Curriculum

English

Grade 6

Sixth grade English is designed to reinforce the foundational concepts of grammar and sentence diagraming through a review or teaching of all the parts of speech and primary parts of the sentence. Students are exposed to classical and time-honored literature through the study of short stories, novels, poetry, and non-fiction, and vocabulary enrichment words are taken from the literature, from words introduced to English from other languages, and from literary terms. Writing assignments are varied and numerous and will often relate to one specific skill; quality and content rather than length are the focus.
 
Topics covered: 
  • Introduce proper sentence diagraming from simple subject and verb sentences through adverb clauses.
  • Reinforce knowledge of all parts of speech and parts of the sentence.
  • Focus on ways to improve and strengthen comprehension skills continue to enrich vocabulary with words from reading and supplementary sources.
  • Emphasize basic writing skills, including composing strong topic and concluding sentences, writing quality sentences following specific formulas, composing short in-class assignments, and offering opportunities for creative writing.

Grade 7

Seventh grade English builds on the grammar foundation established in sixth grade, introducing more advanced grammar and diagraming skills. Literary terms and tools are examined and discussed critically through the use of varied works and genres of literature. Students will work on components of a basic five-paragraph, thesis-based essay.
 
Topics covered:
  • Introduce advanced grammar concepts and diagraming: participles, gerunds, infinitives, noun clauses, and adjective clauses.
  • Improve note-taking skills, especially annotating, through the reading of classic novels and short stories.
  • Continue to enrich vocabulary with words from reading and supplementary sources.
  • Produce oral presentations related to the literature. 
  • Emphasize paragraph organization, strong introductions and conclusions, proper use of quotations, and original expression.

Grade 8

In English 8 students develop their ability to learn from great thinkers and to articulate their ideas in writing and speech. Each semester includes one book, that will challenge the most astute readers, and two essays based on the reading. Compositions practice the foundations of powerful communication: organization, detail selection, strong vocabulary, proper grammar, and revision, a staple in every writer’s life.
 
Topics covered:
  • Improve sentence fluency from a foundation in diagraming.
  • Practice annotation and note-taking from a variety of texts.
  • Use new vocabulary from readings.
  • Practice posing and probing questions in Socratic-styled discussion.
  • Compose original essays that interrogate an aspect of the literature or test an author’s tactic.

Life Elective

This course is designed to promote the qualities of Kindness, Manners, Respect, and Responsibility (KMRR) through fun and meaningful stories and films and by sharing activities with other divisions.

Mathematics

Grade 6

Provides students in key middle grades a strong foundation of mathematical concepts and skills.

These topics are covered:

  • Representing and interpreting data
  • Geometry concepts
  • Applications with fractions and decimals
  • Operations with integers
  • Patterns, measurement
  • Number theory
  • Ratio
  • Proportion
  • Percent
  • Probability
  • Problem solving

Grade 7/Pre-Algebra

Provides a review of Math 6 topics and extends those topics to include a thorough Algebra readiness curriculum.

These topics are included:

  • organizing, displaying, and analyzing data
  • patterns in geometry
  • integers and variable expressions
  • algebraic equations and inequalities
  • graphing in coordinate plane
  • patterns
  • rational numbers
  • applications of proportion and percent
  • probability
  • measurement
  • number theory
  • problem solving

Grade 8/Algebra 1

  • the real number system and its properties
  • solving and writing equations in one and two variables
  • solving and graphing inequalities
  • systems of linear equations, exponents and radicals
  • radical equations
  • quadratic equations
  • polynomials and factoring
  • exponential functions
  • problem solving
  • logical reasoning
  • algebraic applications using technology

Computer Science

Grade 6

Provides students with an array of experience within the world of computers:

  • basic computer operation
  • keyboarding skills
  • work within an integrated software package incorporating word processing, database, spreadsheet, and PowerPoint
  • creation of a multimedia presentation
  • photo/video production
  • and graphic animations

Built-in extensions will be provided to help support and enhance the curriculum as needed. Study skills are also a point of emphasis in this course.

Grade 7

One semester required, plus 1 semester elective

Inquiry and project-based course that provides students with an introduction to computer coding and object-oriented programming through a 3D environment. Computational thinking is the premise of this course. This course takes complex problems and breaks them down to small steps.


Web Creation

Grades 6-8

Half-semester course provides an introduction for students to use computational thinking to design and create captivating, functional video games and mobile apps. Students will learn to use various game and app design programs and apply that knowledge to build their own games and apps.

Science

Grade 6/Earth Science

Covers scientific probing of nature, observations, recording of laboratory data and analysis, astronomy, oceanography, meteorology, geology, and related sciences.

Grade 7/Life Science

Covers scientific probing of nature, introduction to biology, observations, recording of laboratory data and analysis, integration of biological and health sciences, and ecosystems.

Grade 8/Physical Science

Scientific method

  • observation
  • laboratory data
  • analysis

Metric system

Chemistry

  • periodic table
  • atomic structure
  • chemical reactions and processes

Physics

  • light
  • sound
  • mechanics

Competitive Science Elective

Grades 7-8

Places emphasis on understanding and using skills for students to gain confidence in becoming active learners. Students observe, inquire, question, formulate, and test hypotheses; analyze data, report and evaluate findings.

