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: Students in sixth-grade world history and geography classrooms learn about the lives of the earliest humans, the development of tools, the foraging way of life, agriculture, and the emergence of civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, ancient Israel, the Indus River valley, China, Meso-America, and the Mediterranean basin. Although teachers keep the focus on ancient events and problems, this course gives students the opportunity to grapple with geography, environmental issues, political systems and power structures, and civic engagement with fundamental ideas about citizenship, freedom, morality, and law, which also exist in the modern world. Students practice history as an interpretative discipline. They read written primary sources and secondary sources, investigate visual primary sources, and learn how to analyze multiple points of view, cite evidence from sources, and make claims based on that evidence in writing and speaking.
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.