The 60’s: An American Decade
Each year, LuHi offers a variety of elective courses for our high school students. When students enter 10th grade, their schedule opens up to allow them choose elective classes that are not part of the academic core. Students can pursue courses that align with their passions and interests, or can choose something that is completely new and unfamiliar!
This year, a few new electives have emerged, and our students are really excited about them. This week, we highlight our newest offering in the Social Studies department: The 60’s: An American Decade.
The 60’s: An American Decade is a semester-long elective course taught by Mr. Daniel Kielbasa. Mr. Kielbasa teaches both AP and college-prep United States History courses, and proposed this new elective course. He shared that the 60’s were such a formative decade, and felt that a deep-dive elective course would give the decade it’s due. According to Mr. K, there are many different facets to this course: “Students will have the chance to explore the sixties from a variety of perspectives and thematic trends. While civil rights movements and Cold War politics will play large parts, we are excited to explore art, music, suburbanization, science, and other elements of popular culture (and counter culture!).”
When asked what he is looking forward to most about the course, Mr. Kielbasa shared, “I’m really excited to dig into the civil rights movements of the Sixties with the students…There are so many avenues for exploration. I’m also looking forward to lessons on popular music because the songs were so connected to the events of the times. The songs, themselves, are incredible artifacts. We’re also going to do some printmaking reminiscent of the Pop Art era, too.” After learning about the civil rights newspapers created by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in June 1960, students “organized” their own 35 minute lessons about different moments in the Civil Rights Movement with a primary source analysis activity of their own creation. Mr. K noted, “Students chose songs, political cartoons, literacy tests, or famous speeches from their topic area and helped classmates connect them to the big idea of the lesson. It was great to see the students take control and lead their peers, just like SNCC did in the 1960s.”
Student feedback on the course has been overwhelmingly positive. Cassie ’22 shared, “I took this class because the 60’s is such an interesting decade to learn about where a lot of important stuff happened. We have learned about the Black Power Movement, Malcolm X, and the Black Panthers. Also, we are talking about the spread of communism right now.” Jeffery ’22 shared, “I would recommend this class because any elective with Mr. K is done at a nice pace allowing you to learn things in depth. The history is super interesting and what we go over you don’t usually get to learn [in history class].” Lou ’22 concurred with his classmates, saying ” I love the content and all the issues we address from the 60s. It’s a great class to be in.”