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8th Grade Seminar Humanities

Course Description

The Humanities block is aligned to the California Language Arts and History/Social Science State Standards. Focus will be given to the study of expository text, and a sophisticated analysis and interpretation of other literary genres. Students will be asked to develop and apply higher order thinking skills to the study of US HIstory, which includes the examination of social, cultural, political, and economic change over time and space during the period from 1620-1900A.D. Class Objective: To develop lifelong readers, competent writers, articulate speakers, and creative critical thinkers.

This is a 36 week project-based course. Each of the 6 six-week projects Language Arts objectives, US History objectives, and Technology objectives are briefly described below. Teaching methods will include thematic units, Socratic seminar, curriculum compacting, problem-based learning, and strong base in technology. While tangible products are irreplaceable in education, many of the finished products for this course will be completed digitally. In addition, the final assessment piece for the course will be an electronic portfolio to be completed no later than Friday June 10th, 2009. Finally, though the emphasis of the course is on 8th grade standards and strategies, to provide a seamless transition from 7th to 8th grade, students will participate in collaborative learning activities with the 7th grade Seminar Humanities classes. These collaborations will provide reinforcement for the learning that took place last year, as well as a comparative assessment of the content shared by the two courses.

 

Skills of the Social Scientist. Grading Period 1 (Thematic Unit): Skills of a Social Scientist (5 weeks).  Develop skills in preparation for researching and reporting information in History and Science Fair.  Historical topics include Enlightenment, Scientific Revolution, Invention, and Social & Political needs/responses to innovation.  Present a research report on the lasting influence of one scientific thinker or concept.Technology Focus: Identify, Evaluate, and Utilize Web Resources: Wordprocessing, online databases, blogging/messaging, website evaluation, social bookmarking, Podcasting to access information

Art of Persuasion. Grading Period 2 (Thematic Unit): Art of Persuasion (5 weeks).  Analyze persuasive techniques utilized in historical revolutions and rebellions, primarily Great Awakening, Colonial Unrest, American Revolution, French Revolution, Antebellum.  Create a persuasive presentation focused on obtaining the one thing you most want but are not allowed to have. Technology Focus: Identify, Evaluate, and Utilize Web Resources: Inspiration, PowerPoint, ComicLife, online databases, blogging/messaging, website evaluation, social bookmarking, Podcasting to access information

Rules and RegulationsPeriod 3 (Problem-Based): Rules and Regulations (5 weeks).  Analyze functional documents like the one that is used by the United States to govern the people.  Create a functional document to be established as a Correia Constitution with a Student Bill of Rights.  Write a procedural how-to and resume to accommodate the Science Fair project... Cras

Technology Focus: Inspiration, Social Bookmarking, Messaging/Blogging, Word Processing, Video Production, Podcasting (publish information

Power Period 3a (Problem-Based): Power (5 weeks).  Identify the key players in the development of the American political system, use data, polling, and statistics to quantify influence.  Analyze the importance of changing media and the methods people use to get their message out to the body politic.  Debate the features of the Correia Constitution and Student Bill of Rights.  Create a web-based campaign to explain which of the founding father's (include biographical essay) would have supported the document and to gain support for ratification.