Wisconsin's Model Academic Standards for Social Studies — Grade 8

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Use a variety of geographic representations, such as political, physical, and topographic maps, a globe, aerial photographs, and satellite images, to gather and compare information about a place


Identify major discoveries in science and technology and describe their social and economic effects on the physical and human environment


Give examples of the causes and consequences of current global issues, such as the expansion of global markets, the urbanization of the developing world, the consumption of natural resources, and the extinction of species, and suggest possible responses by various individuals, groups, and nations


Construct mental maps of selected locales, regions, states, and countries and draw maps from memory, representing relative location, direction, size, and shape


Use an atlas to estimate distance, calculate scale, identify dominant patterns of climate and land use, and compute population density


Conduct a historical study to analyze the use of the local environment in a Wisconsin community and to explain the effect of this use on the environment


Identify and compare the natural resource bases of different states and regions in the United States and elsewhere in the world, using a statistical atlas, aerial photographs, satellite images, and computer databases


Describe and distinguish between the environmental effects on the earth of short-term physical changes, such as those caused by floods, droughts, and snowstorms, and long-term physical changes, such as those caused by plate tectonics, erosion, and glaciation


Describe the movement of people, ideas, diseases, and products throughout the world


Describe and analyze the ways in which people in different regions of the world interact with their physical environments through vocational and recreational activities


Describe how buildings and their decoration reflect cultural values and ideas, providing examples such as cave paintings, pyramids, sacred cities, castles, and cathedrals


Interpret the past using a variety of sources, such as biographies, diaries, journals, artifacts, eyewitness interviews, and other primary source materials, and evaluate the credibility of sources used


Analyze examples of conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among groups, societies, or nations


Summarize major issues associated with the history, culture, tribal sovereignty, and current status of the American Indian tribes and bands in Wisconsin


Describe how history can be organized and analyzed using various criteria to group people and events chronologically, geographically, thematically, topically, and by issues


Employ cause-and-effect arguments to demonstrate how significant events have influenced the past and the present in United States and world history


Describe the relationships between and among significant events, such as the causes and consequences of wars in United States and world history


Explain how and why events may be interpreted differently depending upon the perspectives of participants, witnesses, reporters, and historians


Use historical evidence to determine and support a position about important political values, such as freedom, democracy, equality, or justice, and express the position coherently


Analyze important political values such as freedom, democracy, equality, and justice embodied in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights


Identify significant events and people in the major eras of United States and world history


Identify major scientific discoveries and technological innovations and describe their social and economic effects on society


Explain the need for laws and policies to regulate science and technology


Identify and explain democracy's basic principles, including individual rights, responsibility for the common good, equal opportunity, equal protection of the laws, freedom of speech, justice, and majority rule with protection for minority rights


Identify, cite, and discuss important political documents, such as the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and landmark decisions of the Supreme Court, and explain their function in the American political system


Explain how laws are developed, how the purposes of government are established, and how the powers of government are acquired, maintained, justified, and sometimes abused


Describe and explain how the federal system separates the powers of federal, state, and local governments in the United States, and how legislative, executive, and judicial powers are balanced at the federal level


Explain how the federal system and the separation of powers in the Constitution work to sustain both majority rule and minority rights


Explain the role of political parties and interest groups in American politics


Locate, organize, and use relevant information to understand an issue of public concern, take a position, and advocate the position in a debate


Identify ways in which advocates participate in public policy debates


Describe the role of international organizations such as military alliances and trade associations


Describe and explain how money makes it easier to trade, borrow, save, invest, and compare the value of goods and services


Identify the economic roles of institutions such as corporations and businesses, banks, labor unions, and the Federal Reserve System


Describe how personal decisions can have a global impact on issues such as trade agreements, recycling, and conserving the environment


Identify and explain basic economic concepts: supply, demand, production, exchange, and consumption; labor, wages, and capital; inflation and deflation; market economy and command economy; public and private goods and services


Describe Wisconsin's role in national and global economies and give examples of local economic activity in national and global markets


Describe how investments in human and physical capital, including new technology, affect standard of living and quality of life


Give examples to show how government provides for national defense; health, safety, and environmental protection; defense of property rights; and the maintenance of free and fair market activity


Identify and explain various points of view concerning economic issues, such as taxation, unemployment, inflation, the national debt, and distribution of income


Identify the location of concentrations of selected natural resources and describe how their acquisition and distribution generates trade and shapes economic patterns


Explain how and why people who start new businesses take risks to provide goods and services, considering profits as an incentive


Explain why the earning power of workers depends on their productivity and the market value of what they produce


Give examples to explain and illustrate the influence of prior knowledge, motivation, capabilities, personal interests, and other factors on individual learning


Explain how language, art, music, beliefs, and other components of culture can further global understanding or cause misunderstanding


Explain how beliefs and practices, such as ownership of property or status at birth, may lead to conflict among people of different regions or cultures and give examples of such conflicts that have and have not been resolved


Describe conflict resolution and peer mediation strategies used in resolving differences and disputes


Select examples of artistic expressions from several different cultures for the purpose of comparing and contrasting the beliefs expressed


Describe cooperation and interdependence among individuals, groups, and nations, such as helping others in times of crisis


Give examples to explain and illustrate how factors such as family, gender, and socioeconomic status contribute to individual identity and development


Describe the ways in which local, regional, and ethnic cultures may influence the everyday lives of people


Describe and explain the means by which individuals, groups, and institutions may contribute to social continuity and change within a community


Describe and explain the means by which groups and institutions meet the needs of individuals and societies


Describe and explain the influence of status, ethnic origin, race, gender, and age on the interactions of individuals


Identify and explain examples of bias, prejudice, and stereotyping, and how they contribute to conflict in a society


Give examples to show how the media may influence the behavior and decision-making of individuals and groups


Give examples of the cultural contributions of racial and ethnic groups in Wisconsin, the United States, and the world