9th Grade Integrated Course
Ninth grade students are required to take Humans in the Natural World for three credits which integrates English, Social Science, and Natural Science. This three-credit course will include the science requirement for the 9th grade year.
11th Grade Integrated Course
American Studies and Writing and Research are required for juniors in lieu of 11th grade English and U.S. history to provide richer exploration of American society, culture, and history.
Humans in the Natural World
This required course for all 9th grade students integrates English, Social Science, and Natural Science.
Using the tools of these three disciplines, this year-long course begins by asking students “How Do We Know What We Know?” Starting with things we can observe locally, we will expand to connect to the global community. Students will be expected to collaborate with each other, make connections, and synthesize information about their world from historical, scientific, artistic, and literary sources. Each student will undertake several long-term projects, including detailed studies of a plot of land, a country, and a commodity. Students will read novels, poetry, and both primary and secondary sources in all three disciplines. Ultimately, our 9th graders will hone their skills in analytical and creative writing, oral presentation, collaboration, research and analysis. They will also learn the habits of reflection, self-evaluation, perseverance, and practice.
Throughout, they will demonstrate their skills and understanding through presentations, experiments, Wiki creation, writing, and teaching. After completion of this integrated course, Putney students will be expected to accurately sketch the world around them, critically observe and analyze their environment, collect and use GIS (Geographic Information Systems) data, write in both analytical and imaginative forms, synthesize scientific and historical facts into meaning, and be fearless enough to embrace uncertainty, ambiguity, and the benefits of failure.
Students will earn credits in science (0.5 biology and 0.5 earth science), history/social science (1.0), and English (1.0). In addition they will learn to use some basic tools and vocabulary of economics, GIS, data analysis, political science, and the rudiments of epistemology. Mathematical thinking will be an integral part of our study.
English Language Support for Humans in the Natural World
Accompanies the integrated 9th grade curriculum
An ESOL teacher is available to International students in the Humans in the Natural World class who need added language support. This teacher provides modified readings and assignments for English learners and is an additional resource during conference block and by appointment. She also reviews written work to help students correct their grammar before handing in essays and reports, and helps them rehearse presentations.
American Studies Grade 11
This course is a year-long interdisciplinary course that asks students the fundamental question: “What does it mean to be an American?” The course is arranged around a series of thematic explorations: Nature; American Political Thought; Slavery and its Legacy; Conflict; and Work, Labor, and Industry. Courses are taught by teachers in both the English and History departments, and readings from both disciplines provide students with the essential backdrop for dynamic class discussion and exploration. Learning the fundamental skills of independent thought, reading for meaning, oral expression, and creative and analytical writing are central to what students will do in this class.
Writing and Research: Humanities Thesis
The primary goal of this course is for students to learn how to write several history research papers. More than anything this class should help students develop a process that will make writing research papers easier. Students learn the essential skills of reading, interpreting, and analyzing primary and scholarly secondary source materials, note-taking, and MLA citation. Students will turn curiosity into clear and useful historical questions, and pursue a line of inquiry, focusing on ways to gather information, and effectively utilize library and online resources in order to construct complex historical arguments while avoiding plagiarism and building and supporting a thesis. This course meets for one trimester and is taught by members of the History and Library Departments.