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8th grade social studies

Continuous Learning 2020 

8th grade Social Studies

Mrs. Helmer

Office Hours: MTRF 9-11 am, W 5-7 pm


 4 Focus Projects (These are 4 assignments that will be graded. and will make-up the 4th quarter grade.)

Kansas Standard:  Choices have consequences.


1. The Stock Market Game--we started this game before the break and it’s still live, so keep researching which stocks, bonds, and mutual funds to buy. Make educated choices. This will be a challenging time to make some money but keep researching, you’ll find some.

2. Presidential Mondays--these are going to look different than the classroom edition.  There will be a new Presidential Challenge on Mondays. These will be in Google Classroom or Flipgrid. (Think bracketology, but with Presidents.) We will judge how well these leaders made influential decisions. Which Presidents will make it to the “Final Four?” #SurviveAndAdvance

3. Scars of Reconstruction (part 1)---Jackie Robinson was an American professional baseball player who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball.  We will examine how the choices these people made changed the way society perceived equality. (Flocabulary)

4. Scars of Reconstruction (part 2)--Brown v Topeka Board of Education.  We will examine the effects of segregated schools through the story of Ernest Green, the first African-American to graduate from Little Rock Central High. (


Enrichment Projects (These are extra credit opportunities)


These projects are NOT required activities. (Think: extra credit) If you feel like you want more structure and depth of knowledge check these opportunities when they are posted in Google Classroom:

  1.  Zoom in-- Immerse students in highly interactive, document-based inquiry lessons designed by historians and teachers. Students can choose between 4 modules (or do all 4).                                             1. The American West 2. Imperialism 3. Immigration 4. The Constitution 

  2. Research Great Wars in American History Research and create Google Slides presentations

  3. Landmark Supreme Court Cases Analysis and create graphic novels

  4. CNN10--We are living in a historic time. I would encourage you to check out Carl Azuz’s daily updates and be in the know! I will have some current event games where you can test your skills on Fridays. Yes, Fridays are still awesome!

  5. Historical Readings/Movie--write a book report/movie review over a historical book/film you have read/watched during this time. (Historical fiction or nonfiction is acceptable.)

  6. The InvestWrite Essay Contest is on!  Luckily, InvestWrite has extended the deadline by one month. Please continue to use all the support tools in Google Classroom that include pre-writing activities, graphic organizers, Flocabulary, etc.  Due: April 22


I am happy to assist you in any of these projects (Focus or Enrichment). If you have forgotten your username or passwords, just send me an email at . Parents/Guardians if you would also like to be a part of our google classroom please send me an email and be sure to let me know your student’s name.















Eighth Grade U.S. History Curriculum—Course Outline

Mrs. Helmer

United States History:  Constitutional Age to International Expansion

The eighth-grade course of study begins with a review of the major ideas, issues, and events of the founding of the nation and Constitutional Period. Students will then concentrate on the critical events, people, groups, ideas, and issues of the period from 1800 to 1900 - including Westward expansion, sectionalism, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Populism, and Imperialism. The course is rigorous and relevant with instruction that integrates thinking skills, historical processes, and content so students are able to apply the learning to their own lives. Instruction includes the integration of concepts and principles from history, economics, geography, civics, and the humanities.   An emphasis will be placed on the “doing” of history rather than the simple acquisition of content knowledge.

  1. Establishing America (1787—1830s)
  2. Regionalism and Expansion (1800s—1850s)
  3. March to War (1850s—1861)
  4. Toward a More Perfect Union (1861—1877)
  5. The Rise of America (1870s—1900)

Major Units of Study:

Veteran’s Unit:   In this unit, students will have the opportunity to interview a veteran from any American war.  They will create questions for the interview and prepare a media presentation. 


Historical Readings:    Five A.R. points (or the equivalent) will be required each semester.  The book may be historical fiction or historical nonfiction.  The book must be read by the student outside of class.   If a student would like to read a book that does not have an A.R. test available, he or she will need to see me about written or oral book reports.  We will be reading the novels My Brother Sam is Dead and Walks in the Sun aloud in class during 1st and 4th quarters. 


Presidential Unit:   Students will research the lives and times of the Presidents.  Their research will be used as both a review and a preview of things to come in their study of American History.  We will spend time each week learning about these influential men. 


Supreme Court Landmark Cases:   Students will have the opportunity to research events and people surrounding landmark Supreme Court Cases. 


The Stock Market Game:    In teams of 3-5 students, students will compete in a national competition by investing a hypothetical $100,000 in stocks over a 10-week period.  Students will also participate in the InvestWrite Essay Contest.



Classroom Standard Operating Procedures:

Grading Policy:   All grading will be done on a total-point basis using the traditional scale.


Late Work:   One of the most important goals of education is to teach responsibility.  I will happily grade any assignment for full credit when it is turned in on the due date.   Late work is not acceptable.   Major assignments will receive a 10 percent deduction for each day it is late.   Daily work must be completed on the due date. 


Textbook:    Holt McDougal’s United States History 2012

 There will be access to the textbook online.