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8th grade assignments

*Remember to click on the post for the week to download the documents attached there.

Week 2/1-5

posted Feb 2, 2016, 1:27 PM by Ec Mary Givens   [ updated Feb 4, 2016, 2:14 PM ]

First, look over the group research docs and refresh your memory about the conflict in Syria - actively refresh your memory!

Second, decide the top three things that need to be addresses in order to move towards a responsible and effective resolution of the conflict. (Prioritize different parts of the problem)

Third, based on your identified priorities, what aspects of political will (the web) will need to be addressed to get the US to follow your proposed action?

You have to come to class tomorrow with the list of priorities!

W. 2/3-TH. 2/4
Use the "flash draft" web to start developing a way to act in order to address the 3 priorities you've identified. Don't forget to think about what you want the end product to be related to the priority you've identified. The purpose of this is to fully define the problem and evaluate the effectiveness of several possible actions that you could take to achieve your goal.

example: Priority one is to stop the military conflict which means an end to the use of weapons and air strikes within Syria's borders by all groups involved in the Civil War in Syria.

Mini-due date: One web completely developed by Monday...this is the minimum, but you probably can help yourself out by working on a web for each of your 3 priorities before they are due.

Week of 1/25-29

posted Jan 26, 2016, 10:14 AM by Ec Mary Givens

T. 1/26
Finish annotating the article about factors necessary to build political will for international intervention. Did you misplace it? It is attached below...

Week of 1/19-22

posted Jan 19, 2016, 5:38 AM by Ec Mary Givens   [ updated Jan 19, 2016, 12:50 PM ]

T. 1/19
Today in-class use the following articles to reacquaint yourselves with the civil war in Syria using a four square note-taking model.
Upper Left: Basic facts (who, what, why, how long, where)
Upper Right: Logistics of the conflict (What is being done by who and the effects)
Lower Left: Human cost (Difficulties being suffered by the people of Syria)
Lower Right: Connections to content (How does this information fit into our foreign policy patterns?)

Article #1: In Syrian Town Cut Off From the World, Glimpses of Deprivation

Note: Be sure to click on the first picture to see gallery with captions.
Also, click on graphic titled "How Syrians are Dying" and make notes

Tonight for homework: Read the article on the end of the Vietnam conflict.( http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/vietnamwar/a/VietnamEnd.htm ) Answer the following questions and bring them to class tomorrow for the note quiz.

NOTE: "Detente" was a new approach to foreign policy designed by Henry Kissinger and Pres. Nixon. The U.S. worked to improve relations with China and the Soviet Union separately to drive a wedge between the two communist countries and lessen support going to N. Vietnam.

1. What concession did the N. Vietnamese leader (Le Duc Tho- Ho Chi Minh died in 1969) make in the peace treaty negotiations? Why did he make this concession?
2. Why did Pres. Nixon order the bombing of Hanoi in Dec. 1972..a complete answer includes a series of things that led to the bombing?
3. When were the Paris Peace Accords signed? What were the terms of the Paris Accords?
4. What was the plan for developing a "lasting peace"? - 2-part plan.
5. What factors (3) led to the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1974?

Week of 1/11-15

posted Jan 11, 2016, 8:59 AM by Ec Mary Givens

M. 1/11
My Lai court-martial has begun.

Week 1/4-8, 2015

posted Jan 5, 2016, 1:16 PM by Ec Mary Givens   [ updated Jan 7, 2016, 1:02 PM ]

T. 1/4
HW: Finish reading the conduct for soldiers during wartime resources (attached if you missed it). You are annotating and highlighting...identify the rule for behavior AND the conditions that define when and how the rules are to be followed. (Word and PDF versions are attached below)

W. 1/5
1. Open the trial role list for your class (attached below)
2. After you see your role, open, read, (and print, if possible) the resource you are responsible for. I will have copies of the fact situation and witness question guidelines for all participants tomorrow.

Witnesses & attorneys: look at the witness statement for your character/the characters you will be questioning.
Jury: Look at and pick one of the jury profiles you want to use as a character template during the trial. As of this posting, there is only one female in the juror profiles list - any person can choose any profile though.
Judges: Look at the charges and directions to the jury.

