8th Grade U.S. History - St. Gerard Catholic School
Welcome to 8th Grade U.S. History! In this class we cover early American history - beginning with Native Americans, European colonization, the American Revolution, the Constitution, Industrial Revolution, and ending with the Civil War. Woven through this history is civics, government, and economics. We focus not just on the 'well-known' stories, but the sometimes untold or difficult stories in U.S. History.
Keep reading to get an idea of what you can expect in this class throughout the coming year!
Keep reading to get an idea of what you can expect in this class throughout the coming year!
Wax History Museum
This year-long project is a well-known 8th grade milestone! Each student chooses a deceased character in U.S. history (either an American or a person who had a profound effect on our history) and then delves into every aspect of that character. Through a series of projects, you will know your character inside and out and will 'become' your character at the Wax History Museum in the spring where you will present all you have learned to the rest of the school and the St. Gerard community.
Want to get an idea of what you will be doing? Click on some of the links below to see assignments and check out the slideshow of past work!
Why create a static, boring timeline when you can make it come to life? In our large unit covering the American Revolution you will choose either a world or United States event and research it, focusing on not only the synopsis, but the significance of the event as well. How will you present? By wearing your event on a t-shirt that you design and wearing it to school to educate others! When you and your classmates come together, you will have created a living timeline of significant events from this unit!
Want to get an idea of what you will be doing? Click on some of the links below to get an idea of the assignment and check out the slideshow of past work!
St. Gerard House Rock
Knowing your rights and the foundation of our government as outlined in the Constitution is a fundamental responsibility of any U.S. citizen. As we study the Constitution, you will work in groups to study an aspect of this document by emulating the lessons taught in Schoolhouse Rock. In working to teach your topic to others through the creative use of music and video, you will be furthering your own understanding as you work to educate others.
Want to get an idea of what you will be doing? Click on some of the links below to get an idea of the assignment and check out the video of past students!
After a year of focusing on U.S. History, we have the enormous blessing of being able to tour our nation's capital and see the many important places and concepts we studied in class up close. We spend three days in Washington, D.C. touring monuments, museums, and memorials - it is a whirlwind of walking, seeing, and learning that will leave you exhausted, but full of unforgettable memories with your class as you wrap up your final year at St. Gerard.
Want to get an idea of what you will be doing? Click on some of the links below (in resources) to get an idea of the trip and check out the slideshow of past Washington, D.C. trips!
Is this everything?
Absolutely not! We do not use our 180 school days wastefully and you can expect to do many things throughout the year! We will use google classroom often for many things such as learning content, completing assignments and assessments, collaborating with classmates, communication, and much more. One thing you can always count on? Something different every day!
Click below for helpful class resources!
These resources in this section relate to daily classroom needs.
Google Classroom - 2018/2019 Join Code =
Google classroom is used almost daily for homework and classwork and students join my class with the above code. Parents and guardians can be signed up as well - simply e-mail me through the contact page!
Textbook Resource Page
Our textbook, The American Journey (McGraw-Hill, 2008) is not fully online, but does have resources and book questions available for use. Please feel free to access what is available for homework and study purposes.
This is an excellent (and free) resource for students looking to create online flashcards. You can create quizzes and share them with classmates as well - an excellent study tool that I highly recommend.
This is an excellent resource when looking for primary document information that relates to U.S. History. Anything from court cases to letters can be viewed online and it is therefore excellent for research throughout the year.
Library of Congress
Similarly to the resource above, the Library of Congress (much of which was originally donated by Thomas Jefferson) has a multitude of online resources for students. We also visit the Library of Congress on our trip to D.C. Read up!
The resources in this section are extremely helpful for the Wax History Museum Project. These are a great jumping off point for research as you work through this year-long project.
Biography.com is an excellent resource and they have a wealth of information on almost anyone that is credible and easy to cite.
Similarly, the History Channel website has written information as well as great videos (often short and to the point) on various characters and events.
Finally, the publisher of our textbook also has a biography resource that highlights important characters in history.
This section is meant to aid you as you work on your living timeline project during the American Revolution unit. These links are tailored towards the subject of the American Revolution and have a lot of resources on the events that took place.
Library of Congress - Revolution
The Library of Congress, as noted above, has a ton of information. By clicking this link, it has searched the subject of the Revolutionary specifically and you will find a lot related to the events you might be assigned.
Teach U.S. History
This is a very helpful site that is laid out by event, just as a timeline you will be creating as a class. Not only can you find your event, but you can also see where your event fits in the grand scheme and get an idea of what others may present on.
PBS - Revolution
This is just another great resource for research as you prepare your project for this unit. If you are looking for more information, PBS is always a wonderful place to look.
These links will be helpful in writing your song project about the Constitution. The Wiki How gives you great tips on where to begin as you parody a song (how to choose a song, change the lyrics, etc.) and A to Z lyrics has nearly every song imaginable in its database. Once you pick a song and decide a direction, you can begin adapting the lyrics to meet your needs.
Wiki How - Song Parody
A to Z Lyrics
The 8th grade trip to D.C. is an exciting time that is much look forward to throughout the year. It is unbelievable how much we are able to accomplish in the 3 full days we are there. Below are links to some of the biggest attractions we will be able to see.
When visit the Capitol, we get a guided tour of the building that is open to visitors. We are usually split into two touring groups and spend an hour in the place where our country's laws are made.
The Newseum, a Museum about the news, is an amazing five story building full of rotating exhibits and some permanent ones you won't want to miss. You can see an excellent 9/11 exhibit, view a piece of the Berlin Wall, and watch videos about how the free press works in the U.S. Click on the link to learn more.
Holocaust Memorial and Museum
In the spring of your 8th grade year, you will do a special unit on the Holocaust in literature class. This museum is one of the most moving experiences as you learn, not only about the historical event, but the personal nature of this unparalleled tragedy.
The Smithsonian is far more than a brick building on the National Mall. It is a network of funded museums that are free to visitors. Depending on the year, we are able to see some of these museums, such as the Air and Space Museum and the Museum of American History. Click on the link below to learn more.
Washington, DC Travel
This travel link will give you an overview of the city and what you can see while there. Even though we see a lot (and our itinerary sometimes changes year to year) we can not possibly cover it all. However, take a look at some of the highlights of D.C. and it is likely we will experience them. .
Monuments and Memorials
We visit most of the large monuments and memorials, especially surrounding the national mall. Jefferson, Lincoln, Vietnam, Korea, WWII, Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) are just some of the ones you will see. Take a look at their histories.
All images on this page are my own.
Click below for helpful school resources!
School & Church:
The links below are meant to orient you to the websites that will helpful regardless of the class.
The school website can give you up to date information about the school's happenings and also has helpful links to other information you may need.
PowerSchool is how we manage and update grades as well as distribute information. It is an essential part of communication for each teacher and the school in general.
The school calendar lets you know what important dates might be coming up and when expected breaks are.
Junior High Staff Info
Meet the five teachers you will learn from over the course of your 7th and 8th grade years. We are excited to know you!
Junior High Handbook
The junior high handbook has important information about school policy, such as the dress code. We will often refer to it and you are give your own hard copy at the open house. But you can always access it online through this link or the school website.
The parent handbook, similar to the JH handbook is a great source for parents.
The Parish website can keep you informed as to the goings on of St. Gerard Church. Since the church is intimately connected to the school, it is helpful to know this information as well, especially if you are not a member. Consider joining us for mass on Sunday if you don't already. We would be happy to have you!
Proper citation and careful use of information are cornerstones of St. Gerard, especially in the junior high. As we prepare you for high school and beyond, an essential part of that preparation is giving you the knowledge and tools to credit others for their work.
MLA Style Center
The MLA Style Center is an online resource meant to help you with MLA formatting (which you will use in every class at this level and high school). It shows you how to do in-text citation as well as a works cited.
This website is a helpful because it gives you man examples for citation as well as step-by-step instructions for proper citation. It is also easy to navigate.
EasyBib (*This is an OK place to start, but always double check format*)
EasyBib can be a helpful place to start if you are not well-versed in citation and formatting. However, it can sometimes be inaccurate and unable to find all the information you need to do a proper citation. You should always double check what you find here.