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Ideal Sixth Grade Curriculum

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Realism is still a very important part of the curriculum at the sixth grade level.  The concepts presented become much more involved and challenging.  Perspective and new experimental approached to color are stressed.

 

Color:

  • Prang color wheel lecture
  • Value - Still life various values of same color
  • Intensity -  colored pencil, animal, animal print in background less intense

Goal:

Be able to recognize complimentary, analagous, and monochromatic colors.

 

Design:

  • Design through the still life
  • Negative space assignment
  • Design and composition in animal print assignment

Goal:

Learn to express formal, informal, and radial design and positive and negative areas.

 

Life form:

  • Have holding objects - Line, value, color if time

Goal:

Learn to shade face and emphasize realism in form.

 

Still Life:

  • Value stressed
  • Line, contour, and shaded drawings introduced
  • Still life painting
  • Learn to use eye to judge shape
  • Draw what you see not what you think you see
  • Perspective - one paint

Goals:

  • Learn that movement can lead to center of interest and emphasis is placed on variety and originality.
  • Learn to use tools and eye.

 

Perspective:

Goal:  Learn one point perspective using ruler and horizon line.

 

Painting:

Water color techniques - still life

Goals:

  • Learn tempera painting by starting with big shapes of color and then adding details.
  • Learn watercolor painting by using wet on wet and dry brush techniques.
  • Use a good composition by filling in the paper and experimenting with shapes and lines.
  • Experiment with tools, other than a brush in painting (e.g. sponge, sticks, finger, feathers, etc.).
  • Use watercolor and tempera paints with other media.
  • Learn to mix their own tempera and acrylic paints and use of brushes in watercolor and India ink painting.
  • Learn shades, tones, and values of colors and their visual impact emotionally on a painting.
  • Be exposed to different painting styles of different artists.

 

Sculpture:

  • Learn to use different materials to form a sculpture (e.g. paper, styrofoam, clay, tin, wood, paper mache, and found objects).
  • Learn to assemble sculpture by cutting, bending, folding, tearing, piercing, overlapping, and balancing pieces.
  • Introduced to the concept of form and movement in space and positive and negative space.
  • Recognize sculpture principles of mass, weight, structure, texture, power of form, color, and personal expression.
  • Learn to use these clay methods - pinch, slab, and coil - for form a sculpture.
  • Learn proper use of tools in hand building with clay and cleaning-up procedures.

 

Collage:

  • Identify collages with variations of textures, colors, and shapes.
  • Learn to make a montage.
  • Learn to make a collage using found objects, paper, labels, and natural objects.
  • Learn when collage was used and why.

 

Pastels:

  • Learn how pastels are made.
  • Employ a nub of paper to blend pastel colors together.
  • Use pastels with other media (crayon, watercolor, ink, charcoal).

 

 

 

Jewelry:

  • Be aware of types of jewelry made in different cultures and times of history.
  • Learn to make jewelry using the enamel process.
  • Experiment with jewelry construction using clay, paper mache, leather, wire, bread dough, plastic, and fabric.

 

The sixth grade curriculum provides students with life skills, academic knowledge, attitudes, and values that enhance students' overall intellectual competence and social and emotional well being. Teachers prepare students for upper elementary proficiencies, integrating a variety of co-curricular areas, such as library science, computer science, physical education, fine arts, music, and drama into their curriculum. Students engage in large-scale, interdisciplinary projects, which stimulate higher order logic and reasoning. Students are encouraged to think for themselves and to make decisions that promote the good of the school community, as well as their family and the broader society.

I. ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERACY

The study of the English language and literacy at the sixth grade level advances students' understanding of four language processes; writing, reading, speaking, and listening. Opportunities for interdisciplinary instruction are utilized during the sixth grade year. These include the study of ancient Greece, computer research, and an introduction to a three-year sequence in the study of public speaking. Other subject matter includes creative writing, narratives, short stories, traditional and adolescent literature, life maps, storytelling, and assuming leadership roles.

