What do we learn in this class?

Students in 8th Grade Social Studies at Festus Middle School will examine American History beginning with the debate over who the first Americans were and eventually make our way to the end of the American Civil War and the passing of the 13th Amendment.  Several of the major historical concepts covered throughout the year are: 

  • The British Colonization North America
  • The French and Indian War 
  • Conflicts which led to the Revolutionary War
  • The Revolutionary War
  • The United States Constitution
  • Manifest Destiny
  • Lewis and Clark
  • The Age of Jackson 
  • The Mexican War
  • The Civil War
  • The Reconstruction Era

The course is designed to match the Missouri Grade Level Expectations for Missouri 8th grade social studies. The following is a list of the 37 grade level expectations that will be met this year in class.

1. Analyze important principles in the Declaration of Independence, including inalienable rights and government by consent of the governed. (1.1)
2. Analyze important principles in the Constitution including: limited government, rule of law, majority rule and minority rights, separation of powers, checks and balances, amendment process, federalism (i.e., as regards federal and state governments, powers being shared, delegated and reserved), popular sovereignty, due process of law (see Amendments V & XIV), voting by citizens, especially as later amendments were passed. (1.1)
3. Apply important principles of the Bill of Rights, such as: basic rights and freedoms (for rights listed, see Amendments 1-8; for rights not listed, see Amendment 9), protections against the government (fair trials, rights of accused, due process of law, etc.). (1.1)
4. Apply knowledge of responsibilities that governments and citizens need to accept in order to carry out the principles in the Bill of Rights. (1.2)
5. Analyze the viability and diversity of Native American cultures before Europeans came. (2.1)
6. Evaluate the importance of the discovery, exploration and early settlement of America. (2.2)
7. Interpret the American Revolution, including the perspectives of patriots and loyalists and factors that explain why the American colonists were successful. (2.3)
8. Justify the drafting of the Constitution, and examine its effects on the formation of a new nation. (2.4)
9. Assess the significance of Westward Expansion including: Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark Expedition, Missouri Compromise, Texas and the Mexican War, Oregon Territory, California Gold Rush. (2.5)
10. Analyze cultural interactions among these groups: Native Americans, Immigrants from Europe and Africans brought to America. (2.6)
11. Summarize reform movements such as: abolitionism, women’s movement and Jacksonian Democracy. (2.7)
12. Interpret political, economic and social causes and consequences of the Civil War and Reconstruction. (2.8)
13. Assess rights and responsibilities of individuals: Interpret how laws are made, interpreted and enforced, Interpret how leaders are selected, Interpret how power is distributed among individuals and branches of government. Describe how to participate in government (i.e., voting, campaigning, lobbying, participating in a political party, petitioning, influencing public opinion, etc.). (3.2)
14. Give examples of how local, state and national governments impact people’s lives. (3.3)
15. Analyze decision-making and conflict resolution in courts at local, state and national levels (roles of judge, jury, attorneys for prosecution, plaintiff and defense; civil vs. criminal law; court procedures). (3.3)
16. Apply the following economic concepts: business cycle (expansion, recession, depression), unemployment, and market economy. (4.1)
17. Assess the role of technology in our economy and how our economy has changed from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy. (4.2)
18. Interpret the past, explain the present and predict future consequences of economic decisions. (4.3)
19. Describe how decisions and actions of governments, businesses, groups and individuals affect one another in a market economy. (4.4)
20. Identify different forms of taxes, such as tariffs, sales taxes and income taxes, and their purposes. (4.5)
21. Use and evaluate geographic research sources to process and report information to solve problems and make predictions and construct maps. (5.1)
22. Locate states of the United States. Locate cities and topographic features of the United States. Locate and describe geographic places, using absolute and relative location. (5.2)
23. Analyze physical characteristics, such as climate, topography, relationship to water and ecosystems. Analyze human characteristics, such as people’s education, language, diversity, economies, religions, settlement patterns, ethnic background and political systems. (5.3)
24. Compare major patterns of population distribution, demographics, and migrations in the United States and the impact of those patterns on cultures and community life. (5.5)
25. Explain how changes in transportation, communication and other technologies affect the movement of people, products and ideas. (5.7)
26. Explain how regions of the United States relate to one another and change over time. (5.8)
27. Use geography to interpret the past, explain the present and plan for the future. (5.9)
28. Analyze how a person becomes a member of a group or institution and what factors that influence inclusion or exclusion from a group. (6.2)
29. Describe how laws and events affect members of groups and relationships among groups. (6.4)
30. Assess how personal and group experiences influence people’s perceptions and judgments of events. (6.5)
31. Analyze how ideas, concepts, and traditions have changed over time (e.g., women’s role in society. (6.6)
32. Select, investigate, and present a topic using primary and secondary resources, such as oral interviews, artifacts, journals, documentsphotos and letters. (7.1)
33. Use maps, graphs, statistical data, timelines, charts and diagrams to interpret, draw conclusions and make predictions. (7.2)
34. Create maps, graphs, timelines, charts and diagrams to communicate information. (7.3)
35. Use technological tools for research and presentation. (7.4)
36. Distinguish between fact and opinion and recognize bias and points of view. (7.5)
37. Identify, research and defend a point of view/position. (7.6)