The blog for Mr. Hamlin’s classes has moved to the following address:
At this site, you will find everything related to Grade 8 Social Studies for both students and parents.
The weekly preview for social studies will still be posted on this page of the blog (see below) – and also on the new webpage, but please disregard the other links found on this blog site, as they are now outdated.
This week, we will begin with some notes and activities related to the creation of the United Nations. Students should have read pages 4-5 in their UN packet last week, which deals with our current topic.
During the second block of the week, we will hold our first Structured Academic Controversy (SAC). During this, students will debate the fairness and equity of “veto power” as it exists within the UN Security Council.
Students will also be taking the MAP test for reading at some point in Social Studies class this week.
Assignments for this Week
- Two Read & Respond entries due by Thursday at 8 PM.
- Reading Packet – UN: Challenges & Change – Read p. 6/7 with interactive reading. (due by start of second block of the week)
This week in social studies, we will start the year with the creation of a world map. Since geography and a knowledge of the world will play a key role in success in social studies this year, we would like students to have a solid understanding of where places are located. This map will be started in class and finished at home. This map will be due at the start of the block after the assignment is given (see below).
At the end of the week, students will be introduced to the concept of interactive reading – beginning with the practice of text highlighting. Interactive reading is an important skill that will be taught and practiced regularly throughout the year in social studies.
Assignments for this Week
Map of the World – due Thursday (A&B), and Friday (D, F, & G)
This week, we will continue our examination of the concept of Innovations. The YouTube video above was shown in class on Monday, and students have a homework assignment to comment on the video through the blog page. The comments are due by 9 PM on Tuesday, November 16.
Also this week, we will begin lessons regarding reading and questioning of non-fiction texts. This will be an important skill for students to learn and practice for the remainder of the year in social studies.
This week in SS7, students will be presenting their Culture Shock project. This is the culmination of an activity in which students – working in groups – created their own, unique culture from scratch. This is an important project that has been afforded much in-class work time, and will demonstrate how much students have learned about the concept of cultural identity and culture traits.
Following the presentation, students will be evaluating themselves and their group members in five key teamwork areas. These evaluations will become part of each student’s grade for the overall project.
Following the viewing of our Culture Shock performances, we will move into our next theme, which is innovation. In social studies, we will be looking at various types of innovations that individuals as well as groups of people have made in an effort to improve their lives.
This week, students will continue to work with their groups to develop their unique culture.
Each group has created a shared GoogleDoc to work on and has developed a group-designed plan detailing what parts of the project will be completed by what days. Students should be aware of the presentation dates (Tuesday, November 9 for Block B and Wednesday, November 10 for Block C) and should have a plan that will assure they are ready by those dates.
As this project requires a good deal of group participation and cooperation, at the end of this project, students will be grading themselves and their groupmates in the following categories: Attitude, Commitment, Quality of Work, Reliability, Initiative.
The reason for having students have a say and impact on their groupmates grades is to allow each individual to exercise some amount of control over a group to which they were assigned. This process also limits the possibility that a student will not contribute or “pull their weight” in the group setting.
This week marks the beginning of the 2nd quarter, however, since ISM posts grades by semester, the gradebook will not reset for the beginning of the new quarter. Rather, students will simply continue with the grade they currently have and will go forward from this point.
This week, students will begin their final project dealing with the topic of Identity. At this point, we have covered many of the ways people establish their identity in ways ranging from personal to cultural and social to religious.
To demonstrate an overall understanding of identity, students (in groups) are going to be creating a society from scratch. They will be developing the cultural values of their society as well as a variety of different culture traits, taking into account the various topics they have encountered this quarter.
This week in 7th grade social studies, students will complete research related to a specific world religion, and will then create a Religion Cube detailing important aspects of this religion. Since this project is being done with a partner, all work for it will be done in class, and there will be no homework for this week.
This week in SS7, we will begin with a cross-cultural simulation. After having discussed culture traits last week, students will now be placed in one of two distinct culture groups and will role-play cross-cultural interactions. There will be a homework assignment to reflect on this experience that will be due on Monday evening in their class GoogleDoc. The questions for this assignment can be found under the “Assignments” tab on the 7th grade blog.
The remainder of the week will be dedicated to work on our last “identity” topic of the quarter which is understanding religious identity. As religious traits are one of the seven categories of culture traits that students have learned about, it is important to understand how religion shapes the identities of people around the world. In order to do this, students will work on creating a “religion cube” in which they will learn about various aspects of a particular religion. The directions for this project can also be found under the “Assignments” tab.