Social Studies 8th Grade » 8th Grade Social Studies Syllabus

8th Grade Social Studies Syllabus

8th Grade U.S. History Syllabus                                                                          

Welcome to 8th grade and U.S. History! This will be a very exciting year for you, and we are grateful to have you in our classes. This document includes the content we will be covering in this course, course policies, conduct, grading, and the specific standards you will learn from the Tennessee Department of Education. If you ever have questions about anything in this course, please reach out to us.

Pacing, course structure, grading scheme, etc. are subject to change if we move to a virtual or hybrid model at any point during this school year.

Please complete the Acknowledgement form in the Introduction Module in Canvas after reading this document.

Lynna Bingham

[email protected]

Luke Holt

[email protected]

John Mallick

[email protected]

Course Content

The course content for U.S. History is divided into the following units:

  1. Colonization (1607-1750)
  2. The American Revolution (1700-1783)
  3. The New Nation (1775-1800)
  4. Growth of a Young Nation (1800-1820) & The Jacksonian Era (1824-1840)**
  5. Sectionalism & Reform (1790s-1850s)
  6. Expansion and Division of the Nation (1820s-1860s)
  7. The Civil War (1860-1865)
  8. Reconstruction (1865-1877)

**This unit is a combination of 2 short content strands included in the state standards.

Course Sequencing and Major Assignments

We will progress through these units chronologically as they are listed. Each unit will have at least 1 assessment in the form of a unit test. These tests will contain 10-20% review items from previous units. In addition to tests, each 9 weeks students will complete a cumulative exam including test items covering all content learned that 9 weeks.

Quizzes will be given perioically to assess student learning of individual standards within Units. Quizzes may be announced or unannounced.

Broken down by 9 week terms, the following units will be covered*:

First 9 Weeks:

  • Unit 1 
  • Unit 2 

Cumulative Assessment: October

Third 9 Weeks:

  • Unit 6 
  • Unit 7 
  • Unit 8 

Cumulative Assessment: TBD

Second 9 Weeks:

  • Unit 3 
  • Unit 4 
  • Unit 5 

Cumulative Assessment: December

Fourth 9 Weeks

  • All units covered, review quizzes and tests as needed

Cumulative Assessment: TBD

*The units covered in each 9 weeks may change. Check Canvas for specific dates.

Specific dates for unit assessments and common assessments will be communicated if/when dates are decided. Any additional major assignments, projects, or assessments will have specific information and dates on Canvas.


Assignments will be distributed in Canvas through Modules. Each lesson will have a Module. Most lessons are a single day, but occasionally lessons will take 2-3 days to complete. Each module contains instructional content and activities for that standard or cluster of standards and will have a header with the date for that module. Multi-day modules will have the headers dividing it into daily assignments. The assignments within each module are assigned a due date, which is almost always the day it assigns. Almost all assignments are able to be completed in class, so in most cases there are no assignments for homework if students are in attendance and work as directed in class. Only assignments not completed in class or missed due to absence are assigned as homework.

History Journal and Notes

All students need a composition book to be used as a History Journal. This journal will be used daily for starters, notes, or other activities. Students are expected to maintain their History Journal. This means both using it for all required activities and being responsible to keep up with it whether at home or at school. 

Participation in class including taking notes in their History Journals will be a part of students’ grade. Notetaking is an essential skill we expect all of our students to improve over the course of the year. This especially means identifying important concepts and summarizing the information in students’ own words. All of our content is available online so there is no reason or need to copy all presented information in class, but students must use the opportunity to practice their analyzing and summarizing skills during notes. Many lessons will incorporate a graphic organizer or a guided notes “foldable” that is printed and provided for that day’s lesson in class. PDF versions of any foldables are available on Canvas for students who lose theirs, miss class, or otherwise need to access a foldable outside of class, and teachers can provide replacement copies upon request.

Conduct Indicators



All of the following criteria met:

● All assignments turned in on time

● All assignments submitted

● No unexcused tardies

● Computer charged daily (charge needed no more than 1 times)

● Come prepared with materials (pencil, paper, journals, trip to locker) no more than 1 time

● Always engaged in class

● Always respectful to adults

● Rarely asks to leave the classroom (bathroom, clinic, counseling, office, etc.)

● Never socially disruptive

● Always follows directions when given

● Always respects others’ property and personal space

● Always maintaining a clean/tidy environment (classroom supplies, trash, food, etc.)


