Class Announcements:

Welcome Back from Thanksgiving Break. We hope you enjoyed your time with family and friends.

Monday we will run rounds 4-6 of the Geography Bee. Those who score 5 or 6 correct out of the 6 rounds will be invited to take the grade level final. Top combined scores will then be used to determine the 10 total Harmon Students in grades 6-8 who will participate in the School Geography Bee Championship after Winter Break.

Tuesday we will return to our curriculum to explore events from 1770 to 1775 including the Boston Tea Party, the Intolerable Acts, the Continental Congresses, and the Battle of Lexington and Concord. This unit will conclude in a Document Based Essay Summative. Date to be announced.

The Current Discussion: National Parks and other American Things to be Thankful for will continue for another week.

Washington D.C. Updates:

Hot Spots projects are still being graded. They are great- and taking the long look that each deserves is taking a while.

Friday is the bonus deadline for the DC Scrapbooks to be turned into homeroom teachers.

Tuesday, December 6th is the official due date.

3rd Infantry "Old Guard" Mannequin Challenge (Home unit it of the Tomb of the Unknowns' Honor Guard)

Road to Revolution Unit Big Picture

Part I (1763-1770)

In 1763, the Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War and resulted in some of the largest territorial changes in all of World History. France gave up all of Canada and Louisiana which were divided between Britain and Spain. Britain took Canada, and all of what becomes the United States including Spanish Florida from the Appalachians to the Mississippi River. With the French threat eliminated, and Native American resistance greatly weakened, American settlers flood West into the Ohio territory. A Huran chief, Pontiac- organizes a coalition of tribes to fight back and begins attacking and seizing British forts on the frontier. Just when it seemed that all was set for Britain to bring its troops home, it had to send them back into action in defense of American Colonists.

Once the rebellion is defeated, Britain attempts to keep Colonists and Natives separate. It will designate the crest of the Appalachians as a boundary line between the two. Colonists are to remain east. Natives are to be guaranteed the lands to the West. Colonists who have already settled west are to abandon their homes and move back East. Such is the price of peace with Native Americans. American Colonists refuse to comply.

In order to enforce this Proclamation Act, Britain decides to keep British troops in the Colonies, and looks to the Colonies to foot their fair share of the bill. Old laws will be enforced including Navigation Acts specifying that the Colonies are only to import sugar from British suppliers- and to only do so on British flagged ships. Laws against smuggling will likewise be enforced. Another act designed to generate revenue is the Stamp Act imposed upon all paper goods. This is a direct tax- think National Sales tax, that the colonists are to pay to the Crown. This seems a violation of English rights- and colonist organized resistance claiming that the tax is "Taxation without Representation" (You'll see this on the license plates in DC on our trip interestingly enough). They respond with diplomacy- calling the Stamp Act Congress and petitioning Parliament. They also respond with intimidation, and boycotts organized by groups known as the Sons and Daughters of Liberty. People choose up sides- Loyalist (pro England) or Patriot (Pro Colonies). About a 3rd remain neutral. They take no sides and try to mind their own business.

Along with the Stamp Act, a 1765 Quartering Act directs the colonies to pay the costs of providing for British troops stationed on their territory- including, if necessary housing them in private homes. Colonists suspect that the troops are not there to defend them, but to impose British authority upon them.

In 1766 Parliament repeals the Stamp Act and replaces it with taxes on imports that they feel that the Colonists couldn't do without and thus couldn't Boycott. These are the Townshend Acts. Along with this, Royal Officials are given blanket search warrants known as Writs of Assistance to help them pursue smugglers. Tensions grow- more in Boston than anywhere, and in March 1770, British troops fire into a crowd of protesting Colonists killing 5.

What turned allies into enemies in such a short space of time? How did American colonists and British loyalists start perceiving each other as being different? What was the tipping point? When did a majority of Americans begin to consider a break with Britain, of joining with the other colonies to exercise their right of self-determination (invented in America) and work to create an Independent United Colonies of American?

Part II (1770-1775)

The Boston Massacre scared both Patriots and Loyalists. Britain allowed a trial of the commanding officer, Captain Preston and his 8 soldiers to be held in a Colonial Court. All were charged with murder. To make sure that the trial was fair, patriot lawyers- including John Adams, defended the soldiers, and loyalist (Tory) lawyers prosecuted them. This was important to show that the colonies could govern themselves. The court acquitted all of the troops except for two that were found guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter, and people accepted this verdict. To calm tensions, the British repealed all of the taxes except for one on tea- and pulled their troops out of the cities. Patriots ceased with violent protests and focused on organizing themselves throughout the colonies through letter writing groups known as Committees of Correspondence.

