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Middle - 6th Grade
WHAT’S IT LIKE IN THE SIXTH GRADE?
The sixth grade curriculum at Saint Francis of Assisi School continues the pattern of academic rigor and spiritual and personal development that begins in the lower grades. In grade six, students gradually become accustomed to the challenges and responsibilities that come with being a middle-schooler. Here, students engage heavily in cooperative learning as a means of developing analytical, speaking, and appropriate interpersonal skills. Group learning not only develops students’ ability to appropriately interact with others; it also encourages them to esteem the thoughts of their peers and others and fosters a sense of responsibility and trust in others.
The sixth grade curriculum is both exciting and challenging. In social studies, students learn and exercise map skills, including locating obscure areas of the world using map coordinates and measuring the distance between various locations using the map scale. Students also learn about the ancient world and how it compares and contrasts with our world today by studying ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, and ancient Greece. Sixth grade social studies is writing-intensive and heavily integrates literature and language. For instance, over the course of the school year, students read texts such as Gilgamesh the Hero, The Wanderings of Odysseus, and myths and legends from ancient Egypt.
Since the sixth grade social studies curriculum is bound so closely with literature and language, the sixth grade English Language Arts curriculum, which is also writing-intensive, has more of a humanities lean. Students regularly learn and practice using new vocabulary words, appropriate grammar usage, and writing full-bodied, analytical essays. Students also write speeches, engage in both school-wide and classroom oratorical contests, and write (and sometimes act out) pieces of fiction that properly incorporate particular vocabulary words,
In math, students begin preparing for the rigors of high school by learning basic skills in whole numbers, fractions and decimals. In addition, sixth graders learn about percentage and probability and are introduced to geometry, measurement (i.e. perimeter and area), and integers. All of these skills are thoroughly taught and practiced, laying the foundation for our students to excel at math not only in grades 7 and 8, but also in high school.
Sixth grade science encourages students to think like scientists through hands-on classroom activities and projects. Students are introduced to the Scientific Method as well as to the basics of physics, chemistry, atoms and molecules, states of matter, electricity, and Newton’s laws. Students write lab reports and locate science-related articles from the news media showing the ways in which science affects us in everyday life.
Sixth graders at Saint Francis of Assisi continue taking special subjects such as Italian, Art, Music, Library/Resource, and Physical Education. These special subjects are intended to expose students to the arts while also appealing to the talents of each student at our school.
The beauty of Saint Francis of Assisi School lies in the fact that students receive an impressive education in a Catholic Christian environment. Religion, one of the major subjects at Saint Francis, revolves around the Word of God and Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the sixth grade, students learn the history of our Christian faith by reading the Old Testament. They learn about the patriarchs of our faith, including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses; about the great kings such as David and Solomon; and about the prophets, including Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah and Isaiah, who long foresaw the coming of our Savior. Students also learn how to locate passages in the Bible, read the poetry of King David in the Psalms, the wisdom of King Solomon in Proverbs, and write scripture journals each week based on the Gospel reading of the day. By viewing our faith through the lens of the past, Saint Francis of Assisi’s sixth graders understand that Our Savior, as found in the New Testament, was long heralded in the Old.
The transition from 5th grade to middle school can be a daunting one for any student. Thankfully, Saint Francis of Assisi School is a place that encourages, engages, and nurtures the whole child.