Humanities Newsletter

November, 2012

How do ideas become law and still allow for evolution and change?

Anthem, by Ayn Rand

Our book this month was Anthem, by Ayn Rand. This book was about a Dystopian society where everyone was equal, and how one person broke away from this society to start a better life. We also learned about different forms of government, and what we thought the society in Anthem best reflected. Students will be entering written paragraphs about the book into a contest for a chance to win prizes. We are also in the process of creating an "Anthem for Anthem", where we will be working in groups to create a musical performance that reflects the book.

Socratic Seminar: The Cold Equations

This unit, we also had another Socratic Seminar, this one focusing on the short story, The Cold Equations, by Tom Goodwin, about a spaceship captain who must make a difficult decision in order to save lives. We discussed many ideas including Natural Law v. Man-Made Law and personal responsibility vs the community's responsibility to safeguard the innocent. Other topics that were discussed were "Do citizens have the responsibility to know the laws?" and "What can the government do to make sure citizens know and understand laws?"

Government, The Constitution, and The Declaration of Independence

Another thing we focused on this unit in Humanities is government. One of the first things we were introduced to were the different forms of government, including Monarchy, Socialist, Communist, and many more. We did short projects in groups about the different types of government and presented Powerpoints by utilizing the Google Drive program.
We also learned a lot about the Constitution and the Articles of Confederation and how they came to be. We learned about the three branches of government as well and their place in the Constitution. We did a short scavenger hunt activity in which we became more familiar with the Constitution. Another fun activity we did in class were skits, where pairs of students were assigned Amendments to act out in front of the class.
We learned about the Declaration of Independence with a small project where groups studied one section in more detail and rewrote it in modern language and drew a picture representing what was happening in that section.

John Adams and 2081

We saw a few short films this month. The first one we saw was called John Adams, and it was a short program from HBO that told the story of the Boston Massacre, and the beginning of the Revolutionary War with Great Britain.
We also watched 2081, an interesting movie about a Dystopian civilization that takes place in the year 2081. People in that society wore handicaps in order to remain equal to everyone else in the world. We are writing paragraphs about the movie.