Ted Thornton
Humanities II
Brazil Travel Study Program, Fall, 2009
Lorrie Byrom (World History) and Ted Thornton (World Religions)

Meeting Times Procedures and Techniques
Texts Links and Resources
Goals and General Requirements
Specific Requirements for Both Courses  


Location Monday Tuesday Wednesday 2 Thursday Friday

U Mod 12

8:00 - 9:20 8:00 - 9:20 8:00 - 9:15 8:00 - 9:20 8:00 - 9:20

U Mod 12

10:10 - 11:30 10:10 - 11:30 9:25 - 10:40 10:10 - 11:30 10:10 - 11:30


Core Texts Fall, 2009  

Paulo Coelho. The Alchemist. trans. Alan R. Clarke. San Francisco: Harper, 1998

Mary Pat Fisher. Living Religions, seventh edition. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2008

Mary Pat Fisher and Lee W. Bailey. An Anthology of Living Religions. Upper Saddle River, N.J.:  Prentice Hall, 2008

Fisher Texts Companion Website

Robert Tignor, et.al., Worlds Together Worlds Apart: A History of the World From the Beginnings of Humankind to the Present. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 2008


Goals and General Requirements

Humanities II is an interdisciplinary exploration of World History and World Religions. The goals for the course are as follows:

*to understand our planet’s geography and the impact of geography on religion, society, economics and politics
*to find and explore the impact of the world’s history on spiritual traditions from indigenous traditions through the five major faiths that exist in today’s world.
*to find and explore the impact of the world’s spiritual traditions on the history of the world
*to study connections between various societies over time and around the world
*to understand the legacy of various societies over time and around the world
*to study sacred texts, primary historical documents, literature and the arts in selected cultures in order to understand, more deeply, the reality of a faith or a time period.
*to explore the nature of conflict in the past, present and projected for the future.
*to observe and study change and the human response to it.
*to develop your own literacy regarding key concepts and events in the academic study of Religion and History.

*faithful completion of daily homework.
*articulate and complete class and reading notes kept in a binder or notebook.
*participation, as scheduled, in coverage of daily world news.
*daily active involvement in class discussions and activities.
*sophisticated performance on quizzes, tests, papers and other assessments.
*demonstrated ability to discover and describe connections between World Religion and World History.
*development of your own skill as a “journalist”.
*demonstrate an inquisitive approach to the programs and activities during our trip to South Africa.

*positive participation as an individual in our own state-side group(s) and as a scholar/traveler on our trip
*live within our school’s rules and serve as an academically excellent role model.

Academic Integrity


1. Review the material on "Academic Integrity" in the School Handbook, especially the paragraph on "Plagiarism." Documentation (footnoting - click here to review how to construct footnotes ) is your most effective safeguard against charges of plagiarism. Train yourself never to cut and paste material from computer files, with the exception of the occasional direct quotation (which should always be surrounded by quotation marks and footnoted). Material you take from other sources and paraphrase (render in your own words) must also be footnoted. A good benchmark to use is to insert a footnote after every quotation and insert at least one footnote per paragraph.

2. Use only web material from universities, published journals, and other sources that have undergone rigorous editing or peer review and that are widely recognized in academic circles for quality scholarship and authority.   You may not use Wikipedia as a cited source in any papers submitted in this course (more on this in class). A final reason to be careful about documentation (footnoting and bibliography) is that it authenticates your evidence and lends authority to your paper: i.e. it proves that you did not just make up your evidence; you got it from expert sources. The more expert those sources are, the more authority, weight, and persuasiveness your own paper will carry.


Specific Requirements Common to Both HIS and REL

1. A "Literacy Test" covering content from both courses.

2. Oral Presentations as part of Semester Final Projects during the final weeks of the semester.

3. An essay as part of Semester Final Projects due on the last class meeting of the course ("exam day").


Procedures, Techniques 

Policies and Evaluation Criteria Two-Column Note Taking
How to Write Responses to Readings Humanities II Project Requirements
How to Write Reading Notes List of Projects
How to Write Major Essays Tips for Making Oral Presentations
Guidelines for Peer Editing Current Events Reports
Google News

Links and Resources

World Religions Course Search Columbia Encyclopedia
BBC Religion Page Roget's Thesaurus 
Religion in Brazil (Lib. Congress)  
Religion in Brazil (Pew Forum)  
World Factbook (CIA)  
Arts and Letters Daily (a stimulating daily digest of articles including links to scores of newspapers and journals)  
Hamilton College's Seven Deadly Sins of Bad Writing NMH History Dept. Writing Guide


email:   tthornton@nmhschool.org           lbyrom@nmhschool.org

Humanities II


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email: tthornton@nmhschool.org

Last Revised: July 16, 2009