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Driving Question: 

Who are we and why do we do what we do?

Social Studies
Grade 8
In this introduction to Psychology unit, students learn basic concepts and ideas of psychology in order to make connections to their lives as teenagers. They read articles, watch videos and doing other research to learn these concepts as well as choose a topic to investigate as a choice such as stress, disorders, memory, gender, personality, motivation and the like. Students investigate and share their thinking on a variety of psychology scenarios to show individual understanding. They use what they have learned to create chapters for an anthology that shares information on their topics of choice and the application to the teenagers including explanations for behaviors and strategies to support teenagers. This anthology is shared with their class, their parents, and even strangers who might find the information useful. You can see the peer version, teacher version and the parent version of the book through iTunes.
Student Reflection

“As the copyeditor, I love that I can read everyone’s article so I can learn so much. Some people only learn about their topic, but I get to learn it all. The hardest part for me is organizing. There are 30 people and I have to sort them. Some are done, some are in progress, and I have to know it. Next time, I would really cut up the responsibilities, so we can split the work.” - Renee

“I like reading others people’s writing. It’s interesting to see how other people’s style. Sometimes the structure feels off, so it doesn’t it quite flow. We have to figure out how to rephrase that without cutting out the meaning.” - Kyle

“Getting everyone to turn in their stuff on time is the hardest part. Some students like to procrastinate, and when a student like me running the show, they might ignore me.” - Victoria

“I like that feeling of satisfaction when I finish a chapter and editing. It feels good to improve on something and create something. I like working with words.” - Elina

“I like how you work in a group. It keeps me on task, and I can ask my peers before others. The most challenging part was trying to shorten the writing, cutting out unnecessary parts. “ - Sean

Student Products
  • Research psychology topic of choice related to the teenage brain
  • Participate in formative scenarios to check for understanding. 
  • Create chapters for an anthology of work on different aspects of psychology such as learning, personality and gender and the connection to the teenage brain.
  • Share anthology with peers, parents, teachers and strangers


Matt Zeman

Brad Evans