Welcome to 7th grade Humanities! I am very excited about  getting to know you all better throughout the year! This year’s Humanities course focuses on the topic of Texas History.
History should not be viewed as a set of understandings frozen and codified for all time; rather, it is a collection of data and information about people and events, along with the cultural and societal forces that shaped them, that we seek to understand in order to learn how best to navigate our world. This data must be collected and interpreted by real people who also have been shaped by the cultural and societal forces at work in their own time. Therefore, while facts and dates and details do not change, the ways in which we emphasize some over others and the ways in which we interpret them do. We cannot separate our interpretation of history from our own culture and society any more than we can separate historical events from the cultures and societies that produced them. Studying the history of Texas is no exception. Therefore, this year, as we study data and information particular to Texas history, we will be examining it all from multiple perspectives and exploring how the people and events we study connect to the broader world. What can our history tell us about who we are as Texans who are simultaneously part of smaller, more personal communities as well as a larger, global society? And perhaps even more importantly, what do we view our individual roles, responsibilities, and identities as being within the multiple communities of which we are members? In other words, who are we, what makes us who we are, and what are we capable of becoming?  These are the questions we will be exploring throughout the year. In order to facilitate this process, we will not be studying Texas History in a traditional, chronologically linear format. Instead, we will be engaging with the curriculum as a set of topics, which are listed in the snapshot below. With each topic, students  will learn information about earlier times and connect it  to information about modern times, so they can better see the lasting social, economic, and political impacts of people and events. We will also be spiraling in and out of Texas as we connect topics important to Texas History to the broader world. 
Language arts lessons will be embedded within each unit. Research, persuasive writing, and speaking knowledgeably will be strong foci. Grammar lessons will be embedded in writing lessons and will be specific to individual needs. Vocabulary instruction will occur both in context to specific content lessons and through Membean. Independent reading of books and other texts that are personally interesting will occur at least once a week during Reading Workshop. Every other week, students will write one dialectical journal entry related to their independent reading.  Focused instruction on STAAR writing will occur in the spring.

To view a snapshot of the units, readings, and skills we'll focus on this year, please click on the following link: 7th ASPIRE Humanities Snapshot.pdf .