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

You should be spending an average of 30 minutes per day on Social Studies.


Monday, March 16

CNN 10

Go to YouTube. Start by watching Friday the 13th’s CNN 10, and then watch today’s show. Respond to the following questions, either in a Word document, or on a sheet of paper. You do not need to turn these in yet.

      • What is a “bear market”?
      • How were the South Koreans able to come up with a test for corona virus so quickly?
      • What is the result of president Trump declaring a “national emergency”?
      • What is meant by a recession?
      • What kinds of things are people doing to demonstrate kindness during the pandemic?

The Jefferson Era

      • You should be studying for your Jefferson Era test. We are still planning to take this test on Wednesday. You have 4 sets of notes to study.
      • Primary Source: Read through the excerpt from Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, (click on the title to download) stopping to think about the questions I have embedded in the text.
      • Respond to the questions at the end of the document either in a Word document or on a sheet of paper. You do not need to turn this in yet.
Tuesday, March 17
      • Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I hope you’re wearing green because your teachers aren’t around to make sure your siblings and parents don’t pinch you. Happy leprechaun hunting! And click here to check out this graphic novel version of Saint Patrick’s story!

CNN 10

Watch today’s episode and respond to the following questions. You can just add them to the list you started yesterday. You do not need to turn this in, but do keep it.

      • What part of the economy is being particularly hard hit by the Corona virus pandemic?
      • How can we “flatten the curve”?

The Jefferson Era

      • Continue to study for your test. You have four sections of notes to study. The plan is still to take this test tomorrow.
      • Click here to read The Star-Spangled Banner in Translation in preparation for tomorrow.
Wednesday, March 18

CNN 10

Watch today’s episode and respond to the following questions. You can just add them to the list you started yesterday. You do not need to turn this in, but do keep it.

      • What new discovery has been made in the world of dinosaurs?
      • How are a lot of professional athletes passing the time since they can’t play sports?

The Jefferson Era

      • Today is the test! Click here when you’re ready to download a copy. You can:
      • Type your answers in a Word document and share that with me on 365.
      • Print a copy, fill it out, and send me pictures (that I can read).
      • Write your answers on notebook paper, take a picture and email me.
      • Or type your answers into an email and send that to me.
Thursday, March 19
      • Today is the Feast of Saint Joseph! Say a prayer to Saint Joseph asking him to watch over and pray for your family as we watched over and prayed for the Holy Family through difficult times.

CNN 10

      • Who won all three Democratic primaries on Tuesday?
      • What is a recession (in economics)?
      • Obviously we’re not meeting for class in Teams yet, but stay tuned. Your teachers are working on it.
      • I spotted Steinbeck on Carl’s shelf. Anyone else spot a favorite book/author?

Jefferson Era

      • If you turned in a test yesterday it is graded. I will post an answer key tomorrow once everyone has had a chance to take the test. I will post grades to PowerSchool after we run the 2nd trimester report cards early next week.

Teams/Chapter 10 Growth & Expansion

      • I’m going to try putting this assignment in Teams, so please go there first and check to see if you can access it. If you can’t, you can always come back here.
      • Click here to access a scan of Chapter 10: Section 1: Economic Growth
      • Click here to download a pdf of the Cornell Notes. Remember, you do not need to print the notes. You can always write them on a piece of paper. As always, you do not turn in your notes. Use them to study.
friday, March 20

CNN 10

      • Today I spotted Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 on Carl’s shelf. You?
      • Whose presidency led to passage of the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution?

Growth and Expansion

      • Finish your notes from yesterday and use them to study.
monday, March 23

CNN 10

      • What major world event might need to be postponed due to the novel corona virus?
      • In what ways are people being heroes during this pandemic?

Chapter 10, Section 1: Economic Growth

      • If you want to check your notes against mine you can do so by clicking here. Study your notes and then see if you can answer the questions on this “quiz“. If you can’t, look up the answers in your notes. I’ll post an answer key tomorrow.
tuesday, March 24

These assignments can also be found in Teams.

CNN 10

      • I will no longer be posting daily questions for CNN 10 but I am expecting that you check in with Carl daily. If you are having a hard time with this please communicate that to me.

Chapter 10, Section 2: Westward Bound

      • Your assignment for today is to take notes on Section 2 of Chapter 10. You have a choice. You can either get the notes from my scan of the textbook, or if you prefer, you can use the PowerPoint. If you choose to take notes from the PowerPoint be aware that some of the answers might be in the “notes” section of the slide. Nothing to physically turn today as you keep your notes to study. This should not take you more than the allotted 30 minutes.
wednesday, March 25

CNN 10: Check out what’s happening in the world with Carl.

