the social and academic needs of students, Mission Hill has established
a two-period year-long Humanities core class which balances group
learning with individual learning. Student performance in writing and
reading is assessed upon a set of state and district standards. Writing
samples are compiled in a student portfolio in order to show evidence of
student achievement and progress.
6th Grade Humanities Core: Language Arts and Social Studies
Students will use the McDougal Littell Language of Literature program
and Core Literature to meet state standards in literacy. Our program
incorporates important grammar and vocabulary skills to enhance writing.
Students will learn literary concepts and active reading strategies
that support academic, functional and recreational reading experiences.
Throughout their reading, students will be encouraged to think
writing traits of organization, content, style, and conventions will be
emphasized as the students are asked to write narrative, expository,
and persuasive compositions.
the text, A Message of Ancient Days, students in grade six will expand
their understanding of history by studying the people and events that
ushered in the dawn of major western and non-western ancient
civilizations. Students will develop higher levels of critical thinking
by considering why civilizations developed where and when they did.
Students will be encouraged to explore the link, despite time, between
the contemporary and ancient worlds of the Paleolithic Era, Mesopotamia,
Egypt, the Middle East, Greece, India, China, and Rome.
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7th Grade Humanities Core: Language Arts and Social Studies
Social Studies focuses on world cultures from AD 500-1789, using the
model of "cultural universals" to master ten qualities that characterize
all societies. The text, Across the Centuries, provides a content base
for the study of global tribal cultures, the rise and fall of empires in
the Americas, Africa, and Asia, Medieval times in Europe and Japan,
world religions, the Renaissance, Reformation and Exploration. Language
Arts encompasses creative writing, the development of ideas into essays,
vocabulary building, and mastery of writing conventions (grammar,
punctuation, form and spelling), supported by the text, The Write Source
2000. Literature includes contemporary novels as well as historical and
cultural studies. Our new literature series includes the Interactive
Reader which gives students many different opportunities to explore,
analyze, and synthesize concepts presented in a wide range of genres.
The power of improving reading skills is the emphasis throughout the
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8th Grade Humanities Core: Language Arts and Social Studies
Students in Eighth Grade Humanities Core study the span of United States
History from the American Revolution to the early 1900's era of
industrialization and immigration. This year long course includes the
geography of North America, causes of the American Revolution, the
framing of the Constitution, perspectives on Manifest Destiny and
Westward Movement, the Civil War and Reconstruction and
Industrialization. Students also study important people who have
contributed to events which shape the course of history and the
development of our shared values.
textbooks provide students with key events and stories of U.S. History
and help them to identify major themes. Several primary sources and
classic novels add richness and depth to our studies some of which
include the Autobiography of Frederick Douglass and materials from
Stanford's Teaching Curriculum Institute. Literature which presents
different points of view, writing styles, and genres is integral to our
successful reading and writing program. Students read several historical
novels and biographies throughout the year along with such classics as
Johnny Tremain, Call of the Wild, and Animal Farm. We incorporate
stories from McDougall Littell's Language of Literature textbook. It is
expected that each student read twenty-four books a year by taking up
our school wide reading challenge!
skills are taught throughout the course. Types of writing instruction
include expository, narrative, and poetry. Grammar and spelling are
vital to the skills involved in a writer's repertoire and are therefore
integrated into the instruction on a regular basis. All projects
completed, whether group or individual, contain a writing and research
component unifying all aspects of the subject taught.
and 8th grade students are assessed based on rubrics, tests, and
participation. All students place exemplary work in their individual
Standards-Based Language Arts Portfolios. Our Portfolios evaluate
student work in the following areas:
||Quality, Range and Depth
Comprehension and Analysis
||Narrative, Expository, and Persuasive Communication
Writing as a Process
Control of Writing Conventions
Portfolios are passed on to the students' Humanities Teachers and will
help monitor progress toward District Standards in Language Arts.
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