8th Grade Civics and Economics Ms. Ruhlen's Syllabus

Course Description

Students will examine the constitutions of Virginia and the United States, identify the rights, duties, and responsibilities of citizens, and will describe the structure and operation of government at the local, state, and national levels. Students will investigate the process by which decisions are made in the American market economy and explain the government’s role in it. Students will develop a sense of civic duty that facilitate thoughtful and effective active participation in the civic life of an increasingly diverse democratic society.


  • Constitutional Foundations
  • Rights, Duties, Responsibilities of Citizens
  • Political Process
  • Knowledge of Constitutional Government
  • Political Parties and Public Policy
  • Judicial Systems
  • Economic Decision Making
  • Structure and Operation of US Economy
  • Role of Government in US Economy
  • Personal Finance and Career Exploration

Requirements & Materials

Class Participation

Each student must shoulder responsibility for their success in this class. At times students will be engaging in the skills of historical thinking, which requires elements of reading and writing through analyzing sources. This will help the student better understand the standards that are set by the state and enhance their knowledge about how the study of history is conducted. This will not be graded, but is expected at Porter.


Come to class with a positive attitude and ready to learn!


Students will be assessed in two different ways: Formative and Summative.

Formative assessments are a variety of assignments that allows each student to refine the skills and understandings that are taught during daily lessons. This would be items such as thinking maps, digital creations, games, quick checks etc. At the end of each lesson, a quick check is given to assess what students know, which is entered in the gradebook.

Summative Assessments are the final assessment in a unit of study. This includes tests, exams, projects, etc. and typically occur near the end of the marking period.

PLAGIARISM & cheating

Plagiarism is the taking of ideas and writings of another and passing them off as one’s own. In this class, plagiarism includes...

  1. Googling answers to an online assignment or test.
  2. Turning in another’s work as one’s own
  3. Copying work from a friend.
  4. Copying an author’s exact words and passing them off as one’s own

Students caught plagiarizing will receive a call home, may be referred to administration, and further actions may be taken.


All students with a 70% or below on a test MUST remediate with me before they are allowed a retake. Students who receive a B or above are allowed a retake after completing the required study guide.

Students must follow the deadlines for retakes; specific date(s) will be announced for retake days and should not be missed.