8th Grade U. S. History Learning Targets

8th Grade U.S. History

Learning Targets

Students are expected to demonstrate their abilities to:

- recognize textual evidence from primary and secondary sources to support analysis

- describe how a text presents itself (sequentially, comparatively, and causally)

- distinguish between facts and opinions in a text

- identify an author's point of view and purpose through evaluating relevant parts of a text

Students will know or be able to do the following things at the end of the teaching cycle: (subject to revision)

First 3 Week Cycle




Ø Mayflower Compact;

Ø The English Bill of Rights; and

Ø how the Great Awakening contributed to the desire for a Revolution.

Second 3 Week Cycle



Declaration of Independence

Ø Declaration of Independence: "all men are created equal" and "unalienable rights" and

Ø impact of the American Revolution on France and other nations.

Third 3 Week Cycle



3 Branches

Ø Articles of Confederation;

Ø Jefferson" s Statute of Religious Freedom;

Ø abolition of slavery in early state constitutions;

Ø significance of the Northwest Ordinance in education and in the banning of slavery in new states north of the Ohio River;

Ø how the Articles of Confederation shaped the development of American government and ideas;

Ø how the ordinances of 1785 and 1787 privatized national resources and transferred federally owned lands into private holdings, townships, and states;

Ø the Constitution" s clauses on interstate commerce, common coinage, and full-faith credit and the advantages of common market among the states;

Ø the significance of Shay" s Rebellion and how the central government responded to it;

Ø federalism and checks and balances;

Ø how the Constitution preserves individual rights with the Bill of Rights;

Ø the major debates during the development of the Constitution and their ultimate resolutions: (the Virginia Plan, New Jersey Plan, separation of powers, federalism, Three-Fifths Compromise, and Great Compromise); and

Ø the philosophy of the Constitution as specified in the Federalist Papers.

Fourth 3 Week Cycle


Bill of Rights

Ø principles of dual sovereignty and separation of powers;

Ø the powers of government stated in the Constitution;

Ø fundamental liberties ensured by the bill of rights;

Ø the nature and purpose of majority rule;

Ø functions and responsibilities of a free press; and

Ø the law-making process and opportunities for citizens to participate and monitor it through elections, political parties and interest groups.

Fifth 3 Week Cycle




Ø the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments

Ø how Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton" s conflicting views resulted in the emergence of two political parties

Ø the significance of the Whiskey Rebellion and ways in which the central government responded to it

Ø the details and various outcomes of the treaties between American Indian Nations and the first four presidents

Ø the country" s physical landscapes, political divisions, and territorial expansion during George Washington" s term in office

Ø Washington" s Farewell Address

Ø the country" s physical landscapes, political divisions, and territorial expansion during John Adam" s term in office

Sixth 3 Week Cycle




Lewis & Clark

Ø Thomas Jefferson" s 1801 Inaugural Address; and

Ø Jefferson" s presidential term, the Louisiana Purchase, and Lewis and Clark expedition.

Seventh 3 Week Cycle


Indian Removal Act

-sect.1&3 (8.8.1) Andrew Jackson and his actions as president

-sect.2 (8.4.3) the rise of capitalism and the economic problems and conflicts that accompanied it

-sect. 3 (8.8.2) westward expansion and Manifest Destiny


Trails West

Texas Revolution

Mexican & American War

California Gold Rush

Ø the details of the Texas War for Independence and its effects on Americans then and Mexicans today;

Ø Mexican settlements, their locations, cultural traditions, attitudes toward slavery, land-grant system and economies;

Ø the details of the Mexican-American War and its effects on Americans then and Mexicans today;

Ø the great rivers and the struggle over water rights; and

Ø the annexation of Texas and the issue of slavery.

Eighth 3 Week Cycle

WAR OF 1812

the causes and consequences of the War of 1812

the country" s physical landscapes, political divisions and territorial expansion during James Madison" s term in office


Foreign Policy

Nationalism and Sectionalism

Ø the influence of the Monroe Doctrine on the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, Canada, and Europe; and

Ø John Adam" s Fourth of July Address of 1821 (p. 286 and R44 in back of text).

Ø Henry clay" s American System: obstacles and factors involved in building a network of roads, canals and railroads


Ø reasons for Irish immigration from Northern Europe to the United States and the growth of cities;

Ø the development of American education and Horace Mann" s campaign for free public education;

Ø the founding of schools and churches by free black Americans in the north; and

Ø Harriet Tubman & the Underground Railroad, Theodore Weld, William Garrison, Frederick Douglas.

Ninth 3 Week Cycle


Industrial Revolution

Change in Working Conditions


Technological Advances

Ø the influence of industrial and technological developments on the growth of cities, deforestation, farming, and mineral extraction


Growth of Cotton

Southern Society

Slave System

Ø the locations of the cotton- producing states of the south, and the significance of cotton and the cotton gin;

Ø the characteristics of white southern society and how the physical environment influenced events prior to the Civil War; and

Ø the similarities and differences between the lives of free blacks in the north and free blacks in the south.

Ø the laws of free blacks that limited their freedom and economic opportunity

Ø the effects of slavery on black Americans and on the region" s cultural development

Tenth 3 Week Cycle


Slavery Debate


Political Divisions

Nation Divides

Ø the significance of California" s admission to the union as a free state under the Compromise of 1850;

Ø the Wilmot Proviso of 1846 and the Missouri Compromise of 1820

Ø the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854;

Ø the boundaries and geographical differences between the north and the south;

Ø differences between agrarians and industrialists;

Ø Missouri Compromise and Compromise of 1850, Dred Scott v Sanford decision (1857), Lincoln-Douglas debates (1858);

Ø Abraham Lincoln" s House Divided speech of 1858 and inaugural address of 1861;

Ø John Brown and the armed resistance; and

Ø the push- pull factors in the movement of former slaves to the cities in the north and west and their differing experiences in those regions.


War Begins

War in the East/West

Daily life during the war

Tide of war turns

Ø the major battles of the Civil War: geographic advantages and obstacles;

Ø technological advances during the Civil War;

Ø General Lee" s surrender at Appomattox;

Ø the effects of the Civil War on soldiers, civilians, physical environment and future warfare; and

Ø the views and lives of Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and soldiers on both sides, including black soldiers and regiments.

Eleventh 3 Week Cycle


Ø the effects of the Freedman" s Bureau on the rights and opportunities of freedmen;

Ø the original goals of Reconstruction;

Ø the effects of Reconstruction on the political and social structure of different regions;

Ø "Jim Crow" laws; and

Ø the rise and impact of the Ku Klux Klan.

Final 3 Week Cycle


Ø big business

Ø new immigration

Ø US gains overseas territories

Ø The US and Latin America

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