Students are introduced to the elements of culture and discuss ideas and definitions of diversity. They study China, India, and Sudan/South Sudan, investigating the geography, history, art, and dominant religion(s) of each. Reading and comprehending non-fiction texts and conducting inquiry-based research are key skills developed in History.
In English, students have regular grammar and vocabulary lessons, write essays, and read Ties That Bind, Ties that Break; Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution; Homeless Bird; A Long Walk to Water; The Giver
; and others. 7th Grade
The American experience from 1860 to the present is tackled as students examine the Civil War, Reconstruction, industrialization, immigration, and the Civil Rights Movement, to name a few. Emphasis is placed on constructing evidence-based arguments and developing organization skills needed for long-term research projects.
In English, students continue vocabulary study and begin Grammar for Middle School, a grammar program focusing on sentence construction that concludes in 8th grade. They consider the theme of identity as they read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; The Killer Angels; Crossing the Wire; To Kill a Mockingbird; Warriors Don’t Cry; Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry;
“The Gettysburg Address”; “Ain’t I a Woman?”; “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”; and poets of the WWII era, Langston Hughes, and Robert Frost.8th Grade
A deep and evolving knowledge of African and South American history and culture are important aspects of global citizenship. Through this class, students will gain an awareness of the geography, religion, accomplishments, civics, economics, social structures, and literature of influential civilizations in these regions. The course covers three major regions: North African Civilizations, West African Empires, and Latin American Civilizations. In addition to learning about the history of the people from a variety of articles and documentaries, students will engage with four pieces of literature: The Epic of Gilgamesh, Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali, Popol Vuh: A Sacred Book of the Maya, and Laminar. As a part of the integrated study, they will grapple with the deep questions of how societies change and spread, how roles are defined, how truth is perceived, and how authors’ words are filtered through the lens of background and perspective.
The lessons have been carefully planned to balance instruction in reading, writing and social studies skills, and to support students’ transition to high school. Through reading assignments, annotation, and discussion, students partner with the teacher in shaping their learning. Students select questions for class investigation and critically evaluate each source of information. Through regular writers’ workshop and information-literacy lessons, students develop the writing and research skills to complete two inter-disciplinary projects and two research papers. The projects and papers provide students the opportunity to further tailor their humanities experience to best fit their learning style and interests.