Amy Biehl High School


Junior World Humanities: Global Studies

Course Description:

This course fosters the development of active community members through a focus on global studies.  Students will analyze events in history and individuals’ choices in order to have a deeper understanding of the world today.  Facing History and Ourselves is a program that fits the ABHS mission: courage, scholarship, and community.  Each level of Humanities at ABHS incorporates aspects of the Facing History model.  The Facing History journey is a sequence that explores personal identity, we/they dichotomies, case studies chronicling particular moments in history, and evaluates how a society remembers and judges actions and the legacies they leave for the present day.  Finally, students will have opportunities to choose and research a moment in history they feel should be taught in schools.


In the first quarter, we will critically study the concept of civilization and imperial practices and question how language has been used to condemn or “other” certain societies as primitive and privilege certain societies as advanced. In the 2nd quarter, we will focus on Gandhi’s biography, his experiences in South Africa and India, South African apartheid, and Gandhi’s theory and practice of non-violence. We will study the resistance movement in South Africa, and the development of a transitional justice model.  In the 2nd semester, we will read a play by William Shakespeare. In culmination, students will participate in a research project and a community exhibition that informs our study of turning points in history. In the 4th quarter we will explore the similarities and differences between the five major world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.


Our enduring understandings for the year are:

  • The exploration of historical events and literary / creative artifacts reveal multiple, complex, and often conflicting perspectives.
  • Students will understand that multiple perspectives are essential in understanding history. By exploring multiple perspectives, we can determine which are legitimate, which are unjust, and those with which we can empathize.
  • Students will understand the impact of imperialism on non-European cultures
  • Students will understand the interrelationship between geography, culture, religion, and ideologies in the shaping of our political and economic systems today.


Course Objectives

  • Students will understand how their actions today impact the world and understand how others before them have shaped their world and community.
  • Students will understand that there are non-violent ways to resolve conflicts.
  • Students will experience and practice different methods of expression including intentional dialogue, art, writing, and presentations. 
  • Students will have the opportunity to explore their own voice in a variety of genres, audiences and/or forums. 




Literature Circles and Reader Responses

Etymology practice

Writing Process: Perspectives and Journal Writes,  Literary Essay, Argumentative Research Paper

Primary Sources and Timeline exploring Essential Questions

Case Studies: South African Apartheid; Transitional Justice in South Africa; Gandhi and Indian Independence


World Religions

Etymology practice and quizzes

Talk Backs and Readers Responses

Literary, Personal, Argumentative Research Essays



Lecture and Essay Tests

Socratic Seminars

Historical Turning Points Exhibition and Research Paper


Grading Scale: Please note that students who score less than 75% at the end of the semester will not receive credit for the course at ABHS.


  97-100: A+                         87-89: B+                              77-79: C+                           

  94-96: A                              84-86: B                                75-76: C                  

  90-93: A-                             80-83: B-                               Below 75%: F


Attendance and Participation:  

In order for open dialogue and meaningful communication to happen, you must be present—physically and mentally.   Your attendance and participation are critical to the success of our class. You are expected to attend class on time every day. You must be here to be successful.

You are expected to add to discussion, ask questions and actively listen. This will require you to act respectfully and encourage each other to participate. You may receive a grade for your attendance.


Tardy and Attendance Policies:


If you are five (5) minutes late or later, you must go to the front office and get a pass

If you are ten (10)  minutes late or later, you must go to the front office and get a pass. Because you have missed 10% or more of class, this will be counted as an absence.

Parents will be contacted after multiple tardies, and students may be referred to the Truancy Action Committee.



See above. We will follow the school-wide policy for attendance. Parents will be contacted after multiple unexcused absences (see Student Handbook for which kinds of absences are excused), and student may be referred to the Truancy Action Committee.


*If you are unable to fulfill your attendance responsibility, your graduation next year may be at risk.


Turning in Work:

Successful college habits depend on meeting deadlines. Assignments must be completed on time because the next class will depend on the content of those assignments. Assignments must be turned in on time or they will not receive credit. ASSIGNMENTS MAY NOT BE PRINTED DURING CLASS!!


Students will receive two (2) late assignments per quarter. You must write “late” on the top and the late assignment must be turned in within one (1) week of the due date. Any assignment not printed out prior to the beginning of class is considered late (either no credit or your one late assignment).



Revisions are an important part of any writer’s process, so you have the option to resubmit work within a week of the date an assignment was returned. Resubmissions are only allowed for major writing assignments, submitted on time and that demonstrate all pieces of the writing process. Resubmissions must be completed within a week of the time the assignment was returned to you with original copy attached.


What if you miss a class? How can you determine what work you need to complete? First, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO FIND OUT WHAT WORK YOU MISSED. Do not expect your teacher to check in with you.


Use of Technology:

While we will not always use computers in class, please be prepared with your laptop each day.  We will frequently draft on paper, but it is always a good idea to have your computer in case we need to research.  Please keep computers closed during class unless there is a specific use for it.


Put away your cell phone when you get to class. This is non-negotiable. There may be times you will need to use it in class, such as when you need to put an assignment on your calendar. Generally, personal music may work for independent writing. If at any time, electronic devices become a distraction, you will lose your privileges. There is no time in class to check your email or social networking sites.


Phone Policy: Please note that this policy is per quarter, not per class or day.

1st time that quarter you have your phone out in class without permission: verbal warning

2nd time: you turn in your phone to your teacher for e the remainder of the class period

3rd time: you turn in your phone to your teacher for the remainder of the Amy Biehl senior school day

4th time: you turn in your phone and it is given to Mark until your parents/guardians can come pick it up in the front office

Academic Honesty: Your individuality and creativity matter! We want to hear from YOU, not some random person off the Internet. In your writing this year, we will consider strategies to develop your original work and recognize the pitfalls that lead to plagiarism.

ABHS defines plagiarism as any improper use of another’s ideas; including quotations not cited, paraphrasing not cited, or misusing a paper from the web. It is important to read the student handbook for more clarity on the issue of academic honesty. If you plagiarize, you will: 1. get a zero on the assignment, 2. have a mandatory family meeting with your teacher, advisor and/or Dean of Students, and 3. be required to attend Saturday School and Humanities tutoring to rewrite the assignment you plagiarized.

MLA Format: MLA stands for the Modern Language Association which is a type of format (remember that there are many formats) accepted as the convention for research in Humanities and Language Arts classes. Teachers and students alike refer to the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University or for specific guidance using MLA style. Papers submitted should be typed, double-spaced in a suitable 12 point font, and use appropriate margins. Any research or ideas that have been “borrowed” and incorporated into original writing should be cited using in-text and end-of-text citations.


Socratic Seminars: Students will use textual evidence to develop questions and explore ideas that are raised in readings. This will require you to question critically, along with practicing the skills of analyzing and synthesizing together as a group. The overall success of this group work depends on the group’s ability to use the Habit of Collaboration.