Grade 6

A Look Out Into the World

The middle school years have arrived! Sixth graders take on new academic challenges and social experiences, such as independent research, sports teams, and math club. There is a grounding in the students' physical development, emerging powers of conceptual thinking, and an interest in cause and effect in learning.

The class explores Roman and Medieval History. They study of laws of the universe in Astronomy, and then delve into the structure and composition of the earth in Geology. The practical nature of Business Math and the rules of grammar engage sixth grade students.

The Roman Empire

Sixth graders are fascinated by Ancient Romans—their spirit of conquest, development of the rule of law, and construction of roads, buildings, and aqueducts. The class examines the rise of Rome, the excesses that resulted in its collapse, and Western civilization's plunge into the Dark Ages.


Language Arts

  • Grammatical practice, including the role of conditional sentences
  • Independent readers, including historical fiction and biographies
  • Class Play
  • Curriculum projects on selected topic: research, report, artistic project, and presentation skills


  • Abstract formulas introduced
  • Business math: banking and investment, taxes, commissions
  • Geometry: geometric drawings, terminology, relationship of circles, triangles, and polygons
  • Pythagorean Theorem and applications
  • Study of Plato, Aristotle, Thales, Pythagoras, Eratosthenes, and Archimedes
  • Golden Proportion and Fibonnaci series


  • Physics: acoustics, thermodynamics, magnetism, mechanics, astronomy
  • Geology: California's geologic diversity; types of rock formations with particular emphasis on igneous rocks; role of water cycles and erosion

Social Studies

  • Geography: Europe and the cultural areas around the Mediterranean
  • The story of The Aeneid, Ancient Rome, Middle Ages in Europe and Asia


  • Class divided into two groups for concentrated language study
  • Reading fluidity and comprehension; written story summaries
  • Poetry recitation
  • Grammar and syntax: mastery of regular and some irregular verb conjugations in present text; sentence agreement
  • Conversational practice: asking questions and describing situations


  • Class divided into two groups for concentrated language study
  • Focus on reading more complex Chinese characters

  • Introduction to basic grammar and simple grammatical structuresLearn to use Chinese / English dictionary to look up unfamiliar words
  • Introduction to Chinese calligraphy

  • Development of Chinese culture through the Qin Dynasty, the unification of ancient China, currency and trade, Terra Cotta warriors, and the Great Wall of China
  • Use rocks/minerals as the theme to introduce more Chinese radicals and characters


  • Music becomes rhythmically challenging and diverse
  • Harmonious and noble music of Classical composers: Mozart, Haydn, Gluck
  • Unmetered music of Gregorian chants
  • Playing and singing in triple meter


  • Creation of sewn stuffed animal: bear, big cat, or elephant.
  • Begin with drawing and clay sculpture of form
  • Precision in pattern making, fabric cutting, and hand sewing


  • Practice with tools: saws, rasps, gouge and mallet, spoke shave, draw knife, drills, and carving knife, finishing techniques
  • Creation of spoons, bowls, simple propellers, and small boxes


  • Movement in geometric patterns complement math lessons
  • Classical meters
  • Three basic elements explored: rhythm, pitch, and beat
  • Increasingly complex forms develop spatial and social awareness
  • Exercises with copper rods introduced to support posture

Games & Gym

  • Themed games based on Medieval and Ancient Roman times
  • Ball games, wide field games, and races
  • Vaulting, balancing, and tumbling skills
  • Spatial Dynamic exercises and Bothmer Gymnastics
  • Beginning self-defense and basic fitness training
  • Global Games event training

Grade 6 Faculty

Mary Barhydt
Class Teacher

Febe Chacon
Dennis Zhu
Kristine Joyce Ragudo
Stacey Hubbard

Yoriko Yamamoto

Rodney Sutton

Monika Leitz

Mona Nemetz
Games and Gym

Laurence Jaquet
Upper Grades Resource Teacher




Sixth graders begin to function on a new intellectual level, no longer needing visible, concrete examples for new concepts. Math instruction expands as well: students take a year-long math track course taught by the middle school Math Teacher, in addition to Main Lesson blocks in math. Sixth graders study probability and statistics, exponents and roots, number theory, order of operations, and area and perimeter of polygons. Main Lesson blocks include business math and geometry.