Humanities Herald

All the latest in your student's humanities course!

The Week in Review

Last week, we finished our unit on The Martian Chronicles and culture. It was exciting, and we're so happy with how our students engaged with the material.

We're launching our next unit this week, which will focus on government and the territorial dimensions of political geography. It's a fun unit which raises important questions that we encourage you to discuss with your student. We have included some of these "Questions for the Dinner Table" below the summary of this week (below).

We'll also be starting our next novel next week: Ayn Rand's Anthem. It's a quick read, and we've found that students really enjoy the story and the questions it raises. It offers an excellent opportunity to discuss government and and territorial dimension of politics, the focus of our geography lessons for the unit.

Tutorials & Writing Center

Students who wish to review previously covered material or receive extra help should make plans to attend tutorials. Tutorials are a great opportunity to practice two of our Memorial ECHS norms—"Engage in Learning" and "Have a Growth Mindset."

Additionally, our Writing Center is now open. Students are encouraged to take advantage of this unique opportunity to get help from our staff tutors (current Memorial students who have been vetted by the ELA staff and the district). The Center is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:00–8:25 AM.

Congratulations to Our UIL Team!

Congratulations to the Memorial ECHS UIL Academics and Speech & Debate teams! They had a strong showing this past Saturday at the Hill Country Invitational! Our freshman class represented well at the event.

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Collaborative Vision Applications Due!

Join the Collaborative Vision (CV) Design Team and have a voice in your child's education! The CV initiative aims to develop a strategic plan that supports our students. By serving on the CV Design Team, you can help shape Comal ISD's future and ensure the district is equipped to support your child in all areas of their education. Apply by March 3 and commit to attending all CV meetings. Your input is critical to the success of this important initiative. Apply now!

What's Up Next

Your student's work for the week will generally be located in their "Lit Log." The Lit Log is a group of daily assignments which students complete throughout the week and submit every Friday at the end of the day (as a courtesy, they may be submitted by 11:59 PM on Friday without penalty). Note that occasionally, assignments and activities may be moved to adjust for the learning needs of students. If that is the case, students never receive less time for an assignment than the due dates included below.

BONUS: To support your student's learning and continue this journey outside of the classroom, check out the "Suggested Questions for the Dinner Table" section below the week's agenda!


Students completed their presentations from the project.


Students will be reading an article about Greek government that will connect our prior learning about Ancient Greece and The Odyssey to our next unit. This text describes the main forms of government in ancient Greek city-states: democracy, oligarchy, monarchy, and tyranny. It also details how public officials play a role in government. They will participate in small group discussions based on the article. We will focus on using text evidence to support claims, assertions, and arguments.

Students will take notes on nonfiction text structures, then apply this knowledge to John Locke's "Political Society." They will also be reading and analyzing the text and using the color-coded evidence strategy from Tuesday to respond to questions from the text.


Students will be studying different types of government and analyzing the short story "Harrison Bergeron." They will also be completing a chart to answer questions.


No school.

Suggested Questions for the Dinner Table:


  • How was your presentation? What went well? What areas can you improve on next time?
  • What was the article "Greek Government" about?
  • Some rulers in Greece come to power in an effort to bring either freedom or security to the people. Which system of government would you prefer during times of peace and times of war, and why?
  • What is the difference between an oligarchy and a democracy? How are they similar?
  • According to John Locke, how should we structure a nation? Who should have the power?
  • What rights do you feel all people should have? What is the government's role in terms of protecting those rights?
  • Which is more important to John Locke — freedom or security? Do you agree?
  • What happens in the story "Harrison Bergeron"?
  • What message does "Harrison Bergeron" communicate about government and society?

Read and Discuss

Each week, we'd like to include a short piece for you and your student to read and discuss, should you choose to do so. They'll be quick, generally-applicable pieces that touch on various fun and important subjects.

Note that this is optional, and will never be used in class for a grade in any way.

This week, we have selected an article on academic integrity. Academic integrity is an essential aspect of a positive and inclusive learning environment. It promotes fairness and honesty in the classroom, allowing all students to have equal opportunities to succeed. By practicing academic integrity, students develop important values such as honesty and hard work, which will benefit them both academically and in life. Maintaining academic integrity also provides students with the opportunity to truly learn and understand the material.

We encourage families to have conversations with their students about academic integrity to reinforce the importance of these values at home and in school. Having open and ongoing conversations about academic integrity helps to ensure that students understand what academic integrity is, what is expected of them and, and that are equipped to make ethical decisions in their academic career. By working together, we can support students in building strong character and making these ethical choices!

About the Teachers!

Jeff Trott

I love to travel, and am an aspiring amateur chef (read: I can’t cook, but like to pretend I can!)

Me and my wife have two adopted chihuahuas (Ginny and Tony) who we love and spoil to no end.

I love coffee, Tolkien, and short stories by Ted Chiang.

Hendrickson High School High School Diploma (2008)

John Brown University B.A., History (2013)

Stephen F. Austin State University M.A.T., Secondary Education (2020)

Texas State University M.A., Political Science (In Progress)

Aimee Fisher

Some of my passions include painting, hiking, kayaking, and baking. I love literature and writing poetry and new experiences.

I have one daughter, Genevieve, who is four and I adore.

This is my eighth year as an educator, and I can't imagine any career more fulfilling than this.

Texas Tech University B.A., English Literature (2014)

University of Texas of the Permian Basin M.A., English Literature (2020)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is "Humanities"?
  • Humanities is a cross-curricular study combining Pre-AP English I and Pre-AP World Geography which meets daily. This class provides an intensive study of literature, writing, and geography. The course is team-taught, meaning that their are two teachers in the room!
Why are the classes combined?
  • By combining the classes, students have the opportunity to practice their English skills while learning about geography, and vice versa. This provides a more well-rounded and integrated education for the students. This approach pushes students to achieve at high levels and "close the gaps" in achievement. It has historically made Memorial ECHS a high-performing campus.
How does grading work in a combined class?
  • Students receive one grade for both classes. The English grade is always the most up-to-date grade, as we put all assignments in that course in Skyward, then manually transfer them to World Geography weekly.
How are the books picked?
  • Books are selected from the Comal ISD Reserved Titles List. This is a list of grade-level appropriate books chosen by a committee made up of teachers, administrators, parent representatives, and content curriculum coordinators. The committee evaluates each title based on multiple factors, including content, vocabulary, student engagement, and literary themes and merit. Books are selected by the teachers with guidance from the district curriculum department. Any book selected for in-class use will have connections to both the Geography and English curricula for that unit.

Why is my student learning about history in a geography class?

  • History is often taught in geography classes because the two subjects are closely related. Geography provides a spatial context for historical events and helps students understand how physical and cultural features have influenced human behavior and the development of civilizations over time. By studying the relationship between geography and history, students can gain a deeper understanding of both subjects and the interconnectedness of the world and its peoples.
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