WELCOME to your Social Studies page! This year we will study United States history from about 1400 to 1877 A.D. We will look at the history of our nation using History, Geography, Economics, Government, and Cultural Studies.

Here are a few photos from our 8th Grade Battle of Mississinewa field trip!

A river pirate returns musket fire during the River Pirate Battle!!

Sarah K. holds a medicine bottle from the doctor's medical kit!!

* NEW!- 8th Grade Extra Credit Quizzes and Tests Posted! - Below are all the tests and quizzes I will be using to create the 10 - question Extra Credit Quiz for tomorrow. I will use the "most missed" questions from each test, so one way to study might be to think about the test and which questions you had the most trouble with! Then, make sure you study those questions first. The questions will be exactly the same as they were originally! Good Luck! -- Mr. Stickler

8th Grade Semester Extra Credit assignment!: Below you will see a document titled "Game Extra Credit". This is the next to last extra credit opportunity for the year (the last is the 10 - question quiz we will take on Wednesday)! This is a creative extra credit assignment - so have fun with it. I got the idea from the Spring Concert on Tuesday and gave a version of it to the 6th graders this week and they loved it! Some are choosing to do extra drawings and things just because they've found it so fun!

Click on the document and download the directions sheet. KEEP THIS SHEET! IT IS YOUR COVER SHEET! Plus, your grading rubric is on the back. There is a picture in the top right corner from one of the World Wars, but your game cannot be from this time period! It must be from any time PRIOR TO 1877. So, you can use any event that we have talked about this year. You can combine elements of games you play now if you are a "gamer" (like "Civilization" or "Ages and Empires") as long as most of the ideas are yours. I WILL NOT take off points for writing more than 1 page - but I WON'T give any more than 10 points extra credit.

The assignment is DUE WEDNESDAY! As always, I am willing to read rough drafts if you want to know if you are on the right track. Think of it as creative writing and you will be fine. If you want to do an outline or "bubble map" to sketch out the basic story this weekend, I will look at those, too. E mail them to me at and I will review them as soon as I get them. Then I will E mail them back. In the "Subject" line of your E mail, please put "(your first name & last initial) - Game Outline".

If you have any other questions about this extra credit assignment, E mail them to me at that same E mail address. I'll keep checking the Inbox over the weekend. We can all use a little extra credit - so give it a shot!! -- Mr. Stickler

8th Grade Extra Credit

SUNDAY, MAY 8TH - Studystack Embedded on this page!: I've finished most of the Studystack cards I plan to do for tomorrow's unit test ("James Monroe - Martin Van Buren" unit). Hopefully you have been studying your completed worksheets, class notes, study guide questions, and Power Point handout I gave you Friday! Remember, I do not put 100% of the test material on Studystack. These electronic flashcards are simply to help you learn the basic definitions and facts from the unit. You will have to use these facts to complete Short Answer (and sometimes, Essay) questions along with the usual Multiple Choice. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the Studystack cards! If you want to print them, simply click the link to go to the page for these cards and print them like many of you have before!

Remember, you can also use the 1/2 sheet of paper I gave you (only!) Friday for notes during the test. You will not be able to trade notes with classmates or have notes on the back of the sheet during the test. Also, the size of your writing should be NO SMALLER THAN THE SIZE I USED TO WRITE YOUR NAME ON YOUR SHEET!!!! If you have written any smaller than that, you will not be able to use the sheet! If you've already written too small - use a sheet of printer paper cut in half to rewrite your test notes before tomorrow. Make an "X" on 1 side of the page and write your first and last name on the other using the same sized writing I did on your first sheet! You will turn in your notes along with your test when you are done taking it.

Here is the link to the Studystack cards for the "Monroe - Van Buren" unit test if you need it to print cards. Check back once more this evening to make sure you've got them all. I'm still looking over my lesson plans to make sure I've added the terms and definitions I'd planned on putting on Studystack. You will have about 10 minutes before the test to quickly review your notes tomorrow. During that time I will be checking your notes you plan to use for the test. -- Mr. Stickler

March 6th - Constitution & Citizenship test - This week we will have our test over Chapter 7, Sections 1 & 2 (textbook) and Lessons 15, 16, & 17 in "We, the People". I have completed and posted Studystack flashcards for this test. Follow this link to the 8th Grade Constitution & Citizenship cards. I made sure to cover everything in the Studystack cards, so there are a lot of them. Our test will be Thursday to give us enough time to review Lesson 16 & learn Lesson 17 material. Do not wait until Tuesday or Wednesday to start studying these! Visit the Studystack site early (today or tomorrow) and start reviewing the cards. It's easy to get some of this material confused. Remember that there are several things you can do on besides the electronic flashcards. There are games and a matching quiz you can do to help you learn the material. You can also print out the Studystack cards on a single sheet to carry with you! Our test will be a pencil and paper test - not on the computer. -- Mr. Stickler

February 25th - Shay's Rebellion Video - We learned about Shay's Rebellion Thursday in class. Here is a link to a short video about Shay's Rebellion - sometimes called "America's First Civil War". Follow this link to the Shay's Rebellion video clip. -- Mr. Stickler

February 12 - Test This Week! Tuesday, we will take our test over the Revolutionary War and the Declaration of Independence. Monday will be our review game for extra credit. To prepare for the test, you should use all the handouts I've given you, your quiz, the worksheets from videos we watched, any class notes you have, the "Study Guide Game" sheets (after the game Monday), and your textbook. Remember this: if we haven't talked about it or had an assignment about it, it won't be on the test! The format will be the same as our previous tests: 10 multiple choice (4 points each), 4 - 5 short answers (5 points each; same format as our quizzes), and 2 extra credit questions. If you have any questions about the test or exactly what will be on it, you can E mail me at -- Mr. Stickler

Sunday, January 23 - History Channel Video Links - I found several decent History Channel videos related to our upcoming quiz. This link will take you to a Boston Massacre video clip. Here is another on the Battle of Yorktown. Both of these come from the "America: The Story of Us" video series that we are watching clips from in class. Once you click on the links for these videos, you will see links to more Revolutionary War video clips. All of them are under 3 minutes long. Search through them to find videos that relate to our textbook readings to help you learn that material. -- Mr. Stickler

Saturday, January 15th - Debate on Tuesday - Great job on the debates Friday! I appreciated the way each group came prepared with facts and followed the debate rules so everyone's opinions were heard! I would like to hear what else you have to say! So, on Tuesday, we will extend the debate!

This will change a couple of things for this coming week. First, I will give back the Fact Sheets that were turned in Friday. That way you will have them for the rest of the debate. (I won't grade those until we're done.) Second, the blog entry below (about Independent Study I wrote on January 8th) just slightly. You will still have independent study, but it won't be about our 2nd unit. The quiz will be over the readings up to that date plus the debate research. It will also be a little longer since it's over the Revolutionary War. It will be worth 20 points instead of 10. The questions will be short answer/ essay type.

During this semester, we will focus more on these short answer and essay questions overall. As I've been looking over scores from previous tests & quizzes, it looks like people have lost more points by not writing complete sentences, leaving out details in their answers, or leaving out a critical portion of the answer (such as the Historical Thinking Skill used). Your multiple choice & matching sections are great!

Learning the details of the content we're studying is just as important as ever! Details and facts become the building blocks for your answers. Without mentioning them, you'll lose points. You really have to read and know the content to build an answer. For this quiz, make sure to focus on the following content: British taxation policies (you will explain two of the five tax policies you taught each other in your groups this week), the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, the Sons/ Daughters of Liberty, Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin (his role in the Boston Massacre), King George III (his reaction to Colonial protests), and the events at Lexington and Concord.

Our plan for class is to finish the debates and then watch several DVD clips. These will cover some of the things from your reading schedule and a couple things we're going to be talking about this week. KEEP UP WITH THE READING SCHEDULE! You should have written it all down in your Agenda Books in class. Read the day's section whether we're talking about it in class that day or not. If you have questions about any of this, please E mail me at: -- Mr. Stickler

8th - Independent Study Days for NWEA - Grab your Agenda Books! On Thursday, January 20th the 8th grade will miss Social Studies for NWEA testing. As you remember, we talked about this happening in class last week. That day will be an "independent study" day. You will have the reading list for our 2nd unit by that time and you will need to complete the reading for that day on your own. I also mentioned that after "independent study" we will have a reading quiz (like the ones we've done before). It will be a 10 - point assignment and will go under "Quizzes and Tests" on the schedule I handed out Wednesday. It will be a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions, so make sure to keep up with the readings that day! There is a chance we will only have 10 minutes of class on 1/24, too. As that day draws near I will keep you informed as to the assignment we will do that day.
I have also signed us up for 1 day in the Computer Lab next week to do research for the debates we will have. This isn't much time, so you will have to focus! I will assign you to groups, give you the debate question, and go over the debate rules and procedures near the end of class Monday. -- Mr. Stickler

Monday, November 8th - National History Day Theme Book & Resources - Here is the link to the recently updated National History Day Theme book. This 17 page book details the theme for this year's competition and has a ton of sample topics. Also, the terms "debate" and "diplomacy" are explained. You can read the book online using this link, or you can print the book and keep it for a reference. Here you will find the sample topics page only.

Another good place to look for U. S. History topic ideas is the Digital Vault. The Vault contains 1,200 primary sources related to U. S. History. You can choose various photos and documents and see how they connect to each other. This is a good way to narrow your topic once you have a general idea. Visit the Digital Vault website to explore these primary sources. This site is sponsored by the National Archives Experience, which also has good research resources for U. S. History. Follow this link to the National Archives website. These links should give you a very good idea of several topics you may want to do you History Day project on! -- Mr. Stickler

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26 - COLONIZING N. AMERICA FLASH CARDS AVAILABLE ONLINE! - There are electronic flash cards posted online to help you with tomorrow's test! (Click on the Home page to see more details.) In addition to doing these, you should look over your old reading quizzes as a study guide. I stopped the test content where we were on Monday with the Indian Wars notes. The test has 15 matching and 4 short answer (plus 2 extra credit) questions. The flash cards will help you with all the questions! If the flash card link and instructions I posted on the Home page don't work, send an E mail to the class E mail account for this website ( I will re-post links and try to fix the problem!
-- Mr. Stickler

"Olmec, Incan, Aztec, and Mayans" unit Project Choices - Below is the document with the 2 unit project choices. (Click to download and read.) Projects are worth 30 points. Your project choices are due Tuesday, September 21st (I will send a sign up sheet around like I've done in the past). These projects are a little more involved because these are our 3rd ones and everyone is doing very well with the smaller projects we've done so far. If you have questions or need help with a project, you can always ask during class or request Extra Help (tutoring) during Knight Time or before/ after school. (I do need a 24 hour advanced notice for before/ after school requests.)
Please take a few minutes to read both project choices. Each one is interesting in its own way. Both allow for some creativity as well. If you have trouble downloading the document, please E mail me at --Mr. Stickler

VIKING UNIT PROJECT OPTION - As you all know, we will be starting our unit on the Vikings this Wednesday. This will be a shorter unit - 5 days and a test day (with just one weekend) so I wanted to tell you about one of the unit projects in case you wanted to start it now. One option is to read either book 1 or 4 of How to Train Your Dragon and write a 1 - 1/2 page report on what portions of the book are based on actual history and which are fiction. The books are VERY easy to read (they are written at a 4th or 5th grade level) and could be read by a faster reader in two or three hours. I will have a copy or two of book 4 that students can check out, read, and return. If you wanted to purchase your own, you can find two copies of book #1 and one copy of book #4 at Books a Million (as of 3 PM today!). I also saw online that Wal Mart carries them, so Target or Meijer might also have them. (Call ahead before driving though.) The Muncie Public Library (Kennedy Branch) has at least one copy that is due back tomorrow (9/7!). You could try and reserve this online.
The other options, in case you're wondering what else will be available, are:
  1. Viking Foods - In this project you will use recipes found online to bake either a bread or cookie made from ingredients Vikings would have had available. You will write a 1-1/2 page report on Viking foods, cooking techniques, and other day to day elements of Viking life. You will bring in enough food so that everyone in the class can sample it and turn in your report.
  2. Vikings and Mythology - In this project, you will use information learned during the unit to create a new Viking myth. You will have to include at least one character (god, goddess, hero, or heroine) and a story that Vikings would have found important and passed down through the generations. You will be allowed to base your new character off of an already existing Viking mythological character if you would like. (For example, your new character may have been brother or sister of Thor, the Viking god of thunder.)
  3. Viking Shipbuilding - The final option is to research the different types of Viking ships and write a report about (at least) one type. Vikings are famous for their wooden longboats that withstood heavy North Atlantic seas. You will have to include a drawing of the type of ship you choose to research that has an "overhead" and "side" view. (Don't worry, these don't have to be perfect drawings!)

These are the 4 project options for our "Vikings" unit. This will help you decide whether or not to go ahead and either buy or borrow a copy of How to Train Your Dragon. I tried to give enough choices that everyone will find something they enjoy. There are enough days in the unit that 2 or 3 people could read each copy I have of How to Train Your Dragon before having to write the paper (if the person with the book reads regularly). To give you an idea, I read book #4 while standing in the store and finished all of chapter 1 in 10 minutes. (Maybe this will give more of an idea of how easy the book is to read.)
If you have any questions about projects, make sure and ask me tomorrow (Tuesday). Since the unit is short you will have to start your projects right away. As always, if you think of something that's a bit different than what I have, talk to me about it and I will consider it. I'm open to any creative new ideas! -- Mr. Stickler

