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Social Studies

In eighth grade, students focus on the history of the United States including the American founding and establishment of democratic principles. Students will analyze the powers and civic responsibilities of citizens and examine the origins, functions, and structure of the U.S. government. As a result, students will gain an understanding of historical events in early American history, democratic principles, individual rights, and government institutions.

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Inquiry Anchor Standard

Constructing Compelling Questions

SS.8.1. Explain points of agreement and disagreement of disciplinary concepts and ideas associated with a compelling question.

Constructing Supporting Questions

SS.8.2. Construct supporting questions that demonstrate the relationship between them and the compelling question in an inquiry.

Gathering and Evaluating Sources

SS.8.3. Gather relevant information from multiple sources using the origin, authority, structure, context, and corroborative value of the sources to guide the selection.

SS.8.4. Independently, evaluate the credibility of primary and secondary sources by determining their relevance and intended use.

Developing Claims and Using Evidence

SS.8.5. Independently, identify evidence that draws information from multiple perspectives and sources to support claims, noting evidentiary limitations.

SS.8.6. Independently, develop claims and counterclaims while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both.

SS.8.7. Independently, construct arguments using claims and evidence from multiple sources.

Communicating and Critiquing Conclusions

SS.8.8. Construct responses to compelling questions supported by reasoning and evidence while acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of the explanations.

SS.8.9. Present original arguments based on credible sources using a variety of media to authentic audiences.

SS.8.10. Independently, analyze disciplinary arguments of peers for credibility.

Taking Informed Action

SS.8.11. Analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at the local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem.

SS.8.12. Apply a range of deliberative and democratic procedures to make decisions and take action in classrooms, schools, and communities.

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Content Anchor Standard


Analyze Civic and Political Institutions

SS.8.13. Explain the powers and responsibilities of citizens, political parties, and the media in a variety of governmental and nongovernmental contexts.

SS.8.14. Examine and explain the origins, functions and structure of government with reference to the US Constitution and other founding documents, branches of government, bureaucracies, and other systems and its effectiveness on citizens. (21st century skills)


Engage in Economic Decision Making

SS.8.15. Evaluate how economic decisions affect the wellbeing of individuals, businesses, and society.

Critique Exchange and Markets

SS.8.16. Analyze the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in institutions throughout early American history in a market economy.

Evaluate the National Economy

SS.8.17. Use historical evidence to evaluate the state of regional economies throughout early American history.


Evaluate Human Environment Interaction

SS.8.18. Explain how the physical and human characteristics of places and regions influence culture.

Analyze Human Population Movements and Patterns

SS.8.19. Explain how push and pull factors contributed to immigration and migration in early American history.

Analyze Global Interconnections

SS.8.20. Explain how global interconnections influenced early American history.


Analyze Change, Continuity, and Context

SS.8.21. Analyze connections among early American historical events and developments in broader historical contexts.

Compare Perspectives

SS.8.22. Explain how and why prevailing social, cultural, and political perspectives changed during early American history.

Justify Causation and Argumentation

SS.8.23. Explain multiple causes and effects of events and developments in early American history.

Critique Historical Sources and Evidence

SS.8.24. Critique primary and secondary sources of information with attention to the source of the document, its context, accuracy, and usefulness such as the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, Washington’s Farewell address, the Louisiana Purchase treaty, Monroe Doctrine, Indian Removal Act, Missouri Compromise, Dred Scott v. Sanford, and the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo.

Iowa History

SS.8.25. Examine the evolution of the function and structure of government in Iowa.

Financial Literacy

Create a Saving and Spending Plan

SS.8.26. Discuss the components of a personal spending plan, including income, planned saving and expenses.

Analyze Credit and Debt Levels

SS.8.27. Calculate the cost of borrowing money for different types of goods.

Evaluate Savings and Long Term Investments

SS.8.28. Explain how investing may build wealth and help meet financial goals.

Measure Risk Management Tools

SS.8.29. Identify ways insurance may minimize personal financial risk.

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Iowa Social Studies Standards Document

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