• 8th Grade US History
    GT & PAP 
     
    Course Description 
     
    The U.S. History course focuses on the development of historical thinking skills (chronological reasoning, comparing and contextualizing, crafting historical arguments using historical evidence, and interpreting and synthesizing historical narrative) and an understanding of content learning objectives organized around seven themes, such as identity, peopling and America in the world.  In line with college and university U.S. History survey courses' increased focus on early and recent American and decreased emphasis on other areas.  The U.S. History course expands on the history of the Americas through concept outlines beginning in Period 1, 1491-1607 (Pre-Columbian) and ending in Period 5, 1844-1877 (Reconstruction).
     
    Course Objectives 
     
    Student will: 
    *Demonstrate a mastery of a broad body of historical knowledge.
    *Use historical evidence to defend and support basic arguments and positions.
    *Differentiate between various schools of historical thought and interpretation.
    *Specific focus will be on such aspects as foreign policy, civil rights, social, religion, and politics throughout various historical timeframes.
    *Interpret and draw conclusions from various pieces of historical data including original documents, cartoons, graphs, etc.
    *Demonstrate an effective use of analytical skills of evaluation, cause-and-effect relationships, and compare and contrast.
    *Work effectively in groups to produce products, make presentations, and solve problems.  
     
     Historical Thinking Skills Developed:
     In each unit, students will get practice developing the following content-driven skills: Crafting Historical Arguments from Historical Evidence (including Historical Argumentation and Appropriate Use of Patters of Continuity and Change over Time, Periodization, Comparison and Contextualization, and Historical Interpretation and Synthesis).  In addition, class activities and assignments will address the following academic skills: Reading for comprehension and recall, improving study skills in preparation for assessments, improving formal writing skills.
     
    Writing Focus: 
    Historical work at a high school level in preparation for college requires students to write proficiently.  For this reason, writing is emphasized in every unit of this course.  Students receive "essential questions" to frame class discussions; these are often used as writing assignments.  Assessments of essays are measured by the following: the degree to which they fully and directly answer the question, the strength of thesis statement, level and quality.  In addition to these standards, DBQ's are graded on the basis of the degree to the amount of quality of outside information included in the response.  All essays are graded per the rubrics by AP Central.
     
    Primary and Secondary Source Analysis Activities:
    To the truly meaningful, the study of history requires primary and secondary source analysis.  For this reason, most units in this course will provide students with the opportunity to read and interpret a diverse selection of primary source materials.  The teacher introduces each document, and then students (either alone in groups) read, interpret, and discuss the document, noting the style, language, intent, and effect.  These activities help students become more familiar with primary sources, and develop their abilities to read, understand, and use these sources.  As a result, students are better prepared to respond to DBH's on the U.S. History exam.  
     
    Tutorial Times by Appointment
    Any morning at 7:30 am & afternoon until 4:00 pm
     
    Kevan Robinson
    8th Grade GT American Discoveries/PAP U.S. History
    Room 210
    kevan.robinson@gcisd.net