8th Grade Social Studies

United States History (The United States Through Industrialism)

Unit One: How Historians Study History

  • Understanding the Past: Why study social studies?
  • Using Timelines: The advantage of using timelines to study the past
  • Historical Inquiry: What tools do historians use to uncover the past?
  • Evidence: Analyzing Artifacts, Primary and Secondary Sources
  • Historical Reading Skills: Sourcing, Contextualizing, Close Reading, Corroborating
  • Historic Accounts: How can the same event in history have different descriptions based on varying perspectives?
  • Analyzing Primary and Secondary Sources

Unit Two: The First Americans and United States Colonial Heritage

  • Native Americans: How did the first Americans adapt to their environments living in different regions?
  • European Exploration and Settlement: How did Europeans explore and establish settlements in the Americas? What motivated this?
  • The English Colonies in North America: What were the similarities and differences among the colonies in North America?
  • Life in the Colonies: What was life really like in the colonies?

Unit Three: The Road to Independence

  • Gallery Walk -Road to Independence: When is it necessary for citizens to rebel against their government?
  • The Declaration of Independence: What principles of government are expressed in the declaration of independence?
  • The American Revolution: How was the Continental army able to win the war for independence from Great Britain?

Unit Four: Forming a New Nation

  • Creating the Constitution: What compromises emerged from the Constitutional Convention?
  • Creating the United States Political Systems: How did the Framers use inherited principles to identify the purposes of the Constitution and create constitutional mechanisms to form a government that empowers “We the People”?
  • The Constitution: How has the Constitution created “a more perfect Union”?
  • The Bill of Rights: What freedoms does the Bill of Rights protect and why are they important?
  • Critical Analysis: How does our system of government seek to address inevitable political tension and help us distinguish them from actual threats to our system of government?

Unit Five: Challenges to a New Nation

  • Political Developments: How did people respond to the challenges presented by regional and economic growth?
  • Foreign Affairs: How did political and economic issues challenge the new nation?

Unit Six: The Expansion of the Nation

  • A Growing Sense of Nationhood: What did it mean to be an American in the early 1800s?
  • Manifest Destiny: What motivated United States expansion in the 1800s?
  • Life in the West: Motives, hardships and legacies of the west

Unit Seven: A Dividing Nation

  • Era of Reform:  How successful were reformers of the mid-1800s in reducing the disparities between American ideals and reality?
  • Abolitionist Movement and Its Leaders: The effects of slavery
  • The World of the North and South: How was life in the North different from the life in the South? What events of the mid-1800’s kept the nation together and what events pulled it apart?

Unit Eight: The Civil War

  • Major Events of Civil War: What factors and events influenced the outcome of the Civil War? How and why did the North win the Civil War?
  • Abraham Lincoln: How did Lincoln’s presidency affect the nation and its people?
  • Reconstruction: How did the Civil War affect Americans and American society? How did the United States begin to function after the Civil War?
  • Industrialization: How did industrialization change the way of life in America and the world?

Types of Thinking: Collaborative, Analysis of Primary and Secondary Sources, Classifying/Grouping, Cause and Effect, Description, Evidentiary Argument, Identifying Perspectives, Issue Analysis, Problem Solving

Alignment to Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations and Common Core Literacy Standards for History/Social Studies

Through collaboration with Michigan Citizenship Collaborative Curriculum of Oakland Schools, the units of study and subsequent materials are aligned to the Michigan Social Studies Content Expectations adopted by the State Board of Education in 2007, as well as the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies and the C3 Framework promulgated by the National Council for the Social Studies.