Content Classes

Content classes are an important part of the Greenwood School curriculum.  Read on for details about each of the major subject areas included in content classes.


The Greenwood Science curriculum prepares our students to become well-informed citizens in an age of critical issues ranging from health care and nutrition to stewardship of the environment.  This includes grounding in fundamental concepts and vocabulary across the main domains of science:

  • Earth Science
    • Geology
    • Oceanography
    • Meteorology
    • Astronomy
  • Physical Science
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Environmental Studies
  • Life Science
    • Biology
    • Botany
    • Anatomy

Advanced students may study topics such as the impact of industrialization on the earth, ecology, energy, climate change, technology and invention.

In addition to the study of specific content areas, students learn to think critically, use the scientific method, classify, undertake data collection and analysis including units of measurement and measures of central tendency, and use scientific tools.  Students develop research skills and information literacy using The Big 6 as an organizing principle.  Students also learn to analyze common structures in scientific writing with the goal of reading, questioning, thinking and writing like a scientist.

Social Studies

In Social Studies, students hone their skills in analytical and creative writing, oral presentation, collaboration, research and analysis. They also learn the habits of reflection, self-evaluation, perseverance, and practice.  Students read and analyze primary and secondary sources to develop their understanding of history.  They develop Big 6 essential research skills.  Analysis of current events is a critical piece of the curriculum as we explore the underlying struggles in our communities, nation, and around the world.

Becoming a Change-maker: Personal role in making history

In this course, students define their role as change-makers in society.  Beginning with an exploration of personal histories and social identities, students discover how society and modern history have shaped the way they view the world.  Leadership styles and models are explored as students research historical leaders and peace-builders.  Finally, we study theories of social change.

Essential questions:

  • Where do I come from?
  • How do I define power?
  • What is my leadership style?
  • How can I impact society and be a change maker?

Nation Building (US History)

In this course, students look at history through the lens of community and nation. The primarily focus is on key moments in US History that helped to define American values.  Students study foundational documents like the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, and the Emancipation Proclamation to better understand the Founders’ intentions in forming a new nation, as well as the challenges faced by government leaders today in upholding those ideals.  Students analyze US History from the perspective of cultural investigators as they define what it means to be an American.

Essential Questions:

  • What makes a nation?
  • What are the roles of government and citizens?
  • Social organization: power relations.
  • Control of resources: who owns, who labors, who benefits

International Relations (World History)

We live in a global society. This course aims to expose students to diverse countries and cultures as they learn that there are many ways to know the world. Students will analyze ways in which human groups have come into contact and interacted with one another, including systems of communication, migration, commercial exchange, conquest, and cultural diffusion.

Essential Questions:

  • What makes a culture?
  • What informs my world view?
  • How are countries and cultures connected?



Throughout the Greenwood community we support students in making healthy choices.   By serving nutritious food, promoting exercise, teaching hygiene, and helping students deal with stress, community life fosters wellness and constructive personal habits.

Equally important is the Greenwood health curriculum.  This program is designed not only to give students developmentally appropriate knowledge, but also to help them develop skills, attitudes and behaviors that will enable them to apply that information to their own lives.   Students analyze data about risky behavior, use problem-solving scenarios that are relevant to real life situations, and develop personal goals and plans to achieve and maintain a healthy life style.

Topics include:

  • Wellness and total health / hygiene / personal goal setting
  • Drug / tobacco / alcohol education
  • Human sexuality, reproduction / abstinence / birth control
  • Personal safety, including STDs & HIV AIDS
  • Mental health / anxiety & depression / dealing with stress
  • Nutrition / exercise
  • Basic First Aid / CPR / assessing risk


Social Pragmatics

Social Pragmatics instruction at Greenwood supports students in navigating their social environment in healthy and constructive ways.  We emphasize:

  • perspective taking
  • verbal and non-verbal communication
  • increasing empathy
  • emotions and emotional regulation
  • conflict styles
  • self-advocacy
  • healthy relationships

Advanced coursework moves on to issues of intercultural relations, specifically:

  • intercultural communication
  • social identity and inequality
  • how youth in particular experience these global issues of inequality

This advanced coursework continues to expand students’ ability to think about issues from a range of perspectives, deal with conflict, and communicate — both verbally and non-verbally — in a more equitable and culturally appropriate way.

All students participate in group pragmatics classes.  In addition, we offer pragmatics as a support service to address specific individual needs.