Here is a website to help you find a map for your Geography unit project: There are 6 different types of maps you can find here! -- Mr. Stickler

I hope you all have found interesting and fun activities on our class web page this summer! (Maybe you even learned something, too!) Don't go away, though. We'll keep using our class page during the school year for information, activities, and web links to help with assignments. Next week, we'll start off the school year learning more about something you see and use everyday and may not even realize it! Stay tuned for more about this later. Be sure to visit the Summer Enrichment page for a new National History Day video! Enjoy! -- Mr. Stickler

The Lost Colony of Roanoke! The earliest English settlement in North America was at Roanoke, Virginia. IN 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh returned to England after a voyage of exploration. He told Queen Elizabeth that he had seen a place that was perfect for settlement: Roanoke Island. Queen Elizabeth granted him permission to return and claim 100 acres in the name of England. Raleigh returned with 100 men (no women or children) and allowed a man named Ralph Lane to take charge of the small colony. Things went bad when the nearby Roanoke Indian chief was killed by Lane and his men! (This tribe wasn't actually hostile at all. Lane viewed all Indians as "enemies.") After surviving a harsh winter, Lane and all the surviving settlers persuaded Sir Francis Drake (another European explorer) to take them back to England in 1856. A supply ship arrived 1 week after they'd left, found no one there, and left 15 men behind at the old settlement.

Another group tried to settle this land in July 1857. Sir Walter Raleigh led another group of 150 men, women, and children to the same site. They could not find the 15 men who had been left behind! All that remained were human bones! Read the story of how this group of 150 became known as the "lost colony of Roanoke." Read The Lost Colony of Roanoke story on the Social Studies for Kids web site. Below are two maps of Roanoke's location:

Roanoke Island map from the Civil War Era.
Roanoke Island map from the Civil War Era.
This map shows Roanoke's location compared to  Jamestown, Virginia (the Pilgrim settlement).
This map shows Roanoke's location compared to Jamestown, Virginia (the Pilgrim settlement).

This is one of histories mysteries! -- Mr. Stickler

In the last post, you learned more about the Vikings and other Germanic tribes of Europe. You've seen Viking artifacts at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History website. Archaeologists find and uncover nearly 100% of the historical evidence we study. (The only exception might be documents, which historians themselves may find without digging!) Follow this link and complete a Virtual Archaeology Dig (sponsored by the Virtual Museum Canada). You can excavate items from the four read squares on the map. Choose one and follow the instructions to dig. Click "Next" where it asks you to use your survey sheet. Once you have located all the artifacts, you will be taken to the Lab. There you will practice categorizing the artifacts. Some of these are hard to put into the correct category! This is a fun activity that shows you how careful you have to be when digging and categorizing artifacts. Have Fun! -- Mr. Stickler

Where did the Vikings come from? In the last post, you learned a little about the link between the Vikings and the "discovery" of North America by Leif Erickson. But, where did the Vikings come from? Were they important for other reasons?

Visit the Vikings page at (a website for middle school history and science classes). Here you will learn about the history of the Vikings - where they came from, who they traded with, and their conversion to Christianity (by about 1100 A.D.). Follow the links in the article if you're not sure about a word or want to learn more.

Then, follow this link to learn about the Normans - a branch of Vikings who left to live in France. Today, Normandy, France is still named after these Vikings. (Normandy was where the D-Day Invasion took place during World War II!) You can also watch a video about the Bayeaux Tapestry, which shows the Conquering of England (called the "Norman Conquest"). The Normans - along with the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, and other tribes - were known as "Germanic tribes" by the Romans. (Follow the links to learn more about these tribes.)

You can also read an article titled "The Vikings: A Memorable Visit to America" at This tells how one family of Vikings may have ventured even farther south into North America then Leif Erikson! The first page has information about this new Viking home discovery and the story of the first European-American baby born in history! Have Fun! -- Mr. Stickler

 *Click on the photo to go to a larger version.
*Click on the photo to go to a larger version.

Who Were The Vikings? - Visit this site to learn more about the Vikings. Here you will find an interactive map, explore a Viking village (video), and a page called "Write Your Name in Runes." In the last post, you learned that the Vikings were the first explorers to reach North America. Use the map (click on the numbered circles) to learn about other areas where Vikings lived and explored.

A Viking Long Ship.  Click the photo to visit the "Secrets of Norse Ships" page!
A Viking Long Ship. Click the photo to visit the "Secrets of Norse Ships" page!

After learning about Viking ships, villages, and travels, visit this Norse Mythology page (World Almanac for Kids website) to see a list of Viking gods and goddesses and a description of each! Have fun!! -- Mr. Stickler