*New - Sunday, January 23rd - Monday & Tuesday's Classes - This week, on Monday we will be finishing our video clips on "special warfare during the Revolutionary War" along with the analysis guides. These clips will help you see a few of the things you've been reading in your textbook (like the vocabulary word "guerilla warfare"). We also saw how the Pennsylvania Long Rifle turned the tide in favor of the Patriots. The clips move quickly but give you a general outline of the material that will be on the first quiz. Make sure you have kept up with the reading so far! (If you need the readings schedule, let me know and I can give it to you on Monday.)

Our first quiz for this unit will be on Tuesday. The only thing that might change this is if it conflicts with the NWEA testing schedule for the week. If it does, we will change plans slightly. The first quiz covers the British taxation information (from the debate, textbook, and handouts), the economics information on mercantilism we discussed in class, Patriot rebellion (including the Boston Tea Party & Boston Massacre) from the textbook and handouts, and the information from the video clips on "special warfare" we're doing now! WHEW! I know it seems like a lot, but we've gone over most of this in class one way or another.

The quiz will have 3 short answer questions that are formatted just like the practice question we did in class last week. You will have 3 questions to choose from on the quiz. (You choose 2 of the 3 to answer.) The topic of each question will be listed at the beginning of each question to help you choose. (For example, during our last unit I might have had one that said, "1. The Middle Colonies".) You will have to read each question and choose the 2 you want to answer. (If you answer all 3, I will only grade the first 2!)

Don't forget that there are Studystack electronic flashcards available to help you learn the material, too! (See my last blog post for the links.) You can print the flashcards as a "study guide" or you can play one of the online games that use the terms and definitions at the bottom of the Studystack page. -- Mr. Stickler

January 9th - Studystack available (2 sets) - I have posted 2 sets of Studystack electronic flashcards for the Revolutionary War unit online. Follow these links to view and study the cards: set 1 -; set 2 - I recommend everyone starts reading and studying these right away! There is a lot of content to learn in this unit including British Taxation Policies, Colonial Rebellion, the Revolutionary War, and the Declaration of Independence! If you have trouble viewing the cards or the links aren't working, please E mail me at our class website and I will repair broken links. -- Mr. Stickler

Saturday, December 18th - Studystack updated - I have updated the Studystack flashcards with information from the last two classes (especially on the French & Indian War). Follow the link below (in Dec. 14th blog entry) to view all the flash cards. I strongly urge everyone to study these cards. While all of the answers aren't on the cards, knowing these facts will help you answer all the questions. Study hard, do not wait until the last minute! This is probably the toughest test we have had so far this year. The test itself is worth 40 points total. There are 3 Short Answer questions and 15 Multiple Choice. One question asks you to read a quote and answer 1 question about it. Knowing the studystack cards will help you on all areas of the test to some extent. -- Mr. Stickler

Tuesday, December 14th - StudyStack Flashcards Available! The Study stack electronic flash cards are available for the last unit test of the semester! Follow this link to go to the flashcards. Also, look under the "Notes" section on the flashcard page for an outline of the sections and page numbers that the test will cover. Our goal is to discuss the French and Indian War and take our test before Christmas Break. This way, we can begin with the Revolutionary War when we come back from Christmas Break! If you have any questions about the cards, please let me know. Keep watching the Studystack for a few more French & Indian War cards in a day or two. -- Mr. Stickler

Sunday, December 5 - No Test Monday! - There will be no Social Studies test tomorrow (Monday, December 6th). We still need another day to review the material on the Middle and Southern Colonies before testing. I want to make sure the class has a chance to ask questions, which we did not get to on Friday. Most of these items on the test will cover the products charts we created about the 13 Colonies, the 13 Colonies map, the vocabulary words from the Middle & Southern Colonies sections in the textbook, and the market economy paper airplane lab we did in class. There will also be at least one question each from the Eliza Lucas Pinckney reading/ worksheet and the "Indian Wars" chart we did Friday. We read a part of Eliza Lucas' diary as our primary source reading for this unit. (Review the questions from the worksheets you still have we did in pairs in class.)

