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2021-22 Course Catalog

10th Grade Humanities Syllabus

10th Grade Humanities Syllabus

The purpose of Nathan Hale High School is to ensure that ALL students will become honorable, thinking, skillful global citizens.


According to the Stanford Humanities Center, humanities can be described as the study of how people process and document the human experience. Since humans have been able, we have used philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history and language to understand and record our world. Knowledge of these records of human experience gives us the opportunity to feel a sense of connection to those who have come before us, as well as to our contemporaries.

Through exploration of the humanities we learn how to think creatively and critically, to reason, and to ask questions. Because these skills allow us to gain new insights into everything from poetry and paintings to business models and politics. Research into the human experience adds to our knowledge about our world. The efforts to preserve the great accomplishments of the past, help us understand the world we live in, and give us tools to impact the future

Students will explore major ideas through class discussion, reading world literature and philosophy, study of influential figures, and research. The course seeks a balance between independent efforts and collaborative production; emphasizing problem posing and solving through a Humanities lens.

Areas of study over the course of the school year

  • Renaissance & Reformation
  • Influence of Disease
  • The European Conquest
  • Scramble for Africa
  • Latin American & African Liberation
  • Industrialization
  • World Wars 1 & 2
  • The Alchemist
  • Things Fall Apart
  • Othello
  • Mother to Mother
  • Like Water for Chocolate
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Collection of dystopian texts:
    • Brave New World, 1984

Project Based or Deeper Learning experiences are a major focus for this course. Students will conceive and execute multiple projects with teacher guidance. These projects may be extended research, performance, or creating aesthetic products.

Deeper Learning Experiences for the year will include, though not limited to:

  • Elements of Culture
  • Collaborarive Othello production
  • Truth and Reconciliation Debate/Mock Trial
  • Gaia: Environmental Impacts & Solutions

10th grade Humanities students are expected to embody all attributes of a Responsible Scholar. These attributes include: Preparedness and Attendance, Respect and Responsibility, Active Learning and Cooperative Learning.

Success in 10th grade Humanities is strongly dependent upon students’ commitment to regularly attend and actively participate in our learning communities. Past experience has shown that students who are repeatedly absent from or tardy to class do not perform well academically or on assessments. It is incumbent upon students (not the teacher) to find out about and complete all work missed due to an absence or tardy. Attendance will be part of the Responsible Scholarship grade.

Extra Help
Learning is a collaborative process. Students are encouraged to make appointments with their teachers for assistance outside of class time. Families are encouraged to check their child’s progress using the online gradebook and to contact teachers using email. Help is also available at our after school Homework Help Center in the Library. See the Hale website for more information.

Personal Technology
Responsible Scholars use technology in a way that supports teaching and the learning of all members of our learning community. They maintain focus on their task and environment. They don’t let technology interfere with face-to-face social interactions or conversations. They manage their own habits around technology use, and turn devices off or redirect their attention away from the screen when directed and/or appropriate. They understand that there are different etiquette and expectations for different media; while casual communication is fine in many circumstances, academic e-mail and postings should be proofread for tone and content. They respect all community members’ right to privacy and the importance of consent. ask permission before taking pictures, audio or video of people, and before sharing that media.

This class follows the letter grading scale, as per the district guidelines (A, A-, B+, B, etc.). Credits are earned on a quarterly basis (see district calendar for dates). Grades earned communicate skill levels in relation to the standards demonstrated within each assignment. They do not reflect effort or money spent on materials or what kind of person a student is, etc. Late major papers/projects must be negotiated well in advance with the teacher. If possible, students and parents should make arrangements to collect work prior to an excused absence.

ALL students are encouraged to pursue honors designation. Honors is an opportunity for all students to pursue more advanced approaches to learning in Humanities. Students who earn Honors credit demonstrate higher order thinking and produce high quality work on a consistent basis. Students who demonstrate Honors level achievement on a daily basis will be awarded Honors designation at grade marking time.