Middle School Program

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Welcome! You've found the online home for Happy Kids' Middle School Program, a course offered at Happy Kids for our secondary students.

Throughout the course of the year, the program’s students follow a curriculum that combines middle school language arts with history, geography, and civics in a manner of instruction that reflects what one would see in a typical US classroom. The curriculum, designed and facilitated by me, Mr. Brunken, follows my vision of helping today’s youth understand the changing world around them, and the increasing importance of being able to interact positively with people from cultures all over the world. With the Earth’s population projected to equal about 9 billion people by the year 2030, the world is getting much smaller, and this generation will have to face and handle problems that their grandparents couldn’t even imagine. The class is meant to educate students about important global issues, and help them to learn from our past and each other to broaden their understanding of their world and help bring about a peaceful future.

Each year the curriculum for this class is a little different. However, the overall format of the class remains constant. Four novels are used as the inspiration for four eight-week units throughout the year. This year will look like this:



Novel, Author (Theme)
  • Laika by Nick Abadzis (Space Race and Animal Rights)
  • Nothing But the Truth by Avi (Students' Rights and Power of the Press)
  • Forbidden City by William Bell (Modern China and Human/Civil Rights)
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Teen issues: suicide, bullying, depression)

Middle School Announcements

  • Final Suicide Prevention Ad Campaign projects We wrapped up the final project/assignment for the year today. In groups, students were to design an ad campaign with logo, slogan, and ad for the Taipei City Government ...
    Posted May 9, 2015, 12:33 AM by Jason Brunken
  • Teen Issues Jigsaw Activity - final products In groups, students learned about an issue facing teens that is also related to teen suicide and our unit novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. After researching and learning ...
    Posted Apr 24, 2015, 11:55 PM by Jason Brunken
  • Free digital tools to use with your final project While you are welcome to create your ads and logos on good old fashioned paper, you may want to use digital tools. Our graphics design expert will be better able ...
    Posted Apr 24, 2015, 5:59 PM by Jason Brunken
  • Final project: Suicide Prevention Ad Campiagn We're almost at the end of the year, and it is time for your final big project. For this project you will be working as part of a "marketing ...
    Posted Apr 18, 2015, 1:28 AM by Jason Brunken
  • Thirteen Reasons Why Blogging Assignment Thirteen Reasons Why can be a very disturbing book. It deals with some uncomfortable, but very real and very serious issues that students encounter in their lives. Your goal as ...
    Posted Mar 20, 2015, 1:08 AM by Jason Brunken
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