School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Social Studies, Grade 8

Political Science | Peoples of the Nation and World | Geography | Economics | History | Social Studies Skills and Processes

Resource Links:

Standard 1.0 Political Science

Topic B. Individual and Group Participation in the Political System

Indicator 1. Analyze the influence of individuals and groups on shaping public policy

Objective b. Evaluate ways the citizens should use, monitor and influence the formation and implementation of public policy

Resource Links
Home page for Project Citizen, the Center for Civic Education’s program for teaching students about public policy and how citizens can influence it. Project Citizen’s instructional approach can be easily modified so students can evaluate public policy in historical contexts.
“Votes for Women: Selections from the National American Women Association Collection, 1848 – 1921,” from the Library of Congress. Extensive source of primary sources related to women’s 100 year struggle to achieve suffrage. Sources document and illustrate methods citizens used to advance women’s rights. Site links to “By Popular Demand,” which contains pictures from the struggle. (Note: use only pre-1877 materials for 8th grade)
Homepage of the Library of Congress’s American Memory collection. For this objective, use the search terms “abolitionists,” “temperance,” and “education” to find primary sources on early reform movements.
“Alcohol, Temperance, and Prohibition” collection at Brown University. Contains hundreds of primary sources from 19th century temperance movement, including many illustrating methods citizens used to advance this cause. (Recommended: sources from the Women’s Christian Temperance Union of Rhode Island)
The Century
1893 profile of Dorthea Dix in The Century, a 19th century magazine. Article details methods Dix used to improve education for the indigent insane.
Online Citizenship and Participation unit, from
Interactive Citizenship and Participation games, from
Resources for Objective 1.B.1.b:
Clarifications | Lesson Seeds | Sample Assessments | RESOURCE LINKS