Category Archives: Social Studies

American History (MS/HS) (TSam)

The founding of America and it’s early history to the present is one that commonly leaves out the the narrative of the marginalied. While some of the stories we have been taught often shares ideas of heroes and major triumphs, it almost never shares the true stories of the people who actually did all of the work. In this class, we will be reading and analyzing the literary work of Howard Zinn and his remarkable book, “A People’s History of the United States.” We will have menaingful discussions, write essays, and research connecting narratives.

 

Philosophy (hannah)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

More thinking, discussing, analyzing, reading, changing minds, challenges, expansion, new ideas, learning about the past, considering the future, looking at ourselves….

In fall term, we dug into social philosophy, including ethics and morals; cancel culture and the apology; and learning about the Palestine/Israel conflict. We will continue to follow this path in winter term, seeing where class interest leads us next.

Frequent reading, writing, and participation in discussion is required. This is not a yearlong class, so anyone is welcome to join (or drop) from last term.

AP African American Studies HS (cont) (Sam)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

This course will provide an overview of the history of Africans and their descendants across the globe, including but not limited to African civilizations prior to European colonialism, encounters between Africa and Europe, movements of Africans to the Americas and elsewhere, and the development of Black communities in and outside Africa. Learners will explore the complex interplay among the political, economic, and cultural forces that shape our understanding of the historic achievements and struggles of African-descended people in the United States and their relation to others around the world. In addition to the curricular materials, students can select a topic for further exploration and in-depth research.  A variety of texts and community resources will be used to provide applicable and real-world examples related to the content.

Climate Optimism (hannah)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

In this interdisciplinary class, we will learn about the current state of the global climate crisis. This class will be a mix of science, English, current events, and project-based learning. 

My objective is for students to come away from this class with more understanding about climate science; knowledge about movements and solutions happening locally and worldwide; and to gain skills and strategies that can be implemented immediately. And – to embody agency, power, and hope. 

Some examples of the type of work in this class: 

  • Reading, analyzing, discussing current articles from major publications about climate solutions
  • Initiating a “green team” at school who could, for example, create and implement a system for our compost and other waste – get a worm bin??
  • Researching local climate solutions and grassroot movements happening in Seattle 
  • Basic science lessons on how and why climate change is happening 
  • Study local Indigenous Science and consider how we might initiate those systems on small and large scales 
  • Learning from visiting speakers who are currently working in the environmental sector

Global Graphic Novels – MS Literature (hannah)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

In this class, we will read two different graphic memoirs about global geopolitical events, Banned Book Club by Kim Hyun Sook and Maus by Art Spiegelman. Both of these books have recently ended up on banned book lists in schools and public libraries across the country. 

Banned Book Club is a memoir about Kim Hyun Sook’s experience in college in South Korea in 1983. This was during South Korea’s Fifth Republic, a military regime that entrenched its power through censorship, torture, and the murder of protesters. In this charged political climate, Hyun Sook sought refuge in the comfort of books. Instead, she found herself hiding in a basement as the youngest member of an underground banned book club. But in a totalitarian regime, the delights of discovering great works of illicit literature are quickly overshadowed by fear and violence as the walls close in.

In Maus, Spiegelman blends autobiography with the story of his father’s survival of the concentration camps during the Holocaust. The all-too-real characters here have the heads of animals—the Jews are mice, the Nazis are rats, and the Poles are pigs—a stark Orwellian metaphor for dehumanized relations during WWII. Much of Spiegelman’s narrative concerns his own struggle to coax his difficult father into remembering a past he’d rather forget. What emerges in his father Vladek’s tale is a study in survival; he makes it through by luck, randomness, and cleverness. 

This class will include in-class reading and discussion; lessons about the historical contexts of both stories; comparing / contrasting the narrative and art style of both books; occasional writing assignments; and other creative projects.