History Questions

1.  What is history?

2.  Why do we study history?

3.  What is your favorite time period in history and why?

4.  Make a timeline with significant events from your past.  Include at least seven events from the past which were significant or influential in who you are today.  Also include five events or goals you would like to achieve in the future.


On occasion students will have the opportunity to outline a section of the chapter.  This is done to ensure the students are reading and  understanding the information as well as teach them a helpful method of gathering important information and condensing it into a shortened version.  Each section of the chapter has already been outlined to an extent.  This assignment allows students to outline in a more detailed method and teaches them to pick out the important information contained within the section.  Students will use the outline of the section and then add to with detailed information that they feel is significant.

The process of outlining is explained below:

I  (Roman Numerals are used to represent the Big Bold Blue Headings in the Section)

A.  (Capital Letters are used to represent the Big Bold Red Headings in the Section)

1.  (Numbers are used under both Roman Numerals and Capital Letters to summarize in detail the important information under their respective heading.  Each paragraph should contain at least one important idea or information, more than one may be used per paragraph)

Example Outline of Chapter 1 Section 1 (pg. 16-19)

I  The Journey from Asia (Big Bold Blue Heading)

1.                             (main idea in first paragraph under heading “The Journey from Asia”

2.                             (main idea in second paragraph under heading “The Journey from Asia”

3.                             (main idea in third paragraph under heading “The Journey from Asia”

A.  Crossing the Land Bridge (Big Bold Red Heading)

1.                                      (main idea in first paragraph under heading “Crossing the Land Bridge”

2.                                      (main idea in second paragraph under heading “Crossing the Land Bridge”

3.                                      (main idea in third paragraph under heading “Crossing the Land Bridge”

B.  In Search of Hunting Grounds (Big Bold Red Heading)

1.       (main idea)

2.       (main idea)

C.  Hunting for Food (Big Bold Red Heading)

1.       (main idea)

2.       (main idea)

II  Settling Down (Big Bold Blue Heading)

1.       (main idea)

A.  Planting Seeds (Big Bold Red Heading)

1.     (main idea)

2.     (main idea)

B.  Early Communities (Big Bold Red Heading)

1.      (main idea)

2.      (main idea)

C.  The Growth of Cultures (Big Bold Red Heading)

1.      (main idea)

2.      (main idea)


The “Patriots Pen” is a Patriotic Essay that Star Valley Middle School participates in each year.  It is our way of honoring America’s Veterans.  Students have an opportunity to show respect as well as learn an appreciation for those who have served this great country and sacrificed for the freedoms we and others enjoy.  It is sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).  This essay is a Social Studies & English combined project and meets standards in each curriculum.  Students will receive both a History and English grade for completing this assignment.  The best essays will then be entered into the state competition.  The top state winners will then go to nationals to compete.  Prizes are awarded at each level with the national winner receiving a $10,000 bond.  We have had many students do well at the state and national level.

This year’s theme “What I would tell America’s Founding Fathers”

Rules 300-400 words, no poetry allowed, must be contestant’s own work, quotations may be used,

Judging Knowledge=30 points, Theme development=35 points, Clarity=35 points


Accelerated Reader (A.R.) is a program used by this school to promote reading and comprehension.  Students can read books from the library and then test on them to earn points.  The tests are developed to measure comprehension of the books read.  Most classes at Star Valley Middle School require students to read A.R. books and earn points.

In U.S. History we require each student to read two books per quarter.  One is a historical fiction (novel), the other is a U.S. History non-fiction.

The historical fiction (events are accurate but a fictional character) books correspond with the same time periods we are covering in class.  There are lots of books to choose from.  The time period of the 1st semester is from Native Americans – 1830.  2nd Semester books will cover the time period from 1830-the present.  Students will find a variety of books to choose from that interest them and help them better understand what life was like and the events of that particular time period.  Each historical fiction book is worth 100 points and the student is given the same number of points as their percent of which they score on the test.  For example, if a student gets 80% on a test they will receive 80 points.  If students are unhappy with their score, they can read another book and test and I will give them the highest score they receive.

The U.S. History non-fiction books deal with historical events, people, places, and other things dealing with U.S. History.  There are hundreds to choose from.  The non-fiction books are scored a different way.  Each non-fiction book is worth 50 points and if the student receives 70% or higher they receive all 50 points.  Students can read as many book as needed in order to get 70%.

Remember students must read one of each book per quarter (two total books per quarter)

These books also count toward books that must be read in English.  In English students must read at least four novels and four non-fiction.  Each book read for U.S. History will also count toward these books in English.



