8th Grade World History

Building on knowledge from previous years, students should be able to:


The Emergence and Expansion of Islam to 1500  

WHI.1 On a map of the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Asia, identify where Islam began and trace the course of its expansion to 1500 AD. (H)


WHI.2 Describe significant aspects of Islamic belief. (H)


A.  the life and teachings of Muhammad

B.  the significance of the Qur’an as the primary source of Islamic belief

C.  Islam’s historical relationship to Judaism and Christianity


WHI.4 Describe the central political, economic, and religious developments in major periods of Islamic history. (H, E)


A.  the sources of disagreement between Sunnis and Shi’ites

B.  the importance of the trade routes connecting the Far East and Europe and the role of the Mongols in increasing trade along these routes, including the silk routes to China


The Medieval Period in Europe to 1500

WHI.7 Describe the major economic, social, and political developments that took place in medieval Europe. (H, E)


A.  the growing influence of Christianity and the Catholic Church

B.  the differing orders of medieval society, the development of feudalism, and the development of private property as a distinguishing feature of western civilization

D.  the economic and social effects of the spread of the Black Death or Bubonic Plague


WHI.8 Describe developments in medieval English legal and constitutional history and their importance in the rise of modern democratic institutions and procedures, including the MagnaCarta, parliament, and habeas corpus. (H, C)


The Encounters Between Christianity and Islam to 1500  

WHI.9 Describe the religious and political origins of conflicts between Islam and Christianity, including the causes, course, and consequences of the European Crusades against Islam in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries. (H)


The Origins of European Western Expansion and the Civilizations of Central and South America

WHI.12 Explain why European nations sent explorers westward and how overseas expansion led to the growth of commerce and the development of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. (H, E)


WHI.13 Identify the three major pre-Columbian civilizations that existed in Central and South America (Maya, Aztec, and Inca) and their locations. Describe their political structures, religious practices, economies, art and architecture, and use of slaves. (H,G, E)


African History to 1800

WHI.19 Describe important political and economic aspects of the African empires. (H, E)


A.  the economies of these empires (gold, salt, and slaves as commodities for trade by                                         African kings)                    

B.  leaders such as Sundiata and Mansa Musa

C.  Timbuktu as a center of trade and learning


History of China, Japan, and Korea to 1800

WHI.23 Summarize the major reasons for the continuity of Chinese civilization through the 19thcentury. (H)


A.  the role of kinship and Confucianism in maintaining order and hierarchy


WHI.25 Summarize the major economic, political, and religious developments in Japanese history to 1800. (H)


A.  the evolution of Shinto and Japanese Buddhism

B.  the development of feudalism

C.  the rise of the Shoguns and the role of the samurai


Renaissance and the Reformation in Europe

WHI.30 Describe origins and effects of the Protestant Reformation. (H)

     A.  the reasons for the growing discontent with the Catholic Church, including the main ideas    of Martin Luther and John Calvin

B.  the spread of Protestantism across Europe, including the reasons and consequences of England’s break with the Catholic Church

CURRENT EVENTS   must be an integral part of this curriculum.   Through the use of television, newspapers, electronic media, etc., students will make connections between their studies and their lives.