8th grade Course of Study
1.) Explain how artifacts and other archaeological findings provide evidence of the nature and movement of prehistoric groups of people.
Examples: cave paintings, Ice Man, Lucy, fossils, pottery
• Identifying the founding of Rome as the basis of the calendar established by Julius Caesar, which was used in early Western civilization for over a thousand years
• Identifying the birth of Christ as the basis of the Gregorian calendar used in the United States since its beginning and in most countries of the world today, signified by B.C. and A.D.
• Using vocabulary terms other than B.C. and A.D. to describe time
Examples: B.C.E., C.E.
• Identifying terms used to describe characteristics of early societies and family structures
Examples: monogamous, polygamous, nomadic
2.) Analyze characteristics of early civilizations in respect to technology, division of labor, government, calendar, and writings.
• Comparing significant features of civilizations that developed in the Tigris-Euphrates, Nile, Indus, and Huang He River valleys
Examples: natural environment, urban development, social hierarchy, written language, ethical and religious belief system, government and military institutions, economic systems
• Identifying on a map locations of cultural hearths of early civilizations
Examples: Mesopotamia, Nile Valley
3.) Compare the development of early world religions, philosophies, and their key tenets.
Examples: Judaism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Greek and Roman gods
• Identifying cultural contributions of early world religions and philosophies
Examples: Judaism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Greek and Roman gods, Phoenicians
4.) Identify cultural contributions of Classical Greece, including politics, intellectual life, arts, literature, architecture, and science.
5.) Describe the role of Alexander the Great in the Hellenistic world.
Examples: serving as political and military leader, encouraging cultural interaction, allowing religious diversity
• Defining boundaries of Alexander the Great's empire and its economic impact
• Identifying reasons for the separation of Alexander the Great's empire into successor kingdoms
• Evaluating major contributions of Hellenistic art, philosophy, science, and political thought
6.) Trace the expansion of the Roman Republic and its transformation into an empire, including key geographic, political, and economic elements.
- expansion-illustrating the spread of Roman influence with charts, graphs, timelines, or maps;
- transformation-noting reforms of Augustus, listing effects of Pax Romana
• Interpreting spatial distributions and patterns of the Roman Republic using geographic tools and technologies
7.) Describe the widespread impact of the Roman Empire.
Example: spread of Roman law and political theory, citizenship and slavery, architecture and engineering, religions, sculpture and paintings, literature, and the Latin language
• Tracing important aspects of the diffusion of Christianity, including its relationship to Judaism, missionary impulse, organizational development, transition from persecution to acceptance in the Roman Empire, and church doctrine
• Explaining the role of economics, societal changes, Christianity, political and military problems, external factors, and the size and diversity of the Roman Empire in its decline and fall
8.) Describe the development of a classical civilization in India and China.
- India-religions, arts and literature, philosophies, empires, caste system;
- China-religions, politics, centrality of the family, Zhou and Han Dynasties, inventions, economic impact of the Silk Road and European trade, dynastic transitions
• Identifying the effect of the monsoons on India
• Identifying landforms and climate regions of China
Example: marking landforms and climate regions of China on a map
Social Studies (2004) Grade(s): 8 World History to 1500 Web Links: 0 Lesson Plans: 0 9.) Describe the rise of the Byzantine Empire, its institutions, and its legacy, including the influence of the Emperors Constantine and Justinian, and the effect of the Byzantine Empire upon art, religion, architecture, and law.
• Identifying factors leading to the establishment of the Eastern Orthodox Church
10.) Trace the development of the early Russian state and the expansion of its trade systems.
Examples: rise of Kiev and Muscovy, conversion to Orthodox Christianity, movement of peoples of Central Asia, Mongol conquest, rise of czars
11.) Describe early Islamic civilizations, including the development of religious, social, and political systems.
• Tracing the spread of Islamic ideas through invasion and conquest throughout the Middle East, northern Africa, and western Europe
12.) Describe China's influence on culture, politics, and economics in Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia.
- culture-describing the influence on art, architecture, language, and religion;
- politics-describing changes in civil service;
- economics-introducing patterns of trade
13.) Compare the African civilizations of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai to include their geography, religions, slave trade, economic systems, empires, and cultures.
• Tracing the spread of language, religion, and customs from one African civilization to another
• Illustrating the impact of trade among Ghana, Mali, and Songhai
Examples: using map symbols, interpreting distribution maps, creating a timeline
14.) Describe key aspects of pre-Columbian cultures in the Americas including the Olmecs, Mayans, Aztecs, Incas, and North American tribes.
Examples: pyramids, wars among pre-Columbian people, religious rituals, irrigation, Iroquois Confederacy
• Locating on a map sites of pre-Columbian cultures
Examples: Mayan, Inca, Inuit, Creek, Cherokee
15.) Describe military and governmental events that shaped Europe in the early Middle Ages (600-1000).
Examples: invasions, military leaders
• Describing the role of the early medieval church
• Describing the impact of new agricultural methods on manorialism and feudalism
16.) Describe major cultural changes in Western Europe in the High Middle Ages (1000-1350).
Examples: the Church, scholasticism, Crusades
• Describing changing roles of church and governmental leadership
• Comparing political developments in France, England, and the Holy Roman Empire, including the signing of the Magna Carta
• Describing the growth of trade and towns resulting in the rise of the middle class
17.) Explain how events and conditions fostered political and economic changes in the late Middle Ages and led to the origins of the Renaissance.
Examples: Crusades, Hundred Years' War, Black Death, rise of middle class, commercial prosperity
• Identifying changes in the arts, architecture, literature, and science in the late Middle Ages