Students will be doing a short summary of current events going on in the world.  These do not have to be just social studies related.  Anything that is significant or affects a lot of people would be considered important.  Students will hand these in every two weeks (usually on Friday).  These current events should be current, within the last two weeks, or still ongoing if they happened earlier.  When students have completed the half page summary, they then need to write a summary sentence explaining why this is important and how it affects us.  If students can not answer that summary sentence, their current event is probably not a significant event.   It is important that our students understand what is going on in the world and how these events effect us now and in the future.  Sources for current events include the internet, news, magazines, newspapers, radio and other sources.

Below is listed the guidelines for current events.

1.  1/2 page summary in your own words of a current event.

2.  Must be significant, important or affect a large group of people.

3.  Must have a summary sentence explaining why this is important or how it affects us.

4.  No sports

5.  No local news (unless it affects more than just Star Valley)

6.  It will be worth 40 points.

7.  Due every two weeks.


Current Events Guide


You have to learn the past to understand the present.

Current is defined as occurring in or belonging to the present time  (within the month). One of our focus points this year will be to examine what is happening right now in the world and try to make connections to the past, present and ourselves.

We will primarily focus on history, which is important because it helps us learn from the past, understand the present, and help shape the future.  This assignment puts those events in a broader context~ “How do current events affect our lives’ today and in the future?”

Current Events Assignment – (Due every two weeks)

Current Events should focus on events that affect a large group of people, are significant to the country/world, or will impact the future. 

Current relates to events that have just recently occurred or are still ongoing that are still impacting many people.

Articles about individual people or events that affect a small number of people are generally not acceptable.

Certain topics are NOT allowed: Sports, Entertainment, Crime, Editorials (Opinions).

When you are writing your Current Events you should include the following:

  • Write a brief summary in your own words of the current event (what happened, where did it happen, when did it happen, who was involved?)
  • What are your thoughts about the event? What is your opinion?
  • Why is it significant or how does it affect you/the country/the world or a large group of people?


The Current Event should be at least ½ page hand written (not typed).  Anything less than ½ page will not be accepted.  You should be able to explain in your own words what the current event is about and why it is significant.


Lincoln County School District #2

Star Valley Middle School

8th Grade Social Studies Standards

(United States History: Pre-History through Civil War Reconstruction)

State/District Standards and Benchmarks

8.1. Citizenship/ Government/ Democracy: Students demonstrate how structures of power, authority and governance have developed historically and continue to evolve.

1. Students identify the rights, duties, and responsibilities of a U.S. citizen.

2. Students understand the historical perspective and issues involved in the development of the U. S. Constitution.

3. Students recognize the basic principles of the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and other amendments and are able to identify those principles in real-life scenarios.

*8.2. Culture/ Cultural Diversity: Students demonstrate an understanding of different cultures and how these cultures have contributed and continue contribute to the world in which they live. (*Standards 8.2.1 & 2 are particularly achieved in 7th Grade World Geography)

1. Students explain how family systems, religion, language, literature and the arts contribute to the development of cultures.

2. Students describe cultural diversity and the interdependence of cultures.

8.3. Production, Distribution, and Consumption: Students demonstrate and understanding of economic principles and concepts and describe the influence of economic factors on societies.

1. Students communicate how economic considerations influence personal, local, state, national and international decision-making.

2. Students describe the systems of exchange of past and present.

3. Students recognize basic concepts of economic systems.

8.4. Time, Continuity, and Change: Students demonstrate an understanding of the people, events, problems, ideas, and cultures that were significant in the history of our community, state, nation, and world.

1. Students identify people, events, problems, conflicts, and ideas and explain their historical significance.

2. Students discuss current events to better understand the world in which they live.

3. Students analyze the impact of historical events and people on present conditions, situations, or circumstances.

*8.5. People, Places, and Environments: Students demonstrate an understanding of interrelationships among people, places, and environments. (*Standards 8.5.1 & 2 are particularly achieved in 7th Grade World Geography)

1. Students use charts, maps, and graphs to answer questions dealing with people, places, events, or environments.

2. Students apply the themes of geography to the topics being studied.

3. Students demonstrate an ability to organize and process spatial information; i.e., You Are Here maps of various areas.

