The Grade 6 Humanities course is one that combines coursework from English Language Arts and Social Studies (History, Civics, Geography, and Economics). The Social Studies component to this course is taught using the C3 Framework, one that is focused on an inquiry design model.
At the beginning of the academic year, students were presented with compelling questions and supporting questions to guide their inquiry process. Through these questions and the resources provided by the teacher, students were able to determine their own answers (or arguments) to these questions. Recently, Grade 6 students created their own compelling questions and supporting questions in order to design their own inquiry; they found their own credible sources; and presented their argument to their peers with supporting evidence and details.
The Grade 6 Humanities teacher, Ms. Christie Perkins, says that “this was the first time students designed their own questions and took the research in their own direction.” This student-directed unit focused on Early U.S. History and the Thirteen Colonies. Some compelling questions students designed were: “How did the colony of New Hampshire evolve from the start in 1629 to the dissolving in 1776?”, “What was the quality of life in New Jersey Colony?” and “What was the environment in Georgia Colony?”. “This was great because the students were able to follow their own interests and go through the research process with a higher level of independence than they could at the beginning of the year,” Ms. Perkins describes.