Social Studies

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

Lusitania Video Link:


Screen Recording


Screen Recording

Creating the Constitution Flipped Video

Screen Recording

Revolutionary War Flipped Lesson


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.


Jewish Resistance

Answer the following questions after the section on Jewish resistance during the Holocaust.

  1. Did the majority of Holocaust victims know they were about to die?  Explain.
  1. Give three reasons there was not greater resistance from Jews. 
  1. How did hunger play a role in the lack of Jewish resistance?   Explain.
  1. Give an example of how Jews in factories would sabotage the Nazis. 
  1. What factors prevented Jews from posing as non-Jews?
  1. In which ghetto was the largest revolt or uprising?
  1. If you were a Jew during the Holocaust, would you have resisted?  Why or why not?  At what point?


WW II Project:

Turn in your Prezi Here!

Exporting your iMovie (this will take at least 10 mins)

  • Go to Share- Export using Quicktime

  • Name your project Period#_lastname_title(1_cummo_title)

  • Save to your desktop

  • Follow the directions below for dropping

Dropping your Project

  • Click on your desktop

  • Go to GO- connect to server and type in wjhsauth

  • Put in your user name and password

  • Click Groupshare- faculty

  • Find  dropbox- Larsen

  • Drag your converted file to your teacher's name (.mov)

  • Click Continue

Technology Options
  1. Prezi- create a 3-4 minute presentation using that includes:

    1. 10-15 slides

    2. images

    3. text- in bullet or heading format (no long paragraphs of text)

    4. optional- videos

    5. class presentation using your prezi as a guide (remember you should NOT read off of your slides).

    6. Share your project with Mr. Larsen (email  the URL)

  2. Movietone News Segment- create a 3-4 minute newscast on your event in iMovie. You must make your video look as if it came from that time period. 
    You must include:

    1. Intro to your news cast

    2. Video footage taken from the event (if available)

      1. To download videos from youtube use or at home

      2. Bring the video in .mov format

    3. Black and white photos/video- no color should be in your project at all. Photos are OK!

    4. Text or voiceover to explain the events that occur

    5. Appropriate music

    6. Be creative!!

    7. Export your project to quicktime and drop in Mr. Larsen’s dropbox.

  3. Claymation/Stop Motion Reenactment Project- create a 3-4 minute claymation/stop motion project in iMovie using props or characters that you bring in to retell the events. This option may require you to work outside of class time.
    You must include:

    1. An intro or title slide stating your topic and your names.

    2. Still images of your characters or props. You will need to take dozens of images, maybe hundreds, to retell your story. You characters can be action figures, popsicle stick characters that you’ve drawn or whatever you can come up with.

    3. Voiceover, text, or preferably both, to explain what’s happening in your reenactment.

    4. Appropriate music

!!Video Project Warning!!

  • Since you’re working in iMovie you must stay on the same computer the entire time. Write your computer # down and login as student with no password.
  • Click on the gear to adjust length, zooming, audio, etc.
  • To insert a movie file you must go to file- import- movie and find the file (you cannot just drag and drop)
  • Images cannot be .gif files but can be dragged and dropped in if they are .jpeg

1920's Flipped Lesson (3rd and 4th period)

Screen Recording

If you have any trouble accessing the site or following directions please email Mrs. Cummo: