Humanities Newletter

News for the month of September

Socratic Seminar

On Friday, September 21st we had our first Socratic Seminar in Humanities. The Socratic Seminar is a discussion in class where everyone must contribute something they learned that pertained to the main idea of the Socratic Seminar. The main idea of the Socratic Seminar was based on the question, "What is the most important issue in the upcoming election?" Each student was asked to come to class with notes and articles on the topics, issues, and the candidates viewpoints. The Socratic Seminar was in three groups, the inner circle, the outer circle, and the observers, and each got a chance to contribute to the discussion. The students in the inner circle first had five minutes to talk about their ideas, then the discussion opened up to the outer circle. Meanwhile, the observers filled out a form on the good and bad points made. Afterwards they shared what they thought people did well. This helped the students learn more on the upcoming election and helped them get better at taking and organizing notes and speaking in front of their peers. The Socratic Seminar benefited the class.

Tom Weisshaus and the Holocaust

During the first semester in Humanities with the morning team, we have done a lot of different things. We read the book Night by Elie Wiesel, a biography on his time in the Holocaust. We had a guest speaker come in and talk to the freshman class about his experience with the Holocaust as well. His name was Tom Weisshaus, and he talked about how his family was split up, and how one day his brother and father left, and he never saw them again. In the assembly with Mr. Weisshaus, he mentioned how lucky and unlucky he felt during the Holocaust. His mother had disappeared during their stay at the “safe house” one night when she went to get him food, so he was fortunate enough to have a nearby neighbor who made bread. Unfortunately, when their stove was broken, he could no longer eat. The people who gave him the bread said that if he snuck to the bakery, he could have some bread. So, he snuck to the bakery and just before he got there, and SS man was about to stop him, and just in the nick of time, the building across the street was bombed, so he was able to sneak off and get some food. He also mentioned how he went out to find his mother, aunt, and grandmother one night, and when he finally found the building that they were said to be in, they weren’t there. The man who was head of the building had said that they were taken the night before by some SS men. Having this speaker helped us understand truly how hard it was in this time period. To have someone come and tell you all these awful things that they had to go through makes you feel like you are so privileged just to live. In Elie’s book, you were definitely able to picture how bad people had things, but with this speaker, he really made those images real. Everything Tom said made you wonder why this happened to such innocent people, and how those people were able to deal with it. Mr. Weisshaus was a great guest speaker here at Bow High School. We all enjoyed his visit, and would recommend him to anyone learning or who wants to learn about the Holocaust.


So far this quarter in humanities we have been doing lots of things including reading the book Night by Elie Weisel. We have just finished the book and finished up our work sheets. What we have been doing is reading chapters in the book and then filling out DED which stands for "Double Entry Diary." What this means is we have to find quotes from the book and explain how they are imortant or related to the story. We have also learned paragragh structure on writing paragraghs on the story.

The story "Night" is a true autobiograpghy about a a survirors story of the Holocaust. It is a very powerful story and informal. The topic of this subject then lead to the Nuremburg trials. We watched a movie in this in class and learned of the arrested and convicted men post this historical event. On monday Oct. 2 a guest speaker from Budapest came to our school to talk about his experiences in this war. His name was Mr. Wieshauss. He told us many storys of his childhood pleasures and his childhood hard times. He is 82 years old and tells us we are the people to pass on his words.

Class Hike to Mount Kearsarge

On Friday, September 13th we took a class hike to Mount Kearsarge. We were given the assignment to take three pictures of something we saw that nobody else noticed.