Humanities Newsletter

October

As the quarter wraps to a close, it’s time for the monthly newsletter! It’s been a busy month for the freshmen in Humanities class. Following our unit about the Holocaust, we started a new one with the essential question, “How do ideas shape the world?” During this unit we learned about the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Crime Scene Investigation.

On the ninth, the morning team met in the auditorium to solve a fake murder. Using evidence found by interviewing witnesses, gathering physical evidence, and recorded information, groups were assigned the task of identifying the means, motive, and opportunity for the crime. Over the course of a fun three hours, we pieced together the evidence to form a convincing argument. In addition to this activity, we also had the chance to speak with Sergeant Lulka from the New Hampshire state police. We concluded this activity with an essay summarizing our case and the evidence behind it.
A new book, Mitch Albom’s Tuesday’s with Morrie, was introduced for us to read. Tuesday’s with Morrie is a novel about a professor, Morrie Shwartz, who is diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). A past student of his, Mitch Albom, revisits him upon hearing of the illness and begins to talk with him about how to live with a terminal illness, and, on the way, learns how to live without one. We discussed Tuesday’s with Morrie in class and took notes while we read, eventually culminating in a small paper answering questions about the book.
In order to discuss the Enlightenment, we did an activity to introduce us to some famous Enlightenment thinkers. Different achievements were posted around the school, which we were to assign to different Enlightenment philosophes. Following this exercise, we took notes on the Enlightenment and began a new project. After selecting an Enlightenment thinker, we created a Facebook timeline about their life’s achievements. To wrap up the unit, we discussed Romanticism and took a Quest (an exam more significant than a quiz, but less significant than a test).

Other things done in Humanities this month include learning about literary themes and New Hampshire elections. In class, we took notes on what theme and theme statements are. We then identified the themes in Dr. Seuss books and Tuesdays with Morrie. Later, we discussed these conclusions as a class. We also did a small project on New Hampshire elections. Each pair of students chose a candidate and created a PowerPoint presentation, bumper sticker, and poster about their candidate.

October was a busy month, and we learned a lot. Things should only begin to pick up more as we enter the second quarter!