Humane Letters 3 History   (#2109344)

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Course Standards

General Course Information and Notes

Version Description

Humane Letters 3 - History is an integrated blending of History and Literature that focuses on the civilization, thought, and legacy of ancient Greece. Emphasizing the classical approach to teaching and learning, this course fosters reading, discussion, and writing based on great works from Ancient Greece. This course is designed to be paired with Humane Letters 3 - Literature.

Students study the emergence of Greek civilization from an oral to a literary culture.  They witness the historical effects of literacy as it generates the first surviving documents of historiography and comparative ethnography, while seeing first-hand how new ideas emerge from geo-political competition and the intellectual ferment enabled by the dissemination of texts throughout the Mediterranean.  By following the emergence of seminal ideas in history, politics, theology, philosophy, drama, and epic poetry, students will sharpen their abilities to distinguish between historical events and the social significance invested in interpretations of these events.  The emergence of the philosophical tradition provides an opportunity to reflect upon the nature and value of the theoretical outlook.  Recommended texts for this course include, but are not limited to: Iliad, Herodotus’ Histories, Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, Antigone, Crito, Apology, Republic, Nicomachean Ethics.

Humane Letters 3 – History Learning Outcomes:

  •        Outline the ways in which ideas from Greek history, politics, philosophy, and literature continue to influence Western culture.
  •        Compare and contrast mythological and historical ways of relating to one’s cultural past.
  •        Compare and contrast the conditions and characteristics of oral culture with literary culture.
  •        Discuss the nature of education in an oral society and the role of Homer’s epic poetry.
  •        Describe the ideals of virtue seen in Homer (Homeric ethics), and compare these to later historical developments.
  •        Use Herodotus to discuss the motivations, methods, and conventions visible in the birth of Greek historiography and ethnography.
  •        Discuss the causes, significant events, and effects of the Persian wars and their relation to the prominence of Athens and Sparta among the Greek poleis.
  •        Describe the differences in approach and method which contrast Herodotus’ and Thucydides’ historiography.
  •        Analyze Thucydides description of the cause of the Peloponnesian wars, and explain how it embodies a conflict between the differing ideals of Athens and Sparta.
  •        Describe the social role of Greek tragedy and give examples of how it exemplifies the Greek attitude towards divinity.
  •        Compare and contrast ancient monotheism and ancient polytheism as evidenced among the Greeks
  •        Contrast the modern, aesthetic approach to Greek tragedy as “works of Art” with the original social and religious context of Greek drama; compare this to theories of artistic representation in Plato and/or Aristotle
  •        Describe the ways in which Greek tragedy approaches virtue and happiness (tragic ethics) and compare this to later and earlier instantiations of ethics
  •        Contrast the ancient Greek notion of “piety” in Euthyphro and Apology with the modern conception.
  •        Outline Meno’s description of learning and knowledge and lay out the apparent paradox regarding the possibility of education
  •        Use Pericles’ ‘funeral oration,’ Antigone, and Plato’s Republic to consider the social roles and challenges for women in ancient Greece.
  •        Discuss the relationship of the argument in Plato’s Crito to later European ideas regarding the ‘rule of law’ and ‘social contract theory’.
  •        Describe the purpose of philosophy, according to Apology, and be prepared to defend or critique it
  •        Relate the four ‘cardinal’ virtues found in Republic to previous conceptions of virtue in Homer and tragedy and to Aristotle’s subsequent conception of ‘ethics’ in Nicomachean Ethics.
  •        Distinguish between three types of political systems in evidence among the Greeks, and discuss Republic’s critique of each.
  •        Discuss the interrelation between freedom, tyranny, happiness, goodness, justice, virtue, and vice in relation to Greek politics and philosophy, and compare this network of concepts with later moments in Western civilization.
  •        Analyze how the democratic concepts developed in ancient Greece have influenced and continue to influence the United States’ federal republic.

General Notes

Instructional Practices

The recommended primary mode of instruction in Humane Letters is the seminar, supplemented with direct instruction through lecture or coaching. The seminar format requires that students participate actively in their search for the fullest understanding of the texts under examination. While the instructor serves as a guide in the learning process, the students and the instructor together investigate and explore the many complex ideas presented in the texts. Students are expected to follow these rules governing the seminar format:

  • Students must come to class having read the assignment in its entirety before they can participate in seminar discussion
  • Students must mentally prepare serious questions for the class to consider during discussion.
  • Each student must attend fully to the discussion at hand and refrain from carrying on side discussions.
  • Students must limit their comments only to the selection assigned for homework, or previously discussed passages.
  • Students must support their observations, arguments, or claims with specific textual evidence.

 Literacy Standards in Social Studies

Secondary social studies courses include reading standards for literacy in history/social studies 6-12, and writing standards for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects 6-12. This course also includes speaking and listening standards. For a complete list of standards required for this course click on the blue tile labeled course standards. You may also download the complete course including all required standards and notes sections using the export function located at the top of this page.

English Language Development ELD Standards Special Notes Section:
Teachers are required to provide listening, speaking, reading and writing instruction that allows English language learners (ELL) to communicate information, ideas and concepts for academic success in the content area of Social Studies. For the given level of English language proficiency and with visual, graphic, or interactive support, students will interact with grade level words, expressions, sentences and discourse to process or produce language necessary for academic success. The ELD standard should specify a relevant content area concept or topic of study chosen by curriculum developers and teachers which maximizes an ELL's need for communication and social skills. To access an ELL supporting document which delineates performance definitions and descriptors, please click on the following link:

General Information

Course Number: 2109344
Abbreviated Title: HUM LET 3 HISTORY
Number of Credits: One (1) credit
Course Length: Year (Y)
Course Type: Elective Course
Course Level: 2
Course Status: Course Approved
Grade Level(s): 11
Graduation Requirement: Electives

Educator Certifications

One of these educator certification options is required to teach this course.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this course.

