8th Grade Social Studies Essential Standards

Historical study connects students to the enduring themes and issues of our past and equips them to meet the challenges they will face as citizens in a state, nation and an interdependent world. Pursuant to the passage of House Bill 1032 An Act Modifying the History and Geography Curricula in the Public Schools of North Carolina, the new essential standards for eighth grade will integrate United States history with the study of North Carolina history. This integrated study helps students understand and appreciate the legacy of our democratic republic and to develop skills needed to engage responsibly and intelligently as North Carolinians. This course will serve as a stepping stone for more intensive study in high school.

Students in eighth grade will continue to build on the fourth and fifth grade introductions to North Carolina and the United States by embarking on a more rigorous study of the historical foundations and democratic principles that continue to shape our state and nation. Students will begin with a review of the major ideas and events preceding the foundation of North Carolina and the United States. The main focus of the course will be the critical events, personalities, issues, and developments in the state and nation from the Revolutionary Era to contemporary times. Inherent in this study is an analysis of the relationship of geography, events and people to the political, economic, technological, and cultural developments that shaped our existence in North Carolina and the United States over time. Although the major focus is state and national history, efforts should also be made to include a study of local history.

The standards are organized around five strands: history, geography and environmental literacy, economics and financial literacy, civics and governance and culture. The strands should not be taught in isolation, but woven together in an integrated study that helps to tell the complete story of our state and nation. Additionally, the course includes two types of essential standards – one that identifies the skill that students should master during the course of the year and another that identifies the knowledge and understandings. The skills should be taught within the context of applying knowledge and understandings of the creation and development of North Carolina and the United States. (from the NCDPI website)

History

8.H.1 Apply historical thinking to understand the creation and development of North Carolina and the United States.

  • 1.1 Construct charts, graphs, and historical narratives to explain particular events or issues.
  • 1.2 Summarize the literal meaning of historical documents in order to establish context.
  • 1.3 Use primary and secondary sources to interpret various historical perspectives.
  • 1.4 Use historical inquiry to evaluate the validity of sources used to construct historical narratives
  • 1.5 Analyze the relationship between historical context and decision-making.

8.H.2  Understand the ways in which conflict, compromise and negotiation have shaped North Carolina and the United States.

  • 2.1 Explain the impact of economic, political, social, and military conflicts (e.g. war, slavery, states’ rights and citizenship and immigration policies) on the development of North Carolina and the United States.
  • 2.2 Summarize how leadership and citizen actions (e.g. the founding fathers, the Regulators, the Greensboro Four, and participants of the Wilmington Race Riots, 1898) influenced the the United States.
  • 2.3 Summarize the role of debate, compromise, and negotiation during significant periods in the history of North Carolina and the United States.

8.H.3  Understand the factors that contribute to change and continuity in North Carolina and the United States.

  • 3.1 Explain how migration and immigration contributed to the development of North Carolina and the United States from colonization to contemporary times (e.g. westward movement, African slavery, Trail of Tears, the Great Migration and Ellis and Angel Island).
  • 3.2 Explain how changes brought about by technology and other innovations affected individuals and groups in North Carolina and the United States (e.g. advancements in transportation, communication networks and business practices).
  • 3.3 Explain how individuals and groups have influenced economic, political and social change in North Carolina and the United States.
  • 3.4 Compare historical and contemporary issues to understand continuity and change in the development of North Carolina and the United States.

Geography and Environmental Literacy

8.G.1 Understand the geographic factors that influenced North Carolina and the United States.

  • 1.1  Explain how location and place have presented opportunities and challenges for the movement of people, goods, and ideas in North Carolina and the United States.
  • 1.2  Understand the human and physical characteristics of regions in North Carolina and the United States (e.g. physical features, culture, political organization and ethnic make-up).
  • 1.3  Explain how human and environmental interaction affected quality of life and settlement patterns in North Carolina and the United States (e.g. environmental disasters, infrastructure development, coastal restoration and alternative sources of energy).

Economics and Financial Literacy

8.E.1  Understand the economic activities of North Carolina and the United States.

  • 1.1  Explain how conflict, cooperation, and competition influenced periods of economic growth and decline (e.g. economic depressions and recessions).
  • 1.2  Use economic indicators (e.g. GDP, inflation and unemployment) to evaluate the growth and stability of the economy of North Carolina and the United States.
  • 1.3  Explain how quality of life is impacted by personal financial choices (e.g. credit, savings, investing, borrowing and giving).

Civics and Governance

8.C&G.1  Analyze how democratic ideals shaped government in North Carolina and the United States.

  • Summarize democratic ideals expressed in local, state, and national government (e.g. limited government, popular sovereignty, separation of powers, republicanism, federalism and individual rights).
  • Evaluate the degree to which democratic ideals are evident in historical documents from North Carolina and the United States (e.g. the Mecklenburg Resolves, the Halifax Resolves, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Bill of Rights and the principles outlined in the US Constitution and North Carolina Constitutions of 1776, 1868 and 1971).
  • Analyze differing viewpoints on the scope and power of state and national governments (e.g. Federalists and anti-Federalists, education, immigration and healthcare).
  • Analyze access to democratic rights and freedoms among various groups in North Carolina and the United States (e.g. enslaved people, women, wage earners, landless farmers, American Indians, African Americans and other ethnic groups).

8.C&G.2  Understand the role that citizen participation plays in societal change.

  • 2.1 Evaluate the effectiveness of various approaches used to effect change in North Carolina and the United States (e.g. picketing, boycotts, sit-ins, voting, marches, holding elected office and lobbying).
  • 2.2 Analyze issues pursued through active citizen campaigns for change (e.g. voting rights and access to education, housing and employment).
  • 2.3 Explain the impact of human and civil rights issues throughout North Carolina and United States history.

Culture

8.C.1  Understand how different cultures influenced North Carolina and the United States.

  • Explain how exploration and colonization influenced Africa, Europe and the Americas (e.g. Columbian exchange, slavery and the decline of the American Indian populations).
  • Summarize the origin of beliefs, practices, and traditions that represent various groups within North Carolina and the United States (e.g. Moravians, Scots-Irish, Highland Scots, Latino, Hmong, African, and American Indian)
  • Summarize the contributions of particular groups to the development of North Carolina and the United States (e.g. women, religious groups, and ethnic minorities such as American Indians, African Americans, and European immigrants).