      • You can check your notes for Chapter 10, Section 2: Westward Bound against mine by using the key. Study your notes from Sections 1 & 2 of Chatper 10.
      • I know we have some guitar players in the group so I’ve also attached the chords to the Bruce Springsteen version of the Erie Canal in case you want to try it out.
      • Nothing to physically turn in today.
      • Also, Mrs. Tsagalkis wanted me to remind you that your Bach quiz is due today.
thursday, March 26

CNN 10: Check in with Carl.

      • Take notes on Chapter 10, Section 3. You will have today and tomorrow to get this done before the weekend. I’ll post a key for the notes tomorrow. You can use your own paper or the notes I have provided if you are able to print.You may takes notes from the scan of the chapter or from the PowerPoint I have provided.Early next week we’ll be reviewing the information from Chapter 10 and we’ll have an assessment, probably on Wednesday.
friday, March 27
      • Today is a catch up day. I’ve provided a key to the notes from yesterday. Remember, we’ll be reviewing for an assessment on Chapter 10 for Wednesday next week. Let me know if you have any questions. You can always turn in assignments on Teams or you can email me. If you are turning in work that is fairly late, it helps if you email me to let me know you’ve turned it in.Thanks for doing such a great job during these first couple weeks! You’re rocking it!
monday, March 30

CNN 10: Check in with Carl!

Primary Source: The Monroe Doctrine

      • Remember this from your book. It’s on page 326 (The last page of Section 3)
      • You can also search up the Monroe Doctrine on the Internet if you’re really struggling with the questions. Here’s a good short and sweet link from Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/event/Monroe-Doctrine
      • I’ll post an answer key to this assignment tomorrow so you can check your work.

Chapter 10 Review

      • Complete this over today and tomorrow in preparation for your test on Wednesday. I’ll post an answer key tomorrow. Be sure to check your work on this and ask me any questions you have before you take your test on Wednesday. I’ve also provided the Visual Summary of Chapter 10 in “resources”. If you follow though on this review you will have no problems on Wednesday.
      • And to answer your question, Declan, the answer to #1 is: “loyalty to one’s region rather than to the country”. :0)

Tuesday, March 31

      • CNN 10
      • Correct your work on the Monroe Doctrine using the Answer Key. Our answers won’t be exactly the same but make sure you have the main points.
      • Once you finish your Chapter 10 Review (this isn’t due until tomorrow), use the Answer Key to check your work. Be sure you do this before you take your test tomorrow.
      • If you have time, for further review, you can watch this video about the presidency of James Monroe. Click on the link and then fast forward to the 37:25 mark. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFy5F6hnq7o
wednesday, april 1
      • Make sure you did the review for Chapter 10 and checked your answers using the key before you take the test! No, seriously, check your answers!! Chapter 10 Review Answer Key
      • When you feel ready, download the test and take it. You can turn it in in whatever way works best for you. FYI there are not two tests. I attached it as a Word document and as a .pdf so you can use whichever format best meets your needs.
      • Chapter 10 Test (Word)
      • Chapter 10 Test (.pdf)
thursday, april 2
      • CNN 10
      • Use this link to access The Presidentsfrom the History Channel. Start at the beginning and watch the part about the presidency of John Quincy Adams, or from 0:00 to 11:31. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UicGTPL80M
wednesday, March 25
      • Take today to catch up on any work. If you are turning in something late on Teams please email me and let me know you turned it in.Thanks, and have a great weekend!
Monday, april 6
      • CNN 10
      • Use the attached PowerPoint and Cornell Notes to learn about the Missouri Compromise. Remember, you do not need to print the notes. You can take them on notebook paper. Also, remember that you don’t need to turn in your notes. Keep them to study. You are responsible for knowing the information. Let me know if you have questions.
      • There are not two sections of notes. I have provided them both as a .pdf and as a Word document so you can use the format that works best for you. I figured some of you might want to type your notes in Word.
tuesday, april 7
      • Message From Mr. Thomas (use the link or copy and paste the URL below into your browser to watch)
      • https://web.microsoftstream.com/video/a2df1cbe-1e04-47c7-b069-172e12b9974b
      • CNN 10
      • Watch this video about the Andrew Jackson presidency.  I know, I know, lots of videos.  But I do think this is a good way to get across what you need to take away from the Jackson Era. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxDqOH6H4FQ
Wednesday, april 8

CNN 10

Indian Removal Act in 5 minutes (Hip Hughes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQfP2Y2t45U

      • Many people have suggested replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill because of the Indian Removal Act. I’m not sure this is what they meant, but click here to see our 7th president turn into one of our most famous movie heroes.