A. The study of writing at the sixth grade level promotes the use of clear oral and written communication skills. In writing, students use strong verbs, complete sentences, and standard grammar conventions. Varying sentence structure within pieces while using a standard format encourages students to stylize their writing.

Students write in response to literature, experimenting with the writing process by comparing and contrasting literary forms and genres. Using the writing workshop approach, students develop creative thinking, confidence, and enjoyment in writing while enhancing their skills.

As students learn to write more detailed paragraphs, they are free to express personal thoughts and ideas. Students consider leads, purpose, audience, setting, dialogue, and voice as they experiment with written form and style. Specific writing experiences include research papers and competitive writing using prompts. Students participate in mini-lessons integrating complex vocabulary and sentence structure with proper grammar and paragraph structure, while improving fluency and writing mechanics. Mechanical aspects of writing are taught through conversational instruction so students learn to evaluate different genres and personal ways of writing as a way of life.

1. Reintroduce elements of clear written communication skills.
2. Model use of strong verbs and varied sentence structure using standard conventions of grammar.
3. Reinforce the use of standard format.
4. Encourage expression of personal ideas freely in discussions.
5. Provide opportunities to select widely varied literature and write about what they read.
6. Help students understand written composition as creative writing using standard format.
7. Guide the gathering of research data and use the process of writing to develop research reports.
8. Use writer's workshop approach with lessons for writing process.
9. Develop paragraphs to accommodate a specific purpose and audience.
10. Provide opportunities to incorporate setting, dialogue, and voice.

B. The study of reading at the sixth grade level promotes students' appreciation of literature through a variety of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry including fables, fairy tales, biographies, myths, Greek stories, and an introduction of the essay literary form.

Literature is related to historical events, people, and places. Students research major topics according to a standard process of gathering and analyzing information. Guided research of Greek culture and its contributions to the world is emphasized. References to mythology in literature of subsequent eras are identified.

1. Develop students' critical thinking skills through journals and class discussions about literature as well as through informal conversations.
2. Promote reflective and interpretive strategies with which to compare and contrast genres.
3. Model and demonstrate good writing style, written commentary, and informal notes.
4. Develop students' use of conventional interpretation of reading selections.
5. Promote exploration of plot, character, setting, theme, tone, point of view, and style, both individually and in group activities.
6. Plan research on Greek cities, art, and scientific achievements.
7. Recognize and appreciate Greek, Roman, and European cultures.
8. Recognize references to mythologies in literature of subsequent eras.
9. Model reading and writing every day to promote enjoyment and skill development.
10. Focus students on steps they need to take to complete "A Day In The Life" project in which students explore literary genres and become engaged in composing, writing, and producing a personal view of a day in each student's life. Recognition of the importance of voice, purpose, the role of an audience, and presentation form are integrated into this process.

C. The study of public speaking at the sixth grade level refers to classroom sharing of ideas, reading aloud, and presenting and interpreting a meaningful quotation to the Middle School student body. Experience in visual and dramatic presentations enhance students' ability to speak with appropriate projection, expression, clarity, and poise. Students learn about quotations, poetry, and speech making, as well as the importance of clear oral language.

II. FRENCH

The study of the French language, at the sixth grade level, is the study of writing, reading, and speaking French in the classroom in a conversational manner. Goals are geared to students' identifying and spelling beginning vocabulary words, employing French alphabet and accents, and recognizing definite and indefinite determiners, as well as writing simple greetings. Students participate in class by answering simple questions and engaging in dialogue.

Teachers encourage students to acquire a practical vocabulary and work towards a good French accent by modeling fluency in the language. Students converse in social expressions.

1. Reintroduce greetings, classroom commands, days of week, months, dates, seasons, and time.
2. Promote continuous paragraph writing using past and present vocabulary words and standard pronunciation.
3. Integrate correct spelling into paragraph writing.
4. Provide opportunities to read simple paragraphs and text.
5. Practice reading and writing numbers 1 through 70.
6. Identify definite and indefinite determiners.
7. Practice alphabet, stress accents and correct pronunciation.
8. Introduce pronouns "voici" and "voila".
9. Promote oral language participation in discussions by incorporating answers to simple questions and vocabulary.
10. Discuss formation of questions and answers using basic vocabulary.

