• Syllabus /Cambridge

    Eighth Grade U.S. History and Government Honors



    Instructor:  K. Melancon

    Subject:  United States History and Government Downloadable

    Academic Team:  Coach

    E-mail: keith.melancon@marion.k12.fl.us

    Eighth Grade Social Studies provides an introduction to the study of American History and Government. Throughout this program the student will learn about exploration and settlement, colonial history, the Revolutionary War and Independence, and the Civil War through Reconstruction.  Included in this curriculum is the study and analysis of America’s Government and its establishment.  Over the course of the year, students will be expected to develop and explain their own interpretations regarding a host of major issues in the study of history and government in the United States.

    Course OutlineU.S. History and Government Honors

    Quarter 1

    • Chapter 3 – The English Colonies (Part 1) - Early English Settlements, England in America, Religious Freedom, Conflicts with Natives, Middle Colonies, Southern Colonies, New England Colonies, Virginia Expands, Settling the Carolinas, New France, New Spain, European Conflicts in America.

    • Chapter 3 – The English Colonies (Part 2) - Life in the Colonies, Colonial Trade, Slavery, Government, Religion, Culture, British French Rivalry, French and Indian War, The Fall of New France, Proclamation of 1763, Taxation without Representation, Relations with Britain, The Stamp Act, New Taxes, Building Colonial Unity, Trouble in Boston

    • Chapter 4 – American Revolution – Continental Congress, First Battles of the Revolutionary War, Colonial Leaders, Colonies Declare Independence, Declaration of Independence, Opposing Sides, Fighting in New York, British Plan for Victory, Life on the Home Front, Gaining European Allies, Glory at Sea, Victory at Yorktown, Independence.

    Quarter 2

    • Chapter 5 – Forming A Government - The Articles of Confederation, Forming a Republic, New Land Policies, Northwest ordinance, Economic Depression, Shay’s Rebellion, Constitutional Convention, The Federal System, Adopting the Constitution, Federalists, Anti-Federalists, Bill of Rights

    • Chapter 7 – Launching a Nation - The First President, Financial Problems, Building the Economy, Jays Treaty, Pinckney’s Treaty, Proclamation of Neutrality, The Whiskey Rebellion, Problems with Europe, Washington’s Farewell, First Political Parties, President John Adams. Alien and sedition Acts.

    • Chapter 8 – The Jefferson Era - The Republicans Take Power, The Election of 1800, Jefferson’s Policies, The Court System, Marbury v. Madison, The Louisiana Purchase, The Nation Expands, Freedom of the Seas, War of 1812.

    Quarter 3

    • Chapter 9 – A New National Identity - Moving Westward, Canals, Unity and Sectionalism, Era of Good Feelings, The American System, Foreign Affairs.

    • Chapter 10/11– The Age of Jackson and Expanding West – Expansion of Democracy, Election of 1828, State’s Rights Debate, Panic of 1837, Indian Removal Act, Rivalry in the Northwest, Settling Oregon, Independence for Texas, Battle of the Alamo, The Lone Star Republic, War with Mexico, California Gold Rush, Differences between North and South, Rise of Cities.

    • Chapter 12/13 – The North and South - Growth of Industry, New England Factories, Expansion of Agriculture, Economic Independence.


    Quarter 4

    • Chapter 14/15 – New Movements in America and A Divided Nation – Early Efforts to End Slavery, The Underground Railroad, Women and Reform, Seneca Falls Convention, Missouri Compromise, Dred Scott Decision, Election of Lincoln, The South Secedes,

    • Chapter 16/17 – Civil War and Reconstruction - Firing on Fort Sumter, Comparing North and South, American People at War, First battle of Bull Run, War at Sea, War in the West, War in the East, Emancipation, African Americans in the War, Lives of Soldiers, Women and the War, Economy, Southern Victories, Final Phases of the Civil War, Victory for the North, Reconstruction, Assassination of Lincoln.






