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 the 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 emphasis will be on asking critical thinking questions, making comparisons 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.  Finally, several projects throughout the school year will allow students to 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, research his/her lifestyle, and prepare to participate in a class roundtable 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.