8th Religion


Villa Middle School

8th Grade Religion


Pam Sprute                         aaaaaaa                             

Room 408 x248


Terri O’Donnell

Room 401 x241



Course Syllabus 

Our main goal for 8th-grade Religion is to vitalize the spiritual life of adolescent learners and encourage them to continue to develop an active, informed and personal faith in God. During the course of the year students will spend time exploring their own spirituality in a more comprehensive manner. In juxtaposition, the curriculum this year is more ecumenical and global in scope. We remained rooted in our Catholic faith while exploring other major religions, with a specific focus on social justice.  The Culminating Project is cross-curricular, therefore the students will explore their topics in religion as well as humanities and science.  We will be examining the issues through the lens of other faith traditions and discussing issues of social justice related to their topics.

Throughout the year, we will be alternating from an introspective view of their own beliefs and values, to a very global view dedicated to social justice.  In many ways, 8th grade is a synthesizing of all the experiences that have been part of their formation throughout their years at Villa.  As they begin the journey of their last year at Villa Academy, our goal is to solidify their dedication to educational excellence and to help them become more aware of all the ways that they have matured into the fullness of their capacity at this developmental stage. We know that they will leave us seeking new opportunities to learn grow and give to others.

We begin in September by having students reflect on their own spirituality. Our global view will begin in our Catholic faith by a study of some of the Popes who were instrumental in bringing about major social change. Students will learn about encyclicals, specifically ones authored by these popes and how they were advocates of social justice around the world.

The students will learn about some of the world’s major faith traditions:Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. We will also explore the spirituality of indigenous peoples around the globe. Each class period will begin with a period of quiet reflection in order to empower them to think more deeply about the similarities and differences of many faiths as well as an integration of their own spiritual development. As we examine the events that have happened just within the past six months, it becomes very clear that this is important content for us all.

Core Content

Learning about the Faith

  • Catholic/Christian morality – Advocates of social justice
  • Popes who have been influential in creating social change.
  • World Faith Traditions – Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism as well as the spirituality of Native Peoples.
  • Social Justice – Catholic social teachings

Living the Faith

  • Prayer
  • Liturgies
  • Serving Villa (and others outside our community) – Community service

Spirituality and Morality

  • What is spirituality and how does that impact decision making.
  • Personal sense of just actions
  • Personal and family core values
  • Personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom
  • Personal responsibility
  • Personal and informed choices
  • Honoring the common good

Be prompt:

In seat, on time, with materials and assignments.

 Be prepared: 

 Assignments are due at the beginning of class.

 Be an active participant:                        

Participate appropriately in all classroom activities. Complete all assignments and projects with care (quality) and on time.  Return materials and clean up at the end of each class.

 Be positive: 

Enthusiasm and effort expected from all. Positive participation is essential for a productive, working environment.

 Be polite:

Treat classmates’ questions, answers, and ideas with respect at all times.     Respect school policies, property, and equipment. Appreciate all learning provided for a variety of learning styles. Use appropriate manners in all settings.

 Daily Materials

  • Loose leaf binder paper
  • Journal (this may be stored in the classroom)
  • Laptop with power cord
  • Blue or black ink pen and pencil
  • Textbook (as needed)

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