Humanities

The Humanities program in grades 9–11 combines the study of literature, history, philosophy, culture and art history in a three-year, chronological sequence. These double-credit courses meet state requirements in both English and history. Classes meet nine times each week in lectures, small-group discussions and writing conferences with three to four students. The courses are reading and writing intensive. Readings for each topic are taken from primary sources, historical scholarship and from the great literature of or about the period under study. The Humanities program develops higher-order thinking skills by asking students to synthesize concepts and facts from history and to apply them to current situations. The main tool for this exercise is writing—expository and creative—which is required after every major book, topic or idea. Personal responses and oral presentations are also a part of these courses.

9th Grade

Humanities 9 launches a three-year sequence. Trimester 1 lays the foundation for the study of cultural history by examining the basic elements of society (political, economic, social, religious, and artistic/intellectual) and studying mythological archetypes from a variety of world cultures. Trimester 2 begin the chronological study of world history and culture that will continue through the 11th grade. Trimester 3 begins with "the World in 1500." Ninth graders study world history from ancient civilizations through the early 16th century.

Literary texts from and about these periods include:
Lord of the Flies, Gilgamesh, Antigone, Oedipus Rex, The Canterbury Tales, The Inferno, Othello, The Secret History of the Mongols, Siddhartha, and TheTang Poets.

ESL students are enrolled in Humanities 9-ESL, which parallels Humanities 9. They join Humanities 9 students for presentations and projects when appropriate.

10th Grade

Using the framework of the basic elements of society, Humanities 10 continues the study of cultural history with a focus on the 18th and 19th Centuries. Major topics include the Enlightenment, Independence and Industrial Revolutions, Romanticism, the U.S. Constitution, Civil War and slavery, Darwin, Marx, Freud, 19th Century Arts, Westward Expansion and Imperialism.

Literary studies from and about these periods will include:
The Crucible, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Narrative of Frederick Douglass, A Doll’s House, Beloved and Heart of Darkness.

ESL students are enrolled in Humanities 10-ESL. Throughout the year, students in this sheltered section are mixed regularly with students from other sections of Humanities 10 for presentations, projects, and discussions.

11th Grade

Humanities 11 continues the study of the basic elements of society with a focus on the 20th Century. Major topics include World War I, the Depression, Totalitarianism, the Holocaust, World War II, the Cold War, Post Colonialism, and Liberation Movements. This course has both a strong US and a strong global focus.

Literary texts from and about these periods include:
Their Eyes Were Watching God, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Great Gatsby, Darkness at Noon, Night, Jump, The Bridegroom, and Ten Little Indians.

Eleventh grade International students may be enrolled in a sheltered section of this course designated Humanities 11-Transitional.

12th Grade

Seniors work on a political campaign through the November elections. They take year-long elective seminars in areas such as: Asian Studies, Law & Society, Media Studies, Global Studies, Religion & Society, Comparative Literature: Visions of America, Philosophy, Writing Seminar, and Creative Reader as Creative Writer. Each course involves the researching, planning and writing of one or more substantial research projects.

Additional English Electives

Seniors may take additional electives including Advanced English Composition and Journalism.