The next step towards revolution came in 1773 when Britain voted the Tea Act to "dump" subsidized tea in the American Colonies to support its East India Tea company. While the price was lower than ever- it still included the tax on tea, and so Patriots protested again mainly by organizing boycotts. In Boston 3 tea ships were stuck by the politics. Patriots wouldn't let them land their tea. The British wouldn't let them leave until they had. Ultimately, the Sons of Liberty resolved the situation by dumping the tea overboard in the "Boston Tea Party".

Infuriated by this audacity, Britain responded with the Intolerable Acts- also known as the Coercive acts to punish Massachusetts until such time as the destroyed tea and its tax were paid for. They closed the port of Boston, closed local governments, passed a new quartering act and returned soldiers to Boston, and promised to protect royal officials accused of wrong doing in the Colonies by trying them in Canada or England. They also passed the Quebec Act which added to the size of British Canada and won support of the French Canadians.

This British overreaction was published throughout the Colonies by Patriot Committees of Correspondence. Representatives from 12 of the Colonies met in Philadelphia in 1774 as the First Continental Congress to organize resistance throughout the colonies. Colonists were urged to boycott British goods, and Colonial Militias were directed to stockpile weapons and ammunition and start training for armed conflict with British troops. Special groups of militia were called "minutemen". Patrick Henry electrified the Virginia Assembly with his "Give me Liberty or Give me Death" speech.

The conflict came on April 19th, 1775 when "the shot heard round the world" was fired at Lexington- the first shot of the first battle of America's War for Independence. No one knows who fired that first shot, but looking at primary source accounts, one can argue for one side or the other.

Mission U.S., Johnny Tremain, and Paul Revere's Ride all serve to bring these most important year's in American History to life. The Revolution was truly the change in the hearts and minds of Americans that set them on their path to independence with a sense of being a new nation, a new people whose ideas united them in all of their diversity.

Thanks to the Coldiron's for this video of a remarkable World War II Veteran and his testimony.

Here is a great video from our Canadian neighbors about what makes America Great:

Welcome to 8th Grade Social Studies!

This course wiki-space has been built to be your gateway to all things Social Studies in support of what we do in class and beyond. During our opening unit you'll join the site and be given a guided tour before being sent off on your own explorations. You should visit this site regularly as part of your academic routine and we hope you will help us build this site further through your participation in discussions and by suggesting websites, videos, documents and more to add to our collection of online resources. This site will also be connected to your Google Classroom for Social Studies

Students will be assigned articles to read and videos to view in their online textbook: the ABC-CLIO online American History encyclopedia that is linked to the Menu. These resources offer outlines of key ideas, and all of the articles may be read to the students by clicking on the audio button. Our resources link also connects to pages packed with online resources to enrich and expand all of our units of study. To review- the American Nation text site provides practice chapter tests, and the Class Zone Activities site provides many interactive review activities. Both of these will be again demonstrated to students in class.

We hope to again have access to the online version of the Plain Dealer. Students will be provided log in user names and passwords in class. We hope this will help students keep up with the news and better contribute to the extra credit wiki-discussions.

Every link in the menu leads to amazing Social Studies resources that will be worked with in this course.


Junior Scholastic

Check out the Junior Scholastic link in the menu to the right. This links to the online version of the student newsmagazine. Harmon has a subscription and the log in is provided on the page for students. This will be a great resource for Mock Congress as back issues are all searchable for issues... and current issues will be regularly featured in our extra credit discussions that will run both through this wikispace and through Google Classroom.

Online Plain Dealer

The iPD link to the right gives access to an online version of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. When it is reactivated with our new subscription, we will provide log in information to students. This resource will be used to bring current events into our classrooms. Meanwhile, students are invited to use the every day access- including Sundays to read the news about other topics... Sports, Entertainment, Travel, Autos, etc... Enjoy this gift from the Plain Dealer Newspapers in Education program.


Check Assignments in the menu to get to day by day HW assignments and class activity plans. This Wiki will always have more detailed information than the HW Hotline

More information about using this wiki follows below...

Getting Started
  • Check the Navigation Menu to the Right to access the different features of our Course Site
  • Once you have created a Wikispaces account, or sign in to wikispaces through this site you must request to join this site.
  • Once your request to join this site is approved, you will be able to participate in discussions... and eventually interact with your teachers and peers through a number of activities and projects that will be run through or linked to this site.
  • As a member of this site you will be able to edit any page. But please, edit and add only to those pages that are created for you or that you are given permission to create. This site is meant to be a great, friendly place for all 270 Harmon 8th graders to interact with their teachers and their peers. All changes are recorded and identified by author. Please help us keep this site friendly and working by reporting any postings that you find objectionable or any links or features that appear broken.

We're looking forward to a great year! Mr. Paul Frankmann and Mrs. Nancy Tyrrell

Need Help?

  • Click on the help link above in the top right hand corner to learn more about how to use this wiki.