22 Mar 2016
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Secondary: American History & Geography


Grade 8 US History Students have been making connections between America’s Progressive period at the beginning of the 20th century and the current status of American Politics, Culture, Lifestyle and Economy. The students are continuing to improve and master SOAPSTone as an analytical tool of document analysis, continuing to categorize textual evidence into the SPICE framework used in Social Studies, and continue to improve their visual/graphic notetaking in HW or classwork poster products (available for all to see in room 402). Students have made interesting connections between how much has changed – but even more so maybe how much has stayed the same – since the turn of the century and the turn of the millennium: the debate over immigration looms large, big government vs. small government continues to fracture the American political process, food safety GMOs advertising leisure etc., etc., continue to be relevant topics (as they were then) today.

Grade 9 World Geography Students have just finished a Unit on Europe; map quizzes, SOAPSTone document analysis of the pros & cons of the European Union, sequencing and analysis of the short and long-term causes as well as consequences of World War II. Students were also assigned a Regional Data File analysis of a European Country to be presented with visual aids, conclusions formed and organized into the Social Studies SPICE framework. All of the content continues to build on the core skills that students are expected to master in order to be successful with regards to higher order critical thinking skills that will prepare them for AP courses and Higher Education in the future.

Grade 12 Government just completed a Unit on the Branches of American Government, ran a debate against Mr. Brown’s Debate Class on Restricting Immigration (narrowly losing by a few points) and are now moving into Inter-Governmental Organizations with a focus on the United Nations and it’s affiliated branches. Subsequently, we will be examining the Foreign Policy of the United States, and engaging with essential questions such as: is Security more important than Freedom, how is Terrorism different from War, is the Responsibility to Protect a veil for World Police, and so forth. Seniors, on the cusp of adulthood and independence, are now expected to not only learn, but think, not regurgitate, but formulate, and back up: their beliefs, values and principles with facts, data, examples; and hold it up with conviction, determination and Experience. Moving forward, we will continue to develop our debate skills, and I would like to announce officially: the Debate Club next month is hosting a Special Session of Teachers vs. Students, come one come all to check out this exciting happening!