Mr. Marks's 8th Grade Page

Back to School Night

Social Studies

Textbooks and Other Books

  • History Alive! The U.S. through Industrialism, American JourneyStamped, and To Be a Slave
  • Online Worksheets—Weekly homework consists of students using Canvas and their textbooks to complete worksheets, which requires them to respond to factual and reflective questions. Homework will be corrected on the day it is due. There will usually be a quiz the next school day based off that homework. In addition, students will learn note taking. They will create maps, charts, and graphs. Some of these are done as class activities.
  • Students will study
    • Colonial America & Revolution
    • The Constitution
    • The Early Republic
    • Jacksonian Democracy & Manifest Destiny
    • The West
    • Slavery & Reform
    • Civil War & Reconstruction


  • Homework is generally assigned Monday through Thursday. Some assignments are due the next day; others are due days, weeks, or even a month ahead. Students are expected to manage their time. Being able to manage time is an essential skill needed for middle school, high school, and life. Students who have not managed their time wisely may have homework on Fridays or over the weekend.
  • Our district policy is for eighth graders to do no more than 25 minutes of homework a night for social studies alone. If your child is regularly doing more than 25 minutes of social studies homework, either their time isn’t being managed properly (in the classroom and/or at home), or there is some other problem that needs to be addressed.
  • According to department policy, if a student does not have a homework assignment completed by the due date, the assignment is accepted up to one week after the due date. Department policy states that late work will earn a maximum of 50%. Late projects and other large assignments are accepted up to a week late for no more than 70% credit; after one week, for no more than 50% credit, and after two weeks, projects will not be accepted. A placeholder zero will appear in the gradebook for any assignment not turned in. Teacher discretion applies. Late work will not be accepted during the last week of each grading period.
  • Any incomplete work that is turned in will receive a zero. Incomplete work may not be turned in without permission.
  • Whenever a student finishes a late assignment in Canvas, they need to email me to let me know.
  • Please make sure your child is vigilant in checking their scores in PowerSchool. No changes in scores will be made after I have submitted semester grades.

When do you read your email?

I read my email during the school day and after school before 3:30 PM. I generally do not read my email after 3:30 PM or on weekends. Do not expect to get a timely reply from me if you email me after 3:30 PM or on the weekends. I will try to get to your email either the next day or Monday after the weekend.


A big part of eighth grade is helping students develop confidence—academic confidence, social-emotional confidence, and the confidence they will need to face and overcome challenges. In the classroom, at least, this means students must learn to advocate for themselves. Self-advocacy is a life skill. It is necessary for success not only in school, but also in life. I will encourage students to come and speak with me if they have a problem or need help. Please encourage your child to see me if they need help academically or otherwise. I’m here to help. Together, we can help your child be confident, successful, and happy.

Elective Class: Mythology

Literature used

  • Tales of the Greek Heroes and an anthology of mythologies collected by Mr. Marks
  • Students will study
    • Creation myths
    • Love myths
    • Heroic myths
    • Tragic myths
    • Morality myths
  • Whenever possible, students will compare mythologies from various cultures. In addition to Greek mythology, students will learning some mythologies from Irish, Norse, Nigerian, South African, Chinese, Egyptian, Babylonian, Sumerian, and Japanese cultures. This is a work in progress. If you know of a great myth, please email me to let me know. I may add it to the curriculum.

What students will not be studying

  • This is not a modern religion class. Students will not be studying Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.

What students will be doing in class

  • Students will examine mythological stories by reading them and watching videos about them, whenever possible, and have fun in the process! Students will generally read four or more myths a week. They will be examining each myth carefully, mining for symbolism and any life lessons that each myth may be trying to convey. Students will answer thought-provoking discussion questions before starting a module in Canvas. After roughly four to six stories have been read, there will be a reading comprehension, multiple choice quiz given. 
  • There will likely be one group project given in the 9-week session.


  • Homework will be rare. Students may have a couple assignments a session that are meant to be completed at home. It is more likely for them to have homework if they do not finish something that was meant to be completed in class. Whenever a student finishes a late assignment in Canvas, they need to email me to let me know. Other than that, the project they work on will be in class, but may require some preparation time at home. 

Contacting Me

  • The best way to contact me is through email ( I read email throughout the day until around 3:30 pm. If you plan to write an email to me and need me to respond to you on the same day, make sure to send it to me well before 3:30 pm. I won’t be checking email after that time until the next school day. I do not check email over the weekends or holidays.