Sixth Grade Academic Program
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.
Sixth grade math lays the foundation for more abstract algebraic concepts. 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. 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, analyze daily budget expenses, and create graphs. Students use math vocabulary to express themselves and interpret new concepts covered throughout the year.
Sixth grade science is a lab- and project-based science course that begins a spiraling curriculum continuing through eighth grade. Units include: Matter and Motion, Energy and Energy Resources, and Cells, Populations and Environment. Students conduct experiments, collect and analyze data, create models, apply basic engineering principles and read and analyze information. Throughout the year students learn and utilize the Scientific method and scientific writing.
In conjunction with 6th grade science, the health course allows 6th graders to explore the influences and choices students encounter as they approach adolescence as well as learn the basics of physiology and organ systems. Students also take part in a program called Worth the Wait which focuses specifically on adolescence and decisions surrounding sexuality. The course allows students to practice and experience healthy life skills such as exercising, refusal skills, and meal planning and cooking.
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.