Students graduate from KZV with a strong academic foundation and a love of learning. High schools across the Bay Area report that KZV’s graduates stand out not only for the strength of their academic preparation but also for their eagerness to learn for the sake of learning. This reflects KZV’s long-standing commitment to preserving the spirit of exploration while students master traditional skills and concepts.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
Eighth grade students will read several novels parallel to studying different literary elements and techniques (such as characterization, plot, theme, setting, figurative language, allusion etc.). The planned novels are William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, Irene Hunt’s Across Five Aprils (in coordination with their Civil War studies), Ester Forbes’ Johnny Tremain (in coordination with their American Revolution studies ), Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night ( in coordination with their Holocaust studies), Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon, and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (the books are subject to change). In addition to the novel units students will have an opportunity to experience a variety of genres, including, short story, poetry, drama, and non-fiction. At this level student s read widely for pleasure, for interest, and for learning. In addition students move from the literal to the abstract in the their critical thinking skills and in the use of language.
Through the development of writing territories (personal experiences/seeds for writing) the student begins to recognize and develop a sense of who they are as writers. While students will be given opportunity to pull from their personal territories they will also be given a focus for which they need to develop in their writing. Students will have the opportunity to write research reports, fictional or autobiographical narratives, essays, expository compositions, persuasive compositions, interpretation of literature, and summaries. By the end of eighth grade the student becomes an experienced writer. They can describe something well and tell a story successfully, develop a convincing argument, and compose a clear and cogent essay. They continue to refine techniques of revision, reworking the text to sharpen focus, to improve clarity and coherence, to strengthen supporting details or examples, and to correct writing errors. At this level students are increasing the level of writing and oral communication skills, developing fluency and maturity in writing style in a variety of genres, and expanding personal vocabulary.
Symbolic reasoning and calculations with symbols are central in algebra.
Through the study of algebra, a student develops an understanding of the symbolic language of mathematics and the sciences. In addition, algebraic skills and concepts are used in geometry, statistics, data analysis, probability, and a variety of problem-solving situations.
Eighth grade students explore America’s history, starting from the life of early settlers through the end of the era of Reconstruction. Students learn to think critically about concepts such as citizenship, American government, the effects of slavery on America, the rights of minority groups through America’s history, and American wars. Students connect the concepts to how they have shaped modern American life as they engage in the curriculum through diverse means. Students create skits, go on internet webquests, write essays and research papers, discuss current events, and produce oral presentations. Students also connect American history concepts with literature as they read Johnny Tremain and Across Five Aprils. Finally, during May of each year, the eighth grade students see American history and government come to life as they visit Washington, D.C.
ARMENIAN LANGUAGE ARTS
At Krouzian-Zekarian-Vasbouragan Armenian School, the Armenian Studies program is designed to teach, promote, and perpetuate the wealth of the Armenian language and culture. The Armenian Language Arts and Armenian History curriculum are developed by the Prelacy Board of Regents.
Students have the opportunity and privilege to read classical Armenian literature from western and eastern poets and authors. Through these works, they analyze different themes and current events. Vocabulary is taken from the passages read. Students learn about different genres of literature and are introduced to the biography of the authors in the context of the lesson.
Grammar is taught and revised through various styles of writing. Students write about different topics and their writing is published in the Bugle. Students use technology for their research projects and presentations. They read newspaper articles from various Armenian sources, such as Asbarez, and comment about the articles they have read.
Students attend and participate in various lectures organized by the Armenian department. They also take part in workshops given by visiting guests.
The Armenian history is focused mainly on the Cilician kingdom. Besides the history book provided by the Prelacy Board of Regents, students learn about Armenian holidays, current events, and special traditions. Students participate in Armenian assemblies and have the responsibility of emceeing and addressing the Hanteses and Armenian assemblies.
Students also participate in a standardized test that is given to all 8th graders in all Prelacy schools. It is called the Hayk test and it is taken in May/June. The results are shared among all Prelacy schools.
In eighth grade students study four concepts that unify physical sciences: force and energy; the laws of conservation; atoms, molecules, and the atomic theory; and kinetic theory. Eighth grade students study topics such as motion, forces and the structure of matter, by using quantitative, mathematically based approaches similar to that used in high school. Chemistry, the solar system, stars, galaxies and the universe are also studied with high school courses in anticipation. A good understanding of the basics of physical science will greatly enhance the ability of students to succeed in high school science classes; from biology to chemistry and physics. The ability to ask questions, form hypotheses and conduct scientific experiments is as important as factual knowledge for success in the study of science.