Washington DC Standards 8th Grade Social Studies Activities
Printable Eighth Grade Social Studies Worksheets and Study Guides.
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DC.6-8. Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills
6-8.1. Chronology and Historical Interpretation
6-8.1.1. Students explain how major events are related to one another in time.
6-8.1.15. Students know the distinction between sound generalizations and misleading oversimplifications and stereotypes, such as the attribution of individual perspectives on historical events to entire demographic groups.
6-8.1.3. Students explain the central issues and problems from the past, placing people and events in a matrix of time and place.
6-8.1.4. Students understand and distinguish cause, effect, sequence, and correlation in historical events, including the short-term causes or sparks from long-term causes.
6-8.1.5. Students explain the sources of historical continuity and how the combination of ideas and events explains the emergence of new patterns.
6-8.1.6. Students recognize the role of chance, oversight, and error in history.
6-8.1.8. Students interpret basic indicators of economic performance, and they conduct cost-benefit analyses of economic and political issues.
6-8.1.9. Students frame questions that can be answered by historical study and research.
6-8.2. Geographic Skills
6-8.2.10. Students apply the concept of region and their patterns of change to the study of the natural and human characteristics of places.
6-8.2.11. Students use geographic knowledge and skills to analyze historical and contemporary issues.
6-8.2.2. Students use a variety of maps and documents to identify physical and cultural features of neighborhoods, cities, states, and countries. Students interpret historical maps and charts.
6-8.2.4. Students categorize characteristics of places in terms of whether they are physical (natural) or cultural (human). Know and apply the subcategories of physical and cultural characteristics when describing any given place.
6-8.2.5. Students explain the historical migration of people, expansion and disintegration of empires, and the growth of economic systems. Identify spatial patterns in the movement of people, goods, and ideas throughout history.
6-8.2.9. Students explain the effects of interactions between humans and natural systems, including how humans depend on natural resources and adapt to and affect the natural environment.
DC.8. U.S. History and Geography I: Growth and Conflict
8.1. Our Colonial Heritage (1600-1720): Students explain the religious, political, and economic reasons for movement of people from Europe to the Americas and describe the impact of exploration and settlement by Europeans on Native Americans.
8.1.2. Explain instances of both cooperation and conflict between Native Americans and European settlers, such as agriculture, trade, cultural exchanges, and military alliances, as well as later broken treaties, massacres, and conflicts over control of the land. (G, P, M, E)
8.1.4. Locate and identify the first 13 colonies and describe how their location and natural environment influenced their development. (G)
8.1.5. Identify the contributions of political and religious leaders in colonial America (e.g., John Smith, William Bradford, Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson, John Winthrop, Thomas Hooker, and William Penn). (P, R)
8.1.6. Describe the significance and leaders of the First Great Awakening, which marked a shift in religious ideas, practices, and allegiances in the colonial period and the growth in religious toleration and free exercise of religion. (R)
8.1.7. Describe the day-to-day colonial life for men, women, and children in different regions and their connection to the land. (S, E)
8.10. The Divergent and Unifying Paths of the American People (1800-1850): Students analyze the issue of slavery, including the early and steady attempts to abolish slavery and to realize the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.
8.10.2. Describe the significance of the Northwest Ordinance in education and in the banning of slavery in new states north of the Ohio River. (P, S)
8.10.3. Identify the various leaders of the abolitionist movement (e.g., John Quincy Adams, his proposed constitutional amendment and the Amistad case; John Brown and the armed resistance; Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad; Theodore Weld, crusader for freedom; William Lloyd Garrison and The Liberator; Frederick Douglass and the Slave Narratives; Martin Delany and The Emigration Cause; and Sojourner Truth and Ain't I a Woman). (P)
8.10.4. Describe the importance of the slavery issue as raised by the annexation of Texas and California's admission to the union as a free state under the Compromise of 1850. (P, S)
8.10.5. Analyze the significance of the States' Rights Doctrine, the Missouri Compromise (1820), the Wilmot Proviso (1846), the Compromise of 1850, Henry Clay's role in the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854), the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision (1857), and the Lincoln-Douglas debates (1858). (P)
8.10.6. Identify the conditions of enslavement, and explain how slaves adapted and resisted in their daily lives.
8.11. Civil War and Reconstruction (1830-1877): Students analyze the multiple causes, key events, and complex consequences of the Civil War.
