Grade 8 Social Studies
World History and Cultures
The course focuses on regions within the Eastern hemisphere, and explores the geographic, cultural and historic factors which affect the lives of the people living in Sub-Saharan Africa, India, and China. Each unit is created employs a variety of teaching methods and assessment strategies aimed at the development of appropriate thinking, research and communication skills. Students will explore the course through a thematic approach focused on the struggle for human rights which are embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related protocols. Additional sub-themes include the struggle between tradition and innovation, expansion and isolation, the individual and society, liberty and authority, poverty and wealth, and humans and the environment. These themes will allow students to explore history in depth with the goal of promoting a greater understanding of complex and recurring issues.
Unit One: Introductory Unit
Understand the history of the creation of the UDHR and evaluate violations as they exist in “I am Malala” and “Three Cups of Tea”.
Understand, evaluate, apply and explain the six themes of social studies.
Explain how different regions of the world vary in terms of culture, economy and government throughout the world.
Examine how culture diffuses through the process of trade.
Explain key vocabulary terms related to culture.
Unit Two: The Indian Subcontinent
Understand how the British came to power in India and the effects colonization had on India.
Examine the components of analyze the Indian independence movement.
Understand and explain key events of the Indian subcontinent since independence.
Unit Three: Sub-Saharan Africa
Understand the origins and the economic effects of the triangular trade and compare and contrast to slavery in the modern world.
Understand the political, economic and social motives and effects of European colonialism in Africa.
Examine the methods by which African nations gained independence.
Analyze political, economic and social conditions facing various African nations post- independence and their effects such as civil war, terrorism, genocide and racial segregation.
Engage in a literature discussion unit and think critically about historical issues as they pertain to South Africa, Sudan, or Rwanda.
Unit Four: China
Examine key historical events which lead to the end of the dynastic ruling.
Examine the Communist rise to power once the Qing Dynasty collapsed.
Understand the major economic, political and social reforms brought about during the early years of Communist leadership, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.
Evaluate the political, economic and cultural implications the Cultural Revolution with post-Mao Communist China and understand the background of the Tiananmen Square massacre
Research a subject pertaining to a human rights controversy and be able to defend thesis using research.
Unit Five: Culminating Project
Examine how a human rights violation affects the greater economic, social and political conditions of the region.