8th Grade - United States through Industrialism

Important Stuff

8th Grade - U.S. Through Industrialism

Instructor    Lucas Rewa
Phone         269-323-5708
Building      North Middle School
Room         77
E-mail  lrewa@portageps.org 

Course Description

The United States through Industrialism immerses students in a powerful journey through the history of the United States from its earliest foundations to the age of industrialism. Students examine the philosophies, conflicts, and cultures around which the early nation developed and consider how past events have shaped our nation.  Throughout the school year students will have the chance to explore the history of the United States from colonization through the period of reconstruction just after the Civil War.


Our overarching course goals throughout the year will be to:

1) Demonstrate knowledge of the world through the disciplines of history, economics, political science and geography.

2) Use oral and written communication to inquire, gather and interpret data, form hypotheses, draw conclusions, make inferences, and support generalizations on issues drawn from historical and contemporary sources.

3) Demonstrate an overall understanding of the course objectives and state standards by passing bi-quarterly assessments.

4) Demonstrate a historical perspective in order to construct a meaningful understanding of the diverse cultural heritage of our world in order to make significant judgments regarding the world around us.

5) Participate in inquiry, decision making and public discourse to better understand the complex problems that affect our society and the world. You will then be asked to make thoughtful and informed decisions regarding the status quo, deliberate and resolve cultural, political, economic, and societal issues of enduring importance.


Our specific course goals throughout for each marking period are as follows:

Quarter 1and 2: Era 3 (1754-1800): Foundations of a New Nation: The American Revolution and its consequences, creating new governments and a new constitution

Guiding Question: How do people interact to bring about change?

Grade level content expectations (GLCS)

1.       (I Can) describe and analyze the ideas, experiences, and interactions that influenced the colonists’ decisions to declare independence.

2.      (I Can) by using the Declaration of Independence, be able to describe the Colonists’ view of government, and their reasons for separating from Great Britain.

3.      (I can) describe and analyze the consequences of the American Revolution (republican government, the Articles of Confederation, changing views on freedom and equality and the concerns over the distribution of power).

4.      (I Can) explain the challenges faced by the new nation and analyze the development of the Constitution as a new plan for governing.

Quarter 3: Era 4 (1772-1861): Expansion and Reform: Challenges to an emerging nation, regional and economic growth, and the reform movements

Guiding Questions:

1.       How successful were political and social leaders in solving domestic and international problems faced by the new nation.

2.      How did people respond to the challenges presented by regional and economic growth?

3.      How did changes caused by economic and territorial growth and the actions of reformers lead to growing sectionalism?


1.       (I Can) analyze the challenges the new government faced and the role of political and social leaders in meeting these challenges.

2.      (I Can) describe and analyze the nature and impact of the territorial and economic  growth in the first three decades of the new nation using maps, charts, and other evidence.

3.      (I Can) analyze the growth of antebellum American reform movements.

Quarter 4: Era 5 (1850-1877): The American Civil War and Reconstruction

Guiding Questions:

1.       How did the American Civil War reflect American society’s move toward or away from its core ideal of freedom as found in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution?

2.      Why are the Civil War and Reconstruction Eras considered a pivotal chapter in American history?


1.       (I can) analyze and evaluate the early attempts to abolish or contain slavery and to realize the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.

2.      (I can) evaluate the multiple causes, key events, and the consequences of the American Civil War.

3.      (I can) use evidence, develop an argument regarding the character and consequences of Reconstruction. 

Course Requirements: 

Text used and other recommended materials: 
  • History Alive: United States through Industrialism
  • History Alive: United States through Industrialism - Interactive Student Notebook

At the end of the marking period, the teacher will calculate students’ grades from tests, daily quizzes, specific assignments, etc.  Letter grades will be assigned by the scale below.  

Student scores that result in .05 or higher should be rounded up.  The following percentage scale applies.
100 - 91.5  = A
91.4 - 89.5 = A-
89.4 - 87.5 = B+
87.4 - 81.5 = B
81.4 - 79.5 = B-
79.4 - 77.5 = C+
77.4 - 71.5 = C 
71.4 - 69.5 = C-
69.4 - 67.5 = D+
67.4 - 61.5 = D
61.4 - 59.5 = D-
59.4 - 0      = E
Grades will be rounded up only to the tenth place during this calculation.  Students will only earn a passing grade for a marking period if they achieve at or above 59.45%, which rounds to 59.5%.

The final semester grade is based on a composite of two nine-weeks’ grades and the final examination/culminating assessment/project.  Each nine weeks is worth approximately 43%, and the semester exam/project or District Culminating Activity assessment is worth approximately 14%.