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Pacing Guide 8th Grade

Unit 0 Geography and Native Americans (2 weeks)

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Students use map skills to determine the absolute location of places and interpret information available from a legend, scale, or symbolic representation. Students will explore the five themes of geography, a valuable tool for students to use in developing a "geographic perspective.” Students examine the lifestyles of the First Americans prior to and following the arrival of European explorers.

Unit 1 Colonial America (2 weeks)

Students study early colonial America including lifestyles and religion. Students will discuss the early settlements including the hardships that the early settlers faced. Students will learn about early compacts created and the determination that the early settlers had displayed in regards to surviving in their new land.

Unit 2 Colonies to Country (4 weeks)

Students understand the major events preceding the founding of the nation and relate their significance to the development of American constitutional democracy. Students will learn about wars between the French and the English that led to our ties with England and later to the taxation issues that inspired us to move from colonies to country. The students will understand the impact that the American Revolution had not just on our country but on countries around the world.

Unit 3 Independence to Constitutional Government (8 weeks)

Students will analyze great documents in American history beginning with Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. Students will analyze the philosophy of government expressed in the Declaration of Independence, with an emphasis on government as a means of securing individual rights. Students will analyze the Articles of Confederation and understand why they led to the creation of the Constitution. They will then study the political principles underlying the U.S. Constitution and compare the enumerated and implied powers of the federal government.

Unit 4 The New Nation (4 weeks)

Students will analyze the aspirations and ideals of the people of the new nation. They will use maps and interactive notebook activities to describe the physical landscapes, political divisions, and territorial expansion during the terms of the first four Presidents. They will study U.S. foreign policy in the early Republic. The students will study and understand the political and economic causes and consequences of the War of 1812. They will know the changing boundaries of the United States and describe the relationship that our country had with its neighbors, and how those relationships influenced westward expansion and the Mexican-American War. The students will also analyze the treaties that the first four presidents made with American Indian nations and the outcomes of those treaties.

Unit 5 Antebellum Period (4 weeks)

Students will analyze the divergent paths that the people took in the different regions of the United States prior to the Civil War. The students will study the industrialization of the North. They will study immigration, free black society, early education, and women’s suffrage. They will then analyze the people of the South and the challenges they faced from 1800 to the mid 1800’s. They will explore the agrarian society; study the origins and development of slavery, and the life style of the southerners. The students will continue on to learn about the people of the West and the challenges they faced in the same time period. They will study the policies of Andrew Jackson and the importance of “Jacksonian Democracy.” They will explore the concept of Manifest Destiny and the impact it had on the Natives that lived on the land. The students will understand the relationship with our neighbors in Mexico and how Manifest Destiny had a direct impact on our political relationship with that country.

Unit 6 Slavery (2 weeks)

Students will analyze the early and steady attempts to abolish slavery and to realize the ideals of the Declaration of Independence. The students will study key figures in the abolitionist movement as well as the Underground Railroad and the desire to ban slavery in the new states that were being added to our great nation through the Northwest Ordinance. The students will study great debates, compromises, and other historical decisions that focused on the abolition of slavery. They will also revisit and delve into the lives and situations of free blacks and the laws that limited their freedoms and opportunities.

Unit 7 The Civil War and Reconstruction (6 weeks)

Students will study the multiple causes, key events, and complex consequences of the Civil War. Using a mixed medium the students will learn about the critical developments of the war, including major battles, technological advances, strategies of the leaders that fought the war, and the events that led to the surrender. The students will study the fighting men; the women that aided on the battlefield, the spies, and the Presidents whose lives were shaped through their leadership during this unique time in United States History. The students will then continue on to study the character and lasting consequences of Reconstruction. Students will analyze the original aims of Lincoln’s Reconstruction policies and how they changed following his death. The students will study the many movements of former slaves, through their quest for education, jobs, voting rights, and opportunities, and the restrictions that they faced in their quest.

Unit 8 Industrial Revolution (3 weeks)

Students will analyze the transformation of the American economy and the changing social and political conditions in the Untied States in response in the United States to the Industrial Revolution. The students trace patterns of agricultural and industrial development based on climate, use of natural resources, and trade. The students will explore the Indian Wars and their relationship to the revolution. We will discuss entrepreneurs, industrialists, and bankers. We will explore the new immigrants and the effects of urbanization. The students will study child labor, labor unions, and the ever-changing cities. We will study inventions and their creators and how they improved the quality of life.

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