Middle School

Grades 6-8

Middle School at Lincoln means classrooms, hallways, art spaces, sports fields, science labs, and performance spaces bustling with student activity, the exchange of ideas, and girls doing what they do best in these middle school years: learning by doing, experimenting, and communicating.
 

 

Glance into the algebra classroom and you’ll see students working together to solve complex equations. Enter a science class and you might find students down on the floor testing out the cars they built learning the laws of physics. Or stop by the meeting room to watch girls speak in Spanish together and learn salsa dance from their teacher. As they study and explore, our students develop confidence and self-advocacy skills that will serve them in Upper School and beyond.

In addition to their core academic classes, Middle School students choose from enrichment electives such as chorus, musical ensemble, visual art, and robotics. Together they travel to Thompson Island to participate in high ropes courses and community building, experience week-long engineering immersion programs, and, as eighth graders, travel to New York to visit the United Nations as the culmination of a human rights course. Outside of class, Middle School girls can explore their interests through extracurricular activities like the athletics, dramatic arts, and more.

The Middle School Curriculum

Grade 6

English

Grade 6 English is dedicated to exploring the art of reading in all its forms. As students learn how to communicate through writing, speaking, performing, reading, and writing, they discover the depth and power of the English language. Through an examination of poetry, fiction, myths, and classics, students learn to become both excellent readers and writers, developing the art of self expression. Critical thinking, consistency, communication, and creativity are the cornerstones of this course, with lots of fun to be had along the way.

Mathematics

Through hands-on activities, visual representations, and lots of problem solving, students in Grade 6 Math build on their foundation of knowledge with new concepts, including:

  • Positive and negative numbers and the number line
  • Operations with fractions and decimals
  • Ratios, rates, and percents
  • Algebraic expressions, equations, and inequalities
  • Geometry, including area of polygons, and 3-dimensional shapes
  • Statistics

Ancient History

In Grade 6 History, students learn about the formation and evolution of societies through the lens of ancient civilizations, answering critical questions like: how do people form communities? What do societies need in order to be successful? By exploring early humans and key settlements throughout history and into modern day, students will begin to think like historians, factoring point of view and bias into interpretations of facts and events. By gathering information from a variety of sources and collaborating with each other, students will take a tour through time, exploring places like Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

Science

In Grade 6 Science, students learn about the nature of science and master basic skills through hands-on, inquiry-based activities. By setting up good, controlled experiments and conducting measurements with the metric system, students learn how to answer questions in a concrete way. Students learn what causes earthquakes and volcanoes, and get to know more about our planet through examination of minerals, rocks, plate tectonics, and seismic events.

Computer Skills

The Grade 6 Computer Skills course is an introduction to internet safety, in which girls learn the significance of issues such as computer viruses, copyright laws, computer and password security, and cyber bullying. Students learn/advance their typing skills using online typing websites and apply their technology skills for communication and collaboration, accessing and evaluating information, and creating and presenting relevant projects. Students also learn and demonstrate ethical behaviors and responsible use of technology tools.

Grade 7

English

In Grade 7 English, students study the art of language. By reading other people’s works of art (Books! Poems! Short stories!), as well as creating our own, students find texts that speak to them, discover new authors, revisit old ones, and push themselves to discover the many ways that writers create their art. By the end of this course students will have learned terms such as: point of view, alliteration, assonance, theme, iambic pentameter, and much more.

Math

Grade 7 Math continues to build on the momentum of the previous year, exploring algebra, geometry, and probability and statistics. Students will focus on rational numbers and operations; writing, simplifying, and factoring algebraic expressions; direct and inverse proportions; angle properties and geometric constructions; volume and surface area; and other practical and conceptual math applications.

American History

What is American freedom? In Grade 7 History, students explore the many ways people have answered this question throughout American history. Beginning with the settlement and formation of the United States, students study key turning points in the nation’s growth through the lenses of class, race, and gender. As the year unfolds, students will also study current events and geography as they connect with the past.

