Phone:(716) 532-3325 ext. 5109
Address:Mr. O'Donnell
Gowanda Middle School
10674 Prospect Street
Gowanda, New York 14070


   One three ring binder (1.5—2 inch)
   Pen (Blue or Black ink)


Seventh grade Social Studies is the first part of a two year survey course, covering United States History from prehistory to the present. During the seventh grade year, our students will begin with a brief review of geography. Students will then move on to a broad survey of the major civilizations of the Americas before the arrival of Europeans. Their next steps will be to a study of European explorers, Colonial America, and the American Revolution. After the December Recess, students will learn about the Constitution, and then take each period of American history in turn. The Washington Administration will give way to the Era of Jefferson and then the Age of Jackson. Brief interruptions will be made for the war of 1812, explorations of Lewis & Clark, and the dispute with Tripoli. After the Jackson Era, the class will turn its attention to the American themes of Industrialization, Westward Migration/Manifest Destiny, and the expansion of American tolerance and liberties. The year will wane with the beginnings of sectionalism. The class will arrive at its completion just prior to the beginning of the American Civil War, which will be the starting place of eighth grade Social Studies.


   Chapters 0-1Geography & The First Americans
   Chapter 2Age of Exploration
   Chapter 3Colonial America
   Chapter 4The Colonies Grow
   Chapters 5-6Road to Independence & The American Revolution
   Chapter 7A More Perfect Union
   Chapter 8A New Nation
   Chapter 9The Jefferson Era
   Chapters 10-11The Jackson Era
   Chapter 12Manifest Destiny
   Chapters 13 & 10North and South
   Chapter 14The Age of Reform


Eighth grade Social Studies is the continuation of a two year survey course, covering United States History from prehistory to the present. Coming into grade eight the students should have a knowledge of American History leading up to the Civil War. Eighth graders will set off, by exploring the causes and events leading to the Civil War. Which naturally leads into the Civil War and its aftermath. A great metaphor for what happens to the young republic between the Civil War and World War I is puberty. So our students will find themselves paused between 1864 and 1914 going through the nation by region and then topic for almost half the year. First the will study reconstruction in the South, then late westward expansion. Both regions being strongly affected by the civil war. Then the students will tackle the late industrial revolution with its factories, robber barons, and miracle inventions. The chapter after that will continue in the east exploring the mass immigration necessitated by the factories and how it change American culture. Then they will veer into a chapter on the progressives who sought to reign in the excess of the factories and train monopolies while making America more democratic. Particularly attention will be given to the women’s movement. The chapter to naturally tackle before the war to end all wars is American Imperialism. We will focus on America’s expansion out of the lower forty eight and taking its place as a minor world power. At this point the class will start picking up steam and tackle each decade in its turn. The seriousness of the Great War and the progressives before it will make way for America’s rebellious party decade the 1920’s. At which point things will take a dark turn into the 1930’s and the Great Depression. The forties will lead us into World War II. The students will then find themselves in the 1950’s and the begging of a Cold War dividing the world into two camps. They will the address the sixties and the civil rights movement. At this point we will have plenty of American History to address but very little school year remaining. So we will have mini units on the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s. I would like to address the twin towers and economic collapse that coincided with it as the capstone of the year. Going much farther than that approaches political science more than history.


   Chapters 15-16 The American Civil War
   Chapter 17Reconstruction
   Chapter 18Western Frontier
   Chapter 19The Late Industrial Revolution
   Chapter 20Immigration and Cities
   Chapter 21The Progressive Movement
   Chapter 22American Expansion
   Chapter 23World War I
   Chapter 24The Jazz Age
   Chapter 25The Great Depression
   Chapter 26World War II
   Chapters 27-28The Cold War & 1950's
   Chapter 29Civil Rights & 1960's
   Mini Units1970's, 1980's, 1990's, and the New Millenium


The grading system employed in this class is a point system. A student's average is dependent on the number of points they earn divided by the possible points available. If a student misses class they must make up the work the next day they are in class. If a student misses class for a music lesson they must still turn the assignment in when it was originally due. If a student fails to put their name on any assignment they will not get credit for that assignment. Late work without an excused absence, will be accepted at half credit until the end of any given five week period.

All homework assignments are posted on this website'scalendar. The two best tools to keep track of the academic progress of a e student are the homework texts and Schoology. Student Schoology accounts allow them to look at their grades in real time, as they are entered by your child’s teachers. Students and teachers can send each other mail with in Schoology. Clickherefor more teacher contact information.

Homework is almost always due the next class day after it is assigned. Handouts are listed on this web page so all students can check what isdueand print off thehandout 24 hours a day. Unexcused late work will only be worth half credit. Homework is generally worth 10 points.

Projects/D.B.Q.’s are usually done in groups in class. When assigned as homework they are usually due within a week of being assigned. Projects are worth twenty-five points.

Tests are given after every unit and are worth 100 points. Tests usually count between 50%-60% of a chapter grade.


Substitute Teachers are to be treated with the utmost respect. Anyone who is mentioned negatively in a note left by a substitute will be given detention and the child's parent/guardian will also be notified.

Drinks and Food are not permitted in class. Any such contraband will be confiscated and thrown out.

Bathroom Trips are not permitted during class time unless a student has a genuine emergency.

Three Ring Binders are to be kept neat and in order. All pages will be numbered and kept track of in a table of contents. Inspections will be made for an organization grade approximately every five weeks.

Headings are required to be filled out on all handouts. Points will be taken off papers without names or complete headings.

Lateness to class without a pass will result in a mandatory detention. Class will not stop for you to catch up if you were late. Quietly ask the student next to you what you missed, or ask Mr. O’Donnell after class.

Backpacks and Bags will not be permitted in class.

Cell Phones will not be permitted in class. Any phone found in class will be turned into the main office.


Classroom rules and proceduresare available for parental perusal. School and district regulationsare also available online.