Humanities is an integrated approach to teaching English Language Arts and Social Studies. All units of study are aligned to the NYS Common Core Standards. Students closely read texts from a range of genres and multiple perspectives on a topic or theme. Students develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions based on evidence. Socratic seminars provide students the opportunity to actively engage in discussions that help them synthesize key ideas and gain a deeper understanding of a topic, issue, or theme.
Grade 6 Social Studies
Grade 6 Social Studies is based on the geography and history of the Eastern Hemisphere from pre-history into the Middle Ages. Students will focus on the development of cultures, civilizations, and empires; interaction between societies; and the comparison of trends in government and economics. Students are provided the opportunity to explore belief systems across time and to examine the foundations of democracy. They will use the mnemonic CASSIET to examine the elements of different civilizations.
Unit 1: Reading Fiction Closely: Notice & Note Strategies
Why would a character behave this way?
How might this “Aha!” moment change things?
What’s the life lesson & how might it affect the character?
Why might the author bring this up again & again?
Unit 2: Ancient River Civilizations: Mesopotamia & Egypt
How does geography influence the development of a civilization?
Unit 3: Novel: The Giver
Which is more important freedom or security?
Unit 4: Ancient Greece
How has the legacy of Ancient Greece influenced our modern world?
Unit 5: Argument: DDT
Do the benefits of DDT outweigh the harmful effects?
Unit 6: Ancient Rome
Julius Caesar: Dictator or Reformer?
Government: Whose Voice Counts?
Unit 7: Middle Ages
Did feudalism help or hurt Western Europe’s development?
How did religion shape European culture?
Grade 7 Social Studies
Grade 7 Social Studies traces the human experience in the United States from pre-Columbian times until the Civil War. Throughout the course, teachers help students see connections across time. Geography, economics, and social and political trends are incorporated.
Unit 1: Short Stories
What do the ideas and themes contained in these short stories convey about human nature?
Unit 2: Columbus
Should we continue to celebrate a national holiday honoring Columbus?
Unit 3: Slavery
What is the legacy of slavery in America?
How can a culture rise above a difficult history or violent past?
Unit 4: Novel: A Step From Heaven
What is the American Dream? To what extent is it achievable for all Americans?
When should an individual take a stand and speak out?
How does the author use symbols throughout the novel to develop a theme?
Unit 5: American Revolution
Can meaningful government change happen without violence?
Unit 6: Argument: Gun Control
Why does gun control continue to be a controversial issue?
Do individuals rights need to be limited for the safety and welfare of society?
Unit 7: Civil War
Was the Civil War inevitable?
How does conflict lead to change?
How does perspective affect the way individuals deal with conflict?
Grade 8 Social Studies
Grade 8 Social Studies explores the human experience in the United States from Reconstruction to the end of World War II. Students examine different themes providing the opportunity to explore and connect to contemporary issues. Geography, economics, and social and political trends are incorporated.
Unit 1: Paired Texts: Short Stories and Articles
Does all injustice lead to oppression?
What are the most effective methods of dealing with oppression and injustice?
Unit 2: Argument: Immigration
Should America close its borders?
Why does immigration continue to be a controversial topic?
Unit 3: Novel Study: Of Mice & Men
What is Steinbeck’s message about the purpose of dreams in life?
Unit 4: Civil Rights Movement
How does studying diverse sources about the same topic build our understanding?
What are effective ways of overcoming oppression and injustice? Why?
Unit 5: Novel Study: Animal Farm
How does the use of allegory help convey an author’s message in literature?
Why do we need to be aware of the use and effects of propaganda in our lives?