    Tests, Projects, QWAs - 55%                                                                      

    Coursework, Quizzes, DBQs - 35%                                                                                                           

    Homework - 10%                                                                                                        






    TESTS   (Tests may be changed or altered at Instructor’s discretion)

    • All chapter tests are graded in three parts.

    • Multiple Choice section – 30 questions – 60%

           (Scantron – does not go home)

    • Completion – 10 questions – 20%

    • Essay – 1 question – 20% or option #2 - *How well do you listen fill in the blank. *(usually for very advanced history students) Every part must be spelled correctly and capitalized when necessary or the answer will be marked as incorrect and all points will be lost.  

    • Total for exam 100%

    • Other Tests include – Reading/Writing Assessments (See Rubric information for DBQ), political maps, and the Presidential Test. Students will be expected to know the spellings of all presidents and or political maps discussed in class. (Please Note: Word banks are not available on any Presidential or political map test).

    • * Only a #2 pencil will be allowed on examinations

    • Test Reviews – Chapter Review Packets will only be given for the first test at the beginning of the school year.  This review is designed to assist students with test prep as well as possible essay questions that may be found within actual exams.   Please note: review packets will be withdrawn immediately following the first exam in order to promote individual study and to meet high school and college standards.  Subsequent chapter tests will not include a physical review packet. This process allows students to slowly transition back to the rigors of a middle school magnet program.


      QUIZZES   (Quizzes may be changed or altered at Instructor’s discretion)

    • All quizzes will consist of:

    • 10 completion questions – 10 Points per question = 100%

    • No Word Bank

    • Total for quiz 100%

    • *Only a pencil will be allowed on examinations


    • Vocabulary quizzes will consist of :

    • 5 matching definitions – 50%

    • 5 Write out the definition from memory – 50%

    • Total for quiz 100%


    • DBQ (Document Based Questions):

    • Document Based Questions are writing assessments that are completed each quarter. These writing assignments are separate from the Reading Writing Assessment, however, they are designed to assist with proper writing techniques and format, which are influential to the RWA. All DBQs are given a rubric and are scored from 0-10.  


    • 0   = 0%

    • 1   = 55

    • 2   = 55

    • 3   = 55

    • 4   = 55

    • 5   = 55

    • 6   = 65

    • 7   = 75

    • 8   = 85

    • 9   = 95

    • 10 = 100


    • Students will be expected to spell correctly for all tests and quizzes given by the instructor. Students will lose a total of 1 point for a word that contains an incorrect letter or no capitalization. If a word contains more than one error, the question will be marked as wrong.


    • In addition, students must write in complete sentences where noted. Failure to complete these directions will result in 10 points being deducted from the overall assignment (including homework/classwork).



    • Career Planning is a required course that will be completed in U.S. History and Government during the month of December. The purpose of this 1 week course is to inform students about possible careers and college choices that will soon impact their lives as they progress throughout their academic career. The completion of the Career Planning module is mandatory for all 8th grade students.




    • Portfolio – Consists of a NMMS Planner and a History Folder/binder. A folder consists of one 1/2 binder with rings and pockets.  Daily assignments (not weekly) are posted in class for students to write. All assignments and up-coming tests and quizzes will be written in the student’s planner, however, they are also posted online on the teacher webpage. (Only exceptions are pop quizzes). In the event that a student is absent, he/she must mark in their planner that they were absent for that day or ask the instructor for the assignment that was written or research it from the teacher website. If the instructor is absent students will mark SUB for that day.



    • Homework and Classwork – All work is given a grade based upon the number of questions for a given assignment. Students are required to write out questions and answer in complete sentences on various assignments. Failure to complete these directions will result in 10 points being deducted for no complete sentences and 20 points for not writing out questions. In the event that a student is absent it is their responsibility to contact the instructor through e-mail or request the assignment that was missed when they return to school. Lessons and Assignments are also posted on the Teacher Webpage, as well as available through the Family and Student access on the North Marion Website. Upon receiving absentee work, the student will have 2 days to complete and return all assignments that he or she missed for the time in which they were out. Please Note: Late work will not be accepted.