Original Student Tutorials

Civil Rights Road Trip: Part 1 Alabama:

Travel around the state of Alabama to learn about three events during the Civil Rights era: the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the 16th Street Church bombing, and the March to Selma with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats and New Deal Policies Relevant Today:

Learn about President Franklin D. Roosevelt's use of the radio to communicate New Deal policies that are still relevant with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

How Did an Executive Order End Segregation in America's Armed Forces?:

Did you know our military personnel faced segregation and discrimination while serving our country? Learn about presidential powers, the use of executive orders by our presidents, and how Executive Order 9981 ended segregation in the U.S. armed forces with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Governments Working Together:

Learn about public policy solutions and how public opinion, the media, and interest groups all influence decision-making about public issues with this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Progressive Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt: Part 2 (of 2):

In Parts 1 and 2 of this interactive tutorial series, learn about the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt.  "TR," as he was known, pursued a bold, progressive agenda that transformed America and the presidency.  

CLICK HERE to open Part 1.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Progressive Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt: Part 1 (of 2):

In Parts 1 and 2 of this interactive tutorial series, learn in detail about the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt.  "TR," as he was known, pursued a bold, progressive agenda that transformed America and the presidency.  

CLICK HERE to open Part 2.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Literacy in History: The Pullman Strike, Part 2 (of 2):

In Parts 1 and 2 of this interactive tutorial series, you'll analyze the Pullman Strike of 1894, a dramatic event in the American labor movement.  In Part 1, you'll focus on the history of the strike.  In Part 2, you'll practice your literary skills while learning more about the same event.  

Click HERE to open Part 1. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Literacy in History: The Pullman Strike, Part 1 (of 2):

In Parts 1 and 2 of this interactive tutorial series, you'll analyze the Pullman Strike of 1894, a dramatic event in the American labor movement.  In Part 1, you'll focus on the history of the strike.  In Part 2, you'll practice your literacy skills while learning more about the same event.

Click HERE to open Part 2.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Cold War at Home: McCarthyism and the Red Scare:

In this interactive tutorial, learn about the Second Red Scare that swept America in the early years of the Cold War.  You'll also learn about McCarthyism, the era of suspicion and persecution that gets its name from the actions of notorious Senator Joseph McCarthy.  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Power of Words: Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address:

Practice analyzing an informational text using President Abraham Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural Address. In this interactive tutorial, you'll determine Lincoln's purpose in this historical speech. You'll also analyze how his specific word choice and use of parallel structure help support his purpose.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

What Caused the Civil War?:

In this interactive tutorial, explore the central causes of America's bloodiest conflict: the Civil War.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Supreme Court in Action:

In this interactive tutorial, learn about landmark cases decided by the Supreme Court in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, including Brown vs. Board of Education, Miranda vs. Arizona, and Roe vs. Wade. This tutorial covers the backgrounds, outcomes, and impacts of eight important cases in detail.

Type: Original Student Tutorial



In this tutorial video brought to you by Khan Academy, you'll learn about the economic system called communism. This video explores the origins and history of communism and explains its connections to authoritarian forms of government.

Type: Tutorial

Whose Land is This?:

Learn about America's history in this interactive tutorial. This webisode from PBS's History: A Freedom of Us provides detailed informational texts, primary source documents that include photographs, and online quizzes to help you explore aspects of this complex time in American history. You'll learn about the 1862 Homestead Act, the rise of immigration, different aspects of the immigrant experience, the expansion of the American West, and the violent conflicts that resulted in the deaths of Native Americans and the removal and relocation of different tribes onto reservations.

Type: Tutorial

Remembering Pearl Harbor: Attack Map:

In this tutorial, you'll interact with a chronological map of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Trace the timeline of events as you listen to, read, and explore the devastating sneak attack that brought the U.S. into World War II on December 7, 1941.

Type: Tutorial

Habeas Corpus: The Guantanamo Cases:

In this tutorial, you will view an outstanding video on the meaning and history of habeas corpus: the law that prevents a person being held in jail or prison without being able to hear and contest the charges being brought against them. You'll then learn about 4 recent Supreme Court cases where habeas corpus has been called into question in the context of the global war on terror.

Type: Tutorial

Sights and Sounds of the Roaring Twenties:

In this tutorial, you will explore an interactive map featuring video and audio clips that help you explore the sights and sounds of New York City in the 1920s. During this time in American history, life for Americans was in a constant state of change - culturally, politically, socially, and economically. Things were booming, especially in New York City. Enjoy this interactive exploration through an exciting time in American history!

Type: Tutorial

Crash Course U.S. History: The Progressive Era:

In this tutorial video, you'll take a whirlwind journey through the Progressive Era in American history. During this time, people were attempting to solve governmental and societal issues, all while trying to better implement equality for all. Enjoy this "crash course" in U.S. history!

Type: Tutorial


How to Read a Document, Part 2: Analyzing FDR's Inaugural Address:


Type: Video/Audio/Animation

How to Read a Document, Part 1: Source Identification:

Learn how to "think like a historian" in this brief video from Khan Academy. Your hosts explain the difference between primary and secondary sources and analyze the beginning of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's First Inaugural Address.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Thinking Like a Historian:

Learn how to "think like a historian" in this brief video from Khan Academy. The speaker describes how thinking like a historian entails using the skills of a storyteller, a scientist, and a lawyer!

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Yorktown: Now or Never:

View a 10-part video on the Battle of Yorktown, the culminating battle of the Revolutionary War. With French aid, George Washington led American troops to a victory that ensured American independence.

In addition to the video, you will find primary source documents and a graphic organizer to help you analyze the Battle of Yorktown in greater detail.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this course.