Language Arts: John
During the month of January the Language Arts students concentrated on writing persuasive speeches on topics of their choice. Prior to writing their speeches, students learned about various rhetorical devices including repetition, restatement, parallelism, rhetorical questions, and allusion. After reading excerpts from famous speeches by Patrick Henry, Martin Luther King, Jr., Winston Churchill, and Mahatma Gandhi, students were tasked with identifying examples of rhetorical devices within each respective text. One requirement of the speechwriting activity was that students used at least one example of each rhetorical device in their own speech. Another consideration that each student was required to make was who his or her target audience was. The unit culminated in students presenting their speeches to their classmates with the goal of persuading as many people as possible. Concurrent grammar and spelling lessons focused on verbs, verb phrases, and verb tenses.
Humanities I: John
The primary objective of Humanities I students during the month of January was to learn about and identify the elements of parody in literature. As a class we read through the classic parody Don Quixote, a story that hilariously parodies the knightly romances of the Middle Ages. The students will be using what they have learned about parody to write analytical essays that define parody and provide specific examples from the novel. Additionally, students have been writing their own parodies on topics of their choosing in Young Writers Project. Concurrent grammar and spelling lessons have focused on adverbs, conjunctions, interjections, participles, gerunds, and infinitives.
Global Studies in the Middle Ages: John
The month of January in Global Studies in the Middle Ages focused on studying the many emperors of the Roman Empire. Beginning with Julius Caesar and the tumultuous transition from republic to empire, students learned about the rise of Augustus and the stability of the Pax Romana that he brought to the empire following a period of intense conflict. Each student then chose an emperor to research in order to teach his or her peers about using slideshows they generated in class. This assignment emphasized the importance of consulting a variety of sources as well as using citations.
Modern American History: John
The focus of Modern American History class during the month of January was the emergence of the United States as a world power in the early 20th century. The influence of the United States in Latin America was closely examined, particularly surrounding the building of the Panama Canal. Our recent lessons have focused on the role of the United States prior to and during the First World War. After discussing the causes of the war, we learned about the varying perspectives Americans had of the conflict in Europe, especially considering specific incidents that many Americans felt were threatening to the national security of the country.