6th Grade Curriculum
- Ancient & Medieval History
- Math 6/Math 6 Honors
- Systems and Interactions - Science 6
- World Languages
- Discovery Classes
- Physical Education
This course is designed to allow students to understand some of the cultures of the ancient world and explore the basis for modern society, including an introduction to organized religions. Although much of the course will focus on the different societies of Asia, Africa, and Europe, attention to geography will be a consistent theme throughout. We will engage in a variety of activities and projects to make the ancient world come to life, including reading Gilgamesh: The Hero, creating a tour guide for each area of the Ancient World we explore, and working in groups to write assessments for several textbook chapters.
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.
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.
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.