During the fall civics unit, students study the roots of U.S. democracy and the founding documents, then relate them to contemporary issues, events, and elections. Students prepare for and carry out formal debates on a variety of topics. There is also a recitation as part of the unit. Curriculum focuses on the founding of the United States. Students examine how strong feelings about individual rights influenced the establishment of the United States as a new nation. Close analysis of the founding documents allows students to see how themes from the 18th century world resonate today.
Winter term focuses on the Holocaust of World War II. Issues of identity, scapegoating, human rights, and a world in flux are central to the unit. The study is linked with the English curriculum as we examine the event from different viewpoints.
For spring term, students tirn to global themes. From the United Nations and European Union to emerging nations, minority rights, and economics, the class takes a broad view of the role of the United States in the modern world. Research skills, source evaluation, thoughtful participation in discussions, writing with increased focus and depth, preparing well for recitations, and showing consideration for various viewpoints are expected and supported.
For this latter part of the year, students look at the emergence of the United States in the second half of the 20th century as a dominant world power. The responsibility of, and challenges to that dominance, is central to course themes. Case studies of various nations help students understand some of the complexities the interaction of nations bring. Deepening student understanding of an American citizen's place in the world will be ongoing through the course as well.
To see the History 8 Curriculum Map, follow this link: