The New Blog Site

Mr. Kindred’s blog has moved for the 2012-2013 school year to Moodle.  Please click here or follow the link below to get to the new site.  You must log in using your usual log-in and user name that you use to log onto the computers at school.  Click on Middle Schools, and then click Griffin.  Find the 8th Grade Social Studies class.  Then you will use the enroll key that Mr. Kindred gave in class.

The End!!!! (May 24-June 1)


To complete the semester, students are doing a bracket competition.  Each student was assigned a historical person and a historical event.  They have to defend those events and people versus other students.  Three judges will determine which student moves on to the next round and ultimately to the final four.  This should be fun, challenging, and entertaining.

Can you advance in the bracket?

Can you advance in the bracket?


On the last day of school we finished up May Madness if needed.  We then wrote on giant butcher paper and created a graffiti wall with “what we learned this year”.  This will be up for next year’s U.S. History students to see.




Civil War Newscasts (May 7-23)


Here is the link to take a look at if you finish early: Civil War 150

This week we are preparing for a major group presentation. Each group will be writing, producing, directing, and filming a newscast based on the Civil War Era. The groups were given different topics and need to do research, create scripts, act out and film scripts, and edit the newscast. During these four days we introduced the project, got organized, and wrote scrips. There are several due dates throughout that are listed on the Google Calendar.

One bonus for each group is that we are working interdisciplinary with the broadcast students.  So each group was assigned a broadcast student that will be guiding them through the process.

Here is the format for the script.

Don’t Forget: IN #6.3 is on Wednesday!!!


During this four day stretch students continued filming their Civil War Newscasts. Once filming is done students will begin to edit their product. Editing should start no later than end of the period Tuesday.


*Don’t forget Overall Unit 6 IN check on Monday


These four days are reserved for editing the newscasts.  We are lucky to have the broadcast students helping us through this process using the Mac lab.

Reminder–8th grade awards and picnic is on Friday, May 18

TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY (May 22 & 23)–

During these two days, we watched and evaluated our newscast presentations.  It is apparent how much work everyone put into these.  They look great!



Newscast Homework

HOMEWORK:  Newscast Survey

We are about to start a major group project. To prepare, your assignment is to watch the news at any point during the day or night and answer the following questions. It doesn’t matter which channel or time that you watch. You must complete this by Monday morning, May 7.

Week of May 1-4


After a three day student weekend we jumped back into the Civil War with an activity called “Telling the Numbers”. Students charted some bar graphs with some of the amazing statistics from the Civil War. After creating the graphs, students then used their own graphs to answer questions.




Today we took a more in depth look at Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.  Students partnered up with one taking the role of Lee and the other Ulysses S. Grant.  They worked out terms of surrender and then compared their terms to what really happened using these questions.

Lee surrenders to Grant
Lee surrenders to Grant

THURSDAY–We took most of the period today to review for the Unit 6 test.  Students played “Are You Smarter Than an Eighth Grader” to test their knowledge.  Here is the Civil War Review Slide.



FRIDAY–Today we took our Unit 6 Test.  Hopefully everyone studied and did well.  We’ll start a major group project on Monday.


STAAR REVIEW (April 20-27)



Friday (April 20)–

Today we began our STAAR review.  Students were handed a review sheet with 100 facts.  Students must first correctly complete this packet and then they may move on and play STAAR review games.  We also had the IN check #6.2.



We continued our STAAR review during these three days.  Students completed their review sheet and then went on to play games such as puzzles, quizlet with the iTouch, flashcards, who am I, and so on.  Start looking over your old info and review sheets now.  Here is the STAAR Review Sheet in case you’ve lost your other one.  GOOD LUCK!




THURSDAY (April 26)-–

**Study for the History STAAR tonight**

FRIDAY (April 27) –

                                          HISTORY STAAR TODAY





FYI–Unit 6 Test will be next Friday.  Here is a Review Slide in case you want to get a head start.


Reconstruction (April 13-19)

FRIDAY-TUESDAY (April 13-17)–

Our next topic is Reconstruction.  Students are actually going to learn two things at once (crazy, I know) during this five day stretch.  Our main focus is on the era after the Civil War.  We will learn about this using something known as a DBQ.  A DBQ is a document based question.  Students will spend the next three days learning how this process works while also getting information about Reconstruction.  Students will be working through this packet during these three days using this power point.

WEDNESDAY (April 18)–

It is on this day that students will write their actual DBQ.  The students were able to outline their responses during the previous day.  They will have the entire period to write the response but may not take it home.

THURSDAY (April 19)–

Today students will peer edit each others DBQ’s using this rubric which was provided earlier.

Civil War (April 9-12)

MONDAY (April 9)

Football and History–well that is “kind of” what we tied in today in an activity called the “The Blue and the Gray Bowl”.  We looked at the leaders of the Civil War and had a discussion on their influence and importance using this power point.  Then, students were given a football diagram and set up the leaders for both the Union and Confederacy as if they were part of a football team.  It ranged from the coaches–Lincoln and Davis to the quarterbacks–Grant & Lee.



TUESDAY (April 10)

Today we did an activity called War Games.  Our main focus was on the advantages and disadvantages of each side of the Civil War.  We also discussed the strategies and plans that each side wanted to use to achieve victory using power point.  After our discussion students created a summary chart in their IN based on the notes.

Union Blockade

Union Blockade

WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY (April 11 & 12)

CIVIL WAR!  This two day period was primarily focused on the battles of the Civil War in an activity called “A House Divided”.  We had a discussion, filled out a battles chart, and created a battles map to summarize the major events of the United States Civil War.  We used this power point as our guide.

Attack on Ft. Sumter

Attack on Ft. Sumter



Events Leading up to the Civil War (March 26 – April 5)

Monday & Thursday (March 26 & 29)

During these two days we did an activity called “From Compromise to Conflict”.  Students worked in pairs attempting to resolve real life historical issues.  One student represented the North while the other was on the side of the South.  Students were given historical scenarios in the years prior to the Missouri Compromise, Compromise of 1850, Dred Scot Decision, and the Election of Lincoln.  We used this form to fill out the information for the compromises.  Students were able to chat and work on the forms all at the same time.  It was interesting to see the compromises or lack there of that students came up with.



Friday & Monday (March 30 & April 2)

During these two days we began an activity called “A Mighty Avalanche”.  We will focus on the events that led up to the Civil War such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Compromise of 1850, and the Dred Scot Decision.  Students used reading strategies while looking at this information to answer questions and fill out a chart.  Students then filled out a Civil War issues chart while discussing the issues that led to the Civil War in this power point.  Students determined what the North and South’s points of view would have been on each issue.




Tuesday – Thursday (April 3-5)

During this three day stretch we worked on an activity called “Fueling the Fire”.  Each day students focused on one of the major events the helped lead to the Civil War: Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Dred Scot Decision, & John Brown’s Raid.  We really looked at how to interpret and understand primary sources such as cartoons, court documents, book excerpts, etc…… Each student answered DBQ’s (Document Based Questions) for the primary & secondary sources.

John Brown Mural

John Brown Mural