Humanities Newsletter

News for the month of September 2012

Marshmallow Challenge

During class this month, we participated in the marshmallow challenge. In this challenge, teams of three or four people had to try to create the highest possible structure made out of spaghetti, a marshmallow, some tape, and a piece of string. The structure had to be completed in eighteen minutes. This challenge has been done with people all over the world, including CEO's and kindergartners. In class, we also had a chance to watch a video on this creative challenge. To watch the video, visit this link: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/tom_wujec_build_a_tower.html. Our class had a lot of fun with this challenge. Here are some pictures of what we created (click on a picture to enlarge it):

Night

As part of the history and literature sections of class, we read the book Night and responded to it. After each assigned section of reading, we completed a "double-entry diary," which involved choosing quotes from the book and responding to them. This book is by Elie Wiesel who was a victim of the Holocaust. Night is about his journey through the camps with his father throughout World War II.

The Holocaust

As our first major unit of study, the freshman Humanities class learned about the Holocaust. The Holocaust was a terrible, dark period of time when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. During WWII, Hitler instigated and supported the mass killing of 6 million Jewish people throughout Europe. To help our class receive personal perspective, we read the book Night by Elie Wiesel who is a Holocaust survivor. We then watched the movie Nuremberg, which visually depicted the trial held for the 22 main Nazi leaders. The class also researched different topics relating to the Holocaust, Germany, and WWII. These activities were very helpful in understanding and realizing what the Holocaust really was and how it affected millions of people for generations after it happened and generations to come.


Picture from http://history1900s.about.com/od/holocaust/tp/holocaust.htm

Hike on Mount Kearsarge

On September 14, the morning team hiked up Mount Kearsarge. At 8:30, the buses were filled and we arrived at the base of Kearsarge at Winslow State Park at around 9:00 and started up the mountain. Students had the choice of either hiking up the steep side, or the longer less steep trail. On the way up, students enjoyed talking with friends and taking in the nature around them. On the top of Mount Kearsarge, students and teacher chaperones could climb the fire tower, explore the peak, eat lunch, and enjoy the view. The whole morning team enjoyed this field trip on Mount Kearsarge!

Socratic Seminar

For our first Socratic Seminar, the class discussed the topic of what are the most important issues in the upcoming election of 2012. Each student had one week to research the question and find supporting details, quotes, and statistics to support their research topic. During the day of the seminar, students were broken up into groups and discussed what their findings were. One of the most popular topics was the economy. Each party's candidate's views were discussed and also why that topic was most important to U.S. citizens. Without any teacher influence, the class was able to delve deep into the discussion of controversial topics without having it become a debate. It was an enlightening experience for the whole class.

Humanities Link

About the Authors

Sarah, Katrina, and Kaitlynn all contributed to this month's newsletter.