United States History and Geography: Growth and Conflict

Students in grade eight study the ideas, issues, and events from the framing of the Constitution up to World War I, with an emphasis on America's role in the war. After reviewing the development of America's democratic institutions founded on the Judeo-Christian heritage and English parliamentary traditions, particularly the shaping of the Constitution, students trace the development of American politics, society, culture, and economy and relate them to the emergence of major regional differences. They learn about the challenges facing the new nation, with an emphasis on the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War. They make connections between the rise of industrialization and contemporary social and economic conditions.



Major Goals of the Core Program


  1. Students will use showing detail in their writing, emulating in part the style of the authors read in class.
  2. Students will be able to express opinions and ideas in a clear, organized and coherent essay.
  3. Students will use their knowledge of word origins and relationships as well as context clues to determine the meaning of grade-level appropriate words.
  4. Students will deliver focused presentations that convey ideas clearly and relate to the background and interest of the audience.


  1. Students will develop research skills and a sense of historical empathy.
  2. Students will recognize the sanctity of life and the dignity of the individual.
  3. Students will see the connection between the values and ideas that people hold and the ethical consequences of those beliefs.
  4. Students will understand the importance of social participation in a democratic society.

For a complete list of the English and social studies goals and standards please refer to the Grade 8 Content and Performance Standards.