Curriculum (6th Grade)
Once our students get to sixth grade, they are more than ready for the exciting new learning experiences and challenges that lie ahead. Sixth grade is one of the more transformative years at MVS. It is a time of great growth—academically, socially, and emotionally. Our students are given more freedom to explore their passions with additional co-curricular and athletics offerings, and electives. They have more leadership opportunities and more avenues to build community with a diverse age group. New responsibilities, classes and immersive learning opportunities await our students in sixth grade.
- Social Science/Studies
- World Language
- Visual Arts
- Physical Education
In sixth-grade English, students develop reading, composition, grammar and vocabulary skills. By focusing on Mark Twain classics, class discussions on group novels, and a variety of writing assignments, the student projects cultivate the practice of writing well and developing ideas. Students learn to appreciate different of genres, apply numerous reading strategies, and write in a variety of modes to develop effective writing, speaking and listening skills.
It’s more than just climates and cultures in sixth-grade world geography. In middle school, world geography is inter-disciplinary in its scope, and students explore the regions throughout the world through geography, history, math, science and economics. With a project-based curriculum, students are given immersive learning assignments where they are able to build their skills, reflect mastery of content and even accelerate their own learning. Students will dive deep into content, analyzing the efforts of agriculture and resource management, discovering how culture and conditions co-evolved, and evaluating the relationship between geography and economics.
In pre-algebra, students are introduced to the language and reasoning of algebra while reinforcing the rational number operations—particularly with decimals and fractions, order of operations, ratios and proportions, percents, number properties, exponents, geometric figures, areas, and volumes. They begin the study of algebra with the following topics: multiple step equations, operations with positive and negative numbers, evaluating and simplification of expressions, linear equations with coordinate graphing. Probability and radicals are also included in this study along with the Pythagorean Theorem.
Sixth-grade science continues to foster the importance of inquiry to prepare our students for the 21st century. This course is activity and experiment-based, combining a variety of scientific sub-disciplines in the areas of life, physical, and earth science. Students will build upon skills developed in lower school as well as cultivate new ways of viewing the world around them. Skills emphasized include observation, inference, scientific modeling, collaboration, critical and creating thinking, problem-solving, and decision making.
After having chosen a specific language to study in their later lower school years, students are now introduced to the French language and take three languages in sixth grade: French, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish. These quarter-long exploratory courses inform our students which language they would like to commit to for continued study in middle school.
Each middle school visual arts course is a three year, semester long journey, with an emphasis on problem solving through the art making process. Students have the opportunity to explore a wide range of two and three-dimensional media. Artists, art in society, and art history are discussed as they relate to what the students are discovering in their personal work. Students are taught to recognize the elements of design, and through both private and group critiques, learn to communicate their ideas successfully.
Physical education courses are designed to provide students an opportunity to experience a variety of team sports, team building activities and fitness exercises. The following areas are emphasized: developing skills that improve one’s strength, endurance, flexibility, coordination, and speed; understanding the rules and regulations that govern each sport through participation in a variety of modified drills and games; understanding basic forms of team play and strategy; exhibiting sportsmanlike behavior; and developing team skills.
This course teaches the skills needed to use personal computers as tools for everyday work. The course focuses on word processing skills. Some time may be given to introducing the use of spreadsheets as well as general topics including disk management, use of the internal network, and computer terminology. Each student will proceed at his or her own pace within a structured environment.