Humanities

January 18 - January 22

In the upcoming week, the kids will begin their persuasive speeches. They have been working hard this past week, preparing their arguments and supporting details from articles they researched. Speeches will begin on Monday and will run through the week. 

We will revisit Japan, in particular the Meiji era. Students will transition from the Edo period, which was worked on before the break, to the Meiji time period.


January 11 - January 15

In Humanities, we are continuing to explore individual rights and freedoms VS collective responsibility. The students are researching current event articles which speak to either side of this debate. They will use information from these articles to begin forming their persuasive speech, which will be given next week.

December 7 - December 18 

These weeks in Social Studies, students are taking the information they researched on the changes in Edo Japan and answering the question "What were the most important changes that happened in the lives of Japanese citizens during the period of isolation?".  They will be deciding which changes were the most impactful (in their opinion) and creating three different artifacts/visual representations that show this information. At the end of the week, they will be creating a video presentation that will be submitted to their teacher that will show and explain their artifacts and the important information they selected.  All the necessary information on this project along with the rubric for marking is on the students' google drive.   

In Literacy, students are taking on the perspective of one of the characters in the story 'All summer in a day', and writing a  journal entry as that character, reflecting on the events in the story. The assignment outline and rubric for marking this assignment is on the students' google drive. 

November 23rd - November 27th 

This week in Literacy, student will be analyzing a fiction story, moving through the comprehension levels of ‘what does it say’, ‘what does it mean’, and ‘why does it matter’, applying everything we have learned so far in regards to summarizing, main idea, figurative language, imagery, and mood and tone.  Students will be learning how to use these elements to discover the 'theme' and 'theme statement' of fiction text.  

In Social Studies, students are learning the reasons why the shogunate of Japan decided to implement an isolation policy starting in the early 1600's, and will begin an investigation of how life changed politically, economically, and socially for Japan during this time. 

November 9 - November 13th 

Students are continuing their investigation of mood in texts this week by analyzing written text  (this week it is the short story 'The Nest' by Robert Zaks)  and discovering how writer's use word choice and word order to convey tone and mood to audience.  This will require students to also be able to identify figures of speech and of parts of speech when analyzing the word choice used by different authors.  We also will be doing vocabulary work with students and teaching them how to identify new vocabulary words that appear in text and how to use the context of the sentence and their knowledge of parts of speech to make predictions about what the word may mean.  

In Social Studies, we are moving into the Edo period of isolation in Japanese history, and will be learning about the three important shoguns (leaders )  who united Japan during this time and ushered in the period of isolation. 


October 26th - November 6th  

These weeks in Literacy, students will be taking their knowledge of how to use a variety of techniques to create mood  to complete two pieces of artwork that each communicate a particular mood. They then will be creating two expository pieces of writing that follow paragraph structure and explain their artwork. In Social Studies, students will be completing a research assignment that answers the question 'What was Japan like before the Edo period began?". They have been assigned a particular category to research for the week, and then will be required to summarize the important information into an outline to share their topic with their peers.  Please see D2L for both of these assignments - the requirements, deadlines, and marking schemes are all posted on D2L for the week for further information. 


October 19 - October 15 

In Literacy, students are continuing their learning around the literary concepts of 'mood' and 'tone'.  They will be analyzing a variety of short texts (videos, images, and short pieces of narrative writing) to identify and understand how authors use different techniques to create mood ( the feelings and vibes the audience gets when interacting with a text) and tone (the creator's perception of the subject matter).  This work involves the following learner outcomes: 

“I can identify and discuss how a variety of techniques in texts work together to create mood and tone”

“I can experiment with different techniques in my own texts to create mood and tone

In Social Studies, we are beginning our exploration of ancient Japan, beginning with the "Edo" isolation era. Through this work, students will be exploring three framing questions: How does geography and time okay a role in shaping a society's worldview?  How do models of governance and decision making reflect a society's worldview?  How does a society's worldview shape individual citizenship and identity? 


October 13- October 15 

This week in Literacy, we are working on the following learner outcomes: "I can identify and discuss how word choice and order, and figurative language work together to create mood and tone".  Students will be introduced to the literary devices of mood and tone and how authors create these in their texts. 

In Social Studies, students are learning how to use the seven categories of worldview and find evidence of these categories in societies so that the society's worldview statements can be determined (generalized sentences about what the society believes about how humankind should behave in the world). Students are analyzing the society found in the story 'The Lottery' to do this work.  



October 5 - October 8 

This week in Humanities, students will be continuing their exploration of the concept of 'worldview' as we take at look at some of the factors that influence or create worldviews in societies and individuals.  We will also be doing a review of distinguishing main idea from the topic, being able to summarize text, and identifying and interpreting figurative language and different literary devices to prepare students for the coming weeks of literature study.  


September 21 - September 24 

This week in Social Studies, students will continue to be exposed to current events and what is happening in the world through watching the daily 10 minute update on the CNN 10 website. We will be continuing to develop their understandings of 'worldview'  through taking a survey that will reveal their individual opinions about how societies with differing worldviews should and should not interact with each other. 

In Literacy, students will be reading an article about a society that has remained very isolated from other societies in the 21rst century. Through this article reading, students will begin to explore several reading comprehension strategies that help them make meaning of complex text: this week it will be the strategy of 'annotating' text, and skimming and scanning for information that will be modelled and taught.  Students will also be completing a comprehension assignment that teachers will be using as a pre-assessment to determine individual student comprehension (pre-assessment meaning that the student's results are not used as marks for the report card, but rather as information for the teacher about what the student is able to do and what they need to be taught how to do in order to move their learning forward). 


September 14th -18th

This week in Social Studies, students will be introduced to the guiding questions for our learning this year: What is worldview? How is worldview formed, maintained, or changed?  Why is worldview important? How does it impact the lives of individuals, groups, and societies?   Students will learn several important definitions, and be introduced to the concept of worldview and seven main elements that compose it. 

This week in Literacy, students will begin working with a non-fiction article in order to practice several reading comprehension strategies, such as annotating text (thinking as they read and making that thinking visible), predicting using clues in the text, understanding cause and effect, and sequencing ideas.  This text will also tie in with our larger idea of worldview in social studies. 


September 8th - 11th

Welcome back Grade 8 students. We’re so excited to get things underway in Humanities. The over arching theme this year in humanities is “Worldview.” As the weeks go on, we will begin to break down “What does Worldview mean?”

This week, we will begin with “My Mask/My Message.” The purpose of this assignment is to get students thinking about how their COVID mask can be a visual representation of who the student is and reflect their values, beliefs, passions, and interests. This will get the students thinking about how the world is viewed through their “lens.” They will begin by writing down their hobbies, values and beliefs. As the week progresses, they will take these messages and artistically represent them on a paper mask.

We will also begin a read-aloud story called “The Lottery.” The students will begin taking notes in their scribbler notebooks and looking for foreshadowing clues in the story. As the year goes on, students will have to familiarize themselves with these scribbler notebooks, as  the majority of their notes will be taken in this book.

The focus will be on setting, characters, mood/tone and clues. The goal is to have students predict what will happen in the story, based on the title “The Lottery,” and then jot down clues which lead to the climax ending. Once the story is complete, we will revisit the students’ notes and see if their predictions were right/wrong and whether or not they were able to use the clues to predict the outcome. 

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