The most important information to remember about this period of history is economic. The same for the next unit, too. The only difference is, in the next unit, we will add a little government information to the mix! England continues to see the 13 Colonies as a way to make money. The Colonists don't like this at all! (Remember, in class I mentioned that Colonists have had their own wars to fight and don't think they're really "English" anymore.) For now, think about the things that each Colony is making. Ask yourself, "Why did this Colony start making this product?" and "How would making this product cause the Colony to attract more settlers?" -- Mr. Stickler

Friday Assignments Due - Remember, Friday is the 2nd quarter midterm! Make sure to get all your assignments turned in on time! Here's a list of what you'll need to have by 3:30 P.M. tomorrow:
1. Your current event for this week.
2. Your weeks 3 & 4 Portfolio Reflection statements with Artifacts completed.
3. Your 13 Colonies Map (we pretty much finished it today, just be sure it's turned in!).
4. Any make up tests or quizzes (unless you have more than 1).

This will ensure that your grade you see on your midterm next Tuesday is an accurate reflection of your learning! Assignments can be turned in up to 48 hours late - but there will be a 1 letter - grade points deduction for each day late. After that, you will earn a "0" with no chance to make it up. (Unless, of course, you have been absent.)

For Monday, please turn in a list of 3 History Day topics you are considering. Use the technique we learned in class (using indexes, chapter titles, and sub headings) to start your search. Then, follow the steps on the 2nd worksheet packet to narrow your topic to something manageable. Remember, the more narrow your topic is, the easier it will be to focus your context reading (step #3 in the research process we learned this week). There are also the links I posted on 8th grade pages to other History Day electronic resources to use.
These 3 topics don't have to be your final choices yet, but it will help me understand the time periods of history you are all interested in. Then we can plan some research days. -- Mr. Stickler

History Day Packets - Monday, we are going to talk about History Day and begin choosing the type of projects we will do. In class, I will ask each of you for your top 2 choices for your History Day projects. Read the first stapled packet I gave you Thursday or Friday. Then, look over the checklist for each project to help you decide the type of project you want to do (ex: a research paper or website). I will make a list of the types of projects students want to do. This will give me an idea of things I can do to teach you the steps of completing a project like this. Once I know this, I will divide the projects into steps with due dates for each part of your project. (All students must complete one project regardless of whether you take it to the History Day competition.) These projects are a chance for you to choose a topic you are interested in - not necessarily something we are studying in our class - and research the topic using the same steps a historian would use. The Indiana History Day Regional competition is March 12th at IUPUI in Indianapolis. Students with the highest scores will go to the Indiana State competition! I am confident that all of you could create a project that would be selected for the state competition!

For Monday, along with your top two choices, bring both of your History Day packets to class. We will be looking over the second packet (with the worksheets) and learning how to narrow your topic so it is manageable to research. -- Mr. Stickler

Information about "Colonizing North America" Unit - I have picked up and graded the tests the class took this past Wednesday. I will have some questions to ask about what happened in school that day, what the testing environment was like, how much help you needed (i.e. whether you asked a lot of questions during the test or not), and options you had if you were running out of time. Mrs. Mitsch left me a note saying the class was concerned about material from the notes we didn't take being left on the test. To answer that, I received a call at home while I was sick saying the 8th grade was in the tornado safety area and did not get the notes on Tuesday. I removed three or four questions from the test after that call and replaced them with material we had already covered. Between now and tomorrow, think about exactly what material gave you the most trouble and write it down. *Consider this your "homework". This way, we can have a productive discussion about the material you aren't sure of. Then, I can re-teach that material and check your understanding of it again. Make sure to bring all needed supplies to class tomorrow including textbook, paper, pen/ pencil (for notes), agenda book, and prayer book!!

All students should also go back to the Home page and click on the link to the flash cards for the 8th grade test. There are 30 flash cards and you need to use to see what you know. You can also create word searches and other activities based on these flash cards! This will also help you learn the content. We can't go on until we all know this unit's content! We are into the United States History units and each one builds on the one before it. You have to understand the material in this unit or you will be lost from here until the end of the year!

While you are on the Home page, watch the PowerPoint video on "Signal Words". This relates to reading comprehension skills and is required for all classes (it's about 7 slides long with each slide changing every 10 seconds - no a long movie). Knowing these words will help you understand textbooks. Many students throughout the school scored low on understanding nonfiction text structure or nonfiction text itself. Because of this, I am going to make sure to teach nonfiction/ textbook reading skills all year in every class. Hopefully everyone's NWEA score in these areas will show everyone better understands how to read this type of material!


I hope everyone had lots of fun in learning during our Mississinewa/ War of 1812 field trip! I know I did. I enjoy watching my students on field trips. Several of you asked if we could do another field trip. The answer is, yes, probably in the Spring! It's all up to you. If the class continues working like you have been and your behavior is appropriate, I will keep looking for a Spring field trip for us!

Your homework is to complete the field trip assignment. (This is the sheet I gave you before we left.) Choose 4 things you saw, did, or experienced during the field trip. Choose one of the 10 Social Studies Themes that you think best represents the event or thing. Then, in your paragraphs, explain what you chose and why you assigned it to that Social Studies Theme. This is an exercise in interpreting history. Really there's no right or wrong answer. If you have explained your answer thoroughly, then you should have no problem getting all the points! Here is a link to a PowerPoint presentation on the War of 1812 that's been saved as a .pdf document. This will give you even more background on the War itself.

TEST! Thursday! - Don't forget that we will have a test on Thursday! I did not write this on the board Friday since we were on our field trip all day. The test will be over the material we cover up through Tuesday (because Tuesday night & Wednesday I'll make the final versions). As I mentioned before, you should be prepared to look at 2 or 3 photos and use one of the 10 Social Studies Themes to interpret it. That means you need to keep reviewing the 10 Themes (we've had a quiz over those already). If you don't have your notes, I put the 10 Themes on the field trip assignment sheet as well.
Also information about the Olmecs, Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas (we should cover all four of these) is on the test. We've spent a lot of time talking about the geography of Central and South America and how the environment affected these tribes. Concentrate on studying those issues. Think about how rivers played a part in these societies, for example. Think about the differences between Inca culture - a tribe living in and near the Andes Mountains - and the Aztecs (further North in Mexico). The vocabulary words from the Word Wall will be covered, too. I will have one or two questions about the field trip (don't worry - if you went, which you all did, you'll be able to answer them easily!). And finally, I will have at least one question will be about general classroom procedures/ jobs or "Mr. Stickler's Rules."

National History Day - Our week was a little crazy with the field trip, so we didn't get to cover National History Day and how to choose topics like I had planned. I'm including some resources to help you narrow down your topic.

1.) Indiana Historical Society - Blog titled "Understanding the 2011 National History Day Theme - Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences." This blog is fairly short and will help you see how one historian thinks about this theme.

2.) Indiana Historical Society - Web page titled History Day Contests. This page explains the different "levels" of competition (regional, state, and national). It also has a slide show that plays where you can see examples of student displays. You don't have to choose a display - you could also do a skit/ performance, write a research paper and present it, create a web site, or do one of these displays (like for Science Fair).

3.) National History Day Contest - Contest page. This page has links on the left side of the page that will help you figure out a topic. Some of them are: Getting Started & Conducting Research! Exactly the two things we need to do right now.

