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Grade 6 - Humanities

Humanities in 6th Grade


The Sixth through Eighth Grade Social Studies Curriculum is subsumed within a truly interdisciplinary Humanities model, which incorporates Social Studies, English Literature, and English Language Arts to prepare students for the rigorous demands of high school and life beyond Westerly. Middle School students delve into historical content vis-á-vis California Social Studies Curriculum Standards, with an intentionally broadened geopolitical context. Through a social justice framework, students learn about the human experience while investigating the role of power and privilege in determining who rules, who owns, and what people believe throughout history. Literature and student-driven research are integrated to give students an individualized experience of depth and academic rigor. This program is founded on three major tenets: critical thinking, effective communication, and ethical action, as well as the new PREP interdisciplinary capstone (beginning with the Class of 2021), which will celebrate and demonstrate the culmination of students’ academic journey at Westerly.

Foundations of Humanities and Human Geography

Course Overview: The Humanities 6 course is the first of three courses in the Middle School Humanities program. The course provides a foundation for the skills and understandings students need to be successful in middle school and beyond. In this course, students are introduced to the interdisciplinary study of humanities-- the investigation of artifacts humans have created over time, which help us piece together our past. In this course, students investigate the central essential questions: “To what do we owe our ancient ancestors?” and “What does it mean to be civilized?”

Course Content: In Humanities 6, students will study the vast time period from Prehistory to the Fall of Rome. Students will be able to draw comparisons between the earliest humans, their migratory patterns, subsequent communities, and their own lives. A rich integration of physical and human geography helps students understand environment as a critical aspect of human cultures and behaviors. Students will study ancient civilizations of Afroeurasia and the Americas as they endeavor to understand both the causes and consequences of social organization, as well as how human notons about nature and the cosmos have changed over time. In this course, students read a variety of resources in addition to three novels: The Odyssey by Homer (abridged), Call of the Wild by Jack London (original), and The Giver by Lois Lowry.

By the end of Humanities 6, students will be able to:

  • Apply diverse strategies for active reading
  • Explore how to effectively annotate a text
  • State or summarize what a text says
  • Analyze what a text means
  • Show beginning ability to describe text-to-world connection
  • Recognize and interpret figurative language
  • Identify the type of writing 
  • Identify the author’s purpose for writing
  • Identify an author’s position or bias
  • Seek and locate a variety of sources on a topic
  • Determine the credibility of a source
  • Use research to generate new questions
  • Organize research
  • Summarize Research
  • Cite sources in MLA format
  • Present work in formal and informal presentations to diverse audiences
  • Recognize and articulate existing knowledge on a subject
  • Contribute new information or ideas to class discussions
  • Uncover new information as a means to cultivate individual questions
  • Demonstrate Grade-level Common Core Standards for academic writing