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Ms. Kristen Lewis » American History 8

American History 8


Basic Information

Lakeland School District - Kristen Lewis

American History 8, 2422

Room 120


Welcome and Introduction

Welcome to American History. I’m your instructor, Miss Lewis. We’ll be together for the next 36 weeks. In this course, we’ll come together to learn how Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans created a distinctly American way of life.  Important contributions made by individuals and groups will be discussed while we cover the political and social aspects of American history from the rebellious pre-Revolutionary period to the conclusion of the tumultuous American Civil War and the tragic death of President Abraham Lincoln.  Knowledge of early American history will be applied to current events throughout the course.


Course Rationale

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

  • Abraham Lincoln


In order to know where we are going, we need to know where we came from.  The study of American history is important to gain insight into our past so that we can apply it to present and future situations.  Knowledge of early American history will be applied to current events throughout the course.  A cross-curricular approach will be utilized in order to link social studies to all content areas.  


Course Goals

  • Compare the role individuals and groups played in the social, political, cultural, and economic development of America.
  • Analyze the impact of important documents, historical sources, and artifacts on American history.
  • Evaluate the impact conflict and cooperation among groups and organizations have had on the growth and development of America.
  • Analyze the impact of technology and innovation (Industrial Revolution) on the growth of America.
  • Analyze the impact of the movement of people (westward expansion and immigration) on America.
  • Evaluate how continuity and change have impacted America.
  • Evaluate historical information and apply it to modern happenings and current events.


Methods of Instruction

New information will be presented in lecture format via PowerPoint presentation.  It will be reinforced through in class assignments, homework, individual and group activities, research projects, essays, student presentations, videos, discussions, and community outreach initiatives.


Course Component Specifics

Attitude and class participation are factored into your grade via your daily grade, which counts as one test per quarter.  This grade is designed to help, not hurt, your grade. Arriving on time, with proper materials, a positive attitude, and a willingness to actively participate in lessons is of vital importance.  In order to do well in this class always try your best, follow instructions, remain positive, and ask questions. Research will be conducted several times throughout this course and MLA format will be used.  Failure to properly cite your work is considered plagiarism and it will not be tolerated. Cheating will also not be tolerated. Cheating is considered copying homework and classroom assignments from other students, having a phone out during an assessment, and using any other means to gain information from others during an assessment. Plagiarism and cheating will result in a zero for that assignment or assessment. Plagiarism and cheating have no place in a community of scholars. Complete all work honestly and independently. Have the confidence in yourself to give your original best. This is all that is required of you.  


Attendance and Make-Up Work

Attendance will impact your grade in this class.  Missing class means missing important information.  If you are absent, work needs to be promptly made up.  It is your responsibility to find out what you missed and make it up.  If you miss class, make arrangements with me as soon as possible to arrange time for your make-up assignments. You can check the online grading system, read the homework board in class, or ask a classmate.  You are responsible for getting class notes from a classmate. Make-up assignments are due by the end of the class following the missed class. If work is not made up within that time frame it will result in a zero.  Only work for excused absences (excused as per the office) can be made up.


Course Requirements and Grading

Students will receive a letter grade that is in accordance with the student handbook.  The grade for this course will be determined by points earned in three categories. The categories are tests, quizzes, and graded assignments (classwork and homework).  Tests are worth 55%, quizzes are 30%, and graded assignments are worth 15% of your total grade. No late grades will be given for graded assignments. In addition to traditional tests and projects, a test grade will be given in the form of a daily grade.  This grade is a combination of At the Bell (ATB) checks, attitude, effort, growth and improvement, and class participation.


Conference Hours

By appointment


How to Reach Me

See the information on the top of this syllabus. Please email if you have questions, want to schedule make-up work, or need an appointment. If I am unavailable, I will get back to you ASAP, usually within 24 hours.


Online Grading System/Google Classroom, Etc.

The district approved online grading system will be an asset in this class.  It is updated daily and contains information on grades and upcoming assignments and assessments.  Please check it frequently to stay up to date. It is also helpful to check when you are absent so you know what you missed.  Please be proactive and do not wait until the end of a quarter to check your grades. Google Classroom will be used to submit all electronically created assignments.  A homework grade will be given for successfully logging into to Google Classroom at the beginning of the year.


Device Policy

The BYOD policy will be strictly enforced in this classroom.  Cell phones are only to be used for academic purposes during the class period when the BYOD sign is on green.  If the sign is on green, and devices are not being used for the intended purpose given at the start of the lesson, it will be viewed as a violation.  Phones should not be out at any other time or for any other purpose. Pictures or videos are only to be taken if the assignment calls for it. Social media, texting, and gaming will not be allowed at any time.  Devices cannot be charged in the room. They must be turned in on testing days. For the first offence of failure to comply with the policy your device will be turned in for the remainder of the period and a minor will be issued.  Subsequent offences will result in parent contact and a major after three minors.


Major Units of Study    

The Road to Revolution     

The American Revolution                                                                                      

Confederation to Constitution                                                                              

The Constitution and Constitutional Amendments                                         

Launching a New Republic    

The Jefferson Era                                                                                                     

National and Regional Growth                                                                            

The Age of Jackson                                                                                                

Manifest Destiny    

A New Spirit of Change                       

A Nation Breaking Apart                                                      

The Civil War Begins                      

The Tide of War Turns      


Helpful Links

American History 8 Textbook Website (ClassZone)

Crash Course History