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 are our roles and responsibilities in providing civil liberties for all?
In this unit, we read the book "Refugee" by Alan Gratz. In his book, Gratz reveals the journey of three different refugees in three different parts of history: Germany in the 1940s, Cuba in the 1990s, and Syria in 2015. Each story is concurrently and we focus on our reading litearture Common Core State Standards heavily during this unit. We take the skills we have learned in fifth grade and build on them to expand how we think about literature. During this unit we will also be looking to partner with organiziations around North Jersey that seek to aid refugees.
Unit 2: How do we evaluate and tackle problems in society?
This unit will follow our Refguee unit. In this unit, we focus on writing a research essay. Each essay prompt is differentiated for students, and will reflect their writing starting point and how they can grow from that. The prompt requires them to learn about and understand different problems they might encounter in society. They then explain the causes of that problem, the impact of that problem, and then the actions that are being taken or can be take to solve that problem. This gives students the freedom to explore issues that matter to them historically, politcally, economically, and socially. This creates an environment where students are invested in what they are learning and explore the content on their own volition. Ultimately, they will seek to find their own place in the problems that they want to fix.
Historical Fiction/Literary Essay
Unit 4: Who are we and how do the different parts of our identity intersect with each other?
Using Teaching for Tolerance Social Justice standards, we know that looking at one's own identity is just as important as looking at the world around them. When we look at who we are, we can better find out place in the world. In this unit, we take a look at race, class, sex, gender, religion, representation, ability, culture, and more to develop this perspective of who we are. We also look at these elements together as facets of a person. When these identities intersect, we see who we truly are.
Unit 1: How does geography tell us about the people that live in that region?
In this unit, we break down this question even further to ask how the different regions of the United States contribute to our national and cultural identity. We research and take notes for each region in the United States focusing on the states, their geography, climate, resources, history, and culture. We look at how each region is unique from each other as well as contemporary problems that each region deals with including environmental change, migration, adaption, and weather concerns. We also look at how Native Americans in each region contribute to that region both historically and presently. In doing this we acknowledge that we live on indigenous land and must recognize those who came before us.
Unit 2: How does our place in society affect how we are treated?
This unit coincides with our study of Ancient India. We focus on three big topics: geography, the people, and their religions. We first take a look at the geography of Ancient India and understand how each physical feature impacts the people. Then we explore two different groups of people that built a civilization on the rivers. We look at these civilizations as an archaeologist would of artifacts - we make observations and inferences about the people who live there. We then look at the social hierarchies set up by these civilizations. We compare these to modern day social hierarchies and bring the lives of ancient Indians to the modern day. We finish the unit by learning about different world religions that dominated ancient India and influenced its people and government.
Unit 3: How is our society shaped by different philosophies?
This essential question uses the ancient Chinese civilization to understand how the different Chinese philosophies influenced the different dynasties. We first take a look at geography to explain how and where people settled in China. We then take a look at three different philsophies in China including: Taoism, Legalism, and Confucianism. We look at how these different philosophies are connected to the policies of the different dynasties in China such as the Qin and Han dynasty. We look at how these dynasties affected how people live. Each dynasty had a different set of rules and philosophies and therefore a different impact on the people around them.
Unit 4: WHo deserves power in society?
This unit coincides with our Ancient Rome and Persuasive writing unit. This unit is dominated by understanding the foundations of the Roman government. We highlight the power struggle between the common Plebeians and the aristocrat Patricians. We compare this Republic style of government to our own Democratic Republic and seek to answer this question as a whole. We write persuasively and have a debate to understand where power belongs in socieities.