For our main literary program, as well as a framework for our curriculum, STARS Academy chooses three musicals each year that span history in sequential order. In 2020-2021 we used Hamilton, Newsies, and Hairspray to tie together a common theme of "It’s the Revolution," and covered the years 1500-1970 through an American History lens. For the 2021-2022 school year, we used Les Miserables, The Sound of Music, and Evita to cover Ancient Civilizations through 1980, and embodied the theme “Raise your Voice” as we studied through a World History lens. In the 2022-2023 School Year, we are using Hadestown, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Aida to tie together a common theme of "See how the world could be, inspire of the way it is," and are covering Ancient Civilizations.
Each year we use a different lens to approach history. This allows our students to obtain multiple exposures and perspectives to similar content. Additionally, we tie in current events to the history we are studying and show how events in history are relevant to today.
Ensuring that all students have independent access to texts of all kinds is the underlying goal of an effective literacy program at all grade levels. The program at STARS Academy ensures that students successfully transition from building a language to learning how to read, to reading to learn. This is specifically focused on during our language study time but is also interwoven into our daily humanities and writing curriculum. Explicit, systematic instruction that addresses individual students’ literacy needs ensures that all students become independent readers as quickly as possible. They then continue to build literacy skills through interest-based, information-based, and school-based reading experiences.
Our writing curriculum is connected to the historical lessons of the week/musical. We use all stages of the writing process, provide individualized support, and break into groups based on the need for support. We study all types of writing - persuasive, opinion, informative, narrative, informational, descriptive, and letter.