6th Grade Course Descriptions

REQUIRED COURSES


Language Arts 6
In 6th grade, Language Arts instruction is focused on literacy skills, the writing process, and grammar.  Reading is supported with selected grade level anthologies and genre specific novels.  Improvements in mechanics, usage, and spelling will also be emphasized.  Comprehension skills, vocabulary, and word attack strategies will be highlighted.  Accelerated Reader (AR) novels & book reports/projects are also incorporated within class.  MAISA (in correlation with Michigan K-12 Standards for ELA) units taught include personal narratives, argumentative writing, cause and effect, and literary essays.  Frequently, students will have extension projects including presentations enhanced with technology, poster projects, group discussions, and various visual presentations to help in developing an appreciation for this core subject area.

Advanced Language Arts 6
This is a rigorous course designed for students who are able to read and analyze at an accelerated rate and apply deeper understanding.  The curriculum will follow the Michigan K-12 Standards for English Language Arts.  Students will read more complex narrative and informational texts and analyze its structure, elements, style, and meaning.  Students will write more complex narrative and expository pieces.  Students in this class will already have a foundational knowledge of the writing process, so more time will be spent on developing longer, more analytical essays.  Students will also continue to develop listening and speaking skills in group discussions and oral presentations.

Mathematics 6
The 6th grade math curriculum is based on the Michigan K-12 Math Standards.  These expectations include the strands of a) The Number System, b) Expressions and Equations, c) Geometry, d) Statistics and Probability.  This course will provide students with Math foundations which allow them to perform higher level operations and apply the knowledge gained to real-life situations.  A variety of teaching methods and the 8 Mathematical Practices are used to deepen the students’ understanding.  These methods allow for hands-on projects and scenarios that will deepen the students’ knowledge of the material covered during 6th grade Mathematics. 

Accelerated Math 6
This course is a rigorous course designed for students who are able to learn at an accelerated pace.  This course will provide the path for students to receive credit for high school Algebra in 8th grade.  Students will study three years of mathematics in two years.  This course will cover the entire 6th grade Michigan Math Standards and a portion of the 7th grade Michigan Math Standards.

Science 6
Science is taught using a hands-on, inquiry based approach where students engage in laboratory investigations, group work, and individual discoveries.  The year will be broken into three segments.  The physical science portion will include kinetic and potential energy and energy transfer. The earth science portion will include soil, rock formation, plate tectonics, and fossils.  The life science portion will include ecosystems and human impact on the environment.

Social Studies 6
The 6th grade Social Studies curriculum introduces students to Ancient Civilizations around the world.  Emphasis is placed on using the four strands of Social Studies to explore the various units.  The four strands include History, Economics, Geography, and Civics.  The students will travel through time beginning with the Prehistoric Era and ending with Ancient Greece and Rome.

ELECTIVE COURSES


Art
Students who participate in Art will use an expanded vocabulary of art-related terms and a variety of media in the creation of their projects.  They will perform and control increasingly complex techniques, analyze and make judgments about works of art, and learn artistic modes of problem solving when creating in each art form.  A wide variety of media will be used, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, and computer graphics.  No previous experience is required.  Please note that if you take two semesters of art, projects will be different.  Also, if a student chooses to take art every year the class will promote and foster individual growth.

Band
All students are welcome to join the Sixth Grade Band.  If your student would like to participate in the band but does not have prior musical experience or an instrument, please contact Mrs. Garvey to get started.  In this class, students will learn the fundamentals and skills necessary to perform on their chosen instrument.  Students will learn a wide range of musical styles including classical, folk, pop, jazz, and world music. All band students will track their own individual musical growth by earning belts in Band Karate.  The Sixth Grade Band performs four concerts per year, which are required for all members.  Parents are expected to arrange schedules to accommodate these concerts.  Contact garveye@lamphereschools.org for more information.

Choir/Vocal Music
Students will sing in 2 and 3 part harmony, sight read, and learn music in a variety of styles.  Choir students perform in concerts and MSVMA events such as Choral Festival and Solo and Ensemble to improve skills in choral singing (and solo singing if so desired).  NOTE: All choir students are required to participate in public concerts.

Drama
This semester class does not count for high school credit.  In this performance-based course, students will be introduced to the art of physical and vocal expression through acting, improvisation, and scene study. Students will participate in theater games, movement, role-play, and puppetry.  All exercises and games will develop ensemble and individual performance skills.  In addition, this course will conclude with a public performance, involving the students in all aspects of the production. 

Physical Education
The Physical Education program provides each student with the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive program consisting of skill development, lead up games, team sports, and physical fitness activities.  The students receive instruction in rules, skills, and strategies associated with the different sports as well as learning experiences involving physical conditioning activities.  The students will also have opportunities to become involved in life-long physical activities through individual sports units. Students must provide & launder their own gym clothes.  All students are expected to dress in a grey t-shirt and black shorts for gym each day.  Gym uniforms are available for purchase and/or students may bring in their own gym clothes. The John Page Physical Education program promotes the spirit of cooperation, leadership, fair play, and friendly competition.

Technology Education
In Technology Education students will experience a wide range of activities based on STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Mathematics) Education.  Students will be engaged in their learning utilizing a combination of the Tech Shop and the Tech Lab.  During their years at Page, students can rotate through various stations in the Tech Shop; for example, rockets, automotive design, 3D software and printing, electronics, renewable energy, plastics, architecture, bridge building, and more.  In the Tech Lab, students will learn about digital literacy and responsibility.  They will also explore the use of Google docs as a word processor and spreadsheet tool.  No previous experience is required.