Curriculum Grade 8 Religion/Social Studies

  • 8th Grade Religion Resources: Be My Disciples, The New American Bible, Pflam Gospel Weekly

    This year’s formal study helps students to be in touch with their Catholic roots. Beginning with the apostolic age and the age of persecution, students will be introduced to the accomplishments of men and women of faith throughout the centuries. The successes and difficulties that the Church has faced, both within and without, will be studied, but always with a view to helping young Catholics of today face the challenges of their own time. As Catholics, we stand on the shoulders of giants. In helping others to know the story of this great Church community, we are preparing leaders for the future.

    Key points we will touch on: 

    • why study history?; the importance of Church history
    • beginnings of the Church; the spread of Christianity; the age of persecutions; the threat from within, schisms 
    • the edict of toleration; the Church expansion; the councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, Chalcedon 
    • the roots of monasticism; evangelization of Europe; formation of Holy Roman Empire 
    • Gregorian reforms; the Crusades; the Inquisition 
    • humanists and reformers of the Renaissance 
    • the Protestant Reformation
    • the Council of Trent and its effects; the rise of new religious communities 
    • Catholicism in the New World 
    • the French Revolution; the Reign of Terror; Napoleon and the Church 
    • contributions of Catholic laity; the new role of the papacy 
    • Catholicism in the United States; Spanish and French missionaries; the immigrant Church and discrimination 
    • the Church in Modern America 
    • Vatican II and after

    8th Grade Social Studies Curriculum - American History

    To complement the Social Studies curriculum in Eighth Grade, we use the Glencoe text, The American Journey, which conforms with the California State Framework. The framework stresses three main areas: knowledge and understanding, civic understanding, and skills development 

    The Eighth Grade social studies curriculum begins with an intensive review of the major ideas, issues, and events preceding the founding of the nation. Students will concentrate on the critical events of the period - from the framing of the Constitution to World War I.

    Connecting with Past Learnings: Our Colonial Heritage 
    This year’s study of American history begins with a selective review of significant development of democratic institutions founded in Judeo-Christian religious thinking and in English parliamentary traditions; the development of an economy based on agriculture, commerce, and handicraft manufacturing; and the emergence of major regional differences in the colonies.

    Connecting with Past Learnings: A New Nation 
    Major events and ideas leading to the American War for Independence will be examined. We will study the moral and political ideas of the Great Awakening and its effect on the development of revolutionary fervor. Students will study the primary sources from these events to better understand the revolutionary and moral thinking of the times.

    The Constitution of the United States 
    Students will concentrate on the shaping of the Constitution and the nature of the government that it created. We will read, discuss and analyze from excerpts from the document written at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. We will study the issues that divided the Founding Fathers and examine the compromises they adopted. Students will be able to recognize the great achievements of the Constitution: 1) it created a democratic form of government based on the consent of the governed; an 2) it established a government that has survived more than 200 years by a delicate balancing of power and interests and by providing a process of amendment to adapt the Constitution to the needs of a changing society. 

    *The Constitution test will be during the second trimester.

    Divergent Paths of the American People: 1800-1850 
    Students will study the nation’s regional development in the West, Northeast, and South and will be encouraged to view historical events empathetically. Through the story of acquisition, exploration, and settlement, understanding of geography will be deepened. Students will study how the industrial revolution transformed manufacturing, mining, communication, agriculture, and education. We will analyze how the South diverged dramatically from the Northeast and the West in its development.

    Toward a More Perfect Union: 1850-1879 
    The Civil War is a watershed in American history. It resolved a challenge to the very existence of the nation, demolished (and mythologized) the antebellum way of life in the South, and created a prototype of modern warfare. Students will analyze how the events during and after Reconstruction raised and then dashed the hopes of black Americans for full equality.