Grade 8 Unit Study

Here’s a list of 36 unit study ideas for 8th grade, along with instructions for each week:

Week 1: History of Photography

  • Research and discuss the history of photography, including the different types of cameras and techniques used throughout the years.
  • Learn about famous photographers and their contributions to the field.
  • Have students create their own pinhole camera and take pictures with it.

Week 2: Anatomy and Physiology

  • Study the human body’s different systems and how they function.
  • Learn about different diseases and how they affect the body.
  • Have students create a model of a body system and present it to the class.

Week 3: Colonial America

  • Learn about the founding of the 13 colonies and their relationships with each other and with Great Britain.
  • Study the lives of colonial Americans and the impact of colonialism on Native American populations.
  • Have students create a timeline of significant events leading up to the Revolutionary War.

Week 4: Earth Science

  • Study the structure of the earth and the forces that shape it, such as erosion and plate tectonics.
  • Learn about different types of rocks and minerals and how they are formed.
  • Have students create a model of a geological formation and present it to the class.

Week 5: Shakespeare

  • Read and study one of Shakespeare’s plays, such as Romeo and Juliet or Macbeth.
  • Discuss the historical context of the play and its themes.
  • Have students create a modern adaptation of a scene from the play.

Week 6: The Industrial Revolution

  • Study the changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution, including the growth of factories and urbanization.
  • Learn about the lives of workers during this time and the rise of labor unions.
  • Have students create a poster or brochure advocating for better working conditions.

Week 7: Genetics

  • Study the basics of genetics and heredity, including dominant and recessive traits.
  • Learn about genetic disorders and their causes.
  • Have students create a family tree and determine the likelihood of inheriting certain traits.

Week 8: World Religions

  • Study the beliefs and practices of different religions, such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
  • Discuss how religion has influenced culture and history.
  • Have students research and present on a religion of their choice.

Week 9: The Civil War

  • Study the causes and events of the Civil War, including key battles and figures.
  • Discuss the impact of the war on the country and the lives of Americans.
  • Have students create a map of the major battles of the war.

Week 10: Climate Change

  • Study the science behind climate change and its effects on the planet.
  • Discuss ways in which individuals and governments can work to mitigate its effects.
  • Have students create a public service announcement or infographic about climate change.

Week 11: American Literature

  • Study works of American literature from the 19th and 20th centuries, such as The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, or The Catcher in the Rye.
  • Discuss the historical context and themes of each work.
  • Have students write their own short story or poem in the style of a particular author.

Week 12: Ancient Greece and Rome

  • Study the cultures and societies of Ancient Greece and Rome, including their mythology and art.
  • Learn about important historical figures, such as Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great.
  • Have students create a timeline of significant events from both civilizations.

Week 13: Psychology

  • Study the basics of psychology, including cognitive, developmental, and social psychology.
  • Discuss the different approaches to psychology, such as behaviorism and humanism.
  • Have students conduct their own psychology experiment and present their findings.

Week 14: Current Events

  • Study current events and analyze news sources from different perspectives.
  • Discuss the importance of being informed and engaged in current events.
  • Have students write a research paper or give a presentation on a current event of their choice.

Week 15: The Renaissance

  • Study the art, literature, and culture of the Renaissance period in Europe.
  • Learn about the important figures of the time, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
  • Have students create their own artwork or write a poem in the style of the Renaissance.

Week 16: American Government

  • Study the structure and function of the US government, including the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
  • Discuss the roles of different branches of government and the electoral process.
  • Have students participate in a mock election and analyze the results.

Week 17: World Geography

  • Study the geography of different regions of the world, including climate, landforms, and culture.
  • Learn about current issues related to global geography, such as deforestation and water scarcity.
  • Have students create a map or infographic of a region of their choice.

Week 18: Civil Rights Movement

  • Study the history and impact of the Civil Rights Movement in the US, including key figures and events.
  • Discuss ongoing issues related to civil rights and equality.
  • Have students create a timeline or collage of significant moments in the Civil Rights Movement.

