Humanities I: John
Humanities I students spent the month of February completing a unit on the classic parody Don Quixote. After reading an abridged version of the text, students then read samples from the original translation of Cervantes’ masterpiece. Each student was assigned his or her own section of text and tasked with breaking down confusing sentences and paraphrasing the action. The class then read through all of the sections together before each student had the opportunity to teach his or her respective section. Students completed reading guides as we proceeded through the novel, making note of significant characters, various examples of parody, and essential vocabulary. The unit culminated in students writing analytical essays examining how Don Quixote is a parody of medieval knightly romances. Concurrent spelling and grammar lessons focused on conjunctions, prepositions, prepositional phrases, and definite and indefinite articles. 

LA: John
The first half of February in Language Arts class focused on the final stages of our unit on persuasive speeches. Each student presented his or her speech to the rest of the class with the goal of being as persuasive as possible. The audience, meanwhile, was tasked with identifying the use of various rhetorical devices in each speech. As a final activity, students were randomly assigned speech topics and given a very limited amount to prepare before making a sixty second speech in support of that topic. This fun assignment emphasized the importance of preparation and practice in persuasive writing and public speaking. Students spent the second half of the month preparing to read John Steinbeck’s classic novel Of Mice and Men by studying and discussing the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression as well as important social and legal issues that are present in the novel. Concurrent spelling and grammar lessons focused on principal parts of verbs, verb tenses, and troublesome verbs.

Global Studies in the Middle Ages: John
The students in Global Studies in the Middle Ages recently completed a unit of study focusing on the emperors of Ancient Rome. This unit highlighted the many achievements and failures of some of the most heralded and infamous leaders of the Roman Empire, including figures such as Augustus, Marcus Aurelius, Nero, Trajan, and Commodus. After completing a timeline activity that listed all of the emperors, each student selected one emperor to research. This process culminated in each student creating a slideshow to present to his or her peers. The coming weeks will see our class shift focus to conducting research for the Vermont History Fair.

Modern American History: John
The month of February in Modern American History highlighted the early twentieth century as a period of unbridled growth for the United States on the international stage. Lessons focused on the causes and effects of the First World War as well as specific incidents that influenced public opinion within the United States, including the sinking of the Lusitania and the Zimmermann Telegram. We discussed President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points, which were designed to bring a lasting peace to Europe, and the ultimately unsuccessful predecessor to the U.N., the League of Nations. The coming weeks will see our class shift focus to conducting research for the Vermont History Fair.