Social Studies Grade 8 Curriculum Guide

Secure Link to Assessments and Keys for Modified Lesson Plans 


Curriculum Guide Study Guide


Guide to the Curriculum Guide

Introduction: Purpose, Process, and Contents of the Guide


Sheltered Instruction in Social Studies and Benefits for ALL Students

Great support document for SIOP!


Overview Materials

Grade 8 Curriculum Overview Chart: This document includes a summary of each History Alive! lesson, a summary of the suggested changes to the lesson with the rationale for the changes, the instructional time frame, writing opportunities in the argumentative/persuasive mode, and the Priority Standards for each lesson.

Grade 8 Priority Standards: Priority standards are the main ideas; standards are the details.

Year Long Calendar: The year long calendar has been popular with 6th and 7th grade teachers. It is a Word document so that you can make your own adjustments.

Week-by-Week Chart: Since there are two buffer weeks at the end of this chart, you can cut and paste to move items in the lesson column in order to insert time for teaching the Argumentative/Persuasive Writing Assignment.

Materials that can be used throughout the year


GEOGRAPHY - MAPS  (These are also posted in the Review Unit section)           

Directions for US Wall Map Class Activity: Another good "beginning of the year" learning activity.

Student Black Line US Map (8.5x11 or enlarge to 11x17)

Wall Size Black Line US Map

Interactive Desk Map Game: All 8th grade teachers should have a class set of laminated U.S. Desk Maps.                    They are NOT consumable, so do not run them under water or send them home with students. The directions               for the game are on the back of the map, but the directions provided here may be easier to follow. Students                    create question and answer cards whenever they play the game.  A teacher created cards for Lesson One that               also serve as an example for students.

Grade 8 Purposes of Government Matrix: How were the purposes reflected during periods of US history?

Grade 8 Government Matrix: Functions of Government and Current Events

Guiding Questions for Discussion                   


Using A Young People's History of the United States : This document will show you the correlations so that you      can use this book in conjunction with History Alive! will to address several priority standards. However, the chapters and passages have also been correlated on the 8th Grade Curriculum Overview Chart and both versions of the calendar. A Spanish translation of some sections of the book selected for this purpose is available in the password protected section with the assessments.


This chart includes topics and subtopics from the scope of 8th grade US history that have current global connections that can be explored. A list of related standards is also included.

Review Unit: US Geography, Native Americans, Colonies,

 and the American Revolution

This is the plan you’ve been waiting for!

It’s very important for 8th grade teachers to teach the Civil War and Reconstruction. The “review” lessons created for this Curriculum Guide and provided below can either provide:

·         a review of 5th grade U.S. History standards – content related to Native Americans, colonial life, and the American Revolution or

·         sufficient and memorable background knowledge for students who have not ever studied this content

In either case, these lessons will help your students make sense of the actual 8th grade standards-based curriculum – The Constitution through Reconstruction – and some of Oregon’s history through 1900.

Additionally, these lessons will familiarize your students with US geography, will show them how to use the Interactive Desk Map Game to enhance their learning throughout the year, and will provide an opportunity for you to teach protocols for viewing videos and working in small groups.

Overview of Review Unit: Combined Lessons 8.01-8.02, 8.03-8.04, and 8.05-8.07

Lesson_US Wall Map

·         8.5x11 US Map

·         11X17 US Map

·         Classroom US Wall Map

11X17 World Map (no lesson; use for current events, review, etc.)

Review Lesson 8.01-8.02

·         Matrix 8.01

·         Interactive Desk Map Game Instructions

·         Desk Map Game Cards 8.01

·         Cornell Notes 8.01 Introduction

·         Cornell Notes 8.02 Introduction

Review Lesson 8.03-8.04

·         Comparing Colonies Chart 8.03-8.04

·         Cornell Notes 8.03 Introduction

·         Cornell Notes 8.04 Introduction

Overview of Review Lessons 8.05-8.07

·         Review Lesson 8.05 Day One Plan

·         Review Lesson 8.05 Day One Worksheet

·         Review Lesson 8.05 Day Two Plan

·         Review Lesson 8.05 Day Two Worksheet

·         Review Lesson 8.06-8.07 Video Plan

·         Review Lesson 8.06-8.07 Worksheet

·         Assessment and/or Review for Lessons 8.05-8.07


The Early Republic


Lesson 8.11 Political Developments in the Early Republic

Cornell Notes 8.11

Enrichment 8.11


Lesson 8.12 Foreign Affairs in the Young Nation

Cornell Notes 8.12

Enrichment 8.12


Lesson 8.13 A Growing Sense of Nationhood

Cornell Notes 8.13

Enrichment 8.13

YouTube Musical selections in historical order

Graphic organizer for musical selections

Graphic organizer comparing the United States in 1800 to the United States today


The Growing Nation

Lesson 8.14 Jacksonian Democracy

Enrichment 8.14

Lesson 8.15 Manifest Destiny

Enrichment 8.15

Lesson 8.16 Life in the West

Cornell Notes 8.16 Intro

Enrichment 8.16

Lesson 8.17 Mexicano Contributions

Cornell Notes 8.17 Intro

Enrichment 8.17


The Antebellum Period

Lesson 8.18 Era of Reform

Cornell Notes 8.18 Intro

Enrichment 8.18


Lesson 8.19 The Worlds of North and South

Cornell Notes 8.19 Intro

Cause/Effect Sentence Frame Review

Enrichment 8.19


Lesson 8.20 African Americans at Mid Century

Cornell Notes 8.20 Intro

Guided Reading Lesson 8.20

Reading Notes Matrix Lesson 8.20

Enrichment 8.20


The Civil War and Reconstruction

Lesson 8.21 Dividing Nation

Prelude to the Civil War Power Point

Prelude to the Civil War Note-Taking Worksheet

Chapter Support 8.21 Power Point Cornell Notes 8.21 Intro

Enrichment 8.21


Lesson 22 The Civil War

Video Clips, Songs, Literature for Lesson 22

Cornell Notes 8.22 Intro

Additional Vocabulary 8.22

Enrichment 8.22


Lesson 23 Reconstruction

Video Clips, Songs, Literature for Lesson 23

Cornell Notes 8.23 Intro

Additional Vocabulary 8.23

Enrichment 8.23


Tensions in the West


 Lesson 24 Tensions in the West

 Video Clips, Songs, Literature for Lesson 24

 Cornell Notes 24_intro

 Additional Vocabulary 8.24

 Enrichment 8.24