• Eighth Grade Social Studies-U.S.  History


    The history/social studies program is designed to provide an in-depth, meaning-centered, historical-based program for the students.  Through the study of historical events the student will develop his and her critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical skills, expository writing, and understanding of the past and its connections to the present and learn to think like a historian.


    Areas of Study

    I.  U.S  Geography (SS Analytical Skill Standards)                                                         

    II.  Colonialism  (Review 7.11)   

    III. American Revolution (8.1)

       A.  Colonial Unrest

       B.  The Declaration of Independence

       C.  The Revolutionary War      

    IV.  The Constitution (8.2)

       A.  The Document & Branches of Government

       B.  Early Presidencies

       C.  Lewis & Clark, Louisiana Purchase                                    

    V.  Early U.S History/Jacksonian            (8.3, 8.4, 8.5)    

    VI.  Westward Movement (8.8)   

       A.  Expansion and Exploration

       B.  The Native Americans       

    VII.  U.S. Civil War (North & South) (8.6, 8.7, )

       A.  The North and the South

       B.  Compromises before the War

       C.  The War               

    VIII.  Reconstruction/The Industrial Age   (8.11, 8.12)

       A.  Effects on Society

       B.  Muckrakers


    Source Material

    I.  The basic textbook is The American Nation (Prentice Hall)

    II. Writing

                            A.  Writings will be done on a weekly basis and emphasize logic, problem

         solving, and critical thinking skills

                III. Exams

                            A.  Weekly key historical academic terms vocabulary tests

                            B.  Unit Finals, approximately every six weeks

                IV.  Note-taking

                            A.  Daily/weekly notes


    Goals of the Social Studies Program

    I.  To develop historical and analytical skills according to the California State Standards

    II. To provide an advanced academic program commensurate with the student's abilities

    III. To tap the students’ creative potential by stimulating curiosity, imagination exploration, and excitement

    IV. To develop constructive leadership and responsible citizenship

    V.  To develop problem-solving abilities, critical thinking, and analytical skills.

    VI. To develop within students a healthy self-concept and sensitivity to others, and knowledge of different countries and cultures


    Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills

    I.  Chronological and Spatial Thinking:

    A. Students explain how major events are related to one another in time.

    B. Students construct various time lines of key events, people, and periods of the historical era they are studying.

    C. Students use a variety of maps and documents to identify physical and cultural features of neighborhoods, cities, states, and countries and to explain the historical migration of people, expansion and disintegration of empires, and the growth of economic systems.


                    II. Research, Evidence, and Point of View:

    A. Students frame questions that can be answered by historical study and research.

    B. Students distinguish fact from opinion in historical narratives and stories.

    C. Students distinguish relevant from irrelevant information, essential from incidental information, and verifiable from unverifiable information in historical narratives and stories.

    D. Students assess the credibility of primary and secondary sources and draw sound conclusions from them.

    E. Students detect the different historical points of view on historical events and determine the context in which the historical statements were made (the questions asked, sources used, author's perspectives).


    III. Historical Interpretation:

    A. Students explain the central issues and problems from the past, placing people and events in a matrix of time and place.

    B. Students understand and distinguish cause, effect, sequence, and correlation in historical events, including the long-and short-term causal relations.

    C. Students explain the sources of historical continuity and how the combination of ideas and events explains the emergence of new patterns.

    D. Students recognize the role of chance, oversight, and error in history.

    E. Students recognize that interpretations of history are subject to change as new information is uncovered.

    F. Students interpret basic indicators of economic performance and conduct cost-benefit analyses of economic and political issues.


    Grading System 

    I.  Students receive quarterly report cards and progress reports every four weeks.

    II. Students should maintain "A" "B" or “C” grades in class.

    III. Students with "D's" or below will be placed on a contract.



    I.  Students are expected to conform to classroom rules.

    II. Demerit system to determine citizenship.


    Homework Policy

    I.  Weekly critical thinking essay questions

    II. Long term assignments

    A.  Notebooks

    B.  Studying nightly for weekly vocabulary exams

    C.  Studying nightly for unit exams (every 4-6 weeks)


    Office Hours

    I.  Mornings from 7:00-8:00

    II. Afternoons from 2:40-3:40

    III. School telephone number (714) 479-4000

                    Email:  mark.armstrong@sausd.us



    Student’s grade will be based on the following:


    Unit Exams                           20%

    Weekly Quizzes                   25%

    Notebooks                    25%

    Essays, Assignments, Note Cards, Current Events 20%

    Class Participation        10%





    Goals and Objectives


    The goal of 8th grade U.S. History is for students to learn the background and characteristics of the country they live in, the United States of America.  By studying the history of the United States students can learn to value the society they live in and their rights and responsibilities gained from living in a democracy.



    1.  McFadden Intermediate has provided each student with a history textbook, The American Nation.  Students are expected to read through appropriate lessons in their textbooks.

    2.  Students are expected to study each week for quizzes.  Weekly quizzes are given on Friday concerning historical vocabulary and facts. 

    3.  Students will be assigned an essay (Critical Question) at the beginning of each week.  Each essay topic will be covered in class and in the reading during that week.  Students must complete the essay by the end of the week in their notebook.

    4.  Students will be keeping a History Notebook.  In their notebook students will have essays, notes, class and homework assignments.  Students are expected to bring their notebook to school each and every day, and keep their notebook neat, orderly and up to date.


    Class Materials Expectations


    Students are expected to bring to class the following materials everyday:  2 pencils, 2 pens (blue/black only), Social Studies Notebook, history text, and three ringed binder with paper.


    Grade Assessment


    Student's academic grade will be based on the following:


    Unit Exams  25%

    Weekly Quizzes 25%

    Notebooks  20%

    Essays and Assignments 20%

    Class Participation 10%







    I. Geography


    II. Colonialism


    III. The American Revolution

       A. Colonial Unrest

       B. The Declaration of Independence

       C. The Revolutionary War


    IV. The Constitution-Early American Government

       A. The Document & Branches of Government

       B. Early Presidencies

       C. Lewis & Clark, Louisiana Purchase


    V. Westward Movement

       A. Expansion and Exploration

       B. The Native Americans


    VI. The U.S. Civil War

       A. The North and the South

       B. Compromises before the War

       C. The War


    VII. The Industrial Era

       A. Effects on Society

       B. Muckrakers



    Social Studies



    The goal of 7th grade World History is for students to learn about the background and characteristics of different societies around the world. By studying the history of other countries, students can learn to value the contributions that other cultures have given the world.


    WHY STUDY HISTORY? The most commonly asked question from students.


    ANSWER: Students study history to learn from the mistakes made in the past and benefit from the wisdom of the ages.


    WHY STUDY WORLD HISTORY? The second most common question asked by students.


    ANSWER: Living in our world today requires that we interact and understand other cultures. In order to understand the world we live in, we must know its whole history.



    Students are required to bring to class the following materials everyday: two pencils, two pens (blue/black), spiral notebook, history text, and three-ringed binder with paper.


Last Modified on August 27, 2015