III. MATHEMATICS

A. The study of the accelerated math program at the sixth grade level is designed for students who are approaching mastery of whole number operations and have well-developed problem-solving strategies. The emphasis is on gaining an understanding of advanced procedures while performing the processes of computation. Students in this program synthesize, conceptualize, and integrate mathematical principles and apply concepts to problem solving with easy transfer.

The curriculum is organized to accommodate occasional reinforcement and ongoing enrichment while providing a broad program of instruction in basic skills, concepts, and computation. The curriculum promotes integration of math with other disciplines while incorporating diverse problem-solving experiences and strategies to promote divergent and convergent thinking skills and develop an appreciation for mathematics.

1. Instructional goals for the study of zero and positive whole numbers at the sixth grade level:

a. Extend reading and writing numerals to 12+ places.
b. Review using expanded notation.
c. Identify subsets as even or odd numbers, prime, or composite numbers.
d. Reintroduce abundant, deficient, and perfect mathematics.
e. Promote mastery of rounding and estimating.
f. Review and expand rules for divisibility.
g. Review and expand whole number properties.
h. Review and extend square numbers and square roots.
i. Introduce triangular and rectangular numbers.
j. Develop equivalent names for numbers.
k. Provide practice in comparing numbers using symbols of relation.
l. Review performing the basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in problem context.
m. Review identifying factors and multiples.
n. Introduce use of prime factorization to determine greatest common factor and least common multiple.
o. Review and extend evaluating exponential expressions.
p. Extend use of inverse operations to solve for missing values.
q. Review and apply whole number operations to multi-step problems.

2. Instructional goals for the study of decimals at the sixth grade level:

a. Develop and reinforce reading and writing decimals to millionths.
b. Use expanding form to reinforce place value.
c. Review converting decimals to fractions.
d. Introduce complex decimals and fraction equivalents; i.e., 16 2/3 = 1/6.
e. Review comparing decimals using >, <, and =.
f. Introduce dividing by a decimal.
g. Review and extend performing basic operations using decimals.
h. Introduce multiplication and division by powers of 10.
i. Provide opportunities to apply decimals in writing equations and solving problems.

3. Instructional goals for the study of fractions at the sixth grade level:

a. Promote mastery of identifying part of a region or group and expressing the value in fraction form.
b. Promote mastery of determining equivalent fractions.
c. Promote mastery of simplifying fractions to lowest terms.
d. Promote mastery of interchanging mixed numbers and improper fractions.
e. Develop comparing fractions using >, <, and =.
f. Develop performance of basic operations.
g. Develop recognition of a fraction as a division problem.
h. Review and extend converting fractions to decimals.
i. Provide practice in applying fractions in writing equations and problem solving.

4. Instructional goals for the study of geometry at the sixth grade level:

a. Promote mastery of identifying and naming basic figures.
b. Promote mastery of classifying angles according to acute, obtuse, right, and straight.
c. Promote mastery of measuring angles using a protractor.
d. Introduce use of angle relationships to prove angle measurement; e.g., vertical and corresponding.
e. Develop identifying plane figures.
f. Develop classifying triangles and quadrilaterals.
g. Promote mastery of recognizing congruence.
h. Reintroduce similar figures.
i. Develop determining lines of symmetry.
j. Reintroduce identifying and drawing transformations of rotation, reflection, and translation.
k. Guide students in using a compass to construct line segments, angles, parallel, and perpendicular lines.
l. Refine and synthesize identifying geometric solids.
m. Provide practice and appreciation for finding perimeter and circumference.
n. Reintroduce estimating areas of regular and irregular figures.
o. Review and extend finding area of plane figures.
p. Introduce finding area of irregular figures.
q. Introduce finding surface area of cubes and rectangular prisms, triangular prisms, and cylinders.
r. Develop finding volume of cubes, rectangular prisms, triangular prisms, and cylinders.
s. Introduce x- and y-axis and quadrants of coordinate plane.
t. Develop identifying and plotting ordered pairs on a coordinate plane.
u. Extend knowledge of reading, writing, and applying formulas to real world problems.

