Sixth Grade Curriculum Overview
Sixth grade students use oral language, written language, and media and technology for expressive, informational, argumentative, critical, and literary purposes. Students also explore the structure of language and study grammatical rules in order to speak and write effectively. While emphasis in sixth grade is placed on personal expression, students also:
- Interpret and synthesize information.
- Develop an understanding of the foundations of argument.
- Critically analyze print and non-print communication.
- Use effective sentence construction and edit for improvements in sentence formation, usage, mechanics, and spelling.
- Interpret and evaluate a wide range of literature.
In grade 6, students learn the foundations of argument. Students learn through exploration of a variety of materials how to recognize effective arguments by summarizing the author's purpose and stance; by distinguishing between fact and opinion; and, through developing an awareness of audience. Students in Grade 6 should be able to respond to public documents such as editorial and school or community policies.
Students in the middle grades represent real numbers using manipulatives, pictures, number lines, and symbols in a variety of contexts. Relationships among rational numbers are explored and equivalence among fractions, decimals, and percents is recognized and explained. Students extend their understanding of place value to decimal and scientific notation and use the properties of real numbers, including zero, one, and inverses. Numerical comparisons are expressed as ratios and rates and problems are solved using ratio, proportion, and percent.
Students develop fluency in computation with rational numbers as well as with relationships among numbers, including primes, composites, factors, and multiples. They explain exponents and square and cube roots of numbers, develop skills with estimation and mental computation, and use calculators appropriately.
Major Concepts and Skills in grade 6 include:
- Negative rational numbers
- Transformations in the coordinate plane
- Equations and inequalities
- Multiplication and division of non-negative rational numbers
- Solving relevant and authentic problems using appropriate technology and applying these concepts as well as those developed in earlier years.
The focus for sixth grade is on the continued development of knowledge and skills acquired in the fourth and fifth grade studies of North Carolina and the United States by considering, comparing, and connecting those studies to the study of South America and Europe, including Russia. As students examine social, economic, and political institutions they analyze similarities and differences among societies. While concepts are drawn from history and the social sciences, the primary discipline is geography, especially cultural geography. This focus provides students with a framework for studying local, regional, national, and global issues that concern them, for understanding the interdependence of the world in which they live, and for making informed judgments as active citizens.
Learners will study natural and technological systems. All goals should focus on the unifying concepts of science defined by the National Science Education Standards: Systems, Order, and Organization; Evidence, Models, and Explanation; Constancy, Change, and Measurement; Evolution and Equilibrium; and Form and Function. The skills of inquiry and technological design are targeted for mastery.
The concepts for which in-depth studies should be designed at sixth grade level include:
- Scientific Inquiry
- Technological Design
- Cycling of Matter
- Solar System
- Energy Transfer/Transformation
- Population Dynamics
Sixth grade students are instructed on the health-related benefits of health and physical activity and how these benefits can be acquired and maintained.
Major focuses in Grade 6 include:
- Recognizes signs of asthma
- Using thinking to predict consequences and to cope appropriately with situations
- Familiar with water safety
- Dealing appropriately with feelings
- Benefits of resistance to harmful substances
- Health-related fitness tests with goals for improvement
- Safe opportunities for participation outside of school hours
- Acknowledging individual differences
- Working independently
- Routines in sequential movement patterns and dance
- Strategies for offense and defense
The strength of technology is that it provides an excellent platform where students can collect information in multiple formats and then organize, link, and discover relationships between facts and events. An array of tools for acquiring information and for thinking and expression allows more students more ways to enter the learning enterprise successfully and to live productive lives in the global, digital, and information-based future they all face.
The focus for 6th grade Computer/Technology Skills includes:
- Responsible and safe use of online resources
- Using Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines
- Refining application skills
- Using formulas in a spreadsheet
- Using search strategy with two or more criteria in a database
- Increasing productivity and accuracy in keyboarding
- Using word processing, spreadsheet, database, and multimedia for assignments in all subject areas
- Locating and retrieving information using telecommunications
- Evaluating resources and information for accuracy and usefulness
- Selecting and using a variety of technology tools+