Grade 8 Social Studies

The eighth grade social studies curriculum supports the research related to the Capstone project and teaches students to make an effective outline, take useful notes, make use of critical feedback, generate a thesis, use evidence to support assertions, and write a formal research paper. The curriculum is informed heavily by Facing History and Ourselves, The Choices Program, and the Zinn Education Project. The first unit is the individual in society asking "Who am I?" and "How do others see me?" followed by units that address the question of "Who are we?" Students study the origins of American Democracy and the American Revolution. They become very familiar with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and see how these documents impacted the subsequent Civil War and Reconstruction. Students use the history of the United States to understand World War I & II, and the Holocaust. The program includes regular reading assignments, non-fiction writing projects, debate, and classroom presentations. 

Eighth grade students will:

  • develop effective note-taking skills
  • learn to summarize important information from primary sources, nonfiction, and the web
  • effectively curate and use evidence and rhetoric in debate
  • learn to connect information from multiple sources
  • identify and understand multiple perspectives and points of view
  • vigorously participate in class discussions
  • provide evidence to support opinions
  • plan, organize, and deliver effective class presentations
  • respond thoughtfully to questions through active participation