    • The 8th Grade U.S. History class will have several projects due throughout the course of the year. Mini projects will be completed in class and usually take one to two days to finish. All information for mini projects will be given to students in advance if materials are required.

    • The end of year project that is due for 8th Grade will begin during the 2nd nine week period and extend through the end of the year. This project begins early due to the complexity of the assignment. All end of year projects for 8th grade U.S. History and Government will be based on Judicial Review. Students will have the opportunity to research, analyze, act, and review court cases that are assigned to them by the instructor. Only 4 students will complete their projects at any given time. The top three students with the highest grades on their projects will have the opportunity to put their skills to the test and challenge Mr. Melancon and other Cambridge instructors in a head to head court room case. (Please Note: Mr. Melancon and Cambridge instructors 5-0).

    • This is a Collaborative Project between English I Honors and Cambridge U.S. History.  As a result, a final project grade will be reflected in both courses once scores are combined for a composite grade.  The project consists of:
    • Mock Judicial Trial Court Case - Graded by U.S. History Instructor
    • Reflection Paper - 4 Typed Double Spaced Pages, 12 Times New Roman Font, Cover Page. 





    • Nine Weeks Exam – Two parts
    • 40 Multiple Choice – 80%
    • 10 Completion – 20%
    • Total 100%
    • Full Reviews for All Nine Weeks Exams




    •  It is important to understand the difference between “helping” and “cheating,” as well as when it is permitted to work together. Students may copy individual entries from another student’s planner when absent; however it is not permissible to copy another’s entries for multiple weeks to cover for a neglected planner. Students may work together to complete most homework and classwork assignments, however copying another’s answers is not permissible. The general rule of thumb for assignments is that working together or explaining how to do something is helping. Giving another student a “free ride” without contributing to the assignment is cheating. Quizzes and tests are not cooperative assignments, and it is cheating to assist another student with their quiz or test.




    • Debates occur in U.S. History and Government every few weeks throughout the year. One of the main purposes of the debates is to help students develop decisive awareness of topics that affect everyone in society. Students will take positions on a given topic and debate others in class. This allows multiple challenges from many points of view. If students can defend their position against all objections and they find that it has no logical inconsistencies and there are no contradictions, then many will be successful. Moreover, debates help to develop student’s personality. Students cannot remain shy and still debate. You must speak up when your opponent challenges you. On the other hand, if you are arrogant or become angry, your mind is unclear and, inevitably, you will be defeated.   At all times, students need to maintain emotional balance. Whether you win or lose, the debate provides an excellent opportunity to recognize the topics that students will encounter in the future.




      Extra credit is not available for Cambridge

      U.S. History






      Daily School Supplies for Mr. Melancon’s Classroom.


    1. All students are required to have a portfolio (A portfolio consists of tabbed areas within their NMMS Folder and a NMMS Planner). Students must bring their portfolio everyday to class.

    2. All paper and pencils must be brought to class. You will not be supplied with them. Students may only use #2 Pencils on quizzes and tests. Blue or Black pen may be used on classwork or homework assignments, however it is not recommended.

    3. Any additional items will be requested at a later date.




           Mr. Melancon’s Classroom Rules


    1. When I am talking you are not talking

    2. No Candy, Gum, food or drink in the classroom.

    3. Students may use the bathroom with approved pass from teacher. Bathroom policy – Access to the bathroom will be available after the first 20 minutes of class and not after the last 10 minutes before the bell.

    4. Come prepared with all necessary school supplies.

    5. Raise your hand before sharpening all pencils, speaking to the teacher or class, and getting out of seat.

    6. Watch what you say in class.

    7. Keep your hands and feet to yourself.