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With hard work and motivation I believe all students will arise above the challenge in their path to new discoveries throughout their educational careers.I hope that all of my students leave the classroom with a new found love for history and follow the motto "Carpe Diem".
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(931) 553-2080

Welcome to the Excalibur Team and the 8th Grade.  Remember, THE ONLY EASY DAY WAS YESTERDAY.  With a lot of GRIT everyone will be successful.

8th Grade Social Studies Syllabus 2019-2020

Grade 8 Social Studies Syllabus



Academic standards, chosen by the Tennessee State Board of Education, provide a common set of expectations for what students should know and be able to do at the end of a specific grade or course.  Local school districts determine the order in which these state-mandated standards are addressed in their schools.  For a breakdown of standard pacing and course objectives for 8th grade Social Studies students in the Clarksville Montgomery County School System, please visit the Academic Resources link under the Students & Parents tab on the CMCSS homepage.


It is the policy of the Clarksville Montgomery County School System to follow the dictates of state statues in the selection and use of all instructional materials.  Parents or legal guardians may request to review any instructional materials used in the classroom of the parent or legal guardian’s child following the guideline set forth in Instructional Policy INS-A073 found at:


The chart below outlines the units of study for 8th grade Social Studies and possible major assignments or field trips that could be used to enhance student learning or solidify mastery of standards in each unit.  This chart is not inclusive of every assignment for 8th grade Social Studies, as additional or different assignments may be created based on the needs of students.  Specific details for major assignments will be shared with students and parents or legal guardians as the standards related to the assignments are addressed in class.






Areas of Focus and Possible Major Assignments

Possible Field Trips



Diagram push and pull factors of English colonization

Compare motives for founding of colonies

Analyze Jamestown location, hardships, accomplishments – rise of plantation economy

Rise of representative government – House of Burgesses, Bacon’s Rebellion

Origins of American slavery

Religious Reasons for Founding Colonies:  Plymouth, Mass Bay, Pennsylvania

Map colonies major geographic features and tie to development of economy and culture

Identify major figures in colonial history and their significance

Trace Dutch influence in Hudson Valley and the rise of New York

Carolina colonies – tobacco, rice, indigo – recognize Tidewater influence

Founding of Georgia – motive as a buffer colony and haven for debtors

Trace the extent of French occupation of Canada and move into the Ohio Valley

Identify impact of European colonization on American Indians

Explain the Navigation acts and mercantilism

Compare the New England, Middle, and Southern Colonies

Close reading on the geography of the colonies; foundational documents like the Mayflower Compact

Map Triangular Trade

Close reading on Middle Passage or African experiences as slaves (Equiano)

Text dependent writing assignments on various topics



The American Revolution

Compare French and British colonization in the New World

Analyze effect of salutary neglect policies and enforcement of mercantilism

List accomplishments of Benjamin Franklin

Analyze first political cartoon – Albany Union

Close reading – Zenger Trial

Graphic organizer Causes of French and Indian War and Effects of French and Indian War

Trace events in early TN history – important figures and effect of Am Rev

Sequence Events in the Pre-Revolutionary Period

Close reading and analysis of Declaration of Independence

Close reading of Common Sense excerpts and The Crisis

Close reading of Speech to VA Convention – Patrick Henry

Graphic organizer of factors leading to Am victory (including major battles)

Outcomes of Treaty of Paris 1783

Text dependent writing assignments on various topics

Fort Defiance


The New Nation

Trace origins – Magna Carta, Locke, Montesquieu

List features and weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation

Analyze impact of the Land Ordinance and Northwest Ordinance

Identify important figures and their roles at Constitutional Convention

Graphic organizers – types of powers – delegated, shared, reserved, implied

Identify and explain major compromises and their impact – Great Compromise, 3/5 Compromise, Slave Trade Compromise

Compare views of Federalists and Anti-Federalists

Close reading of excerpts from the Federalist Papers

Analyze the Preamble (recommended students memorize)

Analyze the principles of the Constitution

Diagram checks and balances

Construct scenarios of checks and balances

List the rights and protections in the Bill of Rights

Identify Washington’s goals as President, his cabinet members, and problems he faced and resolved

Categorize and analyze the parts of Hamilton’s Financial Plan

Compare views of Hamilton and Jefferson that led to first political parties

Identify outcomes of the Election of 1796 and problems facing John Adams

Impact of Napoleonic Wars on the U.S.

