8th Grade Humanities

Course Title: 8th Grade Humanities
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Course Description

The 8th grade Humanities course uses reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills to explore American history. The primary objective of the course is to teach students to think like historians who  become well-informed, global citizens. Students will examine American history through the theme of Unity and Diversity, a common thread throughout our nation’s history.

Power Standards

  1. Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  2. Write routinely over extended time frames and shorter time frames for a range of discipline- specific tasks, purposes and audiences.
  3. Apply standard English grammar and conventions when formally writing or speaking so that the message is easily understood.
  4. Use grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases through reading, study, and application.
  5. Conduct inquiry based research projects to answer a question.

Course Timeline

Quarter 1:  Identity- How does society impact immigrants, and in turn, and how do immigrants impact society?

 Guiding Questions Learning Objectives
  • How does closely reading a narrative text impact me as a reader?
  • Read a variety of texts at their independent reading level
  • How does a productive discussion look, sound, and feel?
  • Conference with teacher/peers about what they are reading including author’s choice of words, story elements, and comprehension strategies
  • How does literature deepen my understanding of the human experience?
  • Collaborate with peers
  • How does writing a narrative develop my understanding of the human experience?
  • Read, write and discuss to understand how experiences shape identity
  • How do we ensure our research is well rounded and accurate?
  • Examine primary and secondary sources
 Summative Projects: Narrative on Identity

Quarter 2:  WWII: How did events from WW2 impact America?

 Guiding Questions Learning Objectives
  • How do I decide which evidence best supports my thinking?
  • Identify what classifies as evidence
  • How does being informed about historical and current events impact the way I see the world?
  • Develop strategies to effectively record  information from sources
  • What skills and strategies are needed to gather and analyze information effectively, solve problems, and conduct research?
  • Be able to connect and reflect on a variety of historical and current events
  • How can I express and effectively communicate ideas?
  • Analyze what evidence best supports their thinking
  • Use a variety of strategies to search for information
  • Use a variety of source types to build research
  • Develop criteria to assess credibility of sources
  • Gather relevant evidence
  • Correctly cite textual evidence using MLA format
  • Use effective techniques of oral presentation to communicate ideas and information to an audience.
 Summative Projects: War on the Home front: WWII,Informative RAFT (Role, Audience, Format, Topic)

Quarter 3:  Cold War-How do events from the Cold War impact my world?

 Guiding Questions Learning Objectives
  • How do I effectively communicate an argument to an audience?
  • Construct a credible argument
  • How do I justify which evidence best supports my thinking
  • Apply appropriate  text structures to communicate the purpose
  • How does researching opposing viewpoints impact my thinking?
  • Use counterclaims and rebuttals to strengthen my own argument
  • Create a presentation to engage audience
  • Clearly explain how the evidence chosen supports my argument
  • Evaluate bias/point of view from a variety of sources, including my own
  • Analyze what evidence best supports their thinking
  • Develop strategies to effectively record  information from sources
 Summative Projects: Cold War RAFT (Role, Audience, Format, Topic)


Quarter 4:  Civil Rights Movement:
How did the Civil Rights Movement impact relations between citizens in our nation?

 Guiding Questions Learning Objectives
  • How does point of view/ bias impact an author’s message?
    • Identify and analyze bias of a source/author
  • How can I be a critical consumer of information?
    • Compare multiple sources relating to a topic
  • How does word choice impact the experience of the audience?
    • Examine how authors interpret and manipulates facts to support their purpose
    • Identify how facts be manipulated to fit an argument
    • Examine how format can impact my interpretation of an author’s message
    • Examine and use figurative language
    • Examine and use nuances
 Summative Projects: Civil Rights RAFT (Role, Audience, Format, Topic)


Career and Life Skills
 Social and Cross Cultural The student respects and contributes to the diverse learning community by:

  • Honoring  the ideas and opinions of others and
  • Interacting effectively and appropriately with others.
 Productivity and  Accountability The student takes ownership of work and actions  by:

  • Completing assignments on time
  • Arriving prepared and on time
  • Managing time
 Initiative and Self Direction The student demonstrates independence by:

  • Self-advocating for assistance or resources
  • Persevering through rigorous/challenging tasks
  • Utilizing feedback