At Helios, Humanities and Science are integrated into our cohesive and highly engaging Expeditions.  

Activities woven throughout the themes provide the depth, complexity and relevance that gifted children need to fully and joyfully learn.

Humanities at Helios includes the study of language arts, literature, history and the visual and performing arts. Helios teaches the Common Core Standards for Language Arts and Literacy, integrated seamlessly into our themed Expeditions. We provide an irresistible hook and exemplary experiences for gifted learners.

In Lower School, students receive regular, direct instruction in reading and writing, often in smaller ability-based groups. We combine short, targeted mini-lessons with practice and small group sharing. As our students move into Middle School, the Humanities curriculum begins to prepare students for high school and beyond by training them to be careful, critical readers, effective researchers, and persuasive communicators.

Lower School Example

In an Expedition about space exploration students had to decide which planet in our solar system would be the best one to colonize. With teachers coaching students in different ability groups on reading strategies, they researched options by reading nonfiction works. They then drew their conclusions and shared their findings with their classmates. Students wrote persuasive letters to NASA about why Mars would be the best choice, and they received feedback from a NASA representative. They kept journals imagining their experiences as astronauts, while practicing narrative writing.




Picture of Student Theme Mission to Mars

Middle School Example

In one Expedition, 7th and 8th grade students spent several weeks exploring the debate around the Iroquois contribution to the US Constitution. They researched primary and secondary documents such as the US Constitution and Johansen and Grinde’s Exemplar of Liberty: Native America and the Evolution of Democracy. They then crafted a persuasive essay taking either a pro or con position on the Iroquois Influence Theory, supporting their thesis with evidence from their reading. They examined the issue from diverse perspectives, critiqued the arguments of professional historians, and drew their own original conclusions. 
These projects address the need gifted adolescents have for depth and complexity and meets their interest in social justice and fairness. 
teacher and student in DC