Middle school years are foundational in the development of reading and writing skills. Opportunities to expand reading and writing beyond the walls of an English classroom are endless, opening doors to meaningful skill application across multiple content areas. Our Humanities program aims to increase student achievement in reading and writing within a cross – curricular experience.  It has the additional advantage of simplifying the daily schedule for every student by having one teacher for the double class period.  

Our Humanities classes provide the students an opportunity to dive deeper into the content, make meaningful connections showing high level application of knowledge, and expand their insight into the reading assignments and writing projects.  Through this blended learning, students will have the opportunity to advance their reading comprehension and range of writing skills within cross-curricular, project-based units of study.   

Within the Humanities course, all English and Social Studies California Common Core Standards serve as benchmarks. Below are some of the learning opportunities that will be part of our Humanities course. 

  • Novel reading and response to literature. 
  • Historical novels that build connections with Jewish and world history. 
  • Creative writing and poetry. 
  • Explicit instruction in all writing genres.  
  • Explicit instruction in developing and completing research papers. 
  • Engaging social studies projects that teach history, geography and government in conjunction with increasing reading and writing skills. 
  • Frequent teacher to student feedback. 
  • Peer editing. 
  • Note-taking and annotating. 
  • Grammar, vocabulary. 21st century learning involving collaboration, communication, critical- thinking, digital literacy, and problem-solving. 


In addition to a wealth of academic benefits, this structure minimizes the number of teachers that students interact with daily. This streamlines many procedures and helps students to better stay organized and feel accountable to do their best work.  Humanities takes place every day for 70 minutes, twice the time allocation as any other subject. Humanities teachers have expanded student oversight, which provides our students more opportunity to build strong relationships with their classmates and their Humanities teacher.