boy on the floor studyingHumanities is the study of our language, culture, and ideas. An interdisciplinary, foundational, middle school course combining English and social studies provides a comfortable "home base" in the midst of our 7-12 community. Students explore the causes and effects of social and political change through history, literature, and culture.

Particular emphasis is placed on the teaching of essential student skills that prepare them for high school. Seventh and eighth-grade Humanities students will be able to:

Develop and communicate an argument supported by textual evidence. In discussions and writing, students explore identity through developing an authentic voice and style in composition and creative writing by writing clearly, passionately, and persuasively. Students learn grammatical skills that support their writing.

Read closely and analyze fiction, nonfiction, primary and secondary sources, images, maps, and other visual media while fostering the act of self-reflection while reading. We lead our students toward becoming life-long readers.

Think critically and imaginatively, and make intelligent evidentiary connections between diverse narratives.

Grapple with research questions by evaluating and properly utilizing sources and becoming adept at paraphrasing, embedding, and citing quotations.

Learn interpersonal skills and cultural competency. Students will learn communication skills, especially in their interactions with people of different cultures. Students will thoughtfully investigate and reflect on how one's layers of cultural identities both shape and contribute to a multicultural society.

Seventh Grade Curriculum:
Global Studies

Students explore the causes and effects of social and political change through lessons in history, geography, literature, and culture.  Students recognize that when interpreting world events, uncertainty must be tolerated and no single story tells the whole truth.  Students study past and present global conflicts with a focus on individuals who were able to affect change through personal action, giving meaning to the notion that one person can make a difference. Particular emphasis is placed on the skills of supporting ideas with evidence, reading comprehension and literary analysis through challenging, yet age-appropriate fiction selections, such as The Breadwinner, Fahrenheit 451, and Animal Farm.  All skills, content and pedagogy in 7th Grade Humanities are designed to transition well to the American Studies of 8th grade Humanities.

Eighth Grade Curriculum:
American Culture and History

Students explore American history, literature, current events, and multicultural studies, and learn to make thematic connections into a natural mode for eighth graders to think, talk, and write about the United States. Students engage in interactive activities and assessments such as the Parent-Student Book Club, Model Senate Simulation and Mock Trial.  On multi-paragraph essays, attention is given to prewriting, peer response, and revision. Eighth graders continue the formal study of grammar, usage, and mechanics. Other writing assignments include editorials, journals, fictional pieces, and poetry writing.  The study of literature focuses on a number of genres: novel, short story, autobiography, drama and poetry.  Texts include The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass, Romeo and Juliet, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, American Born Chinese, In Our Time, Bread Givers, and To Kill a Mockingbird.   

Humanities Elective Courses:

In addition to their Humanities courses which meet four days a week year round, all middle school students select an elective course. Elective courses meet once a week for one trimester.

Coming to Los Angeles: Then and Now

Students will first examine historic immigration to Los Angeles by tracking and illustrating the journey of an immigrant group. Next, they explore their own family's background by researching and performing the story of an ancestor. They will also role play, read short stories, and interview local residents. Lastly, they will investigate and report on the state of immigration today. Students will learn the skills of what is necessary to live and work in Los Angeles and explore current issues that matter most to Angelinos.

Aztec to American
This course explores the geographic and sociological origins of the LatinX population in order to create context comparable to that of the well-known European context. To do this, students will freely choose historical eras and identities that will colorfully reflect our global investigation and make their own mark on what is taught and learned!

Speak up! Freedom and Justice for All
Through the lens of Black Lives Matter, the Women's Mach Movement, immigration rights, and current grassroots movements, students will explore the history and civil rights of African Americans, women, LQBTQ, and other cultural groups in the United States. Through learning about how they identify themselves and others, students will gain cultural competency skills, and write poetry and autobiographical pieces. They will share their stories in a spoken word performance, which will give voice to social justice issues in our community.

My City, Our World
Major issues that affect the world city of Los Angeles are issues that also impact other cities across the globe. Through role-playing, current events, and research, students will see connections between the environment of Los Angeles and other areas and people across the world. They will examine and offer strategies to solve global issues such as gender politics, body image, racism, the empowerment of women, environment, immigration, and relations between countries. Students will develop research and writing skills through the final project of the course, a digital multimedia magazine, with each student contributing an article and short video based upon an area of interest.

Immigrant City
Roughly a quarter of all immigrants to the United States live in California, compromising almost a third of California’s total population. The city of Los Angeles, in particular, is a magnet for immigrants. We will place particular emphasis on the immigrant experience today, with an eye toward social justice. Students will explore why people immigrate, how they are treated upon their arrival to this country, and how activists are fighting for the human rights of immigrants. Students will have the opportunity to apply these same questions to their own family backgrounds in an effort to understand how their personal stories fit into a broader historical context. In addition to researching current events and public policy and reading immigrant literature, students will focus on creative writing in a variety of forms, crafting a multi-genre project that will be performed at a culminating event.

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11600 Magnolia Blvd North Hollywood, CA 91601-3015
Oakwood Secondary Campus 818-732-3000
Oakwood Elementary Campus 818-732-3500

The Oakwood School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs