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6th Grade Curriculum

English

The objectives of Sixth Grade English are to cultivate a love of reading and build vocabulary skills. Collectively, we study the following texts and novels: Daily Grammar Practice: Workbook 7; Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; The Giver; Animal Farm; Out of the Dust; and After the Dancing Day. In addition, students read and begin to formally study various selections of poetry. Students also take weekly vocabulary/spelling tests. Also, we try to reinforce and expand students' knowledge of grammar and improve writing. A special emphasis is placed on the writing process, as students write about literature and themselves. Throughout the year, students compose informal meditations, expository essays, and persuasive essays.

English Curriculum Guide

Fine Arts

Art
Sixth Graders rotate among the electives. In this fun and relaxed atmosphere young art students work in different media and learn different techniques to develope their motor skills and critical thinking.

Choir(Quarter-long Rotation)
This class covers the rudiments of music and music theory fundamentals and introduces the young student to the language of music and to music's design and structure. This information is supported with children's songs and some two-part anthems as dictated by the musical aptitude of the group.

Creative Writing(Quarter-long Rotation)
Students produce creative non-gfiction, short stories, poetry, and drama. The students enter local and national writing contests and frequesntly win awards. Whenever possible, teachers welcome local writers into the classroom to encourage and inspire our budding artists. Most of the workshops are held in the computer labs, where students may easily compose, revise, and archive finished pieces. Student work is occasionally presented to small groups for peer editing. Finished products are kept on file, forming the student's portfolio, and the basis of The Dragon's Tooth and The Dragon's Toe, Altamont's creative writing publications.

String Ensemble(Year-long Rotation)
Designed for beginner and intermediate string (violin, viola, cell, and doublebass) players, this course will develop and strengthen music reading skills, the technical aspects of playing, and musical sensibilities. The ensemble will participate in the orchestra concerts throughout the year. No prior string or musical experience required. Students are strongly encouraged to sign up for lessons.

Music Appreciation(Quater-long Rotation)
In this quarter-long class, students will learn how to read sheet music, a brief history of Western music, and the different orchestral instruments. Students will also have the chance to play on different musical instruments. No prior musical experience required.

Photography(Quarter-long Rotation)
Prerequisite: An inexpensive digital camera labeled with a strap and memory card.
Photography class will be an exciting mix of studio work, outside projects and beginning Photoshop on the computer. Students will have opportunities to photograph at school and at home and combine those with fun and creative projects in the classroom.

Theatre(Quarter-long Rotation)
Lower School Drama is an elective course designed to give students an overview of theatre from multiple perspectives. Through various projects and exercises, fifth and sixth graders explore elements of acting and performance. Special emphasis is placed on physical acting through pantomime and on verbal acting through readers theatre and storytelling. Students also work with ensemble-building and interaction with their peers.

Page to Stage(Quarter-long Rotation)
An exploration of performance through playwriting, Storytelling, Readers Theater and Interpretation. Students will present both group and individual performances in various styles.

Fine Arts Curriculum Guide

Health/Physical Education

Lower school students are divided into classes by gender and receive instruction in a variety of team and individual sports and activities. Current offerings include basketball, softball, indoor and outdoor soccer, flag football, track and field, volleyball, tennis, and ultimate Frisbee.

Health/Physical Education Curriculum Guide

History/Social Science

The sixth grade course is an engaging exploration of American history from Reconstruction to the present. Major topics covered during the year include post Civil-War industrialization, the settlement of the trans-Mississippi west, the Spanish-American War, the Progressive era, World War I, social and cultural developments during the 1920s, the Great Depression and New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, the Civil Rights movement, and the Vietnam War. As in the fifth grade, students are instructed in basic note taking, research, and writing skills in preparation for more advanced work in history. The course employs class discussion and cooperative learning exercises to communicate to students the importance of both effective oral and written communication.

History/Social Science Curriculum Guide

Mathematics

Mathematics Course II is designed to build on the skills and concepts learned in Course I. Concepts covered include variables and patterns in algebraic thinking, ratios and proportions, integers and rational numbers, three-dimensional measurement, probability, and statistics. The curriculum promotes development of students’ understanding of concepts and procedures in a way that also fosters their ability to solve problems, reason, and communicate mathematically.

5th/6th Grade Math Team (Subject to approval)
Members investigate mathematics in a collaborative, relaxed atmosphere, learning to look for patterns and using a variety of approaches to problem solving. Students grapple with many different problem situations in a non-threatening environment, discovering that there is often more than one way to solve a problem and that some problems have more than one answer. Students participate in several math competitions throughout the year.

Mathematics Curriculum Guide

Science

The second course in science incorporates a variety of hands-on projects designed to solve problems using scientific methods and to further develop research and experimental design skills through science projects. It seeks to further stimulate student interest in a broad range of science subjects. This project- oriented approach to scientific topics includes environmental science, geology, topography, electricity, magnetism, sound, and light. Students are required to complete a science fair project for the junior division of our annual science fair.

Science Curriculum Guide

World Languages

French
This 6th grade course is designed to lay the foundation for a smooth transition into French I in the 7th grade. Designed as a vicarious trip to France, classroom instruction emphasizes oral proficiency and listening comprehension, as well as basic grammatical concepts such as gender, verb conjugations, and agreement. In addition to the general storyline of the course, songs and short oral recitations enhance vocabulary acquisition and introduce more complex structures.

Latin
The sixth grade course emphasizes the Roman people and culture and introduces students gradually to the beginning precepts of Latin grammar. Latin vocabulary and English derivatives are also a main emphasis. This course is designed to prepare students for a smooth transition into the faster pace of Level I.

Mandarin
This 6th Grade course is designed to lay the foundation for a smooth transition into Mandarin I. Students will focus on the four key areas of language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students are introduced to phonology and vocabulary themes, grammar concepts, and sentence structure to enrich their linguistic knowledge. They will learn to use basic, simple language related to personal and daily activities, such as greetings, self-introduction, family, dates and time, hobbies, colors, and aspect of Chinese culture. The course actively engages students in completing a variety of activities, practices, tasks and assessments. Through the course, students will begin to develop confidence functioning in a Chinese language and culture environment.

Spanish
This course is designed to lay the foundation for a smooth transition into Spanish I in the 7th grade. It emphasizes oral proficiency and listening comprehension as well as basic grammatical concepts such as gender, verb conjugations, and agreement. Stories, songs and frequent short oral recitations promote vocabulary acquisition and introduce more complex structures. Instruction is in both Spanish and English, but students are expected to use Spanish whenever possible. This is a novice-low level course.

World Language Curriculum Guide

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