8.11.4. Describe Abraham Lincoln's presidency and his significant writings and speeches and their relationship to the Declaration of Independence (e.g., his House Divided speech (1858), Gettysburg Address (1863), Emancipation Proclamation (1863), and inaugural addresses (1861 and 1865)). (P)
8.11.5. Explain the views and lives of leaders (e.g., Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, and Robert E. Lee) and soldiers on both sides of the war, including those of black soldiers and regiments. (P, M)
8.11.6. Describe African-American involvement in the Union army, including the Massachusetts 54th Regiment led by Colonel Robert Shaw. (M, S)
8.11.7. Describe critical developments and events in the war, including locating on a map the major battles, geographical advantages and obstacles, technological advances, and General Lee's surrender at Appomattox. (G, M, P)
8.11.8. Explain how the war affected combatants, civilians, the physical environment, and future warfare. (G, M, S)
8.12. Civil War and Reconstruction (1830-1877): Students analyze the character and lasting consequences of Reconstruction.
8.12.1. Explain the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution and their connection to Reconstruction. (P)
8.12.2. List and describe the original aims of Reconstruction (e.g., to reunify the nation) and its effects on the political and social structures of different regions. (G, P, S)
8.12.3. Explain the effects of the Freedmen's Bureau and the restrictions placed on the rights and opportunities of freedmen, including racial segregation and Jim Crow laws. (P, S)
8.12.5. Explain the movement of both White Northern entrepreneurs (carpetbaggers) and Black Yankees from the North to the South and their reasons for doing so. (S, G, E)
8.12.6. Explain the push-pull factors in the movement of former slaves to the cities in the North and to the West and their differing experiences in those regions (e.g., the experiences of Buffalo Soldiers, the Exodusters). (G)
8.13. The Rise of Industrial America (1877-1914): Students analyze the transformation of the American economy and the changing social and political conditions in the U.S. in response to the Industrial Revolution.
8.13.1. Explain the location and effects of urbanization, renewed immigration, and industrialization (e.g., the effects on social fabric of cities, wealth and economic opportunity, the conservation movement). (G, S, E)
8.13.4. Explain the connection between the ideology of Manifest Destiny and accelerated economic growth of the United States in the late nineteenth century (e.g., connection between U.S. business interests and military intervention in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean). (P, E)
8.2. A New Nation (1720-1787): Students understand the major events preceding the founding of the nation and relate their significance to the development of American constitutional democracy.
8.2.1. Describe the relationship between the moral and political ideas of the Great Awakening and the development of revolutionary fervor. (P, R)
8.2.2. Explain how freedom from European feudalism and aristocracy and the widespread ownership of property fostered individualism and contributed to the American Revolution. (P)
8.2.3. Analyze the philosophy of government expressed in the Declaration of Independence, with an emphasis on government as a means of securing individual rights (e.g., key phrases such as 'all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights'). (P)
8.2.4. Identify the political and economic causes and consequences of the American Revolution and the major battles, leaders, and events that led to a final peace (e.g. free press, taxation without representation). (P, M, E)
8.2.6. Explain the nation's blend of civic republicanism, classical liberal principles, and English parliamentary traditions. (P)
8.2.7. Describe the functions and responsibilities of a free press. (P)
8.3. The Constitution of the United States (1777-1789): Students analyze the political principles underlying the U.S. Constitution and compare the enumerated and implied powers of the federal government.
8.3.1. Describe the significance of the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and the Mayflower Compact. (P)
8.3.10. Explain the need and reasons for amendments to the Constitution. (P)
8.3.2. Analyze the Articles of Confederation and the reasons for its replacement by the Constitution. (P)
8.3.3. Explain the Constitution and its success in implementing the ideals of the Declaration of Independence. (P)
8.3.4. Evaluate the major debates that occurred during the development of the Constitution and their ultimate resolutions in such areas as shared power among institutions, divided state-federal power, slavery, the rights of individuals and states (later addressed by the addition of the Bill of Rights), and the status of American Indian nations. (P)
8.3.5. Describe the political philosophy underpinning the Constitution as specified in the Federalist Papers (by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay), and the role of such leaders as James Madison, George Washington, Roger Sherman, Gouverneur Morris, and James Wilson in the writing and ratification of the Constitution. (P)
8.3.7. Identify and explain the origins, purpose, and differing views of the framers on the issue of the separation of church and state. (P, R)
8.3.8. Explain the significance of Jefferson's Statute for Religious Freedom as a forerunner of the First Amendment. (P, R)
8.3.9. Describe the powers of government set forth in the Constitution and the fundamental liberties ensured by the Bill of Rights. (P)
8.4. The Constitution of the United States (1777-1789): Students understand the foundation of the American political system and the ways in which citizens participate in it.
