6th Grade Curriculum

Ancient & Medieval History

A survey of western history from the beginning of civilization through the Renaissance, this course emphasizes reading and study skills, as well as basic history skills: map reading, geography, using primary documents and note taking.


A course designed to help students become critical readers and thoughtful writers. Students read a variety of literature that represents different genres from poetry to novels. There is an emphasis on basic elements of style, vocabulary and grammar.

Math 6/Math 6 Honors

A course in operations and basic mathematical properties with whole numbers, fractions, mixed numbers and decimals, as well as ratios, proportions and percentages. The course also includes basic geometry, areas of rectangles, triangles and circles. All concepts utilize variables.

Systems and Interactions - Science 6

A course designed for students to experience different systems in all areas of science. Lab and study skills are emphasized: data collecting, graphing and developing a controlled experiment. Topics include: chemistry, human anatomy, environmental science, physics, astronomy and the metric system.

World Languages

Sixth graders pursue one language—French, Latin, or Spanish—throughout Middle School. Language level A is a basic introduction to the target language, as well as its culture, geography and history.


Sixth graders choose one of the following yearlong courses, which meet seven times during each eight-day rotation (as often as their core academic courses): band, chorus, strings or STEAM.


The Middle School band puts on two major concerts per year and stages other smaller performances for the student body. A variety of styles, including jazz, classical, popular, and Broadway, are showcased. Students learn how to read music, assemble and produce a characteristic tone on their instrument, and develop finger technique, ensemble balance and dynamics. Band develops lifelong skills that increase brainpower and build discipline, and the course offers a team atmosphere in which students make beautiful music with their friends.


A yearlong course for students who seek to develop their vocal and musical skills. Students learn various types of literature, including but not limited to classical, pop, jazz and Broadway. The primary focus of each class is to learn to read music and then develop those skills in a more refined way. Students also learn to match pitch, develop healthy breathing techniques and improve tone quality. There are numerous opportunities for solos within the choral group, and students perform at concerts, assemblies and various school events throughout the year.


The beginning strings course is offered for students with no prior musical experience and provides opportunities to serve as first chair for those musicians with the strongest musical skills and technique. The strings course in grades six, seven, and eight encourages and develops lifelong skills such as discipline, teamwork and accountability in a fun environment. The Middle School strings ensemble performs on campus throughout the school year and travels in the spring.


This yearlong elective selection is composed of a semester of design exploration and a quarter each of robotics and programming. In design exploration, the class will approach design as both a process—a mindset plus skills and techniques—and as a product—the production of things and ideas. Students will engage in several design projects moving from idea conception through iteration to user engagement. In robotics, students learn programming and design using LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots. Computer programming teaches students the basics of programming skills, helping them further develop their problem-solving and collaboration abilities.

Discovery Classes

Our Discovery program provides every student the opportunity to excel in co-curricular activities that enrich their core academic skills. Discovery courses equip students with the tools they need to take creative risks, ask questions, think critically and communicate effectively. Our custom-crafted curricula inspire young minds to push beyond their comfort zones as they become global citizens. These nine-week, single-gender courses allow our sixth graders to rotate through art, computer, drama I, and study strategies.


Visual art in the Middle School offers a balance between traditional methods of creating both two- and three-dimensional compositions and an exploration of more contemporary, challenging approaches to understanding more abstract, modern art. At all levels, students learn to question very specifically what qualities make a work of art. In sixth grade, art students focus on an exploration of architecture. Students work from observation and also learn to abstract views to create imaginary structures placed in intriguing settings.


In this discovery course, sixth graders learn about email, Internet and computer safety, etiquette and digital responsibility. The course begins with a focus on technology literacy and standards for evaluating web pages. Students then receive hands-on training to learn the functionality and location of different internal computer components, such as the hard drive and CPU. Students are taught basic Excel functionality, including the use of formulas, functions and tables to create spreadsheets. Students also review Word, PowerPoint and Keynote basics.


Drama introduces students to the world of performance and theatre. Students study the basic physical components of theatrical and para-theatrical places, speaking in public, and character development through pantomime, music and improvisation. Students are also taught to be good audience members. Lessons are brought to life through a combination of individual and group performances and are applied to realistic situations.

Study Strategies

This course aims to help students build organizational skills. Skills taught in this course include binder organization, computer keyboarding, note-taking, test-taking strategies, time management and reading strategies.

Physical Education

The physical education department strives to improve students' physical skills while also developing thinking, creating and feeling capacities. Students are exposed to cardio exercises, flag football, gymnastics, lacrosse, swimming, weight training, wrestling and personal fitness. All Middle School students are pre- and post-tested on the five components of fitness using the President's Fitness Challenge Test.

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