Grade 6

Toni Appleton

Upper School English Teacher, 6th Grade Homeroom Teacher

Grade 6 Curriculum


The middle school English program encourages students to read intentionally, write effectively, and speak confidently. The course covers four main areas: reading, writing, language, and novels. Students engage in activities that develop their critical reading, writing, and analysis skills. Students analyze texts through the eyes of a reader and writer as they create their own compositions and complete performance-based assessments. By reading high-interest, diverse, and contemporary novels, students develop enthusiasm for literature, as well as make connections to the world around them. Daily writings are often in response to previously assigned reading where students write cohesively and effectively, citing evidence, drawing conclusions, and making connections. Creative writing takes many forms throughout the year. Grammar, usage, and mechanics instruction is given using different resources to improve the quality of students’ writing. Classroom libraries and online articles offer students the opportunity to read for pleasure while building their comprehension skills.


Sixth grade curriculum provides a strong conceptual understanding of mathematics through the use of effective learning experiences that promote communication, reasoning, and problem solving. In Grade 6, math instruction focuses on four critical areas:
• connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems,
• completing understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers,
• writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations, and
• developing understanding of statistical thinking.


Sixth grade starts the year with a review of measurement techniques and lab procedures that prepare them to work safely and effectively in the science lab. Students engage in contextual labs, activities, research, and projects to establish the content knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in future science classes. The focus of sixth grade science is how energy is driving ecosystems (populations, food chains/webs), Earth’s natural resources, and Earth processes (oceans, weather, and climate). Students explore how oceans, weather, and climate help determine characteristics of ecosystems. A focus on science literacy is placed through the use of the science and engineering practices as students are required to gather information from reliable sources to construct evidenced-based arguments.

Social Studies

Sixth grade curriculum focuses on world history and geography with an emphasis on early civilizations through the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Students analyze the cultural, economic, geographical, historical, and political foundations for early civilizations, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, India, China, Greece, and Rome. The sixth grade concludes with the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire. Special emphasis will be placed on the development of government, including the beginning of democratic practices. In addition, students learn about the historical context of ancient and major world religions. Throughout the course, students develop the skills of a historian as they research and analyze primary sources, organize information, and form logical arguments.

The middle school curriculum emphasizes a balance between academic skills and soft skills. It is designed to prepare students for high school in terms of content knowledge as well as essential life skills such as work ethics and time management.