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Social Studies




8th Grade Topics


1. Geography

5. Civil War

M. L. King, Jr.

1. Research

 2. Constitution 

6. Economics


2. Debates

3. Elections

7. Inventions

 Field Trips 

3. Native American

4. Moving West

8. Immigration

  History Day


Class Information

Dear Parent(s) or Guardian(s) and Student:
Welcome to another school year! It is my hope that you, as student, will keep an open mind, ask a lot of questions, and enjoy the opportunity to learn about the world around you.
As a teacher, I will try to teach to the best of my ability, striving to be interesting and creative in lesson planning; firm and fair in matters of discipline; caring and understanding in how I relate to my students.

The following information will be helpful to you:

1. Course Outline: The eighth grade course of study begins with an intensive review of the major ideas, issues, and events preceding the founding of the nation. Students will concentrate on the critical events of the period-- from the framing of the Constitution to the rise of Industrial America.

State Standards for 8th grade American History

1st Trimester:
Review of the Colonial period and the American Revolution;
Constitution (The Constitution Test will be given); Establishing the New Nation.

2nd Trimester:
The Development of America's Regions; Civil War and Reconstruction

3rd Trimester: Rise of Industrial America; America as a World Power

2. Grades: Weighted Grades:

90% Assessments, e.g. tests, projects

10% Homework and Classwork

3. Homework: Homework will be given at least twice a week.
Homework Hotline: # 783-7788. Press 114

Eich Planner: All students must have a planner (your own or school planner).

4. Absences: If absent, the student may find missed assignments at the
"Assignment Center" in the the classroom. The student is responsible
for picking up missed assignments.

5. Late Assignments: If an assignment is late due to an excused absence, full credit will be received; otherwise, work turned in late thenext day will receive only half the grade.

6. Materials for Class: The student should bring to class daily: 1) pen (no gel pens) and pencil, 2) three hole binder paper , and 3) three hole binder.

I am excited about the year and have great expectations!



Download guidelines for your research in pdf format...

1. Research Guidelines / Requirements

Middle School Research site: A plan to help you do research... Another overall plan for research

2. Writing your thesis statement

More guides to Writing your thesis statement:

3. Questions to begin asking to guide your research.

4. Format for Citing research (MLA style)

Citation Maker: Does the format for you! How to do Parenthetical Citations for your board (Citing the sources on your board)

Conclusion: Caution about writing paper

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Debate Center

Check out these sites for information:

International Debate


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Start with Wikipedia to get an overall background of your tribe and you will aso find references
to some primary sources

Wikipedia list of tribes (good starting point)

Native American Resources

Looking for Treaties?

Looking for a Treaty? Access Genealogy

More Treaties: First People

Looking for Primary Sources / Quotes?

See example of stating and quoting opposite points of view: Houghton Mifflin site

Digital History: great quotes

First People

Brainy Quote


Looking for Pictures / Paintings?

American Memory

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Research women in the Women's Rights and suffrage movement in the 1800's to the early 1920...
Start with Wikipedia to get an overall background of your woman and you will also find references
to some primary sources.

History of Woman's Suffrage Movement in the U.S. (Wikipedia)
See list of important suffragettes at end of article... link collections on woman suffrage movement

Women's History Links

Research Guide for Women's History

National Women's History Project

National Women's History Museum

Violation of Women's Rights

Women's History in America


Assumption College and Women's history

Susan B. Anthony Center


Women Quotes

EdSitement Lessons:

Sample Web site by a semi-finalist group
More websites: History Day WebSites

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Web Sites for Road Trip Project

Use Google search engine and type in "tourism and the name of the state"
to find details about what's in a state

Info on the 50 states... Almost everything you need is on this web site!

National Parks Historical events
Sports in U.S.A.

Looking for businesses? Use Wikipedia

Practice studying for 50 State Quiz

Game: Identify the 50 states

Maps & Atlases
Outline maps (need a map?)
Library of Congress Map

Chico Geography Maps
Cartographic Images

Geographic Alliance

Virtual Tours

Virtual Freesites
Virtual field trips at Oops

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Take a practice test and download the key to check your answers:

 PDF Constitution Test

 PDF Constitution Key

Or Online Constitution Test : Take this Constitution test as often as you need...

The Constitution: Primary Source

Outline of the Constitution

Tour the U.S. government Federal Budget

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John McCain web site (click on "issues")

Barack Obama web site (click on "issue")

CNN Politics: great site great site

Fact Monster for kids

New York Times

Who's telling the truth? Check

Ads and Propaganda

Museum of Moving Image
Washington Post

Democratic National Committee:

Republican National Committee:

Sites for the Elections 2008

CNN Election
CRF Election links
CSPAN and the Elections
Congress Link:
The Democracy Network/League of Women Voters:
Public Agenda:


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Moving West

Lewis and Clark
Bicentennial Celebration
PBS Interactive map
National Geographic

Lewis and
Lewis and

Erie Canal
Canal Tour (after the movie, listen to the music!)
How a lock works

Pony Express
National Park Service

Transcontinental Railroad
PBS Race to Utah

Oregon Trail
Virtual tour
PBS site
PBS diaries

What is Cholera? See this website

Cholera is the illness caused by a bacterium called Vibria cholerae. It infects people's intestines, causing diarrhea, vomiting and leg cramps.

How do people get it?

The most common cause of cholera is by someone eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated with the bacteria.

