8th Grade Social Studies


Teacher:   Mrs. Catherine Kollars, ckollars@stclarepdx.org

Curriculum:   American History from  Colonial times through the U.S. Civil War;; U.S.  Constitution; Current Events

    A special focus on the U.S. Constitution and ongoing reading and discussions of current events are also part of our curriculum


     Students who understand history, geography,current events, and the other social studies have a greater ability to make decisions, to participate in democracy, and to be better citizens of our communities, nation, and world.  As a passionate student of history, I try to share this enthusiasm with my students both because it is naturally interesting and vitally important.

   Eighth graders will focus their studies on American history beginning with the colonial era and moving chronologically through the Civil War.  My empasis will be on asking critical thinking questions, making comparisions between the past and modern day events, and encouraging students to become engaged with the "story" part of history.

     Students will learn and apply relevant vocabulary, graphic note taking, reading for meaning, map skills, essay writing, and other skills.  Regular quizzes and written tests will also be utilized to assess learning learning.  Finally, several projects througout the school year will allow students do demonstrate a variety of research and presentation skills.  The Colonial Town Meeting project in October will allow students to select the role of a colonial character, reserach his/her lifestyle, and prepare to participate in a class round table session dressed and responding to the discussion in the role of that person.  The political cartoon and editorial project in the spring will allow students to create political cartoons and write editorials on topics related to the era of President Andrew Jackson.  These and other projects and activities are intended to fuel interest and refine skills in social studies.

Mrs. Kollars’s

8th Grade Social Studies  Plan


This plan is subject to change based on teacher discretion.

Textbook: Disovering Our Past: A History of the United States; McGraw_Hill, 2014

Curriculum:   Colonial America-Reconstruction; U.S. Constitution/Government; 

                       Current Events; Geography                                                                    


1st Trimester    42 days                                              

                             Topics                                          Test/Project/Other                          Essential                      





       CHAPTER 3 “Colonial America                           Quiz, Test                                        *How does geography influence                                      

                                                                                                                                    the way people live?



       CHAPTER 4 “ Life in the American Colonies”       Quiz, Map,         * How do new ideas change the                  

                                                                                                                                     way people live?


       CHAPTER 5 “The Spirit of Independence”           Quiz, Test                                     * Why does conflict develop?                              




2nd Trimester 44 days

       Geo Bee Preliminary                                                                 


            CHAPTER 6 The American Revolution”                Quiz, Test                                     * What motivates people to act?                                              

      CHAPTER 7 “A More Perfect Union”                      Quiz; Project              * Why do people form governments?

                                                                                                              * How do governments change?                      

             Preamble to U.S. Constitution Recited                 

      CHAPTER 9 “The Federalist Era” &                                                        * What are the characteristics of a leader?

       CHAPTER 10 “The Jefferson Era”                     Quizzes; Test                 * How does geography influence the way             

                                                                                                                     people live?

     CHAPTER 11 “ Growth and Expansion”            

     CHAPTER 12 “The Jackson Era”                       Quizzes; Political              * What are the characteristics of a leader?

                                                                          Cartoon Project              * What are the consequences when cultures



3rd Trimester   40 days

            Current Events                                 Mini Projects               (Varies)

           CHAPTER 13 “ Manifest Destiny”                                                              * How do new ideas change the way people live?

           CHAPTER 14 “North and South”                    Quiz                                     * How do people adapt to their environment?

                                                                                                                       * Why do people make economic choices?

           CHAPTER 15 “13 “Spirit of Reform”                Quiz                                    * Why do societies change?

           CHAPTER 16  “Toward Civil War”                  Quiz;                              * Why does conflict develop?

           CHAPTER 17 “The Civil War”                         Quiz; Test; Essay Project

            Analyze and Recite “The Gettysburg Address”