8th grade U.S.History


Thank you for your interest in 8th grade preAP history. Please use this page to guide your decision of whether or not to take the preAP course next year.

Please note, this class is not for high school credit:

Both preAP and on-level 8th grade history classes cover Colonial America through the Civil War & Reconstruction . Both levels cover the same TEKS/content and ALL 8th grade students must take the 8th grade social studies STAAR test. High school social studies courses do not cover the necessary curriculum to prepare students for the 8th grade STAAR. 8th grade preAP History is intended to help you develop the skills needed to be successful in high school AP courses.

A fundamental difference between the two levels is the emphasis on higher-level reading and writing skills. A sample assignment (DBQ) is located further down this page and is related to content you have already studied in Texas History this year. You have had an introduction to DBQs in Texas History. However, 8th grade DBQs contain longer primary sources at a higher reading level and the analysis/writing will be in much more depth.

Success in preAP classes relies on strong reading and writing skills so please consider your Language Arts test scores and grades from previous years in addition to Texas History. Although you have not yet taken the 7th grade reading and writing STAAR tests, your ELA teachers have monitored your progress in class and on DCAs all year and may be able to give you some advice if you are uncertain.

Please carefully read the RRISD FAQ linked below for more detailed information.

You may also consider reading the book pictured at the bottom of this page. The first half contains a great overview for any 8th grade student, preAP or on-level. The second half of the book, post-Reconstruction, is covered in 11th grade history.

Again, thank you for your interest. We look forward to meeting you next year, whether in our preAP or on-level classes!

--8th grade Social Studies Teachers

8th grade preAP History students will have a geography-based summer homework packet. This is due the first day of school and you will have an assessment over it the first week of school. Please see the link below.

8th PreAP U.S.History Summer Geo packet.pdf

We recommend that students read Everything You Need to Ace American History in One Big Fat Notebook (pictured below) over the summer to help them prepare for 8th grade U.S. History. Although it is not required reading, this helpful book contains short, easy-to-read summaries of the first half of U.S. History. The colorful graphic organizers and visuals provide an introduction/overview for the year. (Please note: Our curriculum ends at Chapter 25, page 284. The remainder of the book covers 11th grade U.S.History through the modern era.) Most major bookstores and on-line retailers carry it. Also, less-expensive used copies are often available both on-line and at used bookstores.