Susan Robinson

Guidance Department

Phone: (570) 356-3402

8th Grade Characteristics

Characteristics of 5th Graders

Characteristics of 6th Graders

Characteristics of 7th Graders
Characteristics of 8th Graders

The Thirteen Year Old: Growth Patterns


  • High physical energy
  • Skin problems emerging; hygiene a key issue
  • Girls: 95% of mature height in average girl; menstruating has begun for most
  • Boys: voice change for many; growth spurt about a year behind girls


  • Neatness a key issue with personal appearance, not with personal environment
  • The mirror is their best friend and worst enemy
  • Often quieter than 12's or 14's
  • Like to be alone at home
  • Feelings easily hurt and can easily hurt other's feelings
  • Mean = scared
  • Touchy; flaring anger
  • Close friendships more obviously important to girls
  • Boys hang in groups or formal gangs
  • Girls more interested in older boys
  • Strong sports interest in both genders
  • Telephone, computer, video games and other electronic diversions a major factor
  • Music becoming a major preoccupation
  • Peer pressure increasing regarding dress, language, music, in-out, being cool
  • Worries about school work
  • Humor highlighted by growth of sarcasm
  • Horseplay, practical jokes still high in boys
  • Collections of things (jewelry, make-up, tapes)


  • One word answers to adult questions (minimal feedback)
  • Street language/peer language important
  • Extreme language and volume in face of parental involvement
  • Rudeness


  • Withdrawn and sensitive nature is protective of developing self-concept and intellectual ideas that remain not fully formed
  • Abstract reasoning and "formal operations" begin to be functional in some 13's
  • Tentative approach to difficult intellectual tasks; not willing to take big learning risks
  • Like to challenge intellectual as well as social authority


The Fourteen Year Old: Growth Patterns


  • High energy continues
  • Generally healthy age-pushes through illness in desire to participate with peers
  • Loud
  • Alcohol and drugs a major influence on physical well being
  • Girls; full development nearly complete
  • Boys; growth spurt continues
  • Both; sexually active in increasing percentages
  • Upper body strength beings to develop in boys
  • High need for physical exercise and snacking


  • Like to do as much as possible-cram as much into the day as they can
  • More of their own adult personality evident
  • Often embarrassed to be see with their parents; critical of parental dress, habits, friends, ideas
  • Loud
  • Especially don't like or respond well to adult lectures; feel that they know what is going to be said once a few words have been spoken; "know it all" stage
  • Can be a pain at home and a star at school


  • Peer language patterns of paramount importance, but learning to negotiate adult world as well
  • Will engage more in a group discussion
  • Interested in the meaning of words; developing a broader vocabulary
  • Loud


  • More abstract reasoning evident, especially in regard to cause and effect
  • More willing to admit an error, revise their work or try something a second or third time
  • Very aware of problems in larger world and generally still invested in finding solutions and participating in learning more
  • Interested in technology and hot things work
  • Learn well in cooperative groups
  • Responds well to academic variety and challenge
  • Easily "bored"'