"Celebrating our culture and diversity...We all smile in the same language."

Holmes International Humanities Magnet is a California Distinguished School and recipient of the 2006 Title I Academic Achievement Award, with approximately 400 students in grades six to eight. The students at Holmes represent a wide spectrum of cultural, academic, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. The student body reflects the great diversity of the Southern California region. This challenging microcosm mirrors the differences of our region and the world. Holmes supports an atmosphere where cultural and ethnic diversity are prized, where academic challenge is expected and where the intrinsic worth of each child is recognized.

The curriculum and programs at Holmes International Humanities Magnet are aligned with State Standards and focus on world cultures, their literature, language, art, music, social customs and philosophy. Students develop an awareness of a global perspective, expand their understanding of world cultures and gain an appreciation of cultural diversity. This program promotes mutual respect, acceptance, and understanding among cultural groups and provides opportunities for students to acquire knowledge, attitudes, and skills to live effectively in a diverse society.

The school’s curriculum prepares students for their next level of education and imparts the desire for life-long learning through an international humanities program. The program provides students with effective oral and written communication skills, teaches students to think conceptually, encourages students to share their artistic talent, prepares students to be effective problem solvers, and engages students to explore political, social and economic issues. We are committed to academic excellence and preparing every child with the skills necessary to succeed.

• Sixth Grade Curriculum
• Seventh Grade Curriculum
• Eighth Grade Curriculum
• Program Enrichment
• Student Activities
• Services

6th Grade Magnet Curriculum

English 6
Students in this course are required to analyze, identify, define, explain and critique various texts. In the response to literature unit, students are introduced to various multicultural literary genres. Besides being taught as a separate unit, vocabulary is also integrated with literature. This course also focuses on the writing process and students will write narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive texts such as folk tales, myths, essays, letters and reports.

Ancient Civilizations & Geography
Students begin with a study of geography and its affects on the development of civilization and culture. Their adventure into the past starts with an archaeological study of early humankind since the Paleolithic era and continues through the major ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, Greece and Rome. Students analyze and interpret the literature, art, music architecture and religion of the various culture studies. Special emphasis is given to thinking like a historian, research and writing.

Earth Science
This course studies various aspects of the changing Earth, including geology, geological history, fossil evidence, rocks and minerals, the Earth’s crust, erosion, plate tectonics, continental drift, earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain building, use of natural resources, ecology, weather, climate and the atmosphere. Students research how various parts of the world have suffered from natural disasters and how a global effort is made when disasters occur. Students evaluate global environmental issues and research and write position papers on conservation of our world’s energy and natural resources.

Math 6
This class focuses on accurately computing and solving problems using the four arithmetic operations with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and positive and negative integers. Students demonstrate their understanding of mean, median, and mode of data sets and how to calculate the range through various projects. Using real world situations, students learn to work with ratios and proportions, and compute percentages such as tax, tips and interest. Students are also introduced to the concept of pi and the formulas for the circumference of a circle, the area of a circle and other geometric shapes.

Cultural Art
Cultural diversity is celebrated through the study of the art of various cultures. Students then create art pieces that are reflective of the style used by various cultures around the world. Students will use art as a means of expressing cultural identity. Some of the units include masks, calligraphy, and origami.

Students will study and apply principles of line, shading, perspective, and color. Projects will include drawings and paintings in pencil, ink, and watercolor. They will also explore pointillism, nature studies, landscape, and portraiture.

Music and Rhythm
The major emphasis of this course is to provide students with a variety of musical experiences and activities that will encourage interest in and appreciation of music from other cultures and countries. Students will be exposed to the music of international composers, listen to and learn about instruments played around the world and sing international folk tunes. In addition, students will learn to play rhythm instruments and the recorder.

In a 10 week elective wheel, students learn, read and act out multicultural skits. These skits are performed for parents and classmates at the end of each ten weeks.

7th Grade Magnet Curriculum

The English curriculum integrates grammar, writing, literature and vocabulary. Specific emphasis is given to written expression, helping the students develop their ability in writing paragraphs and ultimately the five-paragraph essay. In literature, students are introduced to the basic elements of the various literary genres for the purpose of developing an interest in reading and of further developing their reading skills, with special attention given to international writings. Students engage in author study, critique books from cross cultural authors, showcase international poets during a Poetry Slam, and create a digital portfolio culminating their work throughout the year.

World History & Geography
This course begins with an in depth study of geography and its role in the development of culture. Students then travel back in time to visit the major world cultures of the Middle Ages. The journey begins in ancient Rome and continues through such places as the Middle East, Africa, China, Japan, Europe and Latin America. The development of critical thinking and writing skills is emphasized.

