8th Grade U.S. History


Welcome to 8th grade U.S. History! I hope that you will find this class interesting, informative—and fun! You will be working very hard to develop new skills and understand new concepts this year. I strongly believe in challenging you through a variety of activities that will make history “come alive”.  I am looking forward to what we can accomplish this year.







This class is an exploration into the birth and development of America and how it has developed and impacted your life today. The class will begin with a look at Colonial America and the events that lead to revolution and independence from England. Students will examine the United States Constitution and the major debates that helped to shape the young Republic. Students will study Westward Expansion and the effects it had on Native Americans, the land, and other nations. We will look at the causes and main events that lead to the American Civil War.  Finally students will be asked to study the major concepts of Democracy, American geography, and finance.

Possible Assignments:
WRITING : Units include short and longer writing work from informative to argumentative writing. Longer writing will generally be planned and the rough draft created in class to get the most help possible. Writing will vary based on the unit of study – but will often include documents to use as evidence.

TESTS/QUIZZES : Students will take quizzes once every 1-2 weeks. These quizzes will be over the chapters in the textbook. Students will read the chapter and then take a quiz over the content from that chapter. Students will be required to take Cornell no technology notes and create note cards from their reading to practice this important and useful study skill. These notes and notecards will be due the day of the quiz. Students will be allowed to replace some credit on quizzes one time for replacement credit. If students choose to use replacement credit, they should be prepared to show and discuss notes for possible revision to note taking strategies. Students will also take unit tests. These tests will be scheduled at least a week in advance. I will provide study aids for these tests – there will generally be a product/writing associated with the end of the unit exam.

OTHER WRITING:  Students will complete creative writing and short constructed writing throughout the course. The use of creative writing often allows students to work on historical point of view analysis using a more creative approach.

PROJECTS/ACTIVITIES:  Throughout the year, students will take part in a variety of projects and activities such as: simulations, Socratic seminars, small research projects and reports, jigsaw teaching activities, artifact finding/posting, and a variety of short class activities. Many of these will include work on collaboration – but some will assess students’ individual learning.

8th grade student syllabus– Click to access the syllabus.  Some information from the syllabus can be found above and below.