Units will be marked with the following symbols to indicate where they fall in line with our school wide missions.
Learner Centered Education
Unit 1: What freedoms are required by a just society?
In this unit we read the text, "The Breadwinner." This historical fiction novel is about the life of a girl living in Afhganistan in the 90s during Taliban rule. During this unit, we study the novel through the lens of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Through this lens, we explore why we have a document like this and what purpose each of these rights serve in a society. As we read historical fiction, we explore reading litearture standards through the Common Core State Standards. We then write essays researching the importance of the Universal Declaratio of Human Rights through the novel and a real world example. As we work on the unit, links to our other sources will be written down below.
Unit 2: Why is it important to stand up for myself and others?
In this unit, we take the reading literature standards we studied in the first unit and take them even further in the second unit. We break off into literature circle groups. Each group will take on a novel to read together. The chosen novel is based off preference and reading level, style, and ability. Each group will explore a different cause to stand up based on their novels. The novel we read are "Yankee Girl," "Same Sun Here," "Esperanza Rising," "Firegirl," and "Bystander." Each of these novels will reflect the essential question listed above and we will heavily incorporate discussion to tease out how these books are similar to each other. Additionally, with this unit comes a service learning project. During this service learning project, students will be creating their own lessons to show lower school students the importance of standing up for various causes.
Unit 3: How do others contribute to and shape who we are?
This unit is all about immigration! We acknowledge that the United States was founded on Native American land and grew out of Colonization and Slave Labor. We then seek to understand who has come to the United States since then. Why did they leave their home countries? What did they face when they came here? How did they contribute to the American landscape? We study the immigration of the Irish, German, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, and Jewish people throughout US History. We join this with Common Core State Standards in reading nonfiction and follow it up with a portfolio exploring these nonfiction reading skills. We also study persuasive writing and outline a persuasive writing essay about immigration. The book, "A History of Multicultural America," is used and leveled for this unit.
Unit 1: How do different types of maps reveal how people live?
This unit is a basic geography unit focusing on reading maps and the basics of world geography. We look at the basic shapes on a map and key map elements. We then look at different types of maps and ask ourselves, how does each map reflect the people living in that area. For example, how does a climate map show features of a region, and what do those features tell you about the people who live there?
Unit 2: How can I view and interpret sources to develop historical perspectives?
In this unit, the topic is: How We Study History. We look at different types of historians, what they study, and how they contribute to our understanding of history. We also look at reading primary and secondary sources and developing critical information from valid sources to create an account of events. In doing this we explore the idea of bias in history, and how people are perceived based on the story told after the fact.
Unit 3: How did Early Humans change to survive?
In this unit, we explore early humans and the history of mankind. We explore the evolution from early humans and how they lived to modern day humans looking mainly at methods of survival. We focus here a lot on real world connections and applications. When we study the tools of the Stone Age, we compare them to tools we use today. We study the Ice Age, and explore the effects of climate change today. Throughout the unit, we connect a line from early humans to how modern day humans think and act.
Unit 4: How do civilizations begin and grow?
This unit marks the beginning of studying ancient civilizations. We study one of the first in existence: Ancient Mesopotamia. This entire unit is laid out in a Project Based Learning format. In Project Based Learning, we do not end with a summative assessment of what we've learned, but we create an example of learning throughout the progression of the unit. We study the building blocks of civilization, using Mesopotamia as an example, and then create our own civilizations from that model. We learn about the beginnings of government, social order, economy, religion, daily life, and more. Each time we learn about a different part of civilization, students incorporate it into their own project.
Unit 5: How do civilization grow to become complex and prosperous?
In this unit, we take one of the most well known civilizations: Ancient Egypt, and explore what made Egypt so powerful. We look at powerful leadership, vital geography, and creative tools to see how a civilization has grown and become so sucessful throughout history. We also take a look at power dynamics and tie in our How We Study History unit to look at how the Egyptian civilization was discovered and we will even move our focus to Ancient Nubia for some lessons.
Unit 6: How does the Ancient Greek civilization affect and impact us today?
In this unit, we are looking for real world connections to make between history and our civilization today. Focusing mainly on government, we look at different types of government we have seen in Ancient Greece and explore what are the benefits and negatives of each type of government. We can see direct lines between Ancient Greek civilization and how we live today.