Unit One: Different World’s Meet (Beginnings-1625)

Explain how people arrived in the Americas. (8.2, 8.4, 8.5)

Describe the cultural contributions of the Native Americans. (8.2)

Classify the explorers and their areas of exploration. (8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5)

Evaluate the impact of European exploration on Native American culture. (8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5)

Unit Two: Colonial Settlement (1587-1770)

Describe the founding of the European colonies in America. (8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5)

Discuss economic and cultural aspects of colonial life and explain the causes of the French and Indian War. (8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5)

Unit Three: Creating a Nation (1763-1791)

Explain how changes in British policies in North America caused dissatisfaction among colonists. (8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5)

Describe the outbreak of hostilities between Patriot and British Forces. (8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5)

Discuss the preparation of key points in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. (8.1)

Unit Four: The New Republic (1789-1825)

List highlights of the new government. (8.1)

Identify and discuss the importance of various aspects of the Jefferson era. (8.1, 8.4)

Discuss the Industrial Revolution and its effects; explain how sectionalism developed and summarize the Monroe Doctrine. (8.2, 8.3, 8.4)

Unit Five: The Growing Nation (1820-1860)

Describe key political and social events of the Jackson era. (8.2, 8.3, 8.4)

Explain the concept of Manifest Destiny. (8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5)

Compare and contrast the economy and people of the North with those of the South. (8.3)

Discuss the social history of the early and mid-1800s. (8.2, 8.4)

Unit Six: Civil War and Reconstruction (1846-1896)

Explain how differences between the North and the South led to the Civil War. (8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5)

Detail the major campaigns and strategies of the Civil War. (8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5)

Describe the reconstruction policies and their effects on the former Confederacy. (8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5)

Class Description

This course will cover the history of the United States up through the Civil War.  The major units or themes we will cover include:  Native Americans, Discovery & Colonization of America, The Revolutionary War, The Constitution, Westward Expansion, & The Civil War.


I believe in the United States of America as a Government of the people, by the people, for the people, whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes. I therefore believe it is my duty to my Country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.


Place the correct year next to the following events.
Those with an *** use the ENTIRE date (month, day, year)
1. ___________ Columbus first voyage arrives in the West Indies.
2. ____________ Jamestown Virginia (first permanent English settlement in the U.S.)
3. ____________ Pilgrims arrive at Plymouth Massachusetts
4. ____________ The beginning of the French & Indian War
5. ____________ The Treaty of Paris ending the French & Indian War
6. ____________ *** The Declaration of Independence is signed and approved ***
7. ____________ The Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War
8. ____________ *** The Constitution of the U.S. is signed ***
9. ____________ Pres. Jefferson purchases Louisiana from France
10. ____________ The War of 1812 begins when Congress declares war on Great Britain
11. ____________ Texas declares their independence and the Texas Revolution begins
12. ____________ Texas is annexed to the U.S. under Pres. Polk
13. ____________ Oregon is annexed to the U.S. under Pres. Polk
14. ____________ The Mormons arrive and settle in Utah
15. ____________ The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the war & southwest is annexed
16. ____________ The gold rush to California the year after gold is discovered
17. ____________ Abraham Lincoln is elected President & South Carolina secedes
18. ____________ Ft. Sumter is attacked and taken by the Confederate States of America
19. ____________ Robert E. Lee surrenders at Appomattox Courthouse & Abraham Lincoln
is assassinated.

Significant Dates

1492 – Columbus
1565 – St. Augustine FL (Spain)
1587 – Roanoke – Lost Colony (England)
1607 – Jamestown Virginia (England)
1608 – Quebec (France)
1609 – Santa Fe (Spain)
1614 – New Amsterdam (Dutch)
1620 – Pilgrims – Separatists (England)
1733 – Georgia established (last of the 13 colonies)
1754 – French & Indian War
1763 – Treaty of Paris ending French & Indian War
1770 – Boston Massacre (March 5, 1770)
1773 – Boston Tea Party (Dec. 16, 1773)
1775 – Lexington & Concord (April 19, 1775)
1776 – Declaration of Independence (July 4th 1776)
1777-78 – Valley Forge
1781 – Articles of Confederation
1781 – Yorktown (October 1781)
1783 – Treaty of Paris ending Revolutionary War
1787 – Constitution (September 17, 1787)
1790 – Ratification of Constitution
1791 – Bill of Rights added to the Constitution
1803 – Louisiana Purchase
1812 – War of 1812
1836 – Texas Revolution & Alamo
1845 – Texas annexed part of the U.S.
1846 – War with Mexico begins
1846 – Oregon annexed to the U.S.
1847 – Mormons arrive in Utah (July 24, 1847)
1848 – Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ending Mexican American War U.S. receives southwest
1849 – Gold Rush to California
1859 – John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry (October)
1860 – Lincoln elected (Nov)
1860 – South Carolina secedes (Dec. 20, 1860)
1861 – Ft. Sumter beginning of Civil War
1863 – Emancipation Proclamation takes effect (Jan. 1, 1863)
1863 – Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863)
1864 – Sherman’s March to the Sea (Nov-Dec 1864)
1865 – Lee surrenders Appomattox Courthouse (April 9, 1865)
1865 – Lincoln assassinated (April 14, 1865)