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Eighth Grade Social Studies

Bloomfield Hills Middle School

Mr. John W. Brooks


TEXTBOOK : The American Nation:Beginnings to 1877 Prentice-Hall



Eighth grade Social Studies is a study of American History. We will start our studies with the Revolutionary War, and continue through the Civil War and the Reconstruction period.  Using American History as a theme, we will intertwine Economics, Civics, and Geography throughout the year. An emphasis will be placed on understanding how the formulation of the United States as  a multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-racial society.


Unit 1   The American Revolution

We will first discuss the causes and then the events that were a part of the American Revolution. We will investigate leaders, battles, and other significant people of the war. (Chapter six of the textbook).


Unit 2   The Creation and Meaning of The Constitution

We will discuss how the constitution evolved from the Articles of Confederation and then have an overview of the constitution. (chapter 7 & civics overview)


Unit 3   The New Government Begins

We will look at how George Washington, and John Adams function as leaders of the new nation. (chapter 8)


Unit 4   The Jefferson Era

We will examine the presidency of Thomas Jefferson, and how it shaped our nation for years to come. (chapter 9)


Unit 5   Years of Growth and Expansion

This unit will discuss how America changed from primarily an Agriculture Based society to an industrial one. The problems with this conversion will also be examined. (chapter 10)


Unit 6  The Jackson Era  

The very controversial policies and practices of the famous Andrew Jackson will be discussed, along with the treatment of American Natives. (chapter 11)


Unit 7   From Sea to Shining Sea

In this unit we will learn about the westward expansion movement and how the face of American dramatically changed in the mid 1800s. (Chapter 12)



Unit 8    The Worlds of North and South

This unit will focus on how the economy of the North and South became very different and how these differences would later become a huge problem for the unity of all Americans.  (chapter 13)


Unit 9    A Reforming Age

This unit will focus on the reforms of the 1800s. Included will be discussions about the abolition movement, mental health reform, educational reform, prison reform, and the temperance movement. (chapter 14)


Unit 10    The Civil War

The causes of the civil war will be discussed. We will look at the strengths and weaknesses of the north and the south. We will look at the major players surrounding the civil war and discuss some of the major battles that were a part of the war.  (chapter 15 & 16)


Unit 11    Reconstruction

This unit discusses the reconstruction of the south with the conclusion of the civil war.  We will discuss the long tem impact of the war on the people who lived in the south.




TEAM 8-A   


A.     Standard Based Grading System

90-100                       A

80-89                            B

70-79                            C

60-69                            D

Below 60        E


  1. Percentages will be based on points accumulated on various assignments made during the course of the year.


C.    Breakdown of Points

1.  Tests   20-30%

    1. mostly objective- matching, multiple choice, fill in the blank
    2. some essay

2.  Activity Projects 40 50 %

           Assignments such as laboratory reports, cooperative group projects,

           written reports, PowerPoint or web based assignments.

3.       Homework  20 30 %

Questions from the textbook
assignments  will be part of the student grade.


4.       Extra Credit- There will be opportunities for extra credit from time to

      time during the marking period.  You can also brainstorm and come up

      with an idea that will benefit you and the whole class, for extra credit.

      Extra credit must be student initiated and approved by the teacher

      before it will be considered for credit.

5.       Behavior is considered an extra ingredient, which can only enhance

      your grade.  No point value will be awarded. However exemplary

       behavior could slightly improve your grade

D.    Accounting of your Grade

E.     It is expected that you will keep track of assignments and of your points  in your class journal.

1.      I will also post your grades on my web site, understand

      that in some cases it will take several days in order for late

      work to be reflected on my grade sheets. PLEASE BE    


2.      If there are long term (one or two week) discrepancies

     between what you think your grade is and what I have on 

     the grade sheet, I will be glad to sit down with you before or

    after school to rectify the situation.  THIS CAN NOT