8.4.2. Explain how the ordinances of 1785 and 1787 privatized national resources and transferred federally owned lands into private holdings, townships, and states. (G, P)
8.4.3. Explain the strict vs. loose interpretation of the Constitution and how the conflicts between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton resulted in the emergence of two political parties (e.g., their views of foreign policy, Alien and Sedition Acts, economic policy, National Bank, funding, and assumption of the revolutionary debt). (P)
8.4.4. Understand the significance of domestic resistance movements and the way in which the central government responded to such movements (e.g., Shays' Rebellion, the Whiskey Rebellion). (P)
8.4.5. Describe the basic law-making process and how the Constitution provides numerous opportunities for citizens to participate in the political process and to monitor and influence government (e.g., function of elections, political parties, and interest groups). (P)
8.4.6. Enumerate the advantages of a common market among the states as foreseen in and protected by the Constitution's clauses on interstate commerce, common coinage, etc. (E)
8.5. Launching the Young Nation (1789-1849): Students analyze the aspirations and ideals of the people of the new nation.
8.5.1. Explain the policy significance of famous speeches (e.g., Washington's farewell address, Jefferson's 1801 inaugural address). (P)
8.5.2. Explain and identify on a map the territorial expansion during the terms of the first four presidents (e.g., the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Louisiana Purchase). (G, P)
8.6. Launching the Young Nation (1789-1849): Students analyze U.S. foreign policy in the early Republic.
8.6.1. Explain the political and economic causes and consequences of the War of 1812 and the major battles, leaders, and events that led to a final peace. (P, M, E)
8.6.2. Outline the major treaties with American Indian nations during the administrations of the first four presidents and the varying outcomes of those treaties. (P)
8.6.3. Identify on a map the changing boundaries of the U.S., the relationships the country had with its neighbors (currently Mexico and Canada) and Europe, including the influence of the Monroe Doctrine, and explain how those relationships influenced westward expansion and the Mexican-American War. (G, P)
8.7. The Divergent and Unifying Paths of the American People (1800-1850): Students analyze the paths of the American people in the North from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced.
8.7.2. Describe the influence of industrialization and technological developments on the region, including human modification of the landscape and how physical geography shaped human actions (e.g., growth of cities, deforestation, farming, mineral extraction). (G)
8.7.3. Outline the physical obstacles to and the economic and political factors involved in building a network of roads, canals, and railroads (e.g., Henry Clay's American System). (G, E)
8.7.5. Explain the lives of black Americans who gained freedom in the North and founded mutual aid societies, schools and churches to advance their rights and communities. (P, S)
8.7.8. Explain the women's suffrage movement (e.g., biographies, writings, and speeches of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Maria Stewart, Margaret Fuller, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony). (P, S)
8.8. The Divergent and Unifying Paths of the American People (1800-1850): Students analyze the paths of the American people in the South from 1800 to the mid 1800s and the challenges they faced.
8.8.2. Describe the development of the agrarian economy in the South, the locations of the cotton-producing states, and the significance of cotton and the cotton gin. (G, E)
8.8.4. Trace the development of slavery; its effects on black Americans and on the region's political, social, religious, economic, and cultural development; and the strategies that were tried to both overturn and preserve it (e.g., through the writings of David Walker, Henry Highland Garnet, Martin Delany and Frederick Douglass and historical documents on Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey). (P, S)
8.9. The Divergent and Unifying Paths of the American People (1800-1850): Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people in the West from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced.
8.9.2. Describe the election of Andrew Jackson as president in 1828, the importance of Jacksonian democracy, and his actions as president (e.g., the spoils system, veto of the National Bank, and opposition to the Supreme Court). (P)
8.9.3. Describe the course and outcome of conflicts between American Indians and Europeans settlers over land (Indian Wars).
8.9.4. Describe the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the land-exchange treaties that forced Native Americans who lived east of the Mississippi River further west, and the effect these policies had on Native American nations (e.g. Cherokee Nation v. Georgia). (G, P, S)
8.9.5. Describe the purpose, challenges, and economic incentives associated with westward expansion, including the concept of Manifest Destiny (e.g., accounts of the removal of Indians, the Cherokees' Trail of Tears, and settlement of the Great Plains) and the territorial acquisitions that spanned numerous decades. (G, P, S)
8.9.9. Describe the Texas War for Independence and the Mexican-American War, including territorial settlements, the aftermath of the wars, and the effects the wars had on the lives of Americans, including Mexican-Americans today. (G, M, S)
DC.CC.6-8.RH. Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies
Craft and Structure
6-8.RH.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
6-8.RH.5. Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
6-8.RH.10. By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
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