Middle School Concepts: Eighth Grade Reading

The transition to high school is easier for students who grasp the English skills taught in elementary and middle school. Read on to learn the reading skills necessary for success in high school.

Find available tutors

As children continue to mature through middle school, so do their academic lessons and skills. It is exciting to watch an eighth grade student expand their knowledge and comprehension of academic subjects, such as reading. Many parents are unsure as to what they should be looking for and how to determine if their child is struggling with an academic concept. Identifying deficiencies is difficult because struggling students often attempt to mask their academic troubles. Parents can refer to the following information to determine if their child is progressing adequately.

Figurative Language

The use of figurative language increases in the eighth grade, preparing students for high school English courses. Eighth graders should become proficient in hyperbole, idioms, metaphors, personification, similes and technical language. The ability to determine the meaning of these items within a text is important for students and helps parents and teachers monitor a middleschooler's reading comprehension. As the eighth grade progresses students should increase their knowledge and capabilities of these figures of speech.

Literary Analysis

The use and understanding of literary analysis is also expected to increase throughout the eighth grade. Students in grade eight will start to analyze the relevance of a text's setting in comparison to its mood and tone. These kids will look at the time, place and situation to determine how the setting can affect the overall feel of a story.

Eighth graders are also expected to draw conclusions and inferences about various components of a text based on the writer's word choice. These components include the overall style, mood and meaning of the piece. Literary analysis will also include poetry as students are expected to examine the characteristics and structure of various forms including ballad, elegy, epic, free verse, haiku, lyric and sonnet. An understanding of these elements will strengthen a child's success in high school English.

Persuasive Writing

The ability to analyze and create persuasive pieces is also reinforced in the eighth grade. At the end of the school year students should be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the facts and arguments used in a persuasive paper. Eighth graders can evaluate propaganda methods used within an article such as bandwagon, loaded words, peer pressure, repetition, and testimonials. Students should also be able to locate instances of bias in persuasive texts.

Helping Your Eighth Grader

Students often struggle with these reading skills but are too ashamed or stubborn to ask for help. If parents notice a change in a child's confidence, attitude, behavior or grades, or a teacher voices concern it is an indicator that the middle school student needs additional help with their reading. Parents can work with their child at home or look to the help of a professional tutor.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

  • More Blog Articles
    Can Reading Bridge Racial, Socioeconomic Gaps?

    Study after study shows the achievement gap in education between students of different cultures and economic backgrounds. Recently, two New Jersey schools successfully used literature to show students how 'the other half lives'. Can this experiment be a model for other schools to use books to bridge racial and socioeconomic...

  • More Blog Articles
    Too Much Emphasis on Reading and Math?

    According to a large number of surveyed educators who teach grades 3-12, U.S. public schools are spending too much time on reading and math and not enough on other subjects. Yes, math and reading are important. But what about science, foreign languages and social studies?

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning

  • What Huntington Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • One on one tutoring
  • Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online


  • What K12 offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
  • AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids

  • What Kaplan Kids offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Customized learning plans
  • Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only


  • What Kumon offers:
  • In-center tutoring
  • Individualized programs for your child
  • Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning

  • What Sylvan Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
  • Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor

  • What Tutor Doctor offers:
  • In-Home tutoring
  • One on one attention by the tutor
  • Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only


  • What TutorVista offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
  • Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only

Our Commitment to You

  • Free Help from Teachers

  • Free Learning Materials

  • Helping Disadvantaged Youth