The eighth grade English classes at New Castle Middle School are following a curriculum that has been aligned with the Indiana Standards for Language Arts for the eighth grade. The classes will use the online textbook Elements of Literature. Although it is a literature text, it also covers language skills and writing skills. The back of the book contains a language handbook, and writing workshops are at the end of each literature collection. The literature selections cover short stories, poetry, and drama and non-fiction selections.

In addition to covering the Indiana standards, we have as a school-wide goal to have all our students reading at an eighth grade level or higher. In pursuing this goal, we have chosen the Accelerated Reader program to assist us. The students read in their AR books the first 10 minutes of each English class. In addition to their class reading time, they are assigned to read 20 minutes outside of English class.