Category Archives: Grade 8

Grade 8: The Giver Final Task – Part 1

Ever since I first read The Giver as a student myself, it has always been one of my favourite books. Each time I read it, I always discover something new, some new connection to my life, or some parallel to what is going on in the world. And I don’t think that happens by accident.

The ending to The Giver, as Lois Lowry points out herself, is meant to be ambiguous, so that it can be interpreted by each reader in their own way. So that is exactly what we will be doing as Part 1 of our final task for The Giver.

Students will be writing the next chapter of the book as they believe it continues. The prompt can be seen as, what happens when the sled stops? Following with the same format as the rest of the book, students will write a 1-3 page “chapter 24” of the book. They will use imagery, point of view, and their own imagination to determine what exactly happens to Jonas and Gabriel.

This IN CLASS task will be worked on all throughout the week. Students will spend the next 3 days writing, and will then have an opportunity to provide peer feedback and editing on Friday. All chapters MUST be finished by Monday, February 7, as we will be sharing in class.

Here is the full project description, and rubric.

Grade 8 – Ceremony of 12

If you’ve ever read The Giver by Lois Lowrey, the Ceremony of 12 should sound familiar to you. This is when the 11s become 12, and are given their assignments for their careers for the rest of their lives.

When the Grade 8 students came into class today, they were each given an envelope with their ‘assignment’ enclosed. One at a time, students read out their assignments, and as a class, we “thanked them for their childhood.” Some careers that were assigned include: Caretake or the Old, Pilot, Recreation Director, Doctor, Instructor of 9s, Landscape Worker, and Laborer. Our class is so special, that we even had one person assigned to the Committee of Elders, and one is the next Receiver of Memories.

However, just as in The Giver, not all students were pleased with their assignments, and so they all now have the opportunity to accept their career, or appeal to the Committee of Elders. We will be working on their speeches in class over the next few days, and will present on Tuesday, November 9th.

Students can find the rubric and expectations here, as well as some sentence starters in case they get stuck!

Grade 8 – Elements of Evidence Based Writing

Today was our first lesson on Evidence Based Writing in grade 8. We reviewed and took notes on all the various elements of a full, well-written Response to Literature. It was great to see the students engaged in discussions about why these elements are important, and starting to add in their own examples to demonstrate comprehension. Stay tuned for examples of their work in progress.

If you’d like to review the slides, you can access them here.


Grammar Bootcamp is On!

Over the last number of classes, both grades 7 and 8 have been workin’ up a sweat and stretching their minds (and sentences) as we learn some important new grammar rules and terms.  And what bootcamp experience would be complete without sweatbands??

In grade 7, students have engaged in friendly competition, reviewing coordinating conjunctions, dependent conjunctions, prepositions, interjections, subjective, objective and possessive pronouns, past, present and future perfect verbs, as well as examining illogical shifts in person and number. You can thank me later when they all use “me” and “I” correctly (fingers crossed).

In grade 8, the focus has been on independent and dependent clauses, which then led us into simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences, gerunds, infinitives, and participles, and various types of mood, such as indicative, imperative, interrogative, conditional and subjunctive (say that 5 times fast).

I can’t wait to see all this grammar in action in our writing throughout the year!

Two Exciting Events

We have two amazing upcoming events we want to share with you.

First, next Friday, September 24th, will be our first Dress Down Day! It also happens to be our anual Terry Fox Run. Therefore, all funds collected from the day will be donated to the Terry Fox Foundation. Please remember to bring in your donation.

The second event is called Clean the Capital! OJCS has partnered with JNF Ottawa for World Clean-Up Day.  On Sunday, October 3rd from 1-3 PM OJCS families are encouraged to sign up to help clean our OJCS and JCC campus. Sign up is limited to 25 people so sign up quickly at this link. Let’s keep our space clean!

Grade 7 and 8: Reading Challenge

Today marked the launch of our brand new Reading Challenge for grades 7 and 8. To learn more about it, check out this page, which can also be found under Important Documents in our menu above.

Kidaha / Pixabay

Instead of getting a prescribed challenge from me, students were able to build their own grid, using categories and genres that interested them! I can’t wait for them to explore new topics and fall in love with reading even more!

Over the next few weeks, students will continue to learn more about this task, but for now, they all must choose their first book to read, and bring it to school for Friday, September 17th. 

Shabbat Shalom 🙂

Grades 6-8: Public Speaking Finalists

All of the speeches this year were incredible! Each and every student should be proud of their accomplishments. As a judge, it was incredibly hard to choose who would be moving on to the finals.  Remember that these events are opportunities to grow and further your develop your learning skills.

The 2021 Middle School Public Speaking Finalists are:

Grade 8

    • Jenny Peters
    • Maayan Shrem
    • Yamaya Newman

Grade 7

    • Maya Spanglet
    • Griffin Baker
    • Halel Willner

Grade 6

    • Audrey Moore
    • Mara Cherun
    • Maor Waldman



  1. When are the finals?

The Public Speaking Finals will be held on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

The Grade 4 & 5 Public Speaking Finals will be held from 9:00-10:30AM

The Middle School Public Speaking Finals will be held from 11:30 AM-1:00PM


2. Can family members, friends, and other loved ones watch the finals this year?

Yes! Click the link below to watch the live stream of the public speaking finals.


Grades 6-8: OJCS Maccabiah Games (Friday, June 11th, 2021)

Each year, our student government works hard to plan מכביה (Maccabiah) – our school-wide colour war event. Featuring various high-energy events, Maccabi Canada athlete stories, competitions, and even trivia challenges, it is something our students and staff all look forward to. Our school-wide day of friendship and fun will take place on Friday, June 11th, 2021 and we’re gearing up for a great day! How many days until this event? Only 17!
This year, our students are excited to be sorted into the houses of Hogwarts as they prepare for Maccabiah – Harry Potter style. We can’t wait to see what sorts of high-jinks our wizards get into. Will there be potion making? A game of quidditch? A life-size game of chess to reach the Sorcerer’s Stone? Time(turners) will tell!
Though our students will represent Gryffindor (red team), Hufflepuff (orange team), Ravenclaw (blue team), or Slytherin (green team), we know that there is nothing quite as good as when we’re all rooting for the same team – in this case, OJCS. And that’s where we need your help. Our school is just $10,800 away from reaching our fundraising goal this year. That is just $60 per student! Please help support our students (current and future), by supporting our Maccabiah. Feel free to share on social media and with your friends and family: 

Thank you, merci and todah rabah for your help in reaching our goals.