• Dear Eighth Grade Families;                                                                                                                                                  Welcome to the Ann Arbor Public Schools Family Pages. We hope the information you find here assists you in supporting your child while s/he is learning important skills and concepts throughout the eighth grade year. Four key sources inform the middle school Social Studies program; (1) The Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations, (2) the C3 Framework for College, Career and Civic Life for Social Studies State Standards, and (3) Social Studies Alive! and History Alive!. The Michigan GLCEs define what the state expects students to know and be able to do in Social Studies at the end of each grade level. To take a deeper look at each unit go to:     Atlas: Eighth Grade Social Studies




    Colonial Life







    Revolutionary Ideas / Declaration of Independence / War













    Emerging Nation Domestic and Foreign Affairs










    Manifest Destiny / Westward Expansion






    Reform Movements












    Civil War and Reconstruction









     Themes in Civic Responsibility






    Kay Wade

    District Social Studies Department Chair 


  • Eighth Grade Social Studies Units 
    Toward Independence
    • What were the tensions between the colonies and Britain that led to a strained relationship?
    The Declaration of Independence
    • What historical events led the colonists to declare independence?
    The American Revolution 
    • What factors helped to decide the outcome of the Revolutionary War?
    Creating the Constitution
    • What events led to the creation of the Constitution? 
    The Constitution: A More Perfect Union
    • How does the Constitution distribute power and organize the federal government?
    The Bill of Rights
    • What rights are protected by the Bill of Rights?
    Political Development in the Early Republic
    • What were the political differences between the Federalists and the Democratic Republican party?
    Foreign Affairs in the Young Nation
    • Isolationism to involvement, how and why did foreign policy in the U.S. change?
    A Growing Sense of Nationhood
    • What symbols of a national identity developed as the nation grew? 
    Andrew Jackson and the Growth of American Democracy
    • How did people react to Andrew Jackson’s Presidency?
    Manifest Destiny and the Growing Nation
    • How and why did the United States expand across the continent? 
    An Era of Reform
    • What American ideas were developed during the Era of Reform and who championed these ideas?
    The Worlds of the North and the South
    • How were the North and the South different?
    African Americans at Mid Century
    • What was the life of an African American like in the 19th century?
    A Dividing Nation
    • What compromises and decisions made to preserve the Union?
    The Civil War
    • What were the events and effects of the Civil War?
    The Reconstruction Era
    • How did African Americans struggle to gain full rights as citizens during reconstruction?
    Learn more on Atlas: 8th Grade Social Studies    
    Engagement in civic life requires culturally aware citizens who have a sense of our shared national past. This course is designed to develop students disciplinary practices and literacies required for success in high school and college as well as the critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaborative skills for the world beyond school.