Horizons Integrated Humanities is designed to provide students, identified as Gifted and Talented, with an integrated, project-based approach to World History and English. This course is taken during the 9th grade year and counts for credit in both Social Studies and English. The course focuses on the ideas of change and continuity as they apply to major ancient and modern world movements. The class incorporates economic, political, and religious movements and their intersection with art, literature, and culture.
Humanities focuses on the movements and developments that characterize world history from the post-classical period (roughly the sixth through the fifteenth centuries C.E.) through the 20th century. The theme of movement of goods, people, and ideas is stressed throughout the course, using relevant examples from multiple regions in the world across the time span. The course follows the spread of world religions in the post-classical period and moves onward to the emergence of modern western society from Renaissance to the French Revolution and the Enlightenment and Imperialism. The course then looks at the development of Industrialism in Europe and the Cultural Revolution in China, culminating in a study of the World Wars. Students are expected to read challenging materials including primary documents and multiple pieces of world literature and write extensively in a formal style. There are a number of projects that involve research, creation of visual materials, creative critical thinking, technology skills, and the development of verbal presentations. The course includes a summer assignment intended to introduce students to the content and to the level of project-based work that characterizes the course.
Throughout the course, the English portion will focus on reading and analyzing primary documents and works of literature in addition to analyzing non-print texts for meaning as well rhetorical studies. Grammar and vocabulary instruction are woven throughout both the Social Studies and the English strands.
Essential Concepts and/or Questions:
- How did the flow of goods, peoples, and ideas shape our world?
- What role do change and continuity play in world politics, economics, religion, art, literature, and culture?
- What skills and knowledge do people need in order to use the English language to communicate effectively?
- What are the characteristics of strong analytical thought?
- What are the characteristics of quality writing?
- What steps are useful for creating quality writing?
- What are the characteristics of quality literature?
- After evaluating purpose and audience, how so you effectively communicate?
- What techniques does an author use to develop a quality essay?
- How do images impact our perception of facts?
- What is truth––how do people manipulate images and written language to create bias?
- What can literature teach us about ourselves, others, and the world in which we live?