Curriculum

In each year of high school, the curriculum seeks to answer a specific guiding question.

  • In ninth grade that question is WHAT? What happened? What did you see and hear? What exactly is going on here?
  • In tenth grade it is HOW? How do things work? How does one thing relate to another? How can I find meaning in the world?
  • In eleventh grade it is WHY? Why did the events take place? Why am I here? Why are things the way they are?

  • In twelfth grade it is WHO? Who am I internally? Who am I in the world?
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9th grade curriculum outline

Students study the core subjects in the humanities and  sciences in blocks of intense focus for 4-6 weeks at a time, in rotation of subjects, instead of filling the day with all the core subjects at once. This is supplemented by a study of mathematics, foreign language, practical and visual arts, instrumental and vocal music, physical education and Eurythmy (a rhythmic form of movement that is specific to Waldorf Schools)  and rounded out with a theatrical performance each year. They engage in environmental, social and artistic projects that tie into their studies. The curriculum map below is a flexible framework that will shift to meet the students where they are once the class and teacher begin the year. The overarching theme of 9th grade is The Ends of the Spectrum. The exploration of ideas involving Right & Wrong, Good & Evil, Stasis & Change, and Black & White are used to support the head, heart and hands of the 9th grader who is experiencing these extremes as they grow through adolescence.

  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE & LITERATURE
    • TRAGEDY & COMEDY
      • The two extremes of Tragedy & Comedy will be studied through reading, analysis and performances of classic plays such as Antigone, Romeo & Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Contemporary pairings from Chicago authors will also be emphasized as will grammar and writing skills.
  • HISTORY
    • TRANSITION & CHANGE
      • Students will identify common elements which make us human and also learn to ask, where there is similarity, if there is also difference, and whether the difference is significant for understanding the human cultures involved.
  • SCIENCE
    • THE EARTH AS AN ORGANISM
      • Students will examine the processes that make the earth a living entity. 
  • MATH
    • FATE & CHANCE
      • Students explore mathematical concepts of permutations and combinations as well as descriptive geometry.
  • VISUAL ARTS
    • BLACK & WHITE
      • Students will work with charcoal and paint to explore the realms of light and dark within artworks. 
  • PRACTICAL ARTS
    • WORKING THE LAND
      • Cultivation, landscaping and farming with be the focus of 9th graders as they learn about biodynamic farming, urban farming and landscaping through hands on experiences.
  • SPECIAL SUBJECTS: FOREIGN LANGUAGEMUSICEURYTHMY
    • The focus of the special subjects will be determined by the teachers and will be intertwined with the other classes as the blocks of study unfold.