In English at the eighth grade level, independent thinking and writing play major roles, as every student is encouraged to further develop their creative and critical skills in response to literature and in preparation for secondary school. Through discussion and writing, which include analytical and personal essays designed to promote mastery of essay writing, each student is supported as they learn to express herself clearly, accurately, and fluently. In this way, student voice is at the heart of English 8. We read short fiction, novels, narrative nonfiction, poetry, and drama. Texts may include Macbeth, The Poet X, The House on Mango Street, and One Last Word, among others.