think creatively and critically. Read on for some 8th grade writing activities.

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Writing Assignments for 8th Grade Classrooms

Your writing assignments need to prepare students for high school expectations and support the 8th grade curriculum. Here are some 8th grade writing assignments that you can use in your language arts classroom, including interdisciplinary activities that incorporate social studies.

What Writing Activities Can I Use?

Crafting Historical Fiction

This is a creative writing assignment that integrates social studies and language arts by asking students to write a fictional story based in history. After students have studied a historical time period, ask them to use the information in their textbook to write a piece of historical fiction. You can support this assignment by having students read historical fiction from the same time period in your language arts class. You may find several online sources that provide historical fiction recommendations for 8th grade.

Learning About History from Literature

You can help students learn how history and literature are often intertwined by assigning your 8th graders a nonfiction historical text. You might base their reading on what they're currently learning in social studies or choose a classic, like Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl or Booker T. Washington's Up from Slavery. Ask your students to research and chronologically order the historical events that inspired the text. They should use their reading as the primary source and incorporate secondary sources.

Imagining the Life of a Poet

If you teach a poetry unit, give your students a selection of poems from the same poet. Then ask them to write a biography of the poet based on the information that they have gleaned from the poems. For example, if they read a poem about an orange, they might deduce that the poet grew up near an orange tree. Then ask them to research the poet's actual biography and write a paper on him or her. Students can conclude their paper with a comparison and contrast paragraph that compares their fictional biography with the real biography.

Creating a Character Diary

When your students are reading novels or plays, you can assign a series of diary entries from the perspective of one of the characters. Ask them to think about the character's goals and motivations and include them in the diary entries. Remind your students that the entry dates should match up with the time period of the story and that the character would only write about events that intersect with his or her life in the novel or play.

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