GR8 Benchmarks

Grade 8 Social Studies Standards

Standard 1: Students apply social studies skills and resources. 
Benchmark Expectations:

8.1.1 Interpret current thematic maps (e.g., soils, climate, vegetation, water, climate) to identify where people live and work, and how land is used (i.e., North Dakota).
8.1.2 Use various primary and secondary resources (e.g., historical maps, diaries, speeches, pictures, charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines specific to North Dakota) to acquire, analyze, and evaluate information.


Standard 2: Students understand important historical events.
Benchmark Expectations:

8.2.4 Explain how the concept of Manifest Destiny impacted national policy (e.g., War with Mexico, Gadsden Purchase, imperialism, Gold Rush, foreign policy).
8.2.9 Analyze the impact of immigration on the United States (e.g., labor pools, ghettos).
8.2.10 Analyze the rationale for western expansion and how it affected minorities (e.g. reservations, Indian Removal Act, treaties, Chinese Exclusion Act, Dawes Act, Manifest Destiny, Homestead Act).
8.2.11 Explain the significance of key events (e.g., settlement and homesteading, statehood, reservations) and people (e.g., Sakakawea, Lewis & Clark, early fur traders and settlers) in North Dakota and tribal history.


Standard 3: Students understand economic concepts and the characteristics of various economic systems. 
Benchmark Expectations:

8.3.2 Describe how technological advances (e.g., cotton gin, McCormick reaper, steamboat, steam locomotives) and industrialization impacted regions of the United States prior to the Civil War.
8.3.3 Evaluate how economic opportunities (e.g., manufacturing, agricultural, and business) impact regions (i.e., North Dakota; e.g., Midwest, Northeast).
8.3.4 Describe factors (e.g., climate, population, tax laws, natural resources) governing economic decision making (i.e., in North Dakota).


Standard 4: Students understand the development, functions, and forms of various political systems and the role of the citizen in government and society. 
Benchmark Expectations:

8.4.1 Explain the connections between the rights and responsibilities of citizenship (e.g., voting and staying informed on issues; being tried by a jury and serving on juries; having rights and respecting the rights of others).
8.4.4 Explain the political party process at the local, state, and national level (e.g., the structure and functions of political parties, electoral college, how campaigns are run and who participates in them, the role of the media in the election process, various kinds of elections).
8.4.5 Describe the relationship (e.g., power, responsibility, influence) among the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of the government at the local, state (i.e., North Dakota), and national level.
8.4.6 Compare the functions and structure of local, state, tribal, and federal governments within North Dakota.


Standard 5: Students understand and apply concepts of geography. 
Benchmark Expectations:

8.5.1 Describe the location and characteristics of the three regions of North Dakota including the Red River Valley, the Drift Prairie, and the Missouri Plateau.
8.5.2 Describe the characteristics, distribution, and effects of human migration within the United States during different time periods (e.g., Westward Expansion, post Civil War, Industrialization, urbanization).
8.5.3 Compare human characteristics (e.g., population distribution, land use) of places and regions (i.e. North Dakota).


Standard 6: Students understand the importance of culture, individual identity, and group identity. 
Benchmark Expectations:

8.6.1 Explain ways technology contributes to the spread of ideas, values, and behavioral patterns between societies and regions (e.g., how transportation and communication technologies contribute to the diffusion of culture).
8.6.2 Explain how culture influences gender roles, ethics, and beliefs within society (e.g., Native Americans, ethnic groups).

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