Saint Joseph Digital Express

* embracing digital learning in the town that set the pony express in motion *

8th grade text resources


8th grade text resources

At our last Comm Arts PD a lot of people seemed excited about having a place to share great texts that could be use in class. Well... let's do it here!

Members: 9
Latest Activity: Aug 11, 2011

Discussion Forum

Classroom Library Picture Book Anchor Texts...

Twilight Comes Twice by Ralph Fletcher... Good for Imagery and AlliterationFortunately by Remy Charlip...Good for introducing Parallel Structure  Continue

Started by Jessica Piper May 6, 2011.

Teaching Idioms through A Chocolate Moose for Dinner

Here is a post on using the picture book, A Chocolate Moose for Dinner, as an anchor for teaching idioms: …Continue

Started by Jessica Piper May 6, 2011.

Sandra Cisnero's

Great anchor text for figurative language:  Continue

Started by Jessica Piper May 6, 2011.

"Bargain" by A.B. Guthrie

"Bargain" is a rich short story that can be used to teach conflict and point of view. …Continue

Started by Melody Townsend May 6, 2011.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of 8th grade text resources to add comments!

Comment by Laura Coughlin on August 11, 2011 at 2:16pm

From Chapter 2 of “The Sky is Everywhere” Jandy Nelson


Figurative Language


“Have you seen him yet?”

I have seen him, because when I return to my band seat, the one I’ve occupied for the last year, he’s in it. Even in the stun of grief [from the death of my sister] my eyes roam from the black boots, up the miles of legs covered in denim, over the endless torso, and finally settle on a face so animated I wonder if I’ve interrupted a conversation between him and my music stand.

“Hi,” he says, and jumps up. He’s treetop tall. “You must be Lennon.” He points to my name on the chair. “I heard about—I’m sorry.” I notice the way he holds him clarinet, not precious with it, tight fist around the neck, like a sword.

“Thank you,” I say, and every available inch of his face busts into a smile – whoa.  Has he blown into our school on a gust of wind from another world? The guy looks unabashedly jack-o’-lantern happy, which couldn’t be more foreign to the sullen demeanor most of us strove to perfect. He has scores of messy brown curls that flop every which way and eyelashes so spider-leg long and thick that when he blinks he looks like he’s batting his bright green eyes right at you. His face is more open than an open book, like a wall of graffiti really.  I realize I’m writing wow on my thigh with my finger, and decide I better open my mouth and snap us out of this impromptu staring contest.

Comment by Rhonda Slawson on May 16, 2011 at 1:03pm

It's funny how some passage will stick with you and you think, "Sometime I will use that...."  Here's mine.  I love this description of the young Edgar (who is mute) and his dog Almondine as they descend the upstairs, without detection, in their farm house.



@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }

“Edgar and Almondine stood atop the bedroom stairs, boy and dog surveying twelve descending treads, their surfaces crested by smooth-sanded knots and shot with cracks wide enough to stand a nickel in and varnished so thickly by Schultz that all but the well_worn centers shone with a maroon gloss.  Treacherous for people in stockinged feet and unnerving to the four-legged.  What most impressed Edgar was not their appearance but their gift for vocalization—everything from groans to nail-squeals and many novelties besides, depending on the day of the week or the humidity or what book you happened to be carrying.  The challenge that morning was to descend in silence—not just Edgar, but Edgar and Almondine together.

     He knew the pattern of quiet spots by heart.  Far right on the twelfth and eleventh step, tenth and ninth safe anywhere, the eighth, good on the left, the sixth and fifth, quiet in the middle, a tricky switch from the far right of the fourth to left-of-middle on the third, and so on.  But the seventh step had never let them by without a grunt or a rifle-shot crack.  He’d lost interest in the riddle of it for a long time, but the sight of the barn’s demented roofing planks had reminded him that wood in all shapes could be mysterious and he’d resolved to try again.

     He negotiated the first four steps and turned.  Here, he signed, pointing to a place on the tread for Almondine.  Here.  Here.  Each time she placed a broad padded foot where his fingers touched the tread, and silence ensued.  The he stood on the eighth step, the brink, with Almondine nosing his back and waiting.

     He swung his foot over the seventh tread like a dowser looking for water.  Toward the right side, he knew, the thing creaked.  In the middle, it let out a sound like a rust-seized door hinge.  His foot hovered and drifted over the wood.  Finally, it came to a stop above an owl-eyed swirl of grain near the wall on the left.  He carefully settled his weight onto the tread.


     He stepped quickly down to the sixth and fifth and turned back and picked up Almondine’s foot and stroked it.

     He tapped the owl-eye.  Here.  She stepped down.

     Yes, good girl.

     In time they stood at the base of the stairs together, having arrived without a sound.  A quiet moment of exaltation passed between them and headed for the kitchen.  He didn’t intend to tell anyone he’d found the way down.  They were a small family living in a small farmhouse, with no neighbors and hardly any time or space to themselves.  If he managed to share one secret with his father and a different one with his mother and yet another with Almondine the world felt that much larger.


From:  The Story of Edgar Sawtell by David Wroblewski  page 54-55.

Comment by Rhonda Slawson on May 6, 2011 at 11:02pm 


These are great old classic short stories.  :)

Comment by Jessica Piper on January 24, 2011 at 6:40am anyone interested, I have lessons on summary, slang, idiom, poetry, and a few writing ideas on my blog. I just want to keep 8th grade resources up-to-date;)
Comment by Jessica Piper on December 16, 2010 at 9:42am

Here is our list of lesson plans that the kiddos made from our 3rd quarter objectives...great job, Tasha and friends=)



Comment by Laura Hoefling on November 8, 2010 at 3:47pm
That would be great! Thanks Laura!
Comment by Laura Coughlin on November 7, 2010 at 2:32pm
I have another great piece from Chains that I used for sensory details. I need to post it, as well as the one I used from Gone, but I left them at school. I'll try to post them tomorrow.
Comment by Laura Hoefling on November 7, 2010 at 1:55pm
Jessica I really like the punctuation Mini-Lesson piece you posted but I am wondering how it went over with the kids. How did it go for you?
Comment by Laura Hoefling on November 7, 2010 at 1:47pm
Love this Chains piece Laura! I'm going to use it this week.
Comment by Laura Hoefling on November 7, 2010 at 1:44pm
Thank you Jessica for these great You Tube Videos!! I am just starting figurative language now. I would love your first lesson. If you don't mind emailing it to me.

Members (9)



  • Add Photos
  • View All

Our Visitors:

Locations of visitors to this page



Sean Nash created this Ning Network.



© 2014   Created by Sean Nash.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service