Your Eighth Grader Should Be Able to . . .
• Describe major periods and developments in U.S. history, e.g., colonization, revolution, westward expansion, urbanization, and industrialization.
• Identify major regions of the nation and analyze the geographic and human factors that define them.
• Explain the goals and functions of representative government and how the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution support this form of government. Compare life in a country with a representative government to life in a country with another system.
• Identify the qualities that make effective leaders.
• Identify current leaders in the United States and abroad. Analyze their decisions.
• Describe the ways individuals and groups influence events in other regions of the world.
• Identify economic and government systems in other parts of the world. Compare the government, education, economic systems, and religious institutions in other parts of the world to those in the United States.
• Explain defining events in Texas history such as Spanish exploration, statehood, ranching, the discovery of oil, and construction of interstate highways.
• Compare and contrast Texas to Tennessee or Mississippi or Alabama in terms of physical and human characteristics. Identify factors that might have lured people from east of the Mississippi River to Texas (Gather data from almanacs, encyclopedias, thematic maps, databases, and the Internet).
• Tell a story about a teenager in any of the thirteen colonies and the unique life he or she experienced. This involves understanding the fundamental differences among the colonies related to physical geography, ethnic diversity, attitudes toward religion, economic opportunities, and approaches to government.
• Explain what factors would affect an individual’s decision to choose sides in any given event in early U.S. history (serve as a Loyalist or a Patriot in the American Revolution, support or oppose the Constitution, move west to new territory or remain in the Eastern United States, work toward abolition or own slaves, join the Union or the Confederacy during the Civil War).
• Explain how individuals made economic decisions as buyers, sellers, and producers in the early United States (the free enterprise system).
• Identify the region of the country most affected by the Industrial Revolution before the Civil War and how other regions differed in natural, human, and financial resources.
• Identify a newspaper article that describes actions that threaten the rights of citizens as outlined in the Bill of Rights and explain possible solutions to eliminate the threat.
• Exhibit the characteristics of responsible citizenship by obeying rules, accepting the consequences of personal behavior, and respecting individual rights.
Texas Social Studies Frameworks, Chapter 8