Here is the page with the resources: My Lai Court Martial

Th. 1/6
Witnesses/Attorneys: Become familiar with your statements. Go through and identify all re;event facts that will prove your side (Calley guilty or not guilty of committing an unlawful act)

Judge: Read the fact situation posted on the link above.

Jury members: Re-look at the war crimes resource packet from Tuesday and the "following orders" defense slides from Wednesday, then reread your juror profile. Write a chunky paragraph describing how your "persona" feels about honorable conduct during war and the "following orders" defense. This will be turned in tomorrow. Please be thoughtful and specific - refer to specific details in your profile and in the policies/laws as reasons for your opinion.

Week 12/14-18

posted Dec 15, 2015, 5:37 AM by Ec Mary Givens

For those missing the Cold War connections, I've attached the original assignment. Also attached are the Vietnam PPT slides.

Week of 12/7-11

posted Dec 7, 2015, 3:20 PM by Ec Mary Givens   [ updated Dec 11, 2015, 7:09 AM ]

Remember not to change the format on our shared documents. 20 minutes of additional research. We will share out tomorrow.

W. 12/9
Students in both classes have come up with some great suggestions about how we can work on this Syria policy proposal. We continue to share the information from our first round of research.

Th. 12/10 Finish these notes for MONDAY, 12/14 and bring hard copy to class
Here is the link to the interactive section on Vietnam:

When you get to this page, click on the "Vietnam Conflict" box in the timeline and read the overview and click "Begin". Watch the movie if you wish, then choose "Enter the Exhibit". Read "First steps", "Escalation", and "When will it ever end". Take notes on the events outlined in each section.

Here are the UN links:



Security Council:


International Court of Justice


General Assembly


Week of 11/30-12/4

posted Nov 30, 2015, 5:53 AM by Ec Mary Givens   [ updated Dec 3, 2015, 1:09 PM ]

M. 11/30
Create your google doc and take group notes in your own words using the following cues and website. Your notes should include (1) who/what and (2) effect on American society/policy.


Cold War at Home:

Federal Employee Loyalty Program (1947)

House Committee on Un-American Activities

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

Alger Hiss

Sen. Joseph McCarthy – what did he do?

Sen. Joseph McCarthy – what stopped him


1. Take notes...Go to the following sites and take notes on the preparations our society made for a nuclear attack.

2, Access prior knowledge...At the second site, look at the propaganda and education posters. What patterns do you see being repeated from propaganda posters of earlier times - try to identify 3?  Evaluate these posters. What makes them effective/ineffective?

3. Who pays for these shelters in a capitalist system?



W. 12/2

Here are the Cuban Missile Crisis resources you need to access for class today. Attached is an electronic copy of the note-taking guide for your convenience.

Resource #1: http://microsites.jfklibrary.org/cmc/

Resources #2: http://teachingamericanhistory.org/static/neh/interactives/cubanmissilecrisis/

Notes should be completed by Thursday.

Th. 12/3 Instead of a quick write...
You will develop a rubric to evaluate the overall effectiveness of any foreign policy or action Model of a wonderful rubric is attached below - scroll down to get to the rubric part. Notice each large standard has several specific characteristics that define it. Due: F.12/4

*Each measure should be stated in positive, clear terms and have a level 2-3-4 version.
*The criteria should include measures for an action’s impact on Americans as well as measuring the efficacy of the action.
*At least one criterion should measure the degree to which the action was in line with American values (Promoting democratic ideals, limited war, capitalism).
*For each criterion, provide an example of a high score and a low score

Possible "Measurement topics" (choose 3 of the 4 or make up your own)
MT1: Possible-ness of the solution
MT2: Likelihood of greater peace in the future
MT3: "Good Guy" (hero) status
MT4: Fully developed and clear

Week of 11/23-24 Happy Thanksgiving!

posted Nov 23, 2015, 4:01 PM by Ec Mary Givens

M. 11/23
Open note quiz tomorrow.

Week of 11/16-20

posted Nov 17, 2015, 1:14 PM by Ec Mary Givens   [ updated Nov 18, 2015, 9:04 AM ]

T. 11/16
Students will make connections between the Cold War events and the five patterns of Cold War interactions for bell work tomorrow. We also begin the Cold War murder party processing activity tomorrow.

W. 11/17
Use the following link to create a timeline summary of the conflict in Syria in your notes. The summary should be in your own words and you should have an entry for each phase of the conflict presented on the website.


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