Grade 8 – United States History

USAIn eighth grade, students engage in the study of events, documents, movements, and people emphasizing 18th/19th century America with a focus on inquiry into the development of the United States as a nation. The study of U.S. history in the 18th and 19th centuries requires that students generate and research compelling questions such as:

  • How do Americans define freedom and equality and how have American conceptions of freedom and equality changed over the course of U.S. history for members of various racial, ethnic, religious, and gender minority groups?
  • Is America a land of political, economic, and social opportunity?
  • What was the significance of Connecticut’s contribution to America’s story?
  • Is the United states a “just” society and how has the concept of justice evolved over time?
  • Is there an American national identity; what does it mean to be an American?
  • What should be the current role of the United States in world affairs?
taken from the Connecticut Social Studies Frameworks, 2015 (pp. 87-100).
Nancy Toney

Grade 8 – Abolition and African Americans in Connecticut

In what way did the abolition of slavery indicate progress, or decline, for the lives of African Americans?


Grade 8 – Venture Smith: From Slavery to Connecticut Businessman

Can a former slave prosper in a colony where slavery is legal?


Grade 8 – The Iron Industry of Northwest Connecticut

Would there have been a thriving iron industry in Connecticut without the geological and geographical advantages of the northwest corner?


Grade 8 – The Inventions of A. A. Hotchkiss And Sons

How did Sharon, Connecticut based manufacturers A.A. Hotchkiss and Sons contribute to major innovations in U.S. history?


Grade 8 – The Black Law in Connecticut

What is social justice?


Grade 8 – Accused: 17th-Century Witch Trials

What factors led to the 17th-century witchcraft trials in Connecticut?


Grade 8 – Myron D. Webster Civil War Haversack

How does an entire society participate in war?


Grade 8 – The Amistad Incident and the Face of Slavery

What role did the Amistad incident play in the abolitionist movement in the United States?


Grade 8 – Who Gets to Vote? History of Voting Rights in Connecticut and the United States

How have the American conceptions of freedom and equality changed over time? Who had the right to vote at different times in American history? What were the arguments in favor of and against expanding the right to vote at different times in American history? Why is it important to vote? Things you will need to […]


For more great 8th-grade resources visit the 8th Grade Toolkit on Reconstruction and Race Relations offered by Connecticut Explored magazine.