The primary content for this half-year course pertains to the principles, functions, and organization of government; the origins of the American political system; the roles, rights, responsibilities of United States citizens; and methods of active participation in our political system. Honors/Advanced
courses offer scaffolded learning opportunities for students to develop the critical skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation in a more rigorous and reflective academic setting. Students are empowered to perform at higher levels as they engage in the following: analyzing historical documents and supplementary readings, working in the context of thematically categorized information, becoming proficient in note-taking, participating in Socratic seminars/discussions, emphasizing free-response and document-based writing, contrasting opposing viewpoints, solving problems, etc. Students will develop and demonstrate their skills through participation in a capstone and/or extended research-based paper/project (e.g., history fair, participatory citizenship project, mock congressional hearing, projects for competitive evaluation, investment portfolio contests, or other teacher-directed projects). Mathematics Benchmark Guidance
– Social Studies instruction should include opportunities for students to interpret and create representations of historical events and concepts using mathematical tables, charts, and graphs. Special Notes:
Additional content that may be included in the Grade 8 NAEP Civics assessment includes:
- Distinctive characteristics of American society
- Unity/diversity in American society
- Civil society: nongovernmental associations, groups
- Interaction among nation-states
- Major governmental, nongovernmental international organizations
The NAEP frameworks for Civics may be accessed at http://www.nagb.org/publications/frameworks/civicsframework.pdf Instructional Practices
Teaching from well-written, grade-level instructional materials enhances students' content area knowledge and also strengthens their ability to comprehend longer, complex reading passages on any topic for any reason. Using the following instructional practices also helps student learning:
- Reading assignments from longer text passages as well as shorter ones when text is extremely complex.
- Making close reading and rereading of texts central to lessons.
- Asking high-level, text-specific questions and requiring high-level, complex tasks and assignments.
- Requiring students to support answers with evidence from the text.
- Providing extensive text-based research and writing opportunities (claims and evidence).