Program Update – Social Studies with Daniela and Tim

6th Grade from Daniela

What is the difference between health and well-being?

How have diseases affected human populations?

Using these questions as a springboard, sixth graders are delving into the available data on Covid-19 to develop hypotheses on why some areas of the country and Washington state have different transmission rates than others. Embedded in these class discussions are the fundamental concepts of how statistics represent the information and how statistics can be interpreted to illustrate various points of view. Students also read material based on Jared Diamond’s excellent book Guns, Germs, and Steel to understand the global impacts of malaria and smallpox. This week we will continue our investigation about how infectious diseases and vaccines have shaped human culture, habits, and language.


7th Grade from Tim

Seventh graders continue to expand their understanding of civics by diving deeper into the US Constitution. Students have wrapped up their legislative branch unit and moved onto the executive branch. Once they complete the third branch, the judicial branch, students will be led through their first research essay of the year. This essay asks them to choose a landmark Supreme Court case and analyze the history behind it, how it ended up in the Supreme Court, and the lasting impact, or precedence, that the case established. The seventh grade’s writing at the end of each unit will help them hone their writing skills. Eight students have even chosen to complete enough Challenge mini-essays to earn Challenge credit for the first semester.


8th Grade from Tim

Eighth graders continue to sharpen their writing and analytical skills in social studies. We’re wrapping up their unit on Washington State History, and every 8th grader has written a total of eight writing assignments answering what we call “big questions.” Several eighth graders have even gone above and beyond by answering these questions in several mini-essays, earning themselves Challenge certificates. In fact, just over half of all eighth graders have earned this Challenge certificate this semester. This will undoubtedly prepare them for the Change the World Project, which has recently commenced.