A national benchmark in
Educational excellence through integration of the arts

Eighth Grade

The eighth-grade curriculum integrates the arts and sciences with each student’s place in the natural world and encourages each student to form a vision for their future. To help students develop realistic educational goals and a detailed plan for their high school education, a variety of instructional practices are used in a multidisciplinary context in an effort to show the interconnections of life. At the culmination of the year, eighth-grade students participate in service activities to finance a week-long field trip to the Outer Banks which highlights curricular studies and serves to create a deeper sense of connection through a truly unforgettable experience.

In science, 8th-grade students explore the NC state standards through arts-integrated lessons involving matter; properties and change, energy conservation and transfer, Earth systems structures and processes, Earth history, structures and functions of living organisms, ecosystems, evolution and genetics, and molecular biology. Students enjoy creating models of energy cities, sewing stuffed microbes, studying Alexander Calder to create a balanced chemical equation mobile, and daily lessons involving all of the arts. Students work both collaboratively and individually to work through difficult concepts in creative ways.

Eighth graders have the benefit of two different math classes – the on-track 8th-grade curriculum and the high school Math I curriculum.  Both classes will learn content in functions, geometry, statistics, the number system, and more. However, students learning the Math I curriculum will learn the 8th-grade curriculum alongside the high school course.  It’s a fast-paced class full of connection-making and higher-level problem-solving, that often leads to starting high school with one course already successfully completed. Both classes include some interesting art projects, and our goal is to meet the challenge level that each student needs.  

Eighth grade English language arts revolves mainly around two main ideas:  the five pillars of the First Amendment and banned books. Literature includes Nothing but the Truth, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Feed, all unabridged and uncensored.  We also do detailed studies of short stories, poetry, and non-fiction and hone our own creative writing through poetry, short story writing, literary analysis, and personal essay.

In their Social Studies class, 8th-grade students explore United States history, with a particular emphasis upon North Carolina’s role in our country’s development. Major units include the American Revolution, the Constitution, the Rip Van Winkle Era, Westward Expansion, the Civil War, the Gilded Age, the Jazz Age, the Great Depression, the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, and North Carolina Geography.

Teaching Staff

Name Phone Ext. Title
Ian Canary-King 648 Seventh and Eighth Grades Social Studies Teacher
Leila Wheless 643 Seventh and Eighth Grade Language Arts Teacher
Megan Smith 636 Seventh and Eighth Grade Mathematics Teacher
Nick Rogowski 612 Seventh and Eighth Grade Science Teacher
Marni Rubin-Flanigan 620 Middle School Teaching Assistant
Ryan Olliffe Exceptional Children Teacher
Sarah Vallely Academic Support Specialist

Recent Classroom News

8th Graders at ArtSpace Make Chemistry Visual

[caption id="attachment_8028" align="alignright" width="155"] An example of an elemental trading card[/caption] All across North Carolina 8th grade students learn about the basics of chemistry, as it is a major focus of the NC Essential Science Standards. ...

Stress Management for Middle School Students

Everyone gets stressed during the holiday season… everyone.  ArtSpace Charter School Guidance Counselor Adina Arden-Cooper understands the students she works with on daily basis feel this stress too, so she and Ms. Sue organized an ...

States of Matter – A Science and Visual Art Exploration

Recently 8th grade science students at ArtSpace have explored states of matter, the law of conservation, and physical and chemical changes. Middle school science teacher Nick Rogowski and Visual Arts teacher Jocelyn Reese found this ...

ArtSpace Charter School Elects and Inducts 2016-17 Student Council

On Wednesday, August 31st ArtSpace Charter School had their elections for the 2016-17 Student Council. Student Council serves as a student government program which provides opportunities for leadership and a “channel” for students to voice ...


SWANNANOA, NC - March 3rd - Students at ArtSpace took part in the school’s third annual STEAM Expo.  STEAM is an expansion of the National Science Foundation’s acronym STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to include ...

Koresh Dance Company Workshops at ArtSpace

SWANNANOA, NC- ArtSpace 5th, 7th and 8th graders took part in dance workshops with Philadelphia based Koresh Dance Company last week. School closings due to inclement weather kept these students from enjoying a performance the ...

Coming Soon To A Theater Near You!

SWANNANOA, NC- The ArtSpace stage will be filled with exciting performances, informances and special events throughout December and January!  This week is the 4th Annual Medieval Faire hosted by ArtSpace 6th graders.This is not a ...

Collaboration: The Art Of Working Together

This is the third part in a series on the 4 C’s of 21st Century Skills - Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration and Communication - by long-time arts integration specialist, “Capt.” Josh Batenhorst - Enterprise and ...