Humanities is the study of social studies and English in a way that combines ideas, concepts and skills from a variety of disciplines. Students are encouraged to make cross-curricular connections as well as connections to their own lives throughout the course. Students become better readers, writers, speakers and critical world thinkers as they explore a variety of literary, geographical and historical themes.
Sixth grade humanities provides a transition from the elementary experience to the middle school years. Students are assigned various novels, shorter essays and independent reading choices. Writing focuses on the writing process and provides opportunities for students to experiment with different genres and research report writing. Students also engage in public speaking, learn grammar and have spelling and vocabulary instruction. Social studies includes the study of geography and how world cultures have been shaped through history.
The 7th grade curriculum is guided by tthe essential question: What does it mean to be an American? While this may seem simple on the surface, it is crucial to the understanding of how both literature and history have shaped this country. Seventh grade humanities is structured as an American studies course that explores the experiences of various groups of peope as they move toward freedom and equality. By studying multiple perspectives of American history, the students develop critical thinking skills and learn to think like a historian.
Eighth graders have separate English and social study classes, but a global theme connects the disciplines. Eighth grade English concerns storytelling from an international, multi-ethnic perspective, which connects to the School-wide concentration on global citizenship, sustainability and diversity. Additionally, throughout the year, students ask big questions about reading: What does it mean to be a reader? How do we translate everyday experiences into texts? How is reading connected to global citizenship?