( Grade 9 – Age 14-16 )
So often, history textbooks begin with Mesopotamia and the farmers of the Fertile Crescent as the beginning of history. It may be true that the beginning of recorded history starts with them, but those early civilizations were hardly the beginning of history. This year we seek to go back…WAY back. To the beginning of everything.
This year’s focus is on Prehistory, Geology, and Evolution. We are going back in time to learn about the origins of the Earth and all the wondrous life that has called it home. We’ll start at the very beginning and work our way up to the dawn of man. We’ll be using the gorgeous full-color DK books, Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth and Evolution: The Human Story as our main spines, as well as several well-written books to help us dig deeper into the material.
Once we get to the dawn of humanity, we’ll take an anthropological approach with two amazing graphic novels – Sapiens: A Graphic History Volumes 1 and 2. These books look at what makes us human, and how we have shaped the world in which we live, giving us a big picture of the prehistoric lives of humans.
Our science focus this year will be the book A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. This delightful and fascinating book covers a wide array of scientific topics, from biology to geology to astronomy and more; but the heavy focus is on how science works, and how scientists know what they know (and what they don’t know). We’ll round out our studies with a few well-chosen additions, like The Brilliant Abyss by Helen Scales and How to Change Everything: The Young Human’s Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other by Naomi Klein.
We’ll also be delving into the world of literary analysis using the book How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster. I created a study guide for your student to use as they read through this book. In addition to this delightful and entertaining text, they’ll also be using the consumable workbook Figuratively Speaking, which covers 40 literary terms, from Alliteration to Irony to Foreshadowing. By the end of this course, your student will be ready to tackle the classics and think analytically about any book they read.
We’ll also be studying poetry – learning to appreciate poems with Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry by Billy Collins and understanding how poetry works (and learning to write our own) using A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver.
There is also an included art study. We’ll begin the year with a fun drawing course to help your student hone their drawing skills. The second half of the year will focus on a study of prehistoric art using the fascinating book The First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World’s Oldest Symbols by Genevieve von Petzinger.
And of course, your child will enjoy some well-chosen novels, from classics like Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew to epic fantasy like Lord of the Rings, to newer releases like Legendborn. Living literature is always the heart of this curriculum.
My lesson plans guide you through the Level 9 school year effortlessly. Your planning is done for you so that you can spend your time on important things, like teaching your children.
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(now powered by Amazon and Bookshop.org):
Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth (Spine)
Evolution: The Human Story (Spine) – Bookshop.org
A Brief History of Earth: Four Billion Years in Eight Chapters – Bookshop.org
Sapiens: A Graphic History Volume 1: The Birth of Humankind – Bookshop.org
Sapiens: A Graphic History Volume 2: The Pillars of Civilization – Bookshop.org
The Story of Life in 25 Fossils: Tales of Intrepid Fossil Hunters and the Wonders of Evolution (Spine) – Bookshop.org
A Short History of Nearly Everything (Spine) – Bookshop.org
Janice VanCleave’s A+ Projects in Earth Science (Spine) – Bookshop.org
The Practical Geologist – Bookshop.org
The Brilliant Abyss – Bookshop.org
The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA – Bookshop.org
How to Change Everything: The Young Human’s Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other – Bookshop.org
Introduction to Literary Analysis:
Binti: The Complete Trilogy – Bookshop.org
Life as We Knew It – Bookshop.org
The Lord of the Rings: 50th Anniversary, One Vol. Edition – Bookshop.org
Memory of Water: A Novel – Bookshop.org
The Taming of the Shrew – Bookshop.org
Ashfall – Bookshop.org
Raptor Red – Bookshop.org
Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature – Bookshop.org
A Bone from a Dry Sea – Bookshop.org
Eva – Bookshop.org
The Last Cuentista – Bookshop.org
Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults – Bookshop.org
The Kin – Bookshop.org
Legendborn – Bookshop.org
Survival Skills Elective:
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