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Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade is a 2018 independent dramatic comedy directed by Bo Burnham about
Kayla Day, an eighth grade vlogger with social anxiety, during her last week of middle
school. We watch Kayla wake up and get ready for school, following a makeup tutorial
on Youtube, before posting a selfie on Snapchat. Kayla arrives at school, and we see a
boy huffing a highlighter, a girl snapping a rubber band on her braces, and another boy
building a tower of markers, while Kayla draws cute figures in her notebook. In art class,
Kayla makes a cute pig out of clay. Finally, we see Kayla watching a sex ed video, while
a boy in her class masturbates.

discussion

Where is Kayla and what is she doing in the opening scene of Eighth Grade? How does Kayla’s environment give us clues about who she is and what she values?

What media and technology does Kayla use?

In what ways is Kayla’s femininity featured in this clip?

Does the film stereotype young teens in this clip? If so, how?

Does this clip resonate with your own experiences of middle school? Why? Why not?