These links should help get you started. Everyone is going to choose one (1) of the five (5) projects and do it for a grade. (We'll break the assignment down into small pieces, so don't worry!) For October, all students will need to have their topic choices narrowed down to two and have some research on both. That way you will have an easier time when you pick your final topic. You'll already have some research done! We're also thinking about having a History & Science Conference where students can present their Science and History projects to parents and other visitors. That will give you a chance to practice!
-- Mr. Stickler

If you want to work ahead, you can read the information in your textbook on conquistadors on

pages 74 - 76)

Friday is our field trip to the Mississinewa/ War of 1812 Battle Re-enactment. We will see two different re-enactments and complete a Social Studies assignment. Mrs. Brown is also going to have several of you take samples (and possibly a couple of other things) for Science, too. Thursday I will give you some background information on the War of 1812 so you will better understand the historical context of the event before we go. YOU WILL CLASSIFY PEOPLE, PLACES, AND EVENTS FROM THE FIELD TRIP USING THE 10 SOCIAL STUDIES THEMES! Make sure you have these memorized so you can use them while completing the field trip assignment!

This week, I am also going to give you a worksheet to help you come up with several project ideas for National History Day. The project itself will be a class requirement. You will be graded on completing the project in stages about every other week starting this month (more on this later). I will be posting links to the National History Day website along with the 5 videos I posted this summer on the Home page. (You can also find old posts related to the theme for this year on the Archives and Summer Enrichment pages.

-- Mr. Stickler

Read in your textbook pages 36 - 40. Write the vocabulary words on Post It notes and stick them on the page where you found the word. We will add the vocabulary words from pages 20 - 25 & 36 - 40 to our Word Wall on Monday. Also, on Monday we will take some notes on the Olmecs and the Incas.
Next Friday we will start bringing in the "Aztec Cookbook" foods for tasting. (Remember your assigned day!) Choose one (1) of your five (5) recipes to bring in to share with the class. You have to cook the food! Also bring in any paper plates, bowls, or plastic utensils classmates will need to eat your food. All papers will be due on the following Tuesday. Our test for this unit will be on that day as well!
Don't forget that if you got a 6 or less on the 10 Social Studies Themes quiz, you will need to retake it Monday. It will be exactly the same. You'll take out a piece of paper, write all 10 of them, and that's it! We have to have these memorized by the time we go on our field trip. That day, you will be organizing things you see and hear using the 10 Themes. You won't have time to look back and forth from a list of 10 Themes to your paper when you write them! -- Mr. Stickler

Read pgs. 20 - 25 in your textbook. Also, use your Post It notes for the highlighted (blue) vocabulary words. Write 1 word per note and put the definition in your own words. We will add these to the Word Wall tomorrow. (We've already done primary source and secondary source, so don't worry about those two!) Practice using the 10 Social Studies Themes by classifying different pictures from the textbook if you have some time. You saw in class how these Themes help us interpret historical evidence very easily (see your textbook, page 22 under "Interpreting Evidence"). Don't be surprised if I ask you to classify a photo and explain why you chose that particular Theme on an exam!
Once we get our new Vocabulary words added to the Word Wall tomorrow, we will summarize what we read by taking some notes. Thursday, we will use the information from pages 24 & 25 to create a timeline of events from our Vikings unit. -- Mr. Stickler

August 28th & 29th:
-- Finish your project rough drafts. Due Monday!
-- Everyone will review two (2) other people's rough drafts for a peer review.
-- Here are some reminders about the rough drafts:
  1. You can turn your essay in as an outline or in paragraph form.
  2. If your map is colored and finished, I won't write on it. You can turn it in as your final map.
  3. You don't need your speaking notes yet. You'll need those the day you give the final presentation.
-- Also, think about National History Day and ideas you might have for projects. The regional competition is at Muncie Central High School in March. We can start working on the projects any time. That way we can spread the work over the whole year. I'm adding the YouTube video I mentioned in class about censorship in rock music. This is just a summary, but the video itself it is on YouTube.

Monday, we will talk about the kind of work we'll do in class this year. Please think about subjects you might want to spend a little more time on. -- Mr. Stickler