Science

Grade 7 Science is all about life. Students ask key questions about the characteristics and requirements of living organisms; study species and organism classifications, similarities, and differences; examine the interaction of living things, both with each other and with the environment; ask what individual species need to survive and thrive; and take a look at how the human body is unique and what is needed to make it healthy and whole.

Tech Tools

Tech tools is a course that dives deep into all the applications and tools needed for students to present their course work in a 21st century manner. Students learn the creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making skills necessary to utilize technology to enhance their school projects. Students will gain the ability to create professional presentations and improve oral communication skills by using word processing, presentation, spreadsheet, and multimedia tools.

This course also dives into computational thinking—a way of solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science, and which is essential to understand and internalize in order to flourish in the 21st century world.

Physical Education/Health

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 each student's competency and confidence in basic skills, her understanding of and appreciation for a variety of team and individual sports and her appreciation for physical fitness, fostering a 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.

Grade 8

English

In addition to emphasizing the etymologies of key vocabulary words, Grade 8 English works in conjunction with Grade 8 History to examine topics of human rights. Students read, discuss, and respond to pertinent literature, including South African short stories about apartheid, Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, and poems from the Middle East. Using the guiding question "What can I do?" girls are encouraged to think about how they can improve the quality of life for others in the world. Grade 8 can be a time of tremendous growth in compassion and social awareness, so the idea of defending the human rights of others is a natural fit. The final term centers around Shakespeare: Students recite monologues for the Shakespeare Recitation Contest in April, and in May, they join more than one hundred city schoolchildren for a performance as part of Shakespeare in the City. This unique program has featured hundreds of school children from all over the city in Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, and Othello.

Science

Physical science in Grade 8 explores the “whys” of how the world works. More specifically, what is the stuff that makes up everything on earth? How does that stuff interact? In this class students learn about chemistry: atoms, molecules, the behavior of substances made up of atoms and molecules, and how their behavior affects our lives. They will also study some of the rules of physics: how objects interact when they come into contact (even invisible contact!) with each other. Both of these principles will be used to examine human design and energy use.
We students to think the way scientists do: to observe and see things as if for the first time. The great scientists of history are great because they have questioned and thought about what they have seen. This class is highly laboratory- and activity-oriented, to familiarize participants with laboratory techniques, keeping laboratory records, and safety in the science lab.

Math

Students in the eighth grade take either Pre-Algebra or Algebra I.

Pre-Algebra

Grade 8 Pre-Algebra is a continuation of Grade 7 Pre-Algebra. Students sharpen their skills with fractions, decimals and percents, work with the rules for order of operations and for exponents, learn to simplify simple algebraic expressions and solve equations, and learn the skills needed to create circle graphs and graphs of linear equations. Students are expected to develop a strong, working mathematical vocabulary, preparing them to succeed in subsequent mathematics courses.

Algebra I

Algebra I is an introduction to the language of mathematics. Students study the properties of real numbers, solve equations (both linear and quadratic), perform a variety of operations on polynomials, factor quadratic expressions, work with rational expressions, graph straight lines, and learn various methods to solve word problems algebraically.

Exploring Technology

In this course, students to explore the working world with technology.They dive deep into different technology-related jobs and engage hands-on with robotics and coding. By taking a look at technology beyond the classroom, students become familiar with the working world and technology jobs in computer science, the arts, business, robotics, and beyond.

Physical Education/Health

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 each student's competency and confidence in basic skills, her understanding of and appreciation for a variety of team and individual sports and her appreciation for physical fitness, fostering a 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 Fitness Center training, S.A.F.E. self-defense program, yoga, and Zumba. Recreational games, team-building activities, and intramural opportunities are included throughout the year.

