9th Grade Integrated Course
Ninth grade students are required to take Humans in the Natural World, which integrates English, Social Science, and Natural Science. This is a three-trimester course.
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 a richer exploration of American society, culture, and history.
American Studies is a year-long, interdisciplinary course, organized into five thematic units: American Political Thought, the American Landscape, Slavery and its Legacy, Conflict and Capitalism, and the "American Dream." Each unit poses its own set of essential questions and asks students to derive their own insights and lines of inquiry from a combination of historical and literary texts. Whether they are US citizens or not, students will learn to appreciate the complexity of the American story and to recognize their own lives as a part of that story.
Humans in the Natural World
9th Grade Integrated Course Requirement
Ninth grade students are required to take Humans in the Natural World for three credits which 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.
For ESOL Students:
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.
Writing and Research: Humanities Thesis
The primary goal of this course is for students to develop an effective, individualized research and writing process and to write one or more substantial research papers. Students use library and online resources, engage in close reading of primary and scholarly secondary source materials, and turn their curiosity into clear, useful historical questions. This course is linked to American Studies, and research questions and topics are often designed around content and themes from that course. Writing and Research is taught by members of the History and Library Departments.