The 8th grade humanities curriculum integrates topics of history and English, focusing not only on major historical events but also on current events. Literature, poetry, essays, primary sources, and the textbook Facing History and Ourselves will allow us to examine the choices, motives, and responsibilities of individuals throughout history while encouraging critical thinking regarding our responsibility to ourselves and to our communities. Our writing curriculum focuses primarily on the standard five-paragraph expository essay; however, through writing workshop, students will explore a number of forms of writing over the course of the year. Process is equally as important as product, and we encourage students to view writing as another means of self-expression.
Our essential questions include:
What is our responsibility to ourselves and to our communities?
How are individuals influenced by society?
How do individuals shape or influence the societies in which they live?
How might our understanding of issues of race, class, gender, and economic differences affect our individual perspectives and choices?
How do individuals affect change in their communities?
Literature will include:
Night by Elie Wiesel
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Reading circle choices
Writing assignments will include:
Formal expository writing
Plays and screenplays
A typical week in humanities will include:
Reading assignments for history and English
Group work and discussion