Humanities is a yearlong course that combines Language Arts and Social Science. Your student’s Humanities teacher will see your student every day for all four terms. This class is comparable to a homeroom and most questions can be directed to your student’s humanities teacher.
The curriculum for the Humanities course follows Common Core Standards for both Language Arts and Social Science. It is an integrated 7-12 coherent program of instruction and assessment for reading, writing, listening and speaking. The writing portion will expect students to write full process pieces of narrative, explanatory/informational, argumentative and research papers. Students will develop these papers through a course of writing workshops that will range from two weeks to four weeks. All final works for writing papers are expected to be word processed, which fulfills the EGUSD/Common Core standard for computer literacy.
Holt World History textbooks will be used for the Social Science portion of humanities. 7th grade has a focus on Chinese and Japanese history, Northern and Western African history, the development and spread of Islam and the effects these cultures had on European history from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Enlightenment. When 7th grade focuses on the Age of Exploration, students will look at the Mayan, Aztec and Inca civilizations.
Supplemental novels have been chosen to expand the scope of some of these historical topics. The novel Sign of the Chrysanthemum by Katherine Paterson looks at medieval Japanese culture and Beowulf, translation by Robert Nye, examines medieval European culture. Both of these novels provide a deeper and holistic understanding these historical time periods by integrating the language arts with history through assigned work.
Students should expect homework two to three nights per week, with occasional weekends. Long term projects, like the writing assignments mentioned above, will be assigned in advance with notice of a due date. Homework is used for students to practice what is learned in the classroom, to prepare for classroom lessons and tests, to complete assignments already given and to extend their knowledge beyond class discussions.
Due to the nature of humanities there is a recommended list of supplies. It is required that all textbooks are covered, brown paper bags seem to be the most effective. Students should bring a binder dedicated to Humanities, a three prong folder with pockets, clean binder paper, blue and/or black pens, pencils with erasers, colored pencils, three different colored highlighters, and a pencil sharpener with shavings cap. With these supplies in tow, your student will be well prepared and ready to learn!
Just like seventh grade Humanities, Humanities 8 is a year-long course that combines both the English Language Arts and the Social Science Common Core Standards.
The ELA program consists of mastering skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. The writing portion of the year will consist of four full process writing pieces of narrative, research, explanatory, informational, and argumentative essays. These essays will range from two-four week units and all final papers are expected to be typed in full.
In History/Social Science, the focus is American History from the early days of colonization to the Industrial Revolution in the 1860’s. Students will take an oral final exam in term one on the Constitution in which they will memorize many of the key ideas, Articles, and the Amendments. The good news--every student at Pinkerton has taken this test and everyone has passed! We set students up for success if they are willing to try. A pack of 3x5 notecards is recommended for practicing for this final.
The two historical novels we will be studying this year are Cast Two Shadows by Ann Rinaldi, set during the American Revolution and Lyddie by Katherine Paterson--a story of a Lowell factory worker. Each novel will have a body of work due at the end of the novel to show comprehension as well as the application and analysis of a literary skill such as characterization or theme.
Students can expect homework on a regular basis and occasionally on weekends. Long term projects will be given in advance with plenty of time and guidance to complete the project with success. Many teachers post assignments and PowerPoints on Schoolloop.com so checking the notifications daily is vital. We expect 8th graders to be more proactive with their learning this year, so they should be in the habit of checking nightly--not a parent/guardian.
For success in the Humanities classroom, some supplies are recommended. The following is a list of items recommended items for class: pens/pencils, highlighters, composition book, several (3 or 4) three-prong folders with pockets, binder paper 8 ½ x 11 college ruled, erasers, colored pencils, and a small clean binder (one and a half inch). In addition, each student should cover their textbooks with a brown paper bag for protection and identification.
The 8th grade team looks forward to another year with their students! See you in August.
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