Social Studies

Welcome to Mr. Larsen's 8A Social Studies Class!

For updated information on my class, such as assignments, tests, notes and other information, please visit my Schoology page.


8th Grade social studies focuses on American history, from colonial times through the late 20th Century. While studying this period of time, our focus will be framed by four essential questions. Understanding and answering these questions appropriately is the true focus of this course. Our four essential questions are:

-What is the role and responsibility of a government?

-What is the role and responsibility of a citizen?

-What is the role and responsibility of an individual?

-What is social action?

As a way to answer these questions while covering the required content, these are the following topics we will cover in 8th grade:

-Colonial America- August & September

-American Revolution- September & October

-United States Constitution – October & November

-Bill of Rights and Amendments- November

-Industrial Revolution- December

-Immigration- December & January

-Progressive Era- January

-World War I- February

-The Roaring 20s-March

-The Great Depression-March

-World War II-April

-Holocausts and Genocide-April & May


-The Cold War-June

In addition to the above subject matter, every class will start with “This Day in History”. For just a few minutes each day, we will talk about important events that occurred on that date in history, and why they matter. We will also have “Current Events Fridays”, in which we learn about important events happening in the world, and discuss how they affect us.


Guidelines and Expectations

Welcome to Mr. Larsen’s 8th grade social studies class. This will be an exciting and informative year for all of us, and I am looking forward to working with all of you. To make sure we have the most successful year possible, I want to make sure everyone is clear about the expectations and guidelines I have for my class.

-I will give homework a few times each week. Each assignment is important, and even one missed assignment will lower your grade.

--If you are absent, it is your responsibility to find out about the work you missed- . I will not remember to seek you out- you need to come and talk to me and get the missing work to me in a timely manner. Emailing me on the day you are absent (if possible) is a good idea.

-Cheating is not allowed or accepted at all. If I believe you are cheating, you will receive a 0 and your parents will be called in for a conference.

---Class participation is very important and big part of your grade. Do not be afraid to give your opinion-- - all ideas are welcome in my class, and we have many class discussions.

-We will work on many group assignments, and for those assignments you will receive both a team grade (based on how the whole team performed) and an individual grade (based on how you performed).

-Class assignments should be typed or done in pen unless I tell you otherwise.

-All papers should be headed with the standard WJHS heading

--You should come to class prepared every day.- This means you are on time, come with a positive attitude, and have your social studies supplies- a pen, notebook, and blue folder, plus whatever else I’ve told you to bring that day.- - -

-I may offer extra credit at some points in the year, but you should not ask for it or rely on it.

-The main expectations I have for behavior in this class are based on respect. Respect me and respect each other, and we should have a wonderful year. Some examples of respectful behavior include speaking only when called upon, always being prepared, answering when spoken to, being honest, acting and thinking positively, and treating others how you would like to be treated.

-If you or your parents would like to contact me, the best way to do that is by email. My address is and I will return emails very quickly. My phone number at school is (847) 256-7280 ext. 273, and I will return calls as soon as possible.

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