Welcome to Social Studies
Eighth Grade Social Studies
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Eighth Grade Social Studies
Curious about what is happening in social studies?
Take a peek at the Lesson Board in our classroom :)
November 13, 2012
Well, we made it through the election! Students spent many minutes this year watching convention speeches, debates, and the election coverage. I am very proud of them. I think they could hold a conversation with an adult regarding politics, the electoral college, and the candidates. I hope it was fun at home having a budding, active citizen :)
We have turned our attention from the Civil War to the West. You have probably heard our exciting news! Each of my students has a copy of Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee to borrow for our unit! Thank you, Mr. Pociask for finding additional funds for these lovely books. Mr. Pociask has joined us in reading some of the chapters and is anxious to have a book talk with the class! Love it!
We have been focusing on the interaction between European Americans and Native Americans starting with Columbus in 1492. Students have been writing about what happened to the "permanent Indian frontier" and how certain leaders attempted to unite their tribes against newcomers with little luck. Going forward, we will look at the conflict on the Plains as the US government works to "organize" the Great Plains.
November is going fast and will be over before we know it!
Have you seen the new Lincoln movie!? Sounds like a great outing! I'm available ;) j/k! Although, I do plan to see it many times!
Another fun point happening in room 204: we have been borrowing loads of books from the LRC. There are storybooks lining my white boards around the room. It is sweet. The students have been perusing during ROAR.
October 8, 2012
We are well into our Civil War unit. One of my favorite components of the unit so far has been the Pre-Civil War lessons/assignment. I have taught this many years and have decided to simplify the focus to hone in on the absolute keys: Why did the North need to contain slavery? Why did the South insist that it spread? The students have done an excellent job showing their understanding of these concepts. Ask them about it at home! :)
The Civil War has included lessons on why the war was sparked, what advantages each side had and what was each of their strategies? We have seen that so far the Union is unable to capture Richmond but keeps trying with its inept generals. We have also focused on what causes one to fight? The movie, Glory, was a hit! The students did a great job watching, listening and trying hard to understand what was going on during that time and why the 54th was so dedicated to this fight. One more year down of an extraordinary day!
We will move on to look at why the winner wins with highlights on the Battle of Fredericksburg and the Battle of Gettysburg.
Mr. Marx will read us a storybook and a detailed presentation on the happenings of the Civil War. It is a day to which I always look forward. It is bittersweet this year as Mr. Marx will be retiring after this school year :(
Next week, we will be working on our Civil War extended response! Wahoo!
September 24, 2012
Well we have had a very powerful few weeks here. We have been looking at our first historical unit, slavery. Students have watched various clips from Roots and a looked at a beautiful book, The Middle Passage by Tom Feelings. We have worked through the Five Steps to Slavery and felt a great deal of empathy and frustration at this misuse of power.
Our essential questions have included
When is it wrong to use power? & How can we resist oppression?
We have worked to see that these enduring understandings - It is wrong to use power at the expense of an innocent person. & Oppression is always resisted. - are lessons from the past that can be applied and used in our social interactions today.
We are all sorry to be leaving Kunta Kinte as we have learned much from his journey. We are moving on to some thought provoking questions of our Pre-Civil War unit which include
Why did the North want to contain slavery to the South? & Why did the South need slavery to spread? What is political power? How do we get it? Why is it important????
Spoiler alert! I think these two regions are headed toward war!
September 5, 2012
It has been a busy couple of weeks in eighth grade social studies! We have just finished our Lifeline discussions and posted our Lifeline posters. It has been wonderful to see the students "be real" with each other while opening up about their experiences. The students have received each other's stories with great care and respect. I have enjoyed getting to know everyone better!
As you may know, we have also been working with some politics in class! We have been watching the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention in the evening. They are loving it! Well, okay, not everyone is loving it ;) At times, the conversation in class has been quite spirited which is a pleasure to witness. My hope for them is that they become aware of each party's platform and values, discuss the topics with loved ones, start to recognize themselves as part of the system as citizens and future voters, and have conversations with others while showing consideration and respect. They are on their way.
Going forward, we are working to sign on to Edmodo which is like Facebook for the classroom. We are preparing for our first US history event, slavery. I am looking forward to exploring issues of power and oppression and seeing how we can learn from the experiences of our past.
Room 204 is coming together!