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Eight-grade Social Studies-ELA-R Inquiry Unit - Topic: Denton County - Before, During, and After the Civil War


Essential Question(s):

  1. What was the impact of the Civil War on Denton County citizens?
  2. How can we assess primary source artifacts and secondary source materials in terms of validity and bias and use these resources to support a particular interpretation of historical events?


8th-Grade Inquiry Unit Resources





















8th-Grade Social Studies - http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter113/ch113b.html

§113.20. Social Studies, Grade 8, Beginning with School Year 2011-2012.


(b) Knowledge and skills.

(1) History. The student understands traditional historical points of reference in U.S. history through 1877. The student is expected to:

(A) identify the major eras and events in U.S. history through 1877, including …, sectionalism, Civil War, and Reconstruction, and describe their causes and effects;

(B) apply absolute and relative chronology through the sequencing of significant individuals, events, and time periods; and

(C) explain the significance of the following dates: … and 1861-1865, Civil War.


7) History. The student understands how political, economic, and social factors led to the growth of sectionalism and the Civil War. The student is expected to:

(B) compare the effects of political, economic, and social factors on slaves and free blacks;

(C) analyze the impact of slavery on different sections of the United States; and


(8) History. The student understands individuals, issues, and events of the Civil War. The student is expected to:

(C) analyze Abraham Lincoln's ideas about liberty, equality, union, and government as contained in his first and second inaugural addresses and the Gettysburg Address and contrast them with the ideas contained in Jefferson Davis's inaugural address.

(21) Citizenship. The student understands the importance of the expression of different points of view in a constitutional republic. The student is expected to:

(A) identify different points of view of political parties and interest groups on important historical and contemporary issues;

(B) describe the importance of free speech and press in a constitutional republic; and

(C) summarize a historical event in which compromise resulted in a peaceful resolution.


All of these:

(29) Social studies skills. The student applies critical-thinking skills to organize and use information acquired through established research methodologies from a variety of valid sources, including electronic technology. The student is expected to:

(A) differentiate between, locate, and use valid primary and secondary sources such as computer software, databases, media and news services, biographies, interviews, and artifacts to acquire information about the United States;

(B) analyze information by sequencing, categorizing, identifying cause-and-effect relationships, comparing, contrasting, finding the main idea, summarizing, making generalizations and predictions, and drawing inferences and conclusions;

(C) organize and interpret information from outlines, reports, databases, and visuals, including graphs, charts, timelines, and maps;

(D) identify points of view from the historical context surrounding an event and the frame of reference which influenced the participants;

(E) support a point of view on a social studies issue or event;

(F) identify bias in written, oral, and visual material;

(G) evaluate the validity of a source based on language, corroboration with other sources, and information about the author;

(H) use appropriate mathematical skills to interpret social studies information such as maps and graphs;

(I) create thematic maps, graphs, charts, models, and databases representing various aspects of the United States; and

(J) pose and answer questions about geographic distributions and patterns shown on maps, graphs, charts, models, and databases.


(30) Social studies skills. The student communicates in written, oral, and visual forms. The student is expected to:

(A) use social studies terminology correctly;

(B) use standard grammar, spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, and proper citation of sources;

(C) transfer information from one medium to another, including written to visual and statistical to written or visual, using computer software as appropriate; and

(D) create written, oral, and visual presentations of social studies information.


(31) Social studies skills. The student uses problem-solving and decision-making skills, working independently and with others, in a variety of settings. The student is expected to:

(A) use a problem-solving process to identify a problem, gather information, list and consider options, consider advantages and disadvantages, choose and implement a solution, and evaluate the effectiveness of the solution; and

(B) use a decision-making process to identify a situation that requires a decision, gather information, identify options, predict consequences, and take action to implement a decision.


8th-grade ELA-R: http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter110/ch110b.html

§110.20. English Language Arts and Reading, Grade 8, Beginning with School Year 2009-2010.


(22) Research/Research Plan. Students ask open-ended research questions and develop a plan for answering them. Students are expected to:

(A) brainstorm, consult with others, decide upon a topic, and formulate a major research question to address the major research topic; and

(B) apply steps for obtaining and evaluating information from a wide variety of sources and create a written plan after preliminary research in reference works and additional text searches.


(23) Research/Gathering Sources. Students determine, locate, and explore the full range of relevant sources addressing a research question and systematically record the information they gather. Students are expected to:

(A) follow the research plan to gather information from a range of relevant print and electronic sources using advanced search strategies;

(B) categorize information thematically in order to see the larger constructs inherent in the information;

(C) record bibliographic information (e.g., author, title, page number) for all notes and sources according to a standard format; and

(D) differentiate between paraphrasing and plagiarism and identify the importance of using valid and reliable sources.


(24) Research/Synthesizing Information. Students clarify research questions and evaluate and synthesize collected information. Students are expected to:

(A) narrow or broaden the major research question, if necessary, based on further research and investigation; and

(B) utilize elements that demonstrate the reliability and validity of the sources used (e.g., publication date, coverage, language, point of view) and explain why one source is more useful and relevant than another.


(25) Research/Organizing and Presenting Ideas. Students organize and present their ideas and information according to the purpose of the research and their audience. Students are expected to synthesize the research into a written or an oral presentation that:

(A) draws conclusions and summarizes or paraphrases the findings in a systematic way;

(B) marshals evidence to explain the topic and gives relevant reasons for conclusions;

(C) presents the findings in a meaningful format; and

(D) follows accepted formats for integrating quotations and citations into the written text to maintain a flow of ideas.


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