After a disaster, this is a very real danger, since regular, clean water and food supplies are often unavailable. The disease can be spread even further by infected people using already dirty water sources to clean themselves or dispose of waste.

Why is it so serious?

Cholera can be mild or even without symptoms, but a severe case can lead to death without immediate treatment. The diarrhea and vomiting brought on by the infection quickly leaves the body without enough fluid. The following dehydration and shock can kill a person within hours.

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Civil War WebSites for your Civil War Photo Book




Confederate Generals

Union Generals

Colored Troops

Prison Camps


Sunsite Civil War Homepage

American Civil

Civil War from CyberSleuth Kids

U.S. Civil

Civil (great photos)

ClipArt and Photographs of the Civil War
Images of Slavery
Weapons, Navy, Spies, Technology, & Medicine

Civil War weapons.tripod

Civil War Newspaper Project

North and South

North and Lowell Mills

Simulation of Lowell Mills

Multimedia: Lowell Mills

South and Slavery

Slave Pictures for your Editorial

Slave Statistics: Charts and graphs

More charts and graphs

Slave Ads

Mount Vernon Virtual Tour

Follow the Drinking Gourd (mp3)

Follow the Drinking Gourd by the Weavers

Explanation of the song

North Star

Slave Recordings (use mp3 setting)

Wallace Quaterman: Song_Weary Land

Charlie Smith Interview

Digital History and Slavery


List of plantations to create Powerpoint presentation

Green Hill Plantation

John Brown

PBS John Brown

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Economics Comparison World charts
Currency Converter
Cost of Living in the World
Federal reserve bank CPI for 1800's / 1900's:
Learn how to make calculations to convert prices.
Inflation Calculator for 1800's and present

Another CPI calculator

Calculating a Budget and Choosing a Job to fulfill your dreams

Use this calculator to plan a family

Jobs and Wages

What's required for a job (Do you have what it takes?) Classified

What is considered the Poverty Level?
Employment and Education
Education and Prison

U.S. Deployment of troops around the world

Cost of War (Iraq and Afghanistan)job

Federal Deficit:

Clock 1

Clock 2

ZFacts Deficit Clock Federal Budget

Wikepedia Federal Budget

Cost of the Iraq war

Captains of Industry

50 most generous Philanthropists of Today

RobberBaronsSlide Show

ROCKEFELLER - philanthropy

Standard Oil and Ida Tarbell

Rockefeller quotes

CARNEIGIE - philanthropy - philanthropy



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Enchanted Learning

Hall of Fame
PBS Inventions

Page Wise Inventions of Old

Sports history
Yahoo Sports History

History of Weapons
Modern Weapons at
Guns at

Toy Inventions

Automobile history

Cosmetics Inventions

Computer Inventions

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Immigrant Scrapbook Unit / Lessons

International test scores

GATE: Debating the Arizona Immigration Law

(CNN) -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed the state's immigration bill into law. It is considered to be among the toughest legislation in the nation.

What does the Arizona law do?
Arizona's law orders immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there's reason to suspect they're in the United States illegally.
It also targets those who hire illegal immigrant laborers or knowingly transport them.

Introduction to issue:



Descriptions of Immigrant Life

European Immigration / Ellis Island

Scholastic Ellis Island: Virtual Tour
360 degree tour of Ellis Island

Asian Immigration / Angel Island

QTVR Angel Island
Satellite Shot
Angel Island Cam
Immigration Station (Use this site to create email pen pals)

Global Warming

BBC Basic Information
Animation of Greenhouse effect
Government site

Poster Board / PowerPoint Presentation: Immigration

World (current data on countries)

International anthems (midis)

U.S. Census Bureau (historical statistics on birthplace of immigrants)

Ancestry of America (current statistics for U.S. ancestry)

American Memory (brief focus on different ethnic groups)

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Our Presidents: Whitehouse

President for a day (PBS) Presidential Libraries

Daily Schedule of President Ford

he Cabinet

Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings

Thomas Jefferson and DNA

Lincoln and Slavery:
History Now
CATO Institute
National Park Service


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The / mlk

Scavenger Hunt MLK

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Field Trips

The Tech Museum
Golden State Museum

The National History Day Site

Need the Rulebook? Click here...History Day in California

Another site for guidelines: Pennsylvania History Day

MLA guides (citing your sources)

Citation Machine
USM Library (online sources)
The Writing Center

More Guides and samples for:

1. Writing a Paper:
OAH site
Lee's Writing Guide
Sample paper (pdf file)
Writing Footnotes
Writing Footnotes with Microsoft Word
Writing Footnotes with MS: 2nd source
Subsequent Footnotes

2. Sample Web site by a semi-finalist group
More websites from last year's competition: History Day WebSites

3. Drama
Kansas sample

4. Exhibit

5. Documentary: See laser disc

Tutorial on PowerPoint
Powerpoint and Narration I
Powerpoint and Narration II
PDF download file for narration

Need Music background?

Sample Topics with Resources

1. Native American

2. Journey West or Oregon Trail

3. Immigration

4. Space

5. Little Rock (school integration)

6. Lewis and Clark

Starting Places...

Digital History
Library of Congress
Nara Digital Classroom (National Archives)
American Memory (Library of Congress)
Crossroads Project

Social Studies School
Marc Datous People' s Century
Eye Witness
History of Today
dboals Social Studies

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