Grade 6


Religion

The religion curriculum is based on the Concordia Publishing House series: Voyages-Exploring God’s World Grade 6.  While the major emphasis is on the life of Christ according to Matthew, we begin with a review of the books of the Bible, law and gospel, baptism, and communion.  We conclude with Acts and the growth of the Christian church, ending with Martin Luther and the beginnings of the Lutheran Church.  As part of our religion class we prepare a Passion Drama for chapel on the last day before Easter vacation begins.  Students wear costumes and memorize lines for a reenactment of the events from Palm Sunday through Good Friday.  Memory work includes reciting 5 of the 6 chief parts of Luther’s Small Catechism and memorizing selected Bible verses that correspond with the religion lessons.  In music class students memorize the hymn of the month.

Chapel is held weekly on Wednesday mornings and is led by various leaders including the pastors, the principal, and the teachers of St. John.  Classes from grades 2-8 lead a service each year, and professors from Concordia University and missionaries from the field also provide chapel messages.  Chapel buddies from grades 6-8 accompany K-2 students to assist them in worship activities.  Offerings are collected to benefit specified ministries with an emphasis on missions.

 

Literature

We cover a variety of topics during the sixth grade year from literary elements (character, plot, setting, etc.) to figurative language to folk tales. In addition to this, students read four class novels – one per quarter. Students do a variety of activities and discussion incorporating these books. Students also work on using text evidence to back up an opinion or point they are making as well as other reading skills as outlined in the Nebraska State Reading Standards.
In addition to this, students set a reading goal each quarter (minutes per week or books per quarter) in order to help students to read outside of the classroom. In conjunction with this, students are required to do an independent reading project each quarter. They are able to choose projects from a variety of options to show comprehension, analysis, and creativity.

 

English

In English, students cover grammatical concepts (parts of speech, usage, and mechanics) as well as writing. Students should be writing in a variety of genres each year – informational, narrative, descriptive, and opinion/persuasive. Students are working towards writing in a formal way and to be able to easily write a five paragraph essay given any topic.

 

Math

Math in Focus: The Singapore Approach published by Great Source has been adopted by our school for use in grades 1-6.  Math in Focus offers the authentic Singapore math pedagogy with fewer topics taught in greater depth at each grade level. The program features visual representations and modeling strategies to solve complex problems; a consistent concrete-pictorial-abstract progression; and strong development of both conceptual understanding, place value, and computational fluency so students that understand the “how” as well as the “why.”  We also start the year by learning how to have a growth mindset in math (as well as in other subjects) and how to approach math and problem solving in unique ways.

 

Social Studies

Grades 5 and 6 share a social studies text published by Scott Foresman called Social Studies: The United States which covers topics in American History.  Grade 6 starts with the writing of the Constitution and continues into the current decade.  Our class produces the required Constitution Day activity for the school.  To reinforce some of the major events in our history we simulate a Lewis & Clark Expedition, the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, and World War I/II.  We integrate social studies with art using some well-known artists like Albert Bierstadt and Jacob Lawrence.  The music teacher also introduces music appropriate to the eras when requested.

 

Science

We currently CPO science in grades 6-8.  Science is an active enterprise, made active by our God-given capacity to think. Scientific knowledge advances when scientists observe objects and events, think about how they relate to what is known, test their ideas in logical ways, and generate explanations that integrate the new information into the established order. The best way for students to appreciate the scientific enterprise, learn important scientific concepts, and develop the ability to think critically is to actively construct ideas through their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. In science class we engage students in these processes as they explore the natural world God created.  In sixth grade we study Earth Science.  Major topics include Water, Atmosphere and Weather, Earth Inside and Out, Natural Resources, Earth and its Place in our Solar System.

 

Art

The art curriculum in sixth grade is loosely based on the Elements of Art.  We study line, value, shape, form, value, texture, and color.  Art projects include but are not limited to rudimentary line drawings (gesture and contour lines), paintings (tempera and acrylic), value drawings, clay projects, wire sculpture, mobiles, and bookmaking.  Our class also studies three major artists: Matisse, Calder, and Lawrence.  Once a year our class puts up an art show in the Lunchroom Gallery and a 3-D display in the library.  We visit the Marxhausen Gallery at Concordia when the content is appropriate.  Selected pieces of student art are entered in the Women’s Club Art Contest, and students are encouraged to enter their work in the Gathering of the Talents at Concordia.

 

Spanish

Our school subscribes to the Rosetta Stone Language program for Spanish.  Students each have an account and use it twice a week for 30 minutes.  They may also access the account from home if they have a high-speed Internet connection.

 

Technology/Computer Use

The computer is a tool used as a means to an end.  Since keyboarding skills can enhance that end, keyboarding is taught as an online class for a minimum of two weeks near the beginning of sixth grade.  From then on it is reviewed as needed when time allows.  Spanish is also taught online and requires minimal keyboarding skills.  Word processing, iMovie, Keynote, Notebook are taught on an as-needed basis to provide a vehicle to display knowledge, skills, or information.  The time and length of the lessons depend on the project and availability.  Word processing is used to publish finished writings or make displays.  Many students produce documents at home and bring them to school in print form, as attachments to email, or on a flash drive.

 

Health

We focus on the three parts of health:  physical, mental & emotional, and family & social) and continue by looking at our environment and how it affects us.  We see how God has created the environment around us and how we are to take care of it.  Time and money management as well as diseases that are in the world are also topics that we discuss.

In both health classes, we always remember the Creator of all things because as is written in Psalm 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made:  your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

 

Music/Band Curriculum

Students at Saint John Lutheran School receive classroom music instruction from kindergarten through seventh grade. The curriculum follows the national standards published by the National Association for Music Education, which include creating, performing, listening to, and analyzing music. To these standards, the Saint John music curriculum adds this “Lutheran Addendum”:

  • Recognizing voices and music are gifts from God.
  • Singing from memory a varied repertoire of sacred songs.
  • Joining in congregational singing.

School Music Ensembles:

Beginning Band: St. John students may begin band instruction in 5th grade. Since this group meets outside of the school day, 6th-8th grade students wishing to start learning a band instrument can join the band program.

6th Grade Band: 6th graders continue their band instruction before the school day, but join the 7th and 8th graders in December and 4th quarter to prepare for concerts.

Advanced Band: The 7th and 8th graders have band during the study hall period. The 6th graders often join them in concerts and worship services.

St. John Choristers: All 5th and 6th graders participate in this choir as part of the school music curriculum. Led by Mrs. Werner, the students learn some of the music in separate music classes and rehearse as a larger group once a week. Choristers sing in St. John worship services about once a quarter and in school concerts.

 

Physical Education

Our Physical Education program focuses on keeping children healthy by learning to be active in their lives. God has given us one body and it is up to us to take care of it.  The goal of the program is to help the students enjoy being physically active and understand the basics of different sports so that they may enjoy activity throughout their lives.
Each grade also starts the class out with running laps, which