Between the tenth and eleventh years, the imagination-laden world characteristic of early childhood undergoes a cognitive metamorphosis, which grants students the ability to form abstract concepts. Thought, before this time, has had a pictorial rather than a conceptual nature. “Thought” was literally imagination’s child, accounting for the emphasis placed on the cultivation of the child’s imaginative powers in the elementary school curriculum. The thinking that emerges from the matrix of a healthy imagination is a warm and mobile thinking, the fruit of the living pictures, which the world has brought to the child. They have awakened the child’s enthusiasm for, and interest in the world around him. Following the common core state standards, the curricula of the next three years are intended to provide experiences and learning opportunities to support and nurture this new ability.
Language Arts: The law-abiding, rule-bound culture of Rome offers an instructive backdrop for the sixth grade child in developing his/her English language skills. The Latin roots of common words and expressions are explored. Conventions of composition and research are elaborated upon this year, and the fundamentals of scientific writing are introduced to coincide with the science main lesson units. Formal grammar rules are also dealt with in greater detail. The beauty and order of calligraphy makes it another appropriate skill to be introduced in the sixth grade.
Math: Mathematics introduces percentage, interest, profit and loss, ration, proportion, estimation and introduction to algebraic equations. The study of economics will begin with basic computation into the beginning of algebra. Geometrical design is now done with the utmost accuracy with instruments. Families of geometric figures are constructed and studied for the numerical laws they embody. Geometry will incorporate geometric drawing, theorems and computation.
Science: Using the Next Generation Science Standards, observational skills are sharpened as students use the inquiry method to explore the curriculum and learn the scientific method. The physical sciences are taught with the study of acoustics, heat, magnetism, and static electricity. Through geology, ecology, physics and astronomy the laws of the earth are studied in the 6th grade.
History and Social Studies: The History curriculum that governs much of the sixth grade language arts work takes as its themes from Rome and medieval Christian Europe, and Muslim North Africa. The study of the Roman epoch begins with the mythical account of the travels of Aeneas and his founding of the city; it examines the evolution of Roman government, laws and rights through its successive rulers, the wars it waged, and its great achievements in technology and the arts; and it charts the events leading to its decline and the concomitant rise of Christianity and Islam.
Music: The focus in 6th grade is on forming the group into a string orchestra by building up their music reading skills, ensemble skills and rehearsal skills. Students are taught more advanced music reading skills and playing techniques. Students learn about the different time periods in music history and the stories of famous composers.
Geography: Student study the earth’s configuration and contrasts: distribution of oceans, seas, continents, and mountain masses with introduction of climate studies and first astronomical concepts. All of the major biomes on the earth are studied, with a special focus on latitudinal lines.
Technology: Introduction to computers begins this year with a study of keyboarding skills and cyber civics. Digital literacy is introduced to prepare the students to understand how to think ethically in cyberspace, how to act responsibly online, and how to avoid cyberbullying.
Movement: Most students have mastered gross motor skills. Games and activities offer continued practice to master all developmental motor skills. Students now gain confidence in cross lateral and eye-hand-foot exercises. Games pull the senses together in combination, assisting the child with reading speed, math sequencing, and problem solving skills. Sixth graders play team sports with balls, Frisbees and a variety of other equipment. Lead-up drills introduce less familiar sports in small skill sets to encourage mastery, confidence and enthusiasm. Group problem solving in games helps the group process in the classroom. Students work together to improve games, enhancing group communications skills and leadership qualities. In sixth grade, students participate in a special event called the Medieval Games. Students run races, participate in archery and tug of war events.
Art: Black and white drawing, shadows, landscapes, and color contrasts are taken up in painting.