Grade 6 English
In English 6, students read, write, and enjoy literature. While developing independence and a sense of purpose in their reading and writing, they gain the necessary skills for critical thinking and communication.
Reading comprehension work and literary analysis helps sixth graders transition from concrete to abstract thinkers. They learn about summary, plot, theme, characterization, and symbolism, while also focusing on the mechanics of reading. Over the summer students read The Giver by Lowis Lowry. In addition, they examine this novel as a whole class during the first couple weeks of school. The next unit requires a close study of various short stories from Nancy Atwell’s Lessons That Change Writers. This makes for a smooth transition for examining novels, such as Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt and Wringer by Jerry Spinelli. Lastly, students engage in reading circles and activities to examine independently read books and poetry.
Each sixth grader is required to write about their reading in journals and discuss their responses in small and large groups. In order to encourage the desire to become a life-long reader, students also read a book of their own choosing for twenty minutes each night.
Another vital aspect of English 6 is writing poetry, book reviews, speeches, dialogues, letters, and paragraph compositions. Abundant in-class writing time allows for individual teacher-student conferences about writing as it is being created. This hands-on coaching helps each child in every aspect of the writing process, from planning and choosing topics, to revising, polishing, and proofreading.
We study grammatical conventions together as well, including parts of speech, comma rules, sentence work, title indication, homonyms, and vocabulary in context. The sixth grade foreign language course also supports our study of grammar and vocabulary.
Sixth graders exercise their compassion and research skills in a project we call Speak Out. Each student picks a social cause to learn more about, and their research culminates in a night of dynamic presentations and discussions about community service.