Current Study Guides: Grade 8 Chapter 14
I am a 1995 graduate of Concordia University. As a secondary education major with a concentration in History and Political Science, I am certified to teach grades 6-12. My career at Ascension School began on Monday, January 29, 1996, the first day of Catholic Schools Week. Mrs. Pesce was the first Ascension teacher to introduce herself; we met outside my classroom. I was hired as a 6th grade homeroom teacher (room 207), who, in addition to teaching Social Studies to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, also taught English to my homeroom. I became a 7th grade homeroom teacher in the fall of 1996, moved into room 206 in 1997, and became an 8th grade homeroom teacher in 2000. Since 1999, I havebeen moderator to Student Council. I have organized Ascension’s Geography Bee since 2000.
"Knowledge is, in every country, the surest basis of publick happiness."
The First State of the Union Address
January 8, 1790
All of my Social Studies classes examine seven major strands: Politics, Economics, Society, Culture, Geography, Religion and Current Events.
Ascension’s 6th grade curriculum is centered on World History. Our 6th grade experience begins with a unit on World Geography. As our studies continue, students explore prehistoric peoples, Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, the Greeks, the Roman Empire, China, India, and the Arab World. These units include a comparative analysis of the respective religions and philosophies, including Mesopotamian polytheism, Judaism, Ancient Egyptian religion, Greek philosophy, the birth of Christianity, Daoism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Students will also examine select literature from early civilizations, including The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, The Odyssey, Roman Mythology, the Dao De Ching, Ramayana, and Arabian Nights.
Ascension’s 7th grade curriculum is centered on American History. We set the stage for our study of America with an examination of the Medieval Europe, the Protestant Reformation, and the Age of Exploration. As our learning continues, students examine European colonization of America, with special focus on the 13 British colonies. Our studies continue with an examination of life in the colonies, the Great Awakening, and the Enlightenment. The causes of the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the war for independence, the framing of our Constitution, and the early years of our republic round out our curriculum. Students will also examine select literature and primary source material from early America, including The Scarlet Letter, Letters from an American Farmer, Roots, Poor Richard’s Almanac, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and The Crisis, The Declaration of Independence, The U.S. Constitution, and The Federalist Papers.
Ascension’s 8th grade curriculum is centered on U.S. History. Our studies begin with the Age of Jefferson as the U.S. enters the 19th century. Our studies continue with an examination of the Age of Jackson and the growth of democracy, followed by the Industrial Revolution and the ensuing economic sectionalism and cultural division of the U.S. Nineteenth century social reform, U.S. expansion to the Pacific, antebellum political divisions, the rise of Abraham Lincoln, and the Civil War round out our study of U.S. History. Ascension students wrap up their 8th grade year with a thorough examination of the U.S. Constitution and a survey of the Illinois State Constitution. Students will also examine select literature and primary source material from 19th century America, including Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, The Liberator, Edgar Allan Poe, the Declaration of Sentiments, Lincoln’s House Divided Speech, the Gettysburg Address, and Lincoln’s First and Second Inaugural Addresses.
Textbook readings with corresponding questions, worksheets, and map activities are the main sources of homework in my Social Studies classes, assigned to assess student comprehension of the content and as preparation for discussion the following day. Students are required to use complete sentences when completing textbook assignments. Because high school history curriculums tend to emphasize the importance of expository and opinion writing, essays will occasionally be assigned to help students develop their writing styles.
Teacher-created tests are administered at the completion of each unit, and generally include short answer questions, fill in the blank questions, essay questions, multiple choice questions, and matching questions. All students are invited to come to morning study sessions that are scheduled on test days.