5. Instructional goals for the study of systems of measurement at the sixth grade level:

a. Introduce definition of metric prefixes.
b. Introduce comparison of metric units of measure to place value system using powers of 10.
c. Promote mastery in recognizing appropriate metric and U.S. customary units for distance, volume, and weight.
d. Develop usage of metric and U.S. ruler scales to any given unit.
e. Develop conversion of measurements within each system.
f. Reintroduce adding and subtracting U.S. customary measurements.
g. Introduce multiplication and division of U.S. customary measurements.

6. Instructional goals for the study of statistics, graphing, and probability at the sixth grade level:

a. Develop interpretation and construction of line, bar, and circle graphs.
b. Develop analyzing and ordering data to determine mean, median, mode, and range.
c. Develop making predictions and calculating probability of events.
d. Introduce the process of sample selection.

7. Instructional goals for the study of ratio, proportion and percent at the sixth grade level:

a. Develop reading and writing of ratios.
b. Introduce writing and solving proportions as two equivalent ratios.
c. Introduce applying proportions to map scales, scale drawings, and word problems.
d. Introduce determining a percent of a region or group.
e. Reintroduce converting percents to decimals and fractions.
f. Introduce determining unknown rate, base, and percentage.
g. Introduce applying formula to business problems.

8. Instructional goals for the study of integers as whole numbers and their opposites at the sixth grade level:

a. Develop identification of positive and negative values on a number line.
b. Introduce comparing signed numbers.
c. Introduce adding and subtracting signed numbers.
d. Introduce applications to problem solving.
e. Introduce absolute value.

B. The study of the basic mathematics program at the sixth grade level requires a concrete and visual teaching approach to develop an understanding of mathematics by using concrete materials and applying abstract ideas to them. When students enter this program they should have mastered basic facts and be able to perform whole number operations. Students may still need practice dividing with two-digit divisors and experience with fractions and decimals continue to be in the formative stages.

Whole numbers and their relationships, as well as an extensive geometry unit, comprise the major part of the curriculum. Percent applications and positive and negative numbers are taught on an introductory level. The basic mathematical instructional goals are identical to those stated in the accelerated course, providing a challenging program at both levels to meet the individual needs of students.

1. Instructional goals for the study of zero and positive whole numbers at the sixth grade level:

a. Promote mastery of reading and writing numerals to 9+ places.
b. Develop use of expanded notation.
c. Develop identification of subsets as even or odd numbers, prime or composite numbers.
d. Develop identification of squares and square roots.
e. Review rounding and estimating.
f. Promote mastery of comparing numbers using symbols of relation.
g. Review and extend rules of divisibility.
h. Develop performance of basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
i. Review identification of factors and multiples.
j. Introduce use of prime factorization to determine greatest common factor and least common multiple.
k Reintroduce evaluation of exponential expressions.
l. Introduce use of inverse operations to solve for missing values.
m. Review and extend whole number properties.
n. Provide practice in applying whole numbers to multi-step problems.

2. Instructional goals for the study of decimals at the sixth grade level:

a. Develop reading and writing of decimals to ten thousandths.
b. Review using expanded form to reinforce place value.
c. Provide practice in converting decimals to fractions.
d. Review comparing decimals using >, <, and =.
e. Review and extend performing basic operations using decimals.
f. Introduce division by a decimal.
g. Introduce multiplication and division by powers of 10.
h. Provide practice in applying decimals in writing equations and solving problems.

3. Instructional goals for the study of fractions at the sixth grade level:

a. Develop identification of part of a region or group and expressing the value in fraction form.
b. Review determining equivalent fractions.
c. Review simplifying fractions to lowest terms.
d. Review and extend comparing fractions using >, <, and =.
e. Develop interchanging mixed numbers and improper fractions.
f. Introduce concepts of reciprocal and division process.
g. Develop performing basic operations.
h. Develop recognition of a fraction as a division problem.
i. Review and extend converting fractions to decimals.
j. Provide application of fractions in writing equations and problem solving.

