We believe education in the humanities is crucial to our students’ full development as they learn about the values of different cultures, explore global problems with a social justice lens, appreciate works of literature, and understand how history is made.
Unique in concept, Villa Humanities combine english/language arts, social studies, literature, and religion into one integrated program that provides a richer academic experience than when these subjects are taught in “silos.”
The United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide the basis for the 8th grade Culminating Project. The CP is grounded in the humanities—the social, religious, and historical contexts of the SDGs—while also incorporating science and social justice.
Writing and Presentation
Students explore one of the SGDs throughout the year while demonstrating research, writing, organization, and oral presentation skills. They produce a variety of written work that flows into final oral presentations in front of an evaluative panel.
The CP year concludes with an evening event for Villa families: students present their projects in an open house format.
“The Culminating Project challenges students to do things they often don’t think they could do. From delving deep into a topic, becoming an expert, and presenting to an audience, so many students speak about how accomplished they feel. After graduation, they even return and share how the experience prepared them for high school."
World Fair is a year-long study of human and physical geography across the five continents. Students produce five cross-curricular projects where they investigate and research a current or historical social, economic, political, or environmental conflict. Entirely student-directed and teacher-supported, projects include both written and creative components.
Students’ investigative research process includes:
World Fair projects reflect students' personal interests such as Pollution in Antarctica, North and South Korea Demilitarized Zone, and Lion Poaching in Africa.
Short story and creative fiction writing comprise the english component of World Fair. Students choose the research from one of their projects to create an original, creative, realistic fiction novella. Student works have reached 100 pages in length!
In June, the entire school community views and discusses over two hundred projects and novellas on display at the World Fair event. Younger students participate by having their “passport” stamped as they explore the continents of the world.
6th graders explore world history and ancient cultures, studying Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, India, China, and Rome, connecting them to one another and to the modern world. They map the Middle East to bridge present day countries and events to the history of the land.
The Ancient Egypt Museum is a project-based learning activity where students demonstrate knowledge of a historical era and how it relates to the present day. The school and parent community visit the “museum,”— a showcase for exhibits, art, interactive games, and student presentations.
See this 6th-grade produced video created to generate interest in this learning showcase!