8th Grade History - Course Description


from:Tillotson, Michael

to:History, 8th Grade

Time Sept. 07, 2015

8th Grade World History:  History of the United States of America

• We define History and Historiography and examine their associated methodology.
• We will review the European exploration of the North American continent and European interaction with Native Americans with particular attention to geographical features and climate.
• We will investigate early colonial America as a foundation for the later development of of American institutions and track the evolution of political and economic relations with Europe.
• We will examine the forces leading to the War of Independence and carefully analyze the making of the U.S. Constitution, its provisions and its implementation in the context of the crises of American history.
• We will analyze the economic and social tensions that have characterized the American experience with particular attention to the lead-up to and aftermath of the Civil War, the effects of industrialization and the development of the nation as a global power.
• We will always be concerned with the implications our study of the past has for our present social and political concerns.

• We will make use of the textbook A More Perfect Union (Houghton Mifflin Social Studies) as guide for  our exploration of the past, but our principal concern will be to develop a classroom conversation between teacher and students about our studies, supplementing the textbook with material provided by the teacher in the form of lectures, handouts and research assignments.
• Students will be expected to take notes in class and on assigned readings and maintain a binder containing these notes and all other materials associated with the course.
• There will be periodic quizzes/tests announced and prepared for well in advance.
• There will be opportunities provided each student for classroom presentations based on research after consultation with the teacher.

• Grades will be based not only on quiz or test results, but also on an assessment of the individual student's engagement with and mastery of the material as demonstrated in participation in classroom discussion and in the precision and thoroughness of classroom notes.
• The ultimate determinant of the student's success will be:  what in the end the student has achieved, given the resources and opportunities afforded in the class.

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