Sixth grade literature connects reading and vocabulary to our social studies ancient cultures curriculum. Enhanced reading comprehension skills are our first academic priority. A lifelong love of reading is our main intent. Character analysis, sequencing, inferences, words in context, plus a variety of other literary techniques (tone, foreshadowing, flashback, etc.) are practiced. Role plays, Readers Theater, theatrical productions, monologues and dialogues, classroom “settings,” and costumes provide expanded learning opportunities. Independent reading is encouraged throughout the year, and one day each month is devoted to personal pleasure reading in our library.
Sixth grade writing lab provides various writing experiences (letters, description, poetry, drama, short stories, essays, and research) with the expectation that students grow in their ability to organize and edit their compositions over the year. Students broaden their understanding of English grammar, specifically the function of a sentence’s parts and punctuation. Spelling curriculum focuses on etymological patterns. In keeping with a grade-level theme of presentation, students explore proper principles of visual design and organization as it applies to presentation, publishing, and movie-making software.
The sixth grade math curriculum culminates the elementary years and lays the foundation for more abstract algebraic concepts. During the entire year, students review and extend their understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division operations with whole numbers, decimal values, and signed numbers. Multiplication and division with fractions and mixed numbers is introduced and examined in detail. Percent problems and conversions are studied throughout the year. In statistics and graphing, students create and interpret multiple types of graphs for meaning and differentiate between the uses of data landmarks. Geometry topics explore angle relationships, transformations, coordinate graphing, classifications and definitions of polygons and polyhedrons, area, perimeter, circumference, surface area and volume. Probability, interpretation of Venn diagrams and the fairness of games are investigated. The process for solving one-step algebraic equations is introduced along with using rates and proportions to solve for missing values. Students use Excel spreadsheets to record and analyze and create graphs. Students use math vocabulary to express themselves and interpret new concepts covered throughout the year.
6th Grade science includes three modules which span the three major strands of science. At the beginning of the year, we study Weather, a branch of Earth science. We integrate the study with both Language Arts and History. Through the middle part of the year, we study Force and Motion, a branch of physical science. Toward the end of the year, we study Diversity of Life as a Life Science unit.
Our curriculum is inquiry based and relies heavily on hands on activities. Students work toward mastery of science practices such as measurement, observation, experimental design, and problem solving.
The sixth grade ancient civilizations course begins with a unit on prehistory followed by the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, Greece and Rome. Students learn major accomplishments of these ancient civilizations and their impact on the world. The curriculum develops awareness of the essence of civilizations: how they develop, endure, and collapse. Students understand how geography influences societal development, and they extract historical information from primary sources including art and architecture. Students develop their writing and research skills by writing compare /contrast, opinion and informational essays. Students’ critical thinking skills, including analysis, synthesis and evaluation are engaged through various creative endeavors. Long-term assignments hone time management skills.
Sixth grade French introduces basic vocabulary associated with self-introduction, greetings, family members, counting, colors, basic food and telling time. Proper pronunciation is modeled and encouraged. The grammar focuses on recognition of gender and proper part of the speech. Cultural traditions are explored through cooking and skits.
Sixth grade German equally addresses listening comprehension, written skills, and oral skills. The curriculum includes: an introduction to Germany and the German culture; greeting and saying farewell; introducing oneself and someone else; numbers and telephone numbers; asking where someone is from; phrasing a question; family members, time (normal and 24-hour); the days and the months; coordinating nouns with their correct definite articles; reading and discussing a first reading selection.
In sixth grade Spanish students further develop their ability to speak, listen and write the language. The students learn the infinitive verbs ending in ar, er and ir; expressing agreement or disagreement; the gender and number of the nouns; and adjective-noun agreement. They learn how to conjugate regular verbs in present tense. They start using the verbs ser and estar in expressions.