Eighth Grade American Studies

with Mrs. Harper

The First Presidents

During this quarter, the students have studied the characteristics needed to be a successful president of our country. They learned how difficult it was for our first five presidents to gain respect for our young country. Each student collaborated in a group to create a Google presentation looking for a "peaceful change" here at Shore Middle School. They realized why change takes a long time and reformers must remain patient and well-informed.


Student groups representing either Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison or Monroe

created an iMovie interviewing their president. Using humor and wit, each student created a comic with their assigned president as the main character. Ask your son or daughter to see these on Seesaw our class digital learning journal.

Political Parties and Andrew Jackson

Even though President Washington warned against forming political parties, two developed during the 1790's. The students wrote about which political party they would have sided with; the Federalists led by Alexander Hamilton or the Democratic-Republicans led by Thomas Jefferson. Then they studied Andrew Jackson and how he started the current Democratic Party.


The students enjoyed comparing Donald Trump to Andrew Jackson and showed strong insight into both personalities. While studying Jackson's treatment of Native Americans by forcibly moving them from Georgia to Oklahoma along the Trail of Tears, the students began to look at our own Cleveland Indians. They wrote blogs on whether Chief Wahoo should be changed or altered to please the Native Americans who believe it is a racist mascot. The students learned how to comment on each other's ideas in a constructive way.

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