This is the "Contemporary World" page of the "8th Grade Social Studies Curriculum Resources" guide.
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8th Grade Social Studies Curriculum Resources   Tags: 8th_grade, 8th_grade_social_studies, social_studies  

Lesson plans and classroom resources aligned with the 8th grade curriculum (1st & 2nd Semester)
Last Updated: May 16, 2011 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Contemporary World Print Page

Contemporary World

Contemporary World

  • Africa's Struggle With AIDS
    This lesson is designed to help students understand the enormity of the impact of AIDS on the population of Africa, by comparing its effect there with its effect on the population of the world in general, and especially on that of the United States. After using maps to locate Africa on a world map, and individual sub-Saharan nations on a map of Africa students will examine charts and graphs to find and compare data about AIDS in Africa, the world, and the United States.
  • BioClassroom: Nelson Mandela
    Nelson Mandela: Journey to Freedom documents the life and ideals of this historic figure, exploring the people and places that stirred him into action and the events that defined him. This one-hour program features interviews with those who worked with Mandela in in eradicating apartheid in South Africa, revealing new insights into his skillful approach to coalition-building and his enormous sacrifices during his 27-year imprisonment.
  • Dealing With Disasters
    In this lesson, students will study potential natural hazards in their community, report on local hazards in small groups, and discuss community preparation and response for one or more of these forces of nature. This lesson would be appropriate to conduct after viewing the giant screen film Forces of Nature.
  • Face to Face
    December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001: two days that changed the world forever. Today, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, Arab and Muslim Americans and other citizens of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent fear for their lives, worry about their futures, and question the validity of their constitutional rights. Sixty years have passed, but have things really changed? Face to Face explores what it means to be an American with the face of the enemy.
  • How Big is Big?
    This whole-class exercise helps students understand populations density and spacial relations in understandable, comparable terms. Students, with some classroom tools, will learn about Japanese population density; Chinese population growth; and hypothesize about Mexican immigration statistics.
  • How Much is There to Eat?
    This activity uses simple math to compare the American South with India in terms of population density and food production.

  • Knock Pneumonia Off the Map
    Your students have a chance to change the future of children throughout the world, and help “Knock Pneumonia Off the Map.” Using these free materials developed by Scholastic and Save the Children, students can learn about the importance of helping others through volunteerism, making them more vital participants in the global community. While inspiring students to help others, you can teach them essential Standards-based skills in math, science, reading comprehension, and geography.
  • National Archives: Contemporary United States (1968 to the present)
  • Nobel Prize: Conflict Map
    The map includes more than 200 wars from 1899-2001. Each flame represents one war. "War" according to our definition is an armed conflict with at least 1 000 military battle deaths, where at least one of the parties is the government of a state. The casualty figure provided on the map refers to military losses, unless otherwise stated. This means that many smaller wars are not included, in most cases because of this casualty threshold.
  • Oil and Water in the Middle East Region
    In this lesson, students will explore the roles of oil and water in the Middle East, especially in Iraq. Students will use maps to look at the distribution of oil in the Middle East and discuss what it means for the different countries in the region. They will also examine how water has influenced the region historically (in the "fertile crescent" region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers) and politically (for example, how Iraq's access to water is limited to one small part of its border).
  • One Million Bones
    One Million Bones is a fundraising art installation designed to recognize the millions of victims killed or displaced by ongoing genocides occurring on our watch. Our Mission is to increase global awareness of these atrocities while raising the critical funds needed to protect and aid displaced and vulnerable victims. For One Million Bones to realize its vision, we need people to create and donate bones for this event.
  • Real World Conflicts
    Students will read a story about Abd al-Rahmen Ibrahima, complete graphic organizers, and discuss conflict resolution with their peers. Students are invited to voice their individual opinion either through writing or speaking. Given the conflict of our African prince, the students could choose to write from a point of view from the story, like Henry Clay or Prince Ibrahima or Dr. Cox. Offer a more general theme like "Might makes right," and have the students relate personally to it.
  • Think Green: Lesson Plans
    Click here to find other excellent teacher resources on environmental and waste management topics.
  • United Nations: Cyberschoolbus
    The United Nations Cyberschoolbus offers informative and interactive educational materials to a global audience. This year, we are working on several large scale projects, including activites related to science, music, and history.
  • What's Happening in Darfur?
    Students may have heard about the crisis in Sudan on the news; this lesson offers them both background and current information (as of August 2004) about the situation there. The lesson covers the current conflict between the people of Darfur and the Janjaweed militia, its impact on the people of Darfur and neighboring countries, and the international response. The lesson can be used in conjunction with math lessons on charting percentages.
  • Where Do Your Possessions Come From?
    It is important for geography students to learn about the Earth's natural resources and the ways that people use these resources. It's also important for students to recognize that there are always environmental and human impacts related to the resource extraction process. By learning about the activities involved in producing their own belongings, students will gain an understanding of and appreciation for the Earth's natural resources. In the process, they may become more conscious consumers.

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