8th Grade Required Courses

The following classes are required for all 8th Graders. Full course descriptions can be read in the Mountain Trail Curriculum Guide from your counselor.

MATH (classes based on placement exams or success in previous course)

  • Pre-Algebra 8 - To prepare students for Algebra, topics covered include problem-solving, integers, statistics, geometry, patterns, rational and real numbers, proportions, percent, functions, graphing, probability and polynomials.
  • Algebra - High school equivalency course for middle school credit that covers sets of real numbers, solutions of first and second degree equations, graphing on the coordinate plane, applications of algebra to data analysis and probability, patterns and functions and their applications, measurement and discrete mathematics, and basic mathematical structures. (Pre-requisite: Demonstrated competency in Pre-Algebra material and teacher recommendation)


  • 8th Grade English - Single periods of Reading and Writing using the Core Knowledge® sequence to provide students varied exposure to the world of great literature, poetry, multiple writing experiences and enriched vocabulary.  Specific content includes Diary of Anne Frank, Animal Farm, The Good Earth, Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, and excerpts from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.  In addition, various other novels, short stories, speeches and poems add to the diversity of the curriculum.  Increased emphasis is placed on vocabulary development through the understanding of Latin/Greek roots, foreign phrases commonly used in English.  A variety of writing experiences including functional, expressive, expository, argumentative, and research essays, and literary response are provided over the course of the year.  Students are required to demonstrate the application of the six traits of good writing: Organization, Ideas and Content, Sentence Fluency, appropriate Word Choice, Voice and Conventions.  The curriculum aligns with the Arizona College and Career-Ready Standards in reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing and presenting.
  • Honors English - Single periods of Reading and Writing (accelerated and more in-depth study).


  • 8th Grade Science - Students use the inquiry process to study the history and nature of science, and personal and social perspectives in science. Students will study the properties and changes in matter, motion and forces, species adaptations, energy and electricity, and heredity. Disease and drug prevention units are included.

  • Honors Science - Same as traditional 8th Grade Science, but with accelerated and more in-depth study.


  • 8th Grade Social Studies - The Core Knowledge® curriculum covers the US History during the second half of the 20th century. Studies include WW2, Civil Rights Era, Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, and main events and changes of the US during the decades of 1950s to current times. Eighth-grade students also learn about Civics, how we gained our independence, the creation of the US Constitution, and how our government works. Entwined with the history is the geography of the Middle East, China, Southeast Asia, the US, Central America and the Caribbean.

  • Honors Social Studies - Same as traditional 8th Grade Social Studies, but with accelerated and more in-depth study.


  • All students must participate in at least one semester of PE in grades 7 & 8. Various activities relating to particular fitness aspects as well as specific sports. Students work cooperatively, as well as individually, to develop their own fitness levels and to learn specific rules and skills involved with each sport presented. Team work, safety, and sportsmanship are emphasized throughout the course. PE uniforms can be purchased from the MTMS PTSO.

8th Grade Electives

Below are the elective choices for 8th grade. Each class is one semester unless otherwise noted. See the curriculum guide for descriptions.

  • Applied Tech II

  • Art

  • Advanced Art

  • Intro to Computer Science

  • Explore Computer Science

  • Culinary Arts II

  • Drama 

  • Prelude Choir

  • Concert Choir (Full Year) 

  • Cadet Band (Intermediate - Full Year)

  • Concert Band (Advanced - Full Year - by audition only)

  • Lead (7 Habits)

  • Newspaper / Digital Media

  • Piano (Full Year)

  • Strings (Full Year)

  • Mandarin Chinese 1-2 (Full Year)

  • Mandarin Chinese 3-4 (Full Year)

  • Spanish 1-2 (Full Year)

  • Venture Lab

  • Video Production

  • Boys/Girls PE (Full Year)

  • Yearbook

Student Aide Positions

All student aide assignments are dependent on availability and need (one semester course):

  • Boulder Creek Teacher Aide

  • Nurse Aide (Alt. Choice Only)

  • Office/Student Resource Aide (Alt. Choice Only)

  • Teacher Aide (Alt. Choice Only)