4. Instructional goals for the study of geometry at the sixth grade level:

a. Promote mastery of identifying and naming basic figures.
b. Promote mastery of classifying angles according to acute, obtuse, right, and straight.
c. Develop measuring angles using a protractor.
d. Introduce use of angle relationships to prove angle measurement.
e. Review identifying plane figures.
f. Develop classification of triangles and quadrilaterals.
g. Promote mastery of recognizing congruence.
h. Reintroduce recognition of similar figures.
i. Develop determining lines of symmetry.
j. Introduce identification and drawing transformations of rotation, reflection, and translation.
k. Review and extend identifying geometric solids.
l. Develop finding perimeter and circumference.
m. Reintroduce estimating areas of regular and irregular figures.
n. Review and extend finding area of plane figures.
o. Introduce finding surface area of cubes and rectangular prisms.
p. Develop finding volume of cubes and rectangular prisms.
q. Provide practice in reading, writing, and applying formulas to real world problems.

5. Instructional goals for the study of systems of measurement at the sixth grade level:

a. Introduce defining metric prefixes.
b. Introduce comparison of metric units of measure to place value system using powers of 10.
c. Develop recognition of appropriate metric and U.S. customary units for distance, volume, and weight.
d. Develop use of metric and U.S. customary scales on a ruler.
e. Develop conversion of measurements within each system.
f. Reintroduce adding and subtracting U.S. customary measurements.
g. Introduce multiplication and division of U.S. customary measurements.

6. Instructional goals for the study of statistics, graphing, and probability at the sixth grade level:

a. Develop interpretation and construction of line, bar, and circle graphs.
b. Develop analyzing and ordering data to determine mean, median, mode, and range.
c. Develop making predictions and calculating probability of events.

7. Instructional goals for the study of ratio, proportion, and percent at the sixth grade level:

a. Introduce writing and solving proportions as two equivalent ratios.
b. Introduce applying proportions to map scales, scale drawings, and word problems.
c. Introduce determining a percent of a region or group.
d. Reintroduce converting percents to decimals and fractions.
e. Introduce finding a percentage of a number.

8. Instructional goals for the study of Integers as whole numbers and their opposites at the sixth grade level:

a. Develop identification of positive and negative values.
b. Introduce comparison of signed numbers.
c. Introduce adding signed numbers.

IV. SCIENCE

The study of science at the sixth grade level integrates life, earth, physical and environmental sciences into the study of the diversity and unity of life. Students learn the structure properties and forces that shape the earth and its inhabitants. Students learn six basic characteristics that define a living organism, through laboratory experiences, classifying and organizing living and non-living things based on shared traits and properties.

A. Instructional goals for the study of classifying organisms at the sixth grade level allows students to discover six characteristics of living organisms through several laboratory experiences that challenges them to observe these characteristics as compared to non-living objects.

1. Compare and contrast living and non-living things.
2. Instruct students in ways to develop their own system for classifying and organizing objects into groups based on shared traits.
3. Introduce the Linnaeus' system for classifying living organisms.
4. Provide an introduction to the structure and features of living creatures.
5. Define and discuss binomial nomenclature.

B. Instructional goals for the study of biomes at the sixth grade level:

1. The earth is divided into eight biomes with unique climate and soil types, which determine the plants and animals that live in them.
2. Introduce the ocean, tundra, taiga, temperate forest, grassland, rainforest, desert, and chaparral biomes.
3. Investigate the interconnection between the elements of each biome.
4. Provide opportunities to explore the features of each biome.
5. Compare and contrast among different biomes.

C. Instructional goals for the study of rocks and minerals at the sixth grade level:

1. Recall that rocks and minerals are the result of forces in and on the earth's surface.
2. Review minerals as building blocks of rocks.
3. Reintroduce forces that form igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.
4. Develop students' understanding of scientific processes geologists use to put forth a history of earth through fossils and dating of earth materials to establish the events in geological time.
5. Reintroduce mapping skills and review understanding of the earth's history through creating time lines.
6. Reintroduce plate tectonics and the results of moving landmasses.
7. Demonstrate the movement of landforms.
8. Relate earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain building to plate tectonics.