Close reading Farewell Address excerpt

Text dependent writing assignments on various topics

Analyze the statehood of Tennessee (and first constitution)



Growth of a Young Nation

Close reading of excerpts from Cooper, Irving

Identify leaders and events in early TN history

Analyze important Supreme Court cases – Marbury v. Madison, etc.

Map and analyze impact of the Louisiana Purchase

Trace the route and impact of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Close reading – journal excerpts Lewis and Clark

Text dependent writing assignments on various topics

Graphic organizer – causes and effects of the War of 1812

Close reading excerpt from the Monroe Doctrine

Map expansion of the U.S. to include treaties and purchases

Text dependent writing assignments on various topics



The Jacksonian Era

Analyze key Supreme Court decisions (reading excerpts): Gibbons v. Ogden, McCulloch v. Maryland, Worcester v. Georgia

Examine the elections of 1824 and 1828

Explain the importance of Jackson’s actions on the Bank of the U.S. and the Nullification Crisis

Describe and map out the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears

Close reading of excerpt from Jackson’s Indian Removal Speech

Write narrative piece on Trail of Tears

Reading excerpts and analyzing the 1832 Tennessee State Constitution



Sectionalism and Reform

Map transportation in early U.S. – canals, early railroads, roads

Push and pull factors for immigration Irish and German)

List important reformers of the period

Close reading excerpts from literature, suffrage movement, reform movements

Southern geography and impact on culture

Describe the importance of the cotton gin and the agrarian economy of the South

List ways in which slaves adapted to and resisted slavery prior to the Civil War (including Nat Turner’s revolt)

Analyze various components of the Industrial Revolution: interchangeable parts, trade unions, textile industry, Lowell System and how this affected Northern industry

Close readings on the Second Great Awakening and its impact on reform

Close readings and biographical analysis on women’s suffrage movement: Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Stanton, Sojourner Truth

Analyze the importance of abolitionists (Garrison, Douglass, Tubman)




Expansion and Division of the Nation

Review Northwest Ordinance and trace events affecting slavery – MO

Trace Texas Independence and Mexican War events and impact

List accomplishments of James K. Polk

Close reading – Manifest Destiny

Trace routes of Fremont, Oregon Trail, and other western routes

Sequence events in U.S. expansion including Gold Rush, Oregon Trail, Mormons

List parts of Compromise of 1850 – analyze impact of Fugitive Slave Law

Close reading excerpt Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Analyze reasons for and impact of Kansas-Nebraska Act

Analyze newspaper story and cartoons of Crime Against Kansas Speech

Close reading excerpt from Dred Scott Decision

Identify important points of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates

Review visuals and documentary excerpts about conditions for slaves in the South prior to the Civil War

Text dependent writing assignments on various topics



Civil War

Map southern and northern states on eve of Civil War

Compare cultural, economic characteristics of the two sections

List candidates and explain the outcome of the Election of 1860

Analyze division of TN over the issue of war, secession, slavery

Identify key Confederate leaders

Close reading of excerpts about soldier hardships

Compare advantages/disadvantages of the North and South in the war

Track the major battles – places, impact

Analyze the role of the border states

Close reading of excerpt from Emancipation Proclamation

Describe African American involvement in the Army (54th Mass. Regiment and 13th Colored Troops)

Analyze impact of Lincoln’s assassination

Text dependent writing assignments on various topics

Fort Donelson



Identify and analyze impact of the 13th, 14th, 15th amendments

List problems faced by Andrew Johnson

Compare Lincoln’s 10% Plan with the Radical Reconstruction plan

Analyze impact of Black Codes, Freedmen’s Bureau, and disfranchisement methods

Video clips on KKK, Carpetbaggers, conditions for freedmen

Reconstruction issues in TN (know Governor William Brownlow)

Analyze impact of the disputed election of 1876 and the Compromise of 1877

Trace routes and settlements of Exodusters and First Great Migration (beginning)

Explain sharecropping and “New South” economy changes

Text dependent writing assignments on various topics













  1. Be RESPECTFUL to yourself and others.
  2. Come to class PREPARED. (paper, pencil, and an eagerness to learn).
  3. Raise your hand and PATIENTLY wait to be called upon.
  4. Listen to all DIRECTIONS carefully.