At ABHS we teach Language Arts and Social Studies as an integrated Humanities curriculum. It is a double-block class and students receive credit for Language Arts and History upon successful completion.

Our motto is “less is more;” and we strive for depth over coverage. We do not offer surveys of American or World History. Instead, students explore fewer topics in greater depth. Lessons and units begin with what we call “Essential Questions,” which students are expected to answer individually, with evidence and arguments. We do not use textbooks. Instead we use primary sources and a variety of texts including: narratives, historical documents, political cartoons, interviews, guest speakers, editorials, essays, simulations, seminars, novels, and films.

The core academic skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking are fundamentals of the Humanities curriculum. Interactive activities such as trial reenactments, guest speakers, field trips, research trips to UNM, literary circles, lively discussion and Socratic Seminars, and writing workshops figure prominently in our classrooms. Students read several novels a year. The vertical plan for writing instruction builds confidence and appreciation for writing, while ultimately preparing seniors for the academic writing expected of them in dual credit college classes.

We ask students to think critically about controversial moral, social, and political issues through an examination of multiple perspectives in history and literature. We ask students to examine their own values, as well as recognize diverse perspectives. To this end, our curriculum is shaped by Facing History and Ourselves, an interdisciplinary approach to citizenship and social justice education. Students move from thought to judgment to participation as they confront the moral questions inherent in any study of history.

Humanities classes offered:

  • Freshmen students take Holocaust and Human Behavior and New Mexico History. These courses help students discover how their decisions can make a positive difference in their community, nation, and the world.

  • Sophomores take U.S. Humanities and focus on Slavery, Reconstruction and The Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam Era, and Women’s Studies.

  • Juniors take World Humanities and focus on the legacy of Imperialism, the practice of civil disobedience in India and South Africa, and World Religions.

  • Seniors take a Language Arts class that focuses on the writing and research skills needed to be successful in college.

  • Spanish, Civics/Compass, and Art also fall under the Humanities umbrella, and teachers of these subjects collaborate to make connections to Humanities themes.

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