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Franklin: Social Studies

Woodbury Grade 8 Team Site

Mrs. Muraco's Social Studies Class

What We Study

Grade 8 - United States History

 

This year, students will investigate guiding questions such as “How have past events shaped our national identity?” Students begin the year exploring colonialism and its effect on people and the environment of North America. They examine how the American government was created and investigate the basics of our economy. Next, students discover Americans’ different perspectives regarding Manifest Destiny.  Students investigate how the Civil Rights movement has direct connections to the American Civil War and the Jim Crow era. Students will also explore guiding questions such as “What are some examples of change and continuity throughout American history?” Students compare how immigration policies affect everyday lives of Americans both in the past and present. Using their prior basic knowledge of the economy, students will apply these concepts to the study of the Gilded Age and the Great Depression. They will analyze cause and effect relationships throughout the development of the nation.  Additional supporting questions appear under each topic. The questions are included to stimulate teachers’ and students’ own questions for discussion and research.

Class Expectations

Welcome to your 8th grade Social Studies class!  My name is Mrs. Muraco and I'm excited to start a new school year with you.  This year we are going to be studying American History from the colonial era through modern times.  We will focus on how Americans have lived their lives over the past 300 years, how our government was formed and how it works today, and how ideas and inventions shape the world around us.

In this letter, I would like to outline the expectations and your responsibilities you will have in this class.

Supplies

You are expected to come to class prepared every day with the following materials:

  • Social Studies binder
  • a pencil and a blue or black pen
  • assignment notebook

Content and Grading

This class is focused around mastering Social Studies standards in the following competencies:

  • Civics
  • History
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Essential Skills

You will be responsible for reading primary source documents along with non-fiction historical texts to come to conclusions about different facets of American history.  There will be an emphasis on writing a convincing argument with sufficient evidence and analysis to back up your claim.  You will have many opportunities to speak your mind in this class about various historical topics.  You will also hone your informational writing skills as you learn to effectively compose informative writing pieces about incidents in American history.

Behavior

You are always expected to treat everyone in the room, whether an adult or a fellow student, with respect.  Failure to follow directions or displays of other disrespectful behavior will result in a phone call home, an email home, or even a referral to the office.  Remember Woodbury's school values: Safety, Respect, and Responsibility.

Contact Information:

Email: april.muraco@sau57.org

Classroom Phone: (603) 893-7055 x3206

Team Website: http://www.sau57.org/woodbury/franklin

Classroom Instagram: mrsmuraco23

Quarter 3 Topics

Supporting Question: How has the outcome of the Civil War affected Americans’ lives?

  1. Explain how antebellum ideologies caused division between the northern and southern states.
  2. Analyze the interdependence of the economies of the industrial North and agricultural South.
  3. Describe the impact of the war on various social groups.
  4. Explain the causes and effects of the Reconstruction Amendments.
  5. Describe the impact the Jim Crow South had on the American way of life.
  6. Analyze the social inequalities that ignite Civil Rights movements.
  7. Explore social change and continuity in America.

Supporting Question: How did the United States respond to new ideas about society?

  1. Explain the rationale and events leading to American entry into WWI and Woodrow Wilson’s wartime diplomacy (the Fourteen Points, League of Nations) and the failure of the Treaty of Versailles.
  2. Research policies of the Progressive period and explain their impacts on Americans (women’s suffrage, child labor laws, Prohibition, etc.).
  3. Analyze primary sources (art, writing, music, fashion) to show how traditionalism and modernity conflicted in the early twentieth century.

Supporting Question: What factors led the American economy to go from booming to busting?

  1. Analyze how economic policies (robber barons, monopolies) and lack of government regulation shaped the landscape.
  2. Explain how financial decision-making and wartime production led to an economic boom during the Roaring Twenties.
  3. Describe the multiple causes and consequences of the global depression of the 1930s, including consideration of competing economic theories that explain the crisis.
  4. fall in stock market
  5. restrictive monetary and trade policies
  6. widespread unemployment decline of personal income
  7. support for social and political reform
  8. decline in trade
  9. the rise of fascism
  10.      4. Explain the successes and failures of the New Deal in restoring American prosperity.

Supporting Question: Should freedoms be sacrificed in the name of national security?

  1. Explain the reasons for American involvement in World War II and the key actions and events leading up to declarations of war against Japan and Germany.
  2. Describe the sacrifices made by women on the homefront in the name of national security and how those sacrifices led to social change for American women.
  3. Analyze the reasons for and against the exclusion and internment of Japanese American citizens during wartime.
  4. Describe how Japanese American citizens were impacted by the actions of the United States’ government.
  5. Explain the reasons the United States gave for the use of atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan; and use primary and secondary sources to analyze how arguments for and against the use of nuclear weapons developed from the late 1940s to the early 1960s.

Quarter 2 Topics

Supporting Question: Was westward expansion a success?

  1. Explore various perspectives of  social groups impacted by expansion.
  2. Explain how technology (steam engine, railroad, telegraph) played a key role in expansion.
  3. Describe how social conditions affected westward expansion.
  4. Describe the environmental effects (land manipulation, animal loss) of expansion.
  5. Explain the key role economic conditions played in expansion.

Supporting Question: How do individuals make choices about spending?

  1. Describe how resources for the production of goods are limited, therefore people must make choices to gain some things and give up others.
  2. Explain the factors that affect the prices of goods and services.
  3. Define supply and demand and explain the role that supply and demand, prices, and profits play in determining production and distribution in a market economy.

Supporting Question: How has the outcome of the Civil War affected Americans’ lives?

  1. Explain how antebellum ideologies caused division between the northern and southern states.
  2. Analyze the interdependence of the economies of the industrial North and agricultural South.
  3. Describe the impact of the war on various social groups.
  4. Explain the causes and effects of the Reconstruction Amendments.
  5. Describe the impact the Jim Crow South had on the American way of life.
  6. Analyze the social inequalities that ignite Civil Rights movements.
  7. Explore social change and continuity in America.

Quarter 1 Topics

Supporting Question: How did the events and policies of the colonial period transform our emerging nation?

  1. Explain Britain’s policies in the North American colonies and compare the perspectives of the British Parliament, British colonists, and Native Peoples in North America on these policies.
  2. Describe Patriots’ responses to increased British taxation.
  3. Explain the main argument of the Declaration of Independence, the rationale for seeking independence, and its key ideas on equality, liberty, natural rights, and the rule of law.
  4. Explain how the relationship between colonists and Native Americans transformed over time.

Supporting Question: How do the institutions of the U.S. political system work?

  1. Distinguish the three branches of government (separation of powers): executive, legislative and judicial branches.  
  2. Examine the three branches (the checks and balances system).  Describe the respective roles of each of the branches of government.
  3. Explain the process of elections in the legislative and executive branches and the function of the Electoral College in Presidential elections.
  4. Describe Citizenship and its rights, responsibilities, and duties.