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The 8th grade program begins Learning for Life’s career preparedness emphasis, while reinforcing character, relationship building and citizenship.
The middle school program is the starting point for a student’s college and career readiness and provides good foundational knowledge for students interested in participating in the "hands-on" Career Exploring program. Students learn to ascertain the need for having a job and being employed, to recognize obstacles, how to make mature and ethical decisions, and how to deal responsibly with their decisions.
This grade has its own guide with 44 age-appropriate lesson plans, ranging in topics from "Peer Pressure: Who Can I Trust," to "Self Assessment of Skills and Abilities," to "Problem Solving: The Intricacies of Relating to Others." The lessons are action-oriented and use teaching techniques such as role-playing, small group discussions, and reflective and moral-dilemmas exercises.
Lesson plans in the 8th grade book are designed to reinforce social, academic, and career education skills in various areas, such as critical and creative thinking, conflict resolution, decision making, interpersonal relationships, practical life skills, self-esteem, writing and language arts, citizenship, and personal fitness.
The lessons are divided into 4 sections:
Community Role Models
The program is designed to facilitate the introduction of community role models to the students. The community leaders and role models meet with a specific class (e.g., English, social studies, and math) and discuss how the content learned in a particular subject relates to the real world. These role models should have backgrounds similar to those of the youth and will share their personal paths to success, including the pitfalls and the high points. The goal is to facilitate access to mentors and role models and give the youth insight into personal decisions, educational goals, and career choices.
Life Choices: A Character Game
A computer interactive game that gives students opportunities to practice ethical decision making skills. A series of situations is presented where the student must make a choice. The computer gives the student immediate feedback by providing a consequence of the choices made while playing the game. Reports are given at the end of the game, summarizing how the student performed in some key elements of character.