Virtual 8th/9th Grade
HUMANITIES ONLY for the 2023/24 school year.
8th/9th Graders, with their natural struggle to find their own way – largely through revolution – will have the opportunity to explore the struggle for justice through: revolution in South Africa (Mandela), Resistance in WWII (Jacques Lusseyran); and on revolution in Russia (Breshkovsky and Sakharov).
- Autumn, 13 weeks: Revolution in Russia
- Winter, 8 weeks: World War II, working from “And There Was Light.”
- Spring, 13 weeks: Revolution in South Africa.
We have found that for many 9th graders who have not experienced the Enki approach, this program fills an important need. Therefore, we offer it as a combined Grade 8/9 course.
In this Unit our focus is on standing up against oppression, as seen through the eyes of Ekaterina Breshkovsky and Andrei Sakharov. We will explore Karl Marx’s vision for changing an oppressive feudal society and the changes that vision underwent as Lenin and Stalin took over. Within this we will meet Russian culture and look at the process of taking a vision into reality.
Enhanced Study Classes: (At this time we do not offer Enhanced Studies for Grade 8/9 – below we list topics that are particularly compatible with our humanities studies)
Math. In connection with the struggle for equality in Tsarist Russia, an introduction to algebra, where the focus is on finding strategies to work with unknowns in an equation is particularly appropriate.
Science. In connection with Andrei Sakharaov’s work, attention to physics, exploring the structure and behavior of the physical world, is an appropriate undertaking.
Freedom (student work)
Finally I am out
Free of prison bars
People can hear me shout
Has the mind been changed of the Tsar?
Filling food I can eat
The sunlight on my face
I miss the tick tick tock on repeat
Where is my map case?
A warm bath I can take
No one tells me what to do
In my own bed I lay awake
Thinking what I’ve been through
Working from the perspective of Jacques Lusseyran, one of the initial freedom fighters in France in WWII, we will explore the issues and the history of World War II, touching also on WWI. To meet the developmental needs of this age group, our focus, and the focus of Lusseyran, is on the importance of self-trust in meeting oppression.
Enhanced Study Class: Grammar (At this time we do not offer Enhanced Studies for Grade 8/9 – below we list topics that are particularly compatible with our humanities studies)
We recommend a review basic grammar skills (punctuation, sentence structures, paragraphing, and logical sequencing), but focus on use of imagery, metaphor, and use of rhythm to create mood. Lusseyran, author of the Humanities book used this term, is a master of all of these so there is much to work with.
The stars, and the Angels dancing above (student work)
a bird passing by, dropping his feathers like a present.
It lands on my brown curly head.
I feel the morning wind breeze through my face
as I pick up the delicate warm feather.
I smile squeezing it in my hand.
I know this world isn’t perfect,
but looking up into the bright blue sky,
I realize even with the monsters that keep me trapped,
the Angels, stars, even birds, are silently cheering me on, giving me hope once again!
Focusing on the life of Nelson Mandela, we will explore traditional South African society and culture, the development of apartheid, and Mandela’s own development as he explored ways to change society. Mandela’s navigation of his own internal turmoil as he navigated violence and non-violence as a means of revolution, will be a central aspect of this study.
Enhanced Study Classes (At this time we do not offer Enhanced Studies for Grade 8/9 – below we list topics that are particularly compatible with our humanities studies)
In connection with Mandela’s struggle for equality for South Africa, continued work with algebra, where the focus is on finding strategies to work with unknowns in an equation, is particularly fitting.
In keeping with our humanities focus on the elements needed for change in human society, we recommend focusing science work on chemistry, primarily looking at types of change in the physical world, and how that effects matter – i.e pysical change, chemical change, and metamorphic change.