|Social Studies Curriculum
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Social Studies Curriculum
Grade 8 - United States History
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Revolution and New Nation (1754-1801)
Time Frame for Unit:
National Standards for History:
Era 3 - Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1820s)
- The student understands the causes of the American Revolution.
- The student understands the principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence.
- The student understands the factors affecting the course of the war and contributing to the
- The student understands revolutionary government-making at national and state levels.
- The student understands the economic issues arising out of the Revolution.
- The student understands the Revolution’s effects on different social groups.
- The student understands the issues involved in the creation and ratification of the United
States Constitution and the new government it established.
- The student understands the guarantees of the Bill of Rights and continuing significance.
Alaska Content Standards: History
- Understand that history is a record of human experiences that links the past to the present
and the future.
- Understand historical themes through factual knowledge of time, places, ideas, institutions,
cultures, people, and events.
- Develop the skills and processes of historical inquiry.
- Integrate historical knowledge with historical skill to effectively participate as a citizen and as
a lifelong learner.
Brief summary of unit:
In the Revolution and New Nation unit, the student analyzes the ideas and causes involved in the revolutionary movement and reasons for the American victory. Students will understand the
impact of the American Revolution on politics, economics, and society. In this unit students
analyze the institutions and practices of government created during the Revolution and the
foundational documents of the American government.
The students will understand that:
- Revolutions, such as the American Revolution, occur as a result of social, political,
and/or economic upheaval.
- Historical figures and philosophies laid the foundations for the system of government
under which we live.
- To what extent are revolutions inevitable in human society?
- How do causes, ideas, and interests forge revolutionary movements?
- How did military tactics, geography, and economic factors contribute to the American
- To what extent did the American Revolution create the new American identity?
Define and apply the following terms:
Boycott, repeal, patriot, rebel, whigs, loyalists, redcoats, mercenaries, Hessians, minutemen, ratification, Parliament, Sons of Liberty, taxation without representation,
delegate, militia, republic, ratification, federalist, anti-federalist
Explain the significance of the following documents:
- Magna Carta
- English Bill of Rights
- Northwest Ordinance
- Common Sense
- Declaration of Independence
- Articles of Confederation
- Treaty of Paris
- The U.S. Constitution
Explain the significance of the following events:
- First and Second Continental Congress
- The Boston Tea Party
- The Boston Massacre
- Proclamation of 1763
- Shay’s Rebellion
- Constitutional Convention
Explain the significance of the following acts:
- Sugar Act
- Stamp Acts
- Quartering Act
- The Townshend Acts
- Intolerable Acts
Explain the significance of the following constitutional plans/clauses:
- New Jersey Plan
- Virginia Plan
- The Great Compromise/The Connecticut Plan
- Three-fifths Clause
Defend or negate the following generalizations:
- Small states were suspicious of The New Jersey Plan.
- Large states were suspicious of the Virginia Plan.
- Slaves should be counted for representation in the federal government.
Students will be able to …
- Analyze political, ideological, religious, and economic origins of the Revolution.
- Explain how key principles in the Declaration of Independence grew in importance to
become unifying ideas of American democracy and yet contradicted the realities of
- Compare and explain the differing roles and perspectives during the war, including white
settlers, free and enslaved African Americans, Native Americans, and women.
- Explain how the Americans won the war against the British.
- Assess the accomplishments and failures of the Continental Congress.
- Explain the economic issues arising out of the Revolution.
- Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation and the call for
- Compare the arguments of Federalists and Anti-Federalists during the ratification
Assessment Evidence *
- Prepare to hold a talk show in which the guests discuss which side to take in the
Revolutionary War. (McDougal p. 201)
- Draft a letter to family back in Britain explaining which side you are supporting in the
upcoming Revolutionary War.
- Reenact the Constitutional Convention with students taking on the role of at least one member of the 12 colonies.
- Create a multimedia presentation using research on one of the major battles of the
Revolution. (McDougal p. 201)
- Test on facts related to the Revolution and New Nation.
- Vocabulary quiz.
- Written responses to the Essential Questions.
- Students self-assess their own involvement in class discussions and academic
performances, and explain their patterns of participation.
- Begin with an entry question to hook students into considering the causes and effects of
the Revolutionary War.
- Introduce the Essential Questions and discuss the culminating unit tasks.
- Introduce key vocabulary during the various activities and performance tasks.
- Students read and discuss relevant sections from the sources to support the learning
activities and tasks. (McDougal Ch. 6,7)
- Reconstruct the chronology of the critical events leading to the outbreak of armed
conflict between the American colonies and England.
- Map out key military campaigns and appraise the roles of key military and political
leaders’ in the Revolutionary War.
- Assess the contributions from a diverse group of key political and social figures.
- Analyze the alternative plans considered by the delegates and the major compromises
agreed upon to secure approval of the Constitution.
- Choose one of the performance tasks to assess student understanding.
- Conclude the unit with student self-assessment of their culminating activity.
* These are suggested activities. Other assessments, performance tasks, and learning
activities may be implemented.