Program Update-Social Studies with Tim

Eighth Grade Social Studies

Students continue to hone their reading and writing skills through paragraph and mini-essays, and we recently finished a unit on Washington State History. And speaking of mini-essays, twenty out of the thirty-six eighth graders chose to write a mini-essay on our last assignment. Impressive! Congratulations, 8th Grade!

We wrapped up a mini-unit where students learned about the many outside influences that have prevented many modern African countries from developing at the rate of other countries of the world. They demonstrated their understanding through mapmaking and a paragraph or mini-essay. We’ll soon be fully engaged in the Change the World Project. Here are the chosen topics:

  • Nicotine Addiction (Cigarettes & Vaping)
  • Clean Energy Solutions
  • Sex Trafficking
  • LGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness
  • Plastic Pollution in Puget Sound
  • Better Access to Healthcare & Insurance
  • Animal Cruelty
  • Homelessness Due to Drug Abuse
  • The Gender Gap in Technology Careers
  • Help for Children in Foster Care


Seventh Grade Social Studies

Seventh grade students ended their unit on the executive branch and are in the middle of a unit on the judicial branch. Timely events have made both of these units extremely relevant. At the end of the executive branch unit, students learned about the many mutual defense treaties that the United States has with other countries. They discovered that it needs to be approved by ⅔ of the Senate to be an official treaty. The North American Treaty Organization (NATO) is one of our largest and most crucial mutual defense treaties. It is very relevant as many NATO countries border both Ukraine and Russia. Students know that an attack on NATO members, as well as other countries that the United States has a mutual defense treaty with (Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand, to name a few), is an attack on all. We recently took time in class to discuss and ask questions regarding everything going on in Ukraine.

Additionally, students will get to experience in real-time a historic moment as the first Black woman, Ketanji Brown Jackson, has recently been nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Biden. Students know that it takes a simple majority in the US Senate to approve this presidential appointment. They know that Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tie-breaking vote as the President of the Senate. The judicial branch will be even more relevant as students wrap up the unit and choose a landmark Supreme Court case to focus on for a research essay.