Everybody has a story and sixth graders LOVE to tell their stories. The stories they tell every day, from answering the question, “How was the lacrosse game?” to discussions of the story behind the Code of Hammurabi, shape their understanding of who they are. Sixth graders are in a unique position to grasp and reflect on where they come from while simultaneously being steeped in the new culture of the Middle School and discovering how culture influences who they are. Students regularly revisit the essential question “Where do I come from?” throughout the year as they memorize lines from Shakespeare, deepen their study of foreign languages and cultures, explore antiquity, become proficient in solving algebraic equations, and perform laboratory experiments.
Some further questions we will be engaging with throughout the year are:
- Literally (physically) where do I come from? How can understanding geography and setting help me understand who I am?
- What is culture and how is who I am influenced by my culture?
- How is culture understood, sustained, and transformed by the stories, art, music, performance, and any other art forms that are passed down from generation to generation?
- What is community? What is the culture of our school community?
- What experiences have I had that have shaped who I am today and how do my daily actions express who I am?
- How can learning other languages and about other cultures and periods in history inform my understanding of where I come from?
Grade 6 English is an exploration of Shakespeare's tales, Greek myths, where words come from, and why grammar is important. In connection with the Grade 6 essential question "Where do I come from?" we will be exploring the many ways in which we come from stories, whether they are ancient literary texts or the anecdotes we share day to day. Together we will consider how writing, sharing, and engaging with stories can help us better understand ourselves and each other. Students will perform plays, craft fictional characters, present Book Talks, write essays and memoirs, memorize a Shakespeare monologue, and study vocabulary through etymology. Creativity is developed, encouraged, and even required!
Grade 6 Math focuses on improving basic operation skills as well as introducing our girls to concepts they will discuss in more depth in more advanced math classes. We discuss operation with fractions, decimals and percents, polygons and their characteristics, statistical analysis and number sense: prime and composite numbers, factors, multiples, and exponents.
Ancient History (4)
In Grade 6 History, students learn about what it means to think like a historian as we explore the prehistoric ages as well as a wide range of ancient civilizations including Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In connection with the Grade 6 essential question "Where do I come from?" we will be considering how studying other cultures and time periods can enrich our understanding of ourselves.
Students explore history through many different and overlapping lenses such as geography, government, religion, economics, art and architecture, science and technology, education, and social life. Students engage with many questions through discussion, research, writing, performance, and artistic illustrations of key events, settings, and both leading and everyday figures of the period.
Grade 6 Science investigates the nature of science, earth science, and electricity. Students begin the year learning how to think like scientists by engaging with the scientific method, conducting controlled experiments, and working with the metric system. The unit on earth science focuses on the big rock we live on, called Earth. Students learn about minerals, rocks, earthquakes, and volcanoes. In connection with the grade 6 theme, this unit also provides an alternate perspective on the question “Where do I come from?” as students learn about geologic history and plate tectonics. Questions like, “How does the light come on when we flip a switch? How do the Christmas tree lights blink on and off? What do electricity and magnetism have to do with each other?” are explored by building and working with electric circuits. Concepts in each unit are explored through hands-on activities, class discussions, and content reading.
Study Skills (2)
Grade 6 Study Skills is a class designed to develop good study habits, organizational skills, and critical thinking. Students explore different methods of studying in order to determine which one is most effective for them, the proper use of planners is emphasized daily, and lockers, and notebooks, and backpacks are organized on a regular basis. In addition, fun stories and games are used to promote reading comprehension, conceptual thinking, and deductive reasoning.
Technology Literacy (2)
The goal of the Grade 6 Technology curriculum is to expose the students to a wide range of programs that will be interesting, inspiring, and help them with their classroom work. The foundation for this curriculum is rooted in the ISTE NETS standards which suggest designing lessons that teach not only technology operation and concepts but also topics such as research and information fluency and digital citizenship. Students become comfortable identifying and using the proper technological tools for the assigned task. The girls are exposed to programming using Lego WeDo and MIT’s Scratch, both programs encouraging critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. As with all technology, our units and lessons change each year as new tools and techniques emerge and the girls’ skills become more sophisticated.
