Reading Lesson Plans for 8th Grade Parents and Teachers

In 8th grade, students look at literature from an analytical perspective, but that doesn't mean that the lessons have to be boring. The following lesson plan ideas integrate fun activities into textual analysis. These lessons can be used either in the classroom or at home.

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8th Grade Reading Lesson Plans

Dialogue

The dialogue between two characters can often reveal character motivation and aspects about a character's personality that weren't known before. This lesson focuses on the impact dialogue can have on the storyline.

In a classroom, have students get into groups of two, and pick out the most interesting piece of dialogue from the book or a chapter. The students will act out the scene in front of the class and explain what this exchange reveals about the characters and what role it plays in the story as a whole. At home, you can act out the scene with your child or have him read it aloud using different voices.

Point of View

In this lesson - which is appropriate for Halloween - students analyze how an author creates suspense in a story through point of view. For instance, in Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart, the narrator hears the beating of the heart beneath the floorboards, but no one else does. So, the tension is derived through the contrast between the narrator's paranoia and the police officers' ignorance.

Then, have 8th graders create their own horror story using point of view. In their version, they should mirror Poe's style by withholding knowledge from one of the characters. Then, students can read their story aloud and receive feedback from the audience whether it was suspenseful or not.

Adaptations

After reading a novel, watch the movie adaptation and have your students or child analyze the similarities and differences between the two versions. Look specifically at setting and the way actors choose to portray a character. Ask questions like:

Were any major plot points removed from the movie?
What effect does the change have on the overall story structure?
What would you have done differently if you were the director?

Have your students or child act as the director and come up their own cast list and soundtrack. Be sure they provide character descriptions from the book to support why their actor would be a better choice. Additionally, the soundtrack should be thematically relevant.

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