The Social Studies Corner – 8th Grade

The eighth grade students have been actively engaged in a continued exploration of World War I.  The students recently completed an analysis of the origins of the war in which they addressed the manner in which different empires and political states found themselves in a state of conflict.  Students immersed themselves in the human element of the conflict as they drafted letters to/from home in which they explained their fears and observations as citizens of warring states.  They also observed original video in which they viewed life in 1914, the response of peoples in different countries to the declaration of war and the realities of trench warfare.

At present, students are completing a chapter in which they explored America’s transition from isolationism to participation as a member of the Allied forces.  The students learned about the philosophy of isolationism and President Woodrow Wilson’s role in pursuing American neutrality.  To that end, the students read Wilson’s 1914 address to Congress and discussed the meaning of his words.  They also evaluated the effectiveness of  his speech and the response that participants in the war to America’s position.  They ended the week by analyzing historic newspapers and the positions that Americans throughout the country took on the war issue.

This week, students will discuss the Sinking of the Lusitania and the Zimmerman Telegram and their role in American’s entry in the war as they work towards completing the chapter with a quiz on Wednesday.

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