Sixth-grade Humanities Core is a combined course of English/Language Arts and History.
In 6th grade English/Language Arts, students continue to practice essential skills in reading and writing. In the area of writing, there is an emphasis on the multi-paragraph essay with thesis statement. Writing types include compare/contrast, persuasive, and response to literature. Sixth graders will research a topic and write a multiple-paragraph research essay with multiple sources and a bibliography–. Throughout the school year, students will be exposed to library skills lessons.
Independent reading is an integral part of the English program in all grades at King Middle School. Studies show that reading a book independently at the appropriate level will increase the child’s fluency and vocabulary development. Students are expected to read at home every school night for 20-30 minutes. In class, students take a reading quizzes on books they have completed through the Accelerated Reader program. Satisfying this reading requirement is part of every 6th grader’s Habits of Work grade.
Students study the elements of literature through stories and poems from the district adopted literature textbook. In addition, students read two novels together as a class. All sixth graders will read the novel Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman plus one other approved novel. Students study root words and their relationships to meaning and spelling. Grammar, including parts of speech and sentence combining, is another thread that runs through the entire school year.
The sixth-grade History course is part of the sixth-grade Humanities core. The course begins with the study of early humans and progresses towards a comparative study of ancient civilizations and world geography. The text for the course is History Alive! The Ancient World.
In the first semester, students learn about prehistory and the essential components of civilization. The beginning of the year is focused on our earliest human ancestors and on the progression from the Paleolithic hunter-gatherers to Neolithic farmers. Sixth graders study ancient Mesopotamia, the “land between the rivers” and the growth of civilizations. Other civilizations studied in the first semester include ancient Egypt and the ancient Hebrews.
The second semester focuses on the ancient civilizations of India, China, Greece, and Rome. Students study the lost civilization of the Indus River Valley and learn about the religions that originated in India. With the study of China, students focus on the philosophies of Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism and the Qin and Han Dynasties. In the Edible Schoolyard Kitchen, 6th graders learn about the cultures along the route of the Silk Road. Finally, students learn about the ancient civilizations that inhabited Europe, Greece and Rome, and explore their lasting influence today. During one class period each semester, students head to the Edible Schoolyard Garden to experience history-themed hands-on lessons led by the ESY garden teachers.