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Pine Island High School

Although there are many different types of humanities classes taught throughout the world of education, the one
offered by Pine Island High Schools is unique.

The course we offer is an experiential course in comparative culture and history through literature.

Students will compare the literature, mythology, history, art, architecture, philosophy, religion, food, and
clothing styles of all world cultures from the ancient to the modern, from Mesopotamia to the twenty-first
century, based on their oral and written histories.

There will be many projects, many books, many movies, food days, and other activities to keep students
interested and entertained, as well as a tremendous amount of literary and cultural history presented through
reading, discussions, and audio/visual presentations to help students academically.

This course is an important stepping stone for any student considering a liberal arts major in college, but it is
also intended for any student interested in any aspect of history, culture, or literature.

We will have a textbook that all students will be expected to bring to class daily, as well as many other handouts
and materials that will be distributed to the class or posted on CenterPoint. Students with computer and internet
access are encouraged to check their accounts often.

Students will be required to read one novel from the 100 Best Books of All Time List and present a report on
their book at the end of the first quarter, and a second novel can be presented at the end of the semester for
additional credit. There is also an honors option for this course.

Students will also view at least two films from the American Film Institute’s top 100 Films of All Time list.

This course has a rigorous syllabus, but it is not closely followed. Instead, it serves as a framework or guideline
to keep the course on track.

The PIHS Humanities class is conducted through Socratic discourse, in which students are encouraged to
propose topics for discussion, as well as having a democratic voice in the management and pace of the class.
The interests, experiences, and ideas of all students will be respected and encouraged.

Past students have described this course as “the hardest class they ever loved,” and that is a label that will be
upheld. Students will be held to extraordinarily high expectations, including demanding coursework, but the
nature of the class itself can be a lot of fun and is genuinely rewarding.