World Languages (4)
All students in Grades 6-8 are required to take French or Spanish. Additionally, all 7th and 8th Graders are required to take Latin I. The complete study of French, Spanish, or Latin in the Middle School constitutes Level 1.
Spanish or French
Middle school French and Spanish take students on an exciting trip to new cultures while introducing them to basic grammar, language functions and everyday vocabulary. Individual and collaborative activities provide ample opportunity for the students to develop and use the language creatively and personally. Evaluation of student performance is based on participation in the classroom and on frequent skills testing (listening, speaking, reading and writing) throughout the year. Each year builds upon the other, allowing students to recycle the old with the new.
International Language Program: French (grades 5-8) (for students who have already attained fluency in French)
The goal of this program is to facilitate students maintaining a relationship with the language and culture while developing their linguistic skills and cultural awareness to be successful citizens in a multicultural world. This new program is designed for students in 5th through 8th grade who demonstrate an appropriate level of fluency in French. The students will be placed in one group, 5-8th grade. Classes will meet 4 times per week (3x for 5th grade) with a French teacher, who will incorporate different learner strategies and emphasize hands-on, interactive, and collaborative learning. After completion of the entrance examination and an interview about language background, expectations and future goals with both the parents and the student, an individual program will be tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual student. In addition, there will be a specific, rotating curriculum each year to ensure that there is no repetition and to ensure that the students are introduced to a wide variety of topics as they advance through the program. Technology will be integrated into the curriculum and students will visit the language lab weekly.
This tailor-made course continues to work on building strong language skills through a wide variety of individual and collaborative activities. Each unit is thematically based and is enhanced with multiple resources such as novels, short stories, magazine articles, films, music, and computer-accessed materials, which provide ample opportunities for the students to sharpen language skills in both creative and personal ways. Within each unit, the individual student will work at her own pace and with age appropriate assignments and activities to meet her particular needs. Evaluation of student performance is based on participation in the classroom and on frequent skills testing (listening, speaking, reading comprehension, and writing) throughout the year. The language laboratory will be used once each week.
The middle school art curriculum combines Art History with the Principles and Elements of Design, showing the students how art and artists have reflected the culture and technology of every past era, and developing the students' own skills and creativity for self-expression.
In the Grade 6 the students further develop their skills and understanding of the Principles and Elements of Design, working on various projects both in two and three dimensions, including still-life drawing, collage, clay animation, set design, and painting. The students are encouraged to work in the studio both independently and in groups to build confidence in themselves and appreciation of shared ideas and responsibility.
Grade 6 Music (2)
Students in Grade 6 Music cover a variety of music theory topics including note-naming in treble and bass clef, note values, time signature, and sharps and flats. Additionally students study rhythm reading and writing, sight-singing, listening skills, and drumming.
Middle School Chorus (2)
The Lincoln School Middle School Chorus is a treble chorus available to all students in the Middle School who are interested in ensemble music. The purpose of the group is to instill an appreciation for the choral arts and to develop the students’ voices as ensemble instruments. The chorus focuses heavily on language, lyric diction and proper vocal production for developing young voices. Rhythm reading, music theory and music history are also incorporated into weekly rehearsals. The chorus performs approximately 8 or 9 times per year and frequently combines with the Upper School Vocal Ensemble and other performing ensembles both during and outside of the school day.
The goal of Academic Support classes in the Middle School is to provide students with the skills to be successful in their instructional program. Academic Support classes focus on organization of the time and materials, study skills, written language skills, reading comprehension skills, and math skills.
Through exposure to a broad variety of activities, each student in the Lincoln School Physical Education program is encouraged to build her physical potential. The goal is to develop in each student competency in basic skills, an interest in physical fitness, an understanding of and appreciation for a variety of team and individual sports, and the confidence and desire to participate in physical activities throughout life.
Typical sports skill offerings include soccer, field hockey, football, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, team handball, badminton, and softball. The units emphasize skill development, game strategies, positioning, and rules. Other activities include personal fitness challenges, yoga, walking, jogging, and contemporary dance. Recreational games, team-building activities, and intramural opportunities are included throughout the year.
The sixth grade health consists of units focusing on personal hygiene, growth and development, and social interaction. The goal is to help give the students a better understanding of their bodies, the changes they are experiencing, and how these changes affect them personally.