9th Grade History: From Italy to Asia
December 24, 2014
Hard at work on their first semester capstone project, the 9th graders have hit the books. Combining research, reading comprehension, and historical analysis skills, the freshman have jumped into the world of the ancient Romans and Han Chinese to compare the many facets of these two amazing empires. Each student’s research serves as one puzzle piece that they will present to their class. They will then combine the pieces to reveal a larger picture of these lost empires.
Throughout the year in our integrated World History/Jewish History curriculum, the Freshmen have come to see that similar things were happening historically in very different parts of the world at about the same time. We just concluded a unit which used the model that periods of political instability—–> questioning————> formation of new philosophies and religions.
We saw this phenomenon in the Jewish History we had just studied concerning the return of the Jews to Judea in the aftermath of the first חרבון and the formation of the אנשי כנםת הגדולה. We studied this pattern in India where following the migration of the Aryans into India questioning led to the formation of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Looking to China we saw that following the turbulent “Warring States Period” at the end of the Zhou Dynasty questioning and searching for ways to restore order to Chinese society led to the formation of Confucianism, Daoism and Legalism. Finally following the Peloponnesian War in the Greek City-States, there were new ways of understanding how the world worked with the emergence of philosophy and scientific inquiry. It was gratifying to see the freshmen master these various philosophies and religions in their different historical contexts and then use their analytic abilities to make comparisons between them.