Social Science

Grade 6/World History to 1500

  • Early Man
  • Early River Civilizations
  • Egypt
  • Classical Greece
  • Rise and fall of Rome
  • Rise of Christianity
  • Medieval Age
  • Geography: physical/cultural

Grade 7/World History

7th Grade World History: Patterns of Interaction

Emphasis is placed on developing skills that will help students become more successful at using historical tools in the process of learning about history. This will include the appropriate use of maps and graphs, as-well-as the analysis of data related to climate, natural resources and topography in relation to the culture and development of peoples around the world.

The 7th grade middle school world history program is developed to help students:

  • Learn how civilizations develop, and how people and societies have changed and advanced over the course of human history.
  • Understand how the interrelationships among the economic resources of an area, the cultural advancement of its people, and the dynamics of political leadership have combined throughout history to produce divergent societies.
  • Understand how religion, the arts, science, and literature both reflect and influence the course of human events.
  • Understand how one’s own culture reflects traits acquired from numerous earlier civilizations.
  • Develop a valid argument on a topic and support it by research conducted by the student.

Grade 8/American History

8th Grade American History: Multiple Perspectives

This course provides an advanced survey of the history of America as a frontier, from exploration to modern times. We will study the political, social, cultural, economic, and environmental aspects of the building of the United States.

Emphasis is placed on developing skills that will help students become more successful consumers of historical data and will help transition them to the Meadows Upper School.

Students will be expected to show understanding of historical concepts by applying them appropriately in the context of historical argument. Students will also be expected to show understanding of how ideas, policies, and interpretations of the past impact evaluation of current events and views on governance.

As the New World was a frontier for many and home for some, an intermingling of cultural perspectives occurred. It is through this lens that students will be asked to analyze both primary and secondary sources and to develop arguments for why events occurred as they did and why certain aspects of those events have been either ignored or presented in a particular way. This will include comparative analyses in both written and oral form based on readings, movies, and in-class activities. Students will be encouraged to think like historians. This means that students will cultivate the ability to assess, weigh, compare and ultimately interpret historical evidence, including making comparative judgments between competing and/or conflicting sources of evidence.

Film Studies Elective

This class will discuss the political climate of when a movie was made and compare it with today's political and social climate. Film titles will change each semester.

Foreign Language

Spanish 6

Emphasizes proficiency through storytelling and reading, covers present tense, sentence and question formation, and short compositions and stories, along with various cultural aspects.

Spanish 7

Emphasizes proficiency through storytelling and reading, reviews present tense, covers negative commands, the future tense, sentence and question formation, short compositions and stories, along with various cultural aspects.

Spanish 8

Emphasizes language usage in the present and past tenses. Continues verb and vocabulary enrichment. Exposes students to Spanish in a variety of listening activities, including viewing television programs and composing and performing oral presentations. Concludes the year with the reading and discussion of a short novel.

Latin 1

Introduction to basic grammar and vocabulary, derivatives, Roman history, culture, and mythology.

Performing Arts

Band 6

Full-year course. No experience necessary.

Band 7 & 8

Full-year course. Designed for the advanced band student.

Orchestra 6

Full-year course. No experience necessary.

Orchestra 7 & 8

Full-year course. Designed for students who have previous experience playing violin, viola, cello, string bass, or guitar.

Theatre Performance 6

One-semester course.

Theatre Performance 7 & 8

One-semester course.

Drama 6

One-semester course.

Drama 7 & 8

One-semester course.

Broadcast Technology 6-8

One-semester course, offered in fall and spring. TMS-TV or M-TV is an introduction to the world of broadcast journalism and to electronic news gathering (ENG), also known as "info-tainment." The course provides opportunities for students to develop skills and understanding in the concepts of the history of television, basic video camera operation, post production graphics, audio, and editing.

Theater Workshop 6-8

One-semester course.

Visual Arts

Art 6

One-semester course, offered in fall and spring.

Serves as an introduction to Fine Art designed to provide a basic understanding of the elements and principles of art.

Art 7

One-semester course, offered in fall and spring.

Introduces students to Fine Art at an intermediate level and is designed to expand their understanding of the elements and principles of art.

Art 8

One-semester course, offered in fall and spring.

Most advanced art class offered in Middle School, although students are not required to have taken an art class before.

Health & Physical Education

Grade 6 & 7

Students take PE Classes twice per week and must:

1. Participate on one School team.

– or –

2. Participate in a sport or activity not offered by the School which is competitive and meets at least three hours per week throughout the school year.

Physical Education class focuses on the sports that are in-season as well as teaching students how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

All Middle School students need six Physical Education credits earned over three years to satisfy the Middle School PE requirement.

Grade 8

Students do not have a regularly scheduled PE Class and must participate in the following to meet the Middle School PE requirement:

1. Participate on two School teams.

– or –

2. Participate in a sport or activity not offered by the School which is competitive and meets at least three hours per week throughout the school year.

– or –

3. Take the Early Bird Fitness Class.

All Middle School students need six Physical Education credits earned over three years to satisfy the Middle School PE requirement.