Academic Support

Academic Support is available to all Middle School students. The goal is to develop a plan that enables each girl to reach her learning potential in a supportive and empowering environment. We believe academic support should be a team effort between the Learning Skills Specialist, teachers, and advisors to help students develop the strategies they need to become independent learners. The Learning Skills Specialist works in concert with classroom teachers and parents to monitor students' progress, work on organizational skills, modify study strategies, set goals, and make additional recommendations when appropriate.

World Languages

Middle School World Languages

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. New 7th and 8th graders to Lincoln should register for Level 1 Language courses in Upper School unless they have previously studied the language. (A placement test may be necessary.) Looking ahead: To meet US graduation requirements, all students must complete three years in the Upper School of one language.

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 and on frequent skills testing (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) throughout the year. Each year builds upon the other, allowing students to reinforce the old and incorporate the new.

Latin

The Latin program in grades 7 & 8 offers our students an opportunity to study the world of the ancient Romans through their language and culture. As they examine the lives and language of the ancient Romans students learn about this important source for the intellectual and legal culture in which they find themselves today. Through their efforts to learn to read and write the Latin language students learn the origins of technical terminology used today in many fields of study throughout the world, and they are encouraged to employ a form of the scientific method as they parse out the meaning of sentences written in Latin.

Visual Arts

The middle school art curriculum blends an appreciation for art history and contemporary art with a focus on the elements of art and principles of design. Students learn about the different functions and purposes of art and create their own artworks in various materials including still-life drawing, collage, ceramics, painting, sculpture, and printmaking. Art works created in class will address problems that challenge them to think about personal and self-expressive uses for art and to be innovative and original in their work. Students will utilize technology in their classes to research for their projects and as a tool to help improve their art making practice.

Throughout their time in the studio, students also learn to present and curate their own artwork and display it school-wide as well as in the classroom, challenging them to consider how we look at artwork in society.

Performing Arts

Drama

During the third trimester, 6th graders are given their first play script. They learn techniques for memorization, giving and taking focus, pursuing objectives, character development, and creating relationships. This culminates in a performance the last week of classes.

For one third of the year, students in Grade 7 create a theatrical experience together. Working on stage and backstage, students continue to learn skills in acting, improvisation, stage craft, and ensemble. All students learn proper theater terminology and learn to take and notate stage direction.

Each year the 8th grade class takes part in a class musical in the first Trimester. Students are invited to act or sing on stage, run lights and sound, create sets and props and to produce their own publicity for the show. This year the class is working on High School Musical, Jr.

Music

Students in Grade 6 Music learn a musical vocabulary that allows them to discuss what they hear and be able to express their thoughts about it. We listen to and learn about various genres and musical styles, including world, folk, pop, and classical, and discuss differences and similarities. We also sing together and explore making music with our voices.

In Grade 7, we take a look at the popular music industry and research how the industry puts out music for consumption—where, who and what controls what we get to hear, and who actually writes the songs that the artists sing. Guitars will also be used in class with each student getting a chance to play and learn about this classic instrument.

In Grade 8 continue our exploration of music with a small research project, expanding our concepts of what music is and where it comes from. We also work as a class to create a musical performance for the end-of-year celebrations.

Physical Education/Health

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 each student's competency and confidence in basic skills, her understanding of and appreciation for a variety of team and individual sports and her appreciation for physical fitness, fostering a 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.

Grade 6 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.

 

Middle School News

NASA Runs on Coding: Bringing Learning to Life

Kim Arcand, the Visualization & Emerging Tech Lead at NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, will spend Thursday with Lower School students in Grades 4 and 5 and Friday with Middle Schools students in Grade 6, taking them through a series of scaffolded activities that will demonstrate the real world applications of science, technology, and even art. 

Welcome to Lincoln!

This week, faculty and staff returned to campus for Faculty Work Week, a final chance to prepare for the excitement of the 2019–2020 school year! While we are thrilled to welcome back so many familiar faces, we are also excited to have 10 new members of our community this year.