Life Science & Health
This course includes an introduction to the major concepts of modern biology, cell biology, a survey of plant structure and function, anatomy, physiology, reproduction, heredity, the origin of life, ecology, scientific method, evolution, metric system, and social, mental and physical health. Through hands-on labs, the course maximizes students interests while equalizing student access to science tools and technology. The students gain a solid knowledge of the world around them as they learn to think like a scientist.

Students will become adept at manipulating numbers, integers and equations. A thorough study of number theory resides in the 7th grade curriculum, allowing students to form a concrete understanding of how and why the basic skill operations work. Students will solve many types of first-degree equations, graph linear equations on a coordinate plane, and they will simplify algebraic expressions and polynomials.
Exploratory Program

Action Lab
The Action Lab offers students a hands-on, real-world technology experience. The lab includes 17 unique modules where students gain experience and are exposed to career options in areas such as flight technology, health, research and development, virtual architecture, digital music, audio communications, digital video, CNC mill, mechanisms, robotics, lasers and animation.

World Literature & Drama
During this ten-week course students write, create and direct their own work in this dynamic and cooperative elective. From filming their own commercials to acting out scenes in plays, to creating a folder of poetry work, each student explores their creative and dramatic side. Highlights of this class include producing a poetry folder, filming poetry, theatre and directing their own drama created in the classroom.

Introduction to Computers
During this ten-week class students are introduced to keyboarding skills, internet research methods, and simple application programs such as Microsoft Word, Publisher, PowerPoint, and Excel. Students also participate on a unit with Lego Robotics.

United Nations
During this ten-week class students explore the organization and function of the UN. Students explore some of the major problems facing today's world and helps students understand the role the UN plays in resolving conflicts. Students complete an extensive research project on a UN country and then represent that country's perspective during a simulated General Assembly. The students embrace the ideals set in the UN Charter and see the necessity for a spirit of cooperation among the people of the world.

8th Grade Magnet Curriculum

This standards based course incorporates projects for independent reading (goal 1 million words read by the end of 8th grade), response to literature, advanced essay writing, in depth research skills, and grammar and vocabulary. Students read auto/biographies, a historical novel, as well as short stories and poems from many cultures. Technology is used extensively including using the Vantage program for each 8th grade Magnet student to improve writing skills.

United States History
This course covers from colonization through the Industrial Revolution. After reviewing the development of America’s democratic institutions, particularly the shaping of the Constitution, students trace the development of American politics, society, culture, and economy and relate them to the challenges facing the new nation. A major emphasis is placed on academic writing and research.

Physical Science
This course focuses on chemistry and physics. Students participate in 27 hands on lab experiments and explore such topics as potential and kinetic energy, Newton’s Laws of Motion, simple machines, dynamics of liquids and gases, boiling points of solutions, and electricity and magnetism. In addition, students investigate the theories and practice of rocketry and actually build and launch rockets as a cumulative activity.

Algebra 1
The key content involves understanding, writing, solving, and graphing linear and quadratic equations, operations on monomial and polynomial expressions, factoring, inequalities, and absolute values. The students learn to deal with abstract concepts and manipulate algebraic symbols in order to represent real world situations when solving problems.

Geometry supports the development of patterns of logical thought utilizing the principles of inductive and deductive reasoning. This course is offered to students who have successfully completed Algebra I in the 7th grade.
Exploratory Program

Action Lab
The Action Lab offers students a hands-on, real-world technology experience. The lab includes 17 unique modules where students gain experience and are exposed to career options in areas such as flight technology, health, research and development, virtual architecture, digital music, audio communications, digital video, CNC mill, mechanisms, robotics, lasers and animation.

Introduction to German
This is a one semester course that gives students a communicative introduction to German. Speaking is emphasized and students will engage in projects that involve group work. German culture, music and art will be discussed. Students are also introduced to basic grammatical concepts such as verb conjugations, prepositions and vocabulary building.

Youth and Law
This course will examine Article III of the Constitution and how it created the Supreme Court. Using various precedent-setting Supreme Court cases, students will study the concepts of law, authority, justice, equality, crime, rights and responsibilities, and analyze how these ideas have affected our society in general and school-age children in particular.

Teen Living
Teen Living is an exploratory program that takes teenage life issues and creates a forum for discussion, expression and presentation.

Alternative Year Long Electives

This is a one-year course that introduces the basic concepts and principles of yearbook design, including structure, style, computer and traditional layout, copywriting, editing, and photography. Students use state of the art software including Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop.

Spanish 1
Spanish 1 is a one-year course that emphasizes vocabulary for everyday needs and that, which is valuable in communication with a native speaker. Spanish conversation and culture is emphasized through oral exercises. Practice in reading and writing further enhances the student’s understanding of the language. Spanish 1 counts toward the high school/college foreign language requirement.

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