Week 19: Art History

  • Study the history of art from different time periods and cultures.
  • Learn about different art movements and styles, such as impressionism and cubism.
  • Have students create their own artwork in the style of a particular artist or movement.

Week 20: Energy and the Environment

  • Study the different types of energy and their impact on the environment.
  • Discuss ways in which individuals and communities can conserve energy and reduce waste.
  • Have students research and present on a renewable energy source.

Week 21: World History

  • Study the history of the world from ancient civilizations to modern times.
  • Discuss the impact of major historical events, such as the World Wars and the Cold War.
  • Have students create a timeline or map of significant moments in world history.

Week 22: Algebra

  • Study algebraic equations and concepts, including variables, functions, and graphing.
  • Learn how to solve and simplify different types of equations.
  • Have students create their own algebraic equations and solve them.

Week 23: Creative Writing

  • Study the different types of creative writing, such as fiction, poetry, and memoir.
  • Learn about the writing process, from brainstorming to editing.
  • Have students write and share their own creative writing pieces.

Week 24: Ancient Egypt

  • Study the history, culture, and mythology of ancient Egypt.
  • Learn about the pyramids, pharaohs, and daily life in ancient Egypt.
  • Have students create a model of a pyramid or write their own myth inspired by ancient Egyptian mythology.

Week 25: Computer Science

  • Study the basics of computer science, including coding and algorithms.
  • Learn about the history and evolution of computers and technology.
  • Have students create their own simple computer program or game.

Week 26: Immigration and Citizenship

  • Study the history and impact of immigration in the US.
  • Learn about the process of becoming a US citizen and the rights and responsibilities that come with citizenship.
  • Have students write a reflection on their own family’s immigration story or the importance of citizenship.

Week 27: Evolution and Natural Selection

  • Study the basics of evolution and natural selection, including the theory of Charles Darwin.
  • Discuss the evidence supporting evolution and the controversy surrounding the topic.
  • Have students research and present on a specific animal species and its adaptations.

Week 28: Music History

  • Study the history of music from different genres and time periods.
  • Learn about famous composers, musicians, and their contributions to music.
  • Have students research and present on a particular musical genre or artist.

Week 29: Poetry Analysis

  • Study different forms of poetry and analyze famous poems.
  • Learn about literary devices, such as metaphor and symbolism.
  • Have students write and analyze their own poems.

Week 30: Nutrition and Wellness

  • Study the basics of nutrition, including food groups and dietary needs.
  • Learn about the benefits of physical activity and healthy habits.
  • Have students create a meal plan and exercise routine for a week.

Week 31: The Industrial Revolution

  • Study the history and impact of the Industrial Revolution on society and the economy.
  • Learn about key inventions and innovations during the time period.
  • Have students create a timeline or infographic of the Industrial Revolution.

Week 32: Geometry

  • Study geometric concepts, including shapes, angles, and measurement.
  • Learn how to use geometric formulas and solve problems.
  • Have students create their own geometric shapes or designs.

Week 33: Environmental Science

  • Study the impact of human activity on the environment, including pollution and climate change.
  • Learn about different ecosystems and their components.
  • Have students research and present an environmental issue and potential solutions.

Week 34: Shakespeare

  • Study the life and works of William Shakespeare, including famous plays such as Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet.
  • Analyze Shakespeare’s use of language and literary devices.
  • Have students perform a scene from a Shakespearean play or write their own sonnet in the style of Shakespeare.

Week 35: Astronomy

  • Study the basics of astronomy, including the solar system, stars, and galaxies.
  • Learn about the history of astronomy and famous astronomers.
  • Have students create their own model of the solar system or research a specific astronomical phenomenon.

Week 36: Career Exploration

  • Study different career options and their requirements, including education and experience.
  • Learn about the job market and employment trends in different fields.
  • Have students research and present a career of their choice and develop a plan for achieving their career goals.

Grade 7 Unit Study

Grade 9 Unit Study