Uppers Course Description

6th Grade

World Cultures

Students will study culture and life in other countries. Using an approach created by Peace Corps workers, we will study the elements of culture and work to identify and empathize with various peoples. Our trip to Heifer Project’s Overlook Farm will give us a first-hand experience of lifestyle and traditions of people in Poland, Kenya, Thailand, Peru, and Guatemala. In-depth extensive research on a modern country will give students an opportunity to learn more about a particular place and its people. Through this unit, students become more conscious of the values they share with their families, friends, and communities. Students learn to use analytical tools that help combat stereotypical thinking and enhance cross-cultural communication. They will also learn to recognize and appreciate differences in perception among individuals and cultures, define culture and recognize its role in developing perceptions of ourselves and others, and challenge assumptions about other cultures.

7th – 8th Grade

In keeping with our school’s focus on social justice, Uppers Theme (social studies)  is a year-long study of labor conditions in the United States and their historic contexts.  Students will explore these questions:

  • What has the work/equity situation been historically and what is it currently?
  • Why is it the way it is?
  • What do people do to address this problem?

We will cover: the Bread and Roses Strike, the US constitution, Nike labor practices, the Newsies, the Triangle Fire, sweatshops, Mother Jones, Christopher Columbus and the Tainos, wealth gap statistics, the Mill Girls in Lowell, Lewis Hine, Shay’s Rebellion, and excerpts from the work of Barbara Erenreich and Michael Moore. Students will receive information from lectures, reading, and film. For each section we study, they will represent their understandings through either drama, writing, or art. There will be a factual quiz and analytic essay for each area we study.

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