D. Instructional goals for the study of weather at the sixth grade level:

1. Show the interrelationship between water, air, and the sun's energy.
2. Guide and assist in experiences demonstrating competing forces of nature that direct the earth's atmospheric conditions.
3. Introduce weather technology in forecasting weather and the people involved.
4. Assist students in formulating weather forecasts on a regular basis.
5. Develop student's ability to identify, define, and give examples of causes and effects of intense weather phenomena, such as El Nino, thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, monsoons, and drought.

V. SOCIAL STUDIES

The study of social studies at the sixth grade level is a process of understanding norms and values of each time and specific ideas that impact history. Various geographical features of the ancient world in the context of early human development, ancient China, Greek, and Roman civilizations, and other areas of the world are taught by means of integrated projects in order to impress students with historical influences on modern times and current events.

History, geography, economics, culture, ethics, belief systems, and social and political systems are incorporated into the study of ancient times and modern interpretations. Students develop an awareness of the world around them, both past and present. Students acquire a series of skills and concepts as they investigate the ancient world.

1. Instill information about unique aspects of each culture.
2. Use literature and current events to make links with the past.
3. Examine and interpret information sources.
4. Understand and use terms to describe relative size and distance, and identify and use map scales.
5. Focus on geography and its effects on human life and history.
6. Provide understanding of five basic themes of geography: location, characteristics of place, mental interaction, movement, and regions.

A. The study of early humans at the sixth grade level provides clues to the past and allows students to examine the development of culture. The study of early humans teaches students about roles in primitive society, how men were hunters and women were gatherers and healers, and the evolution of farming and urban development.

1. Develop empathy with people of the past and motivate students' interest.
2. Understand that people began to settle and live near one another leading to the beginnings of villages, cities, and ending with civilization.
3. Interview students about their family trees.

B. The study of the Fertile Crescent and Mesopotamia at the sixth grade level develops students' knowledge of Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians, and provides an introduction to the concept of a city-state. The emphasis is on the strengths of the ancient Mesopotamians, their empires, and their contributions to other world civilizations.

C. The study of ancient India at the sixth grade level introduces students to the Indus Valley, Aryans, Buddhism, and Hinduism, so that they may discover the many different peoples of the Indian peninsula in ancient times and the various empires and religions, which had lasting effects on the history of India.

D. The study of Ancient China at the sixth grade level is the study of early history, Confucius, and Han Dynasty and may be compared and contrasted with more modern times in light of ten years of changing U.S. relations with China and the acquisition of Hong Kong. Students also study China as an ancient, but continuous civilization, providing students with opportunities to understand how Middle Eastern and Asian Pacific rim cultures and countries developed independently from the West and became globally powerful.

E. The study of the Ancient Greeks at the sixth grade level, as an interdisciplinary unit, explores the emergence of city-states in Athens and Sparta, and the Golden Age, Peloponnesian War, Alexander the Great, and Greek contributions to our current life. Students gain an appreciation of the early history of ancient Greece while learning their ways of thinking and how it became the basis for contemporary philosophy. Students are guided to discover Greek ideals and important ideas like empowerment and how these ideas became the foundation of Western civilization.

F. The study of the ancient Israelites at the sixth grade level introduces students to religious and biblical history and elements of religious thought that draw attention to religious beliefs and the importance of sacraments and titles, such as kings, prophets, and priests. Students examine the contributions of the ancient Hebrews to the shaping of Western ideas and values.

G. The study of the Rise of the Roman Empire at the sixth grade level focuses on the birth, rise, and expansion of the Roman Republic, Greece, Rome, Roman Empire, Christianity, and the Fall of Rome. Students examine the forces that created conditions in the world that led to the formation of the Roman Republic from its beginnings until the rule of Julius Caesar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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