Humanities (6)

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History 6: Humanities

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 "Go after history, pursue it, question it."

Gary Snyder, Reed College 2011

                 Foundations           Discovery         Perspective        Change           


The 6th grade history and humanities curriculum works to build a foundation for studying history by asking the following essential questions:

What is history? Who are the social scientists and how do they discover and interpret the records and stories left by ancient civilizations? Who tells the stories of history and who benefits from them? From what perspective is the story of history told? What is civilization? How do civilizations change over time? 

Students will begin studying ancient civilizations, beginning with the earliest humans in Africa and those creating cave art in Lascaux, France. They will learn about humans coming together to form the empires of Mesopotamia and those in India, China, Egypt (ICE). They will also travel the Silk Road to learn about cultural diffusion. We will spend much of the year studying about Greece, Rome, philosophy, myth,  and the foundation of democracy. Into all of this study will be woven art, food, architecture and a thorough discussion of 5 themes of human geography: Location, Human/Environment Interaction, Place, Movement and Regions. 

Following the mission of Catlin Gabel, the study of Ancient Civilizations will be done in a hands-on, integrated, developmentally appropriate and fun way. Expect your child to get dirty as she digs for artifacts in our Backyard Dig. Expect him to grow and thrash his own wheat for baking. Expect a speech or two, as well as the building of an aqueduct or Roman Colosseum. 

Learning to Learn

Reading / Study Skills / Habits of Mind 

Sixth grade students learn and review their learning preferences and strategies, experiment with them and fine tune them. In conjunction with Language Arts, 6th grade students develop several techniques for reading texts containing increasingly challenging vocabulary. There is a classroom set of textbooks available but students will also use an interactive digital textbook, thus increasing their ability to practice visual and digital reading techniques. Multiple styles of note taking are connected with learning profiles, and each student eventually selects the formats that work best for him or her. Expository writing skills are woven together wth language arts instruction. Students receive guided practice in essay writing, summarizing, and paraphrasing. Research is a major part of humanities curriculum. We work closely with the Middle School librarian to learn how to find and evaluate useful resources for our studies. 

 Textbook - History Alive The Ancient World at