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Monroe Middle School Library: 8th Grade Social Studies Research Project


8th Grade Social Studies Research Project

This webpage will guide you through your social studies project.  Simply complete each task in number order.

Your Social Studies Teacher will have a packet ready for you to complete.

Topic Choices

Choosing your topic & completing your Topic Selection Sheet.

Transcontinental Railroad: From 1863-1869 two railroad companies; the Central Pacific Railroad which began in California and headed east while the Union Pacific Railroad began in Omaha, Nebraska and headed West. Together they finished the first rail line to span the country from East to West.   


Mexican-American War: 1846-1848 The War began as a border dispute in the area of Southern Texas and Northern Mexico. It ended with a United States victory and the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hildago. In this treaty Mexico surrenders a huge chunk of land that is the entire Southwestern U.S. today. 


Gold Rush: In 1848, John Marshall finds gold in Sutter’s Mill, California. In 1849 the news of gold gets out and the rush to get rich in California was on! 


Trails West: The Oregon, Mormon, California, and Santa Fe trails: Between 1840-1870 these were the routes settlers used to walk to their western destinations. 


Homestead Act: Passed by Congress in 1862 The Homestead Act promised 180 acres of land for free to anyone who was the head of the household, who had not fought for the Confederacy, and who paid a small filing fee. In addition, they were required to improve the land and stay for five years. 


Native American Displacement: Indian Removal Act of 1830 required the 100,000 Native peoples that lived east of the Mississippi be removed to the Indian territory in the West (Oklahoma) 


Texas Annexation: Refers to the Texans and their struggle for freedom from the Mexican government. In 1845 Texas was added to the United States of America thereby ending the battle. 

 Do NOT go on until you have finished your Topic Selection Sheet

Sources & Search Terms

 Sources & Search

Do NOT go to the next video until you finish the top two squares of the white page.

Do Not go on until you have at least 1 book about your topic written down in box #3:
This should have the author, title and shelf location for the book on your paper.


Do NOT go on until you have completed the fourth box of that white page.

Prepping Your Final Project

Before you start finding sources and taking notes

Before you take notes or look for sources, it is a good idea to decide what you are going to be doing with this info.

Finding info in the Databases

Finding Information, Citing Sources and Note-taking

Now you will be finding 3 sources of information about your topic and taking notes.

Do NOT begin this section UNTIL:

  • You have created or at least Logged into Noodletools  (We did this in Language Arts class if you were here that day)
  • you have created your 8th Grade Social Studies Project in Noodletools  (We did this in Language Arts class if you were here that day)



Written Portion that EVERYBODY must do

Write your paragraph on the unintended consequences of Westward Expansion/Manifest Destiny.

Final Project

Final Project

This is where you are going to create whatever you decide to do earlier on that RAFT page -- see #3 above if you don't remember how it works. 

See your Social Studies teacher or Librarian if you need certain supplies or extra help putting it together.  Remember-- use stuff that you learned from your research.

Self Evaluation

Do NOT complete this self-evaluation until you have turned in your final project.


Find all of the tutorials you might need for this project in this column.

Setting up your Noodletools Account

If you did NOT make your Noodletools account and 8th Grade Social Studies Project in Noodletools, Complete this BEFORE you do task #1.


1) Go to the Monroe Library Page, click on “Noodletools”

2) Click on the three lines in the top RIGHT corner and choose “Login”

3) On the Right side, Where it says “Access Via G-Suite/Office365”, type in your school email address.

4) Click “Sign in with Office365”

5) You will be prompted to enter your school email address and password again— do it.

6) If it says create account, create an account— put in your School_Monroe Middle School

      Your graduation date:_2024_

1) Click on +New Project on the top left of your Noodletools account main page.

2) Put in your project info as shown– just add your last name to the end of the project title.

3) Click “Submit”

Now go and start on #1

Citing Your Source

How to Copy a Citation from a Gale Database to Noodletools?

Send to OneDrive

How to Save a Copy of a Source into Your OneDrive Account?

IF You decide to use a website that is NOT a school database

If you use any of the following non-database sources for information, please watch the video on how to find and cite that website.


PBS New Perspectives on the West

Smithsonian Primary Sources

Library of Congress Primary Sources

PBS—U.S. Mexican War

Central Pacific Railroad Photographic Museum

Transcontinental Railroad Primary Sources

California State Library—Gold Rush

Library of Congress—Homestead Act

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