By Wendy Connolly, 7th & 8th History Teacher.
This trimester, 7th grade history is focusing on Medieval Japan and Imperial China. Currently, students are in Japanese clans for a simulation entitled, “Warlords of Japan”. Each clan strategizes to take over provinces and castles all while feeding the people in their provinces and armies. To earn koku or rice, students show honor and calm all while collaborating with their fellow teammates, research topics students have chosen, surprise attacks by answering questions, study samurai, and like good samurai create Haiku poetry. A field trip to the Asian Art Museum where students analyzed primary artifacts on samurai along with a trip to the largest Chinatown outside of China with lunch rounded out their study of China and Japan.
The 8th graders are currently studying the causes of The Civil War, the war itself and Reconstruction this trimester. They will be creating a Civil War “museum” that will be dedicated to the Civil War through different lenses. Using primary and secondary sources, students will take an event and explore the perspectives of multiple people and their interpretations of each event.
Towards the end of the year, each 8th grader writes a letter to their future selves to create a primary source of information that will be mailed to them when they graduate from high school. It is a look into the past, what their interests were, goals, and what was happening in the world as they head off to college and beyond. This year’s graduating seniors will be receiving their letters shortly and they can be reminded of what their life was like as an 8th grader and the simpler times.