All of the following criteria met:

● Most assignments turned in on time

● All assignments submitted

● No more than 2 unexcused tardies

● Computer charged daily (charge needed no more than 2 times)

● Come prepared with materials (pencil, paper, journals, trip to locker) no more than 2 times

● Consistently engaged in class

● Always respectful to adults

● Rarely asks to leave the classroom (bathroom, clinic, counseling, office, etc.)

● Rarely socially disruptive

● Regularly follows directions when given

● Consistently respects others’ property and personal space

● Consistently maintaining a clean/tidy environment (classroom supplies, trash, food, etc.)


● Any of the S criteria not met

● On a behavior plan at the time of reporting


● 5 or more S criteria not met

● Or shows disrespect to adults Note: Having a U will automatically bring up the student for implementing a behavior plan if one is not already in place

Revised Spring 2018

Basically, the indicators mean something like this:

O - Always - Student always meets the highest level of expectations for students and is an example for all to follow. 

S - Often - Student meets the basic level of expectations we have for students most of the time. They sometimes make some mistakes, but there are no instances of extreme or egregious misconduct. This is not a “bad grade” for a student!

N - Sometimes - Student is sometimes compliant with expectations (consistently does not meet the basic level of expectations) and/or student commits an extreme or egregious act of misconduct.

U - Rarely - Student rarely meets basic behavior expectations or commits multiple extreme acts of misconduct.

Mastery Grading

For many assignments, 8th grade social studies will be using a Mastery Grading policy. In Mastery Grading, a student’s grade corresponds to a tier of proficiency that is translated into a number grade, much like TCAP. Under this format, student work will be assessed as one of five categories which correspond to their demonstrated learning. These categories are assigned a universal value in Aspen that aligns with the KCS grading scale.

Here are the indicators in our grading scheme. They are described in detail, explained in a nutshell, and include a message students should get from receiving the grade::

Mastery, 100 - Student has a complete mastery of the material beyond the statewide standards-based expectations of proficiency.
In a nutshell: They’ve learned all of it.
To students: “Excellent work! You understand the whole picture!”

Proficiency, 90 - Student has demonstrated learning to a level corresponding with statewide standards-based expectations.
In a nutshell: They’ve learned most of it.
To students: “Good work! You’ve got a good understanding of things.”

Progressing towards Mastery, 80 - Student has demonstrated learning but requires more time and practice to meet statewide standards-based expectations.
In a nutshell: They're getting there, but maybe at a slower pace.
To students: “You’re getting there, so keep up the hard work!”

Not Progressing, 70 - Student is not on target and are not on pace to meet statewide standards-based expectations by the end of the year. If this grade is given, it will often correspond with similar grades in conduct categories. If students are meeting expectations in conduct and receive this grade, more intensive academic interventions need to be put in place.
In a nutshell: They’’re not learning and something needs to change.
To students: “We can pull this grade up, but we need to try something different.”

No Submission, 60 - The student has not submitted assignments or taken assessments. In the case of students with absences, the student has neglected opportunities to make up assessments or submit assignments in a timely fashion. This grade may also be given for submitted assignments that are so grossly incomplete that an assessment of student learning cannot be accurately deciphered.
In a nutshell: Students are willingly refusing to complete or submit required work.
To students: “You need to respect yourself enough to complete your work.”
Traditional grade equivalents: F, 60

Grading Category Weights

History Journal = 20%

Classwork = 40%

9 Weeks Exams, Unit Tests, & Quizzes = 40%

Accessing Canvas

Parents can access Canvas by going to and using the drop down menu underneath the Student tab.  Choose the Canvas link and sign in.

*Specific Dates for Assessments Can Be Viewed on Canvas Calendars or Weekly Agenda.  Directions are as follows:

  • Parents can view the course calendar through the Parent App.

  • Download the app, create an account, locate Kingsport City Schools, enter student’s login information.

  • Click on the course

  • View the course calendar by tapping the calendar icon that says “week” OR click on “Weekly Agenda” on the course homepage.

8th Grade Social Studies Tennessee State Standards

Essential Questions for Standards
These questions will serve as your “study guide” throughout the year. If you are able to answer each of the questions for the standards we have covered, you should perform proficiently on each unit test. 


After reading the syllabus, please  complete the Acknowledgement form in the Introduction Module in Canvas.