MIDDLE SCHOOL ACADEMICS: HUMANITIES CASE STUDY

8th Grade Culminating Project

The Culminating Project is an opportunity for students to explore in depth a topic of personal interest while demonstrating the research, writing, organization, and presentation skills they have refined during their years at Villa.

Over the course of their 8th grade year, students spend over 200 hours studying and preparing their Culminating Project. In May, students present their projects to faculty members, parents, and fellow students with time for one-on-one questions and discussion.

Students investigate a single theme through the lens of:

  • Social Studies: the social context of the issue through the lens of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Science: individualized, directed scientific connections

The eighth grade English curriculum focuses on writing for a variety of purposes (aligned with the Common Core State Standards and the NCSS C3 Standards, and with strict adherence to MLA formatting and publishing guidelines) all surrounding various aspects of the students’ chosen Culminating Project Theme.

The research process and writing skills are directed, but there is flexibility in content within the scope of the chosen theme. Written assessments include a combination of expository essays, compare/contrast essays, nonfiction literature analyses, annotated bibliographies, spoken poetry, and persuasive formal letters.

  • MS 8th Grade Culminating Project
    2016 - 8th graders showing their support for their chosen UN Sustainable Development Goal for their Culminating Project this year
  • MS 8th Grade Culminating Project
    2015 - Final Presentation before peers and review team
  • MS 8th Grade Culminating Project
    2015 - Final presentation before peers and review team

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MS 8th Grade Culminating Project

Past Project Topics:

  • Syrian refugees
  • bio weapons
  • eating disorders
  • Autism