NYCDOE: Passport to Social Studies - grade 8, unit 3
This is the third unit of the grade eight scope and sequence, titled: The United States as an Expansionist Nation. It was developed by a team of NYCDOE staff and teachers, in collaboration with scholars of the humanities and social sciences as well as museum curators. Students will immerse themselves in the topic by discussing focus questions, reading and analyzing a rich collection of diverse primary and secondary sources, examining artifacts, and interpreting images, such as paintings and photographs, maps, and political cartoons.
This guide offers a multitude of perspectives on the growth expansion of America both abroad and domestically in the second half of the 19th century. Topics of representative lessons in this unit include: Exploring the concept of Manifest Destiny; assessing the effects of new technologies, specifically the development of railroads; studying the resistance, persecution, and the assimilation of Native Americans; analyzing imperialist policies by discussing the United States’ involvement overseas in Hawaii, the Philippines, and the long term effects of Yellow Journalism.
To evaluate student mastery of content knowledge, cognitive processes, and critical thinking skills, this unit includes formative assessments, and a performance-based assessment activity, which has students annotating primary sources, creating a monument to the who fought in the Spanish American war, and develop a news broadcast.
Please note: the complete set of NYCDOE K-8: Passport to Social Studies Core Curriculum materials include a wide-range of trade books and primary documents, in addition to this unit of study. In order to support rigorous social studies instruction and student inquiry, we recommend that teachers integrate these resources into their daily instruction and assessments plans.
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