Matthew VanDeree


"We learn about the past to live wisely in the present and prepare for the future." ~ Mr. Gutierrez

Curriculum Overview

Beginnings Through 1877

Unit 1 Beginnings of American History

Chapter 1 Roots of the American People Chapter 2 Europe Looks Outward Chapter 3 Colonies Take Root Chapter 4 Life in the Colonies

Unit 2 Forming a New Nation

Chapter 5 The Road to Revolution Chapter 6 The American Revolution Chapter 7 Creating the Constitution and the Citizenship Handbook

Unit 3 The New Republic

Chapter 8 Launching a New Nation Chapter 9 The Era of Thomas Jefferson Chapter 10 A Changing Nation

Unit 4 The Nation Expands and Changes

Chapter 11 North and South Take Different Paths Chapter 12 An Age of Reform Chapter 13 Westward Expansion

Unit 5 Civil War and Reunion

Chapter 14 The Nation Divided Chapter 15 The Civil War Chapter 16 Reconstruction and the New South


Civil War to Present


Unit 5 Civil War and Reunion (Review)

Chapter 14 The Nation Divided Chapter 15 The Civil War Chapter 16 Reconstruction and the New South

Unit 6 An Age of Industry

Chapter 17 The West Transformed Chapter 18 Industry and Urban Growth Chapter 19 Political Reform and the Progressive Era

Unit 7 A New Role in the World

Chapter 20 The United States Looks Overseas Chapter 21 World War I Chapter 22 The Roaring Twenties

Unit 8 Depression and War


Chapter 23 The Great Depression and the New Deal Chapter 24 The World War II Era Chapter 25 The United States in the Cold War

Unit 9 Moving Toward the Future

Chapter 26 The Civil Rights Era Chapter 27 The Vietnam Era Chapter 28 New Directions for a Nation Chapter 29 Challenges for a New Century


The eighth grade religion program follows the guidelines set by the Archdiocese of New York.  Students in grade 8 undertake a fascinating study of Church history, spanning from the birth of the Church through modern times.  They will cover Church Councils that continue to inform our faith today, periods of time like the Crusades and the Protestant reformation that still influence our modern religious practices, and the lives of many of the greatest saints and religious leaders of our Church.   Students also cover the Health Environments curriculum set forth by the Archdiocese of New York, helping students understand the Church’s official stance on topics such as human sexuality, respect for creation, and conscience-guided goal formation.  A large portion of the eighth grade curriculum also focuses on sacramental preparation as our students do have the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in the spring of their eighth grade year if this is something their families are interested in pursuing.  We use a sacramental program specifically designed to meet the needs of modern adolescents, allowing them to explore topics in multimedia formats and reflect upon important questions of faith as they take this huge step in their religious lives.  Interdisciplinary studies are undertaken between Fine Arts, ELA, and religion, allowing students to study the works of C.S. Lewis through his Church history-based allegory, Prince Caspian and preparing music for school masses, as well as studying religious relics, architecture, and art integral to our early Church. 


Social Studies Standards

Framework for Social Studies State Standards:
National Council for the Social Studies C3


New York State K-12 Social Studies Resource Toolkit