This is NOT a have to assignment. No reason to check this out unless you’re interested, but for those of you who are, PBS created a great documentary about the Native American experience called We Shall Remain. You can watch the episode about the Trail of Tears using this link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sdlx2bT7c6I

thursday, april 9
      • CNN 10
      • Watch the documentary covering the presidencies of Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, and John Tyler. Start at the 26:04 mark and stop at 37:06. We’ll deal with James K. Polk after break. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb155CZoMaM

Please join us in praying the Stations of the Cross tomorrow at 11:00. See the link Mrs. Mansfield sent out Wednesday.

friday, april 10
      • This is a day to catch up on any work you need to do.
      • Also, don’t forget to pray the Stations of the Cross at 11:00. You can find a link to the Stations written by 8th graders in NewsViews.

You have all done a fantastic job with distance learning! Enjoy a well-deserved break and we’ll hit it hard when we come back!

monday, april 20

CNN 10

      • Especially if you took a break from Carl over vacation, check in today and see what’s happening. You are not required to watch CNN 10 on Gold Days, but you of course, can if you want to.

How America Grew

      • This week we will start Chapter 12: Manifest Destiny. We will be covering a lot of big changes in the United States. To prepare, please read the document How America Grew and read through the Visual Summary of the chapter.
      • You do not have an assignment to turn in.
      • You need to have your reading done by Wednesday.
tuesday, april 21

Assignments are the same as yesterday. Try to have them completed by tomorrow.

wednesday, april 22

CNN 10

Chapter 12, Section 1: The Oregon Country

      • I have attached a .pdf of this Section of the chapter for those who want to read it but the notes are based on the PowerPoint. You should have these notes finished by Monday. You do not need to turn them in. They are to help you with the reading and to help you study.
Monday, april 27

CNN 10

Chapter 12: Manifest Destiny

wednesday, april 29

CNN 10

Chapter 12: Manifest Destiny

      • Use the answer key to check your notes for Chapter 12, Section 2: Independence for Texas.
Monday, may 4

CNN 10

Chapter 12: Manifest Destiny

      • Use the answer key to check your notes for Section 3: War with Mexico.
      • Take notes on Chapter 12 Section 4: California and Utah. You can use the PowerPoint and I’ve attached a .pdf of this section of the book as well. I’ll post an answer key Wednesday.
      • Wednesday, May 6thI will assign a review for Chapter 12 
      • We will have an assessment on Monday, May 11th.
      • I will be online and in a live meeting in Teams during Social Studies on both May 6thfor the review (9:00 to 9:30 and 9:45 to 10:15) and May 11thduring the test at the same times to answer any questions you have.
wednesday, May 6

CNN 10

Chapter 12: Manifest Destiny

      • Use the answer key to check your notes from Chapter 12 Section 4: California and Utah.
      • Complete the Chapter Review. I’ll post an answer key tomorrow, May 7th, so you have plenty of time to check your work before the assessment on Monday.

I will be available in a live meeting in Teams during first and second periods today (9:00 to 9:30 and 9:45 to 10:15) if you have any questions.

Monday, May 11

Chapter 12 Assessment.

I will be available in a live meeting in Teams during first and second periods today (9:00 to 9:30 and 9:45 to 10:15). If you have any questions feel free to pop in and ask. 

wednesday, May 13

Thank you for turning in your Chapter 12 Test. If you haven’t done that yet, please do so as soon as you can. If you end up turning work in late, please email me and let me know so I can get it in PowerSchool.

Today will be a mix of review and some new information as we look at the lead up to the Civil War. Between today and Monday, you will be watching Episode 4 of America, The Story of Us. Its title is “Division” and it highlights the growing tension between the North and the South that will eventually result in the Civil War.

Here is the link to the documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qx4rK0UVIzc

I’ve attached a study guide. You do not need to turn this in but I realize some people like to have something to guide them through the important information in the episode, so if that’s you please use it as a guide.  I’ll post an answer key tomorrow for those who are interested.

monday, May 18

This is our third to last Social Studies class! Wednesday we will have some fun with Civil War music. Monday there is no school due to Memorial Day. So Wednesday, May 27thwill be our last class. Stay tuned for details.

Today, you will continue with America: The Story of Us. Find the link to Episode 5: Civil War below. Again, I have provided a guide. You do not need to turn this in. Some folks like to have these for the structure.

WARNING:From minute 25 to minute 28the documentary discusses Civil War era medicine, including amputations. There were a lot of these in the Civil War because of the way the mini ball affected the body. If you are squeamish at all or don’t like the fake blood scenes you should skip this part.


The Gettysburg Address

Don’t forget to keep reciting the Gettysburg! If you haven’t been able to memorize it yet, this is an excellent opportunity to put in the time. Click here to download a copy.


8th Grade Social Studies Syllabus


Our textbook this year is The American Journey