Experience enables students to appreciate the growth of and relationship between American literature and history from pre-colonial days to World War I. Students are challenged in vocabulary development, literary response and analysis, writing strategies, writing applications, written and oral English language conventions, listening and speaking strategies, and speaking applications. Students learn to use the processes of history to develop an understanding of our nation's past. In addition, students investigate recurring themes and/or values in American literature and history.
The students in eighth grade study the ideas, issues, and events from the framing of the Constitution up to World War I. After reviewing the development of America's democratic institutions founded on the Judeo-Christian and English parliamentary traditions, particularly the shaping of the Constitution, students trace the development of American politics, society, culture, and economy and relate them to the emergence of major regional differences. They learn about the challenges facing the new nation, with an emphasis on the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War. They make connections between the rise of industrialization and contemporary social and economic conditions.