8th Grade Social Studies

“A primary object… should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing… than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?”

–George Washington

A History of Slavery

Understanding slavery is essential to understanding early American history. We will begin the year by reading the book All Times All Peoples: A World History of Slavery by Milton Meltzer. We will then discuss the great American paradox. “The challenge, for a colonial historian at least, is to explain how a people could have developed the dedication to human liberty and dignity exhibited by the leaders of the American Revolution and at the same time have developed and maintained a system of labor that denied human liberty and dignity every hour of the day.” –Edmund S. Morgan

The Gettysburg Address

We will also begin the year by watching The Address: A Film by Ken Burns. And yes, we will begin memorizing the Address! There is always some trepidation about this but trust me, we can do it! If you’d like to view a trailer for this film, click here.


8th Grade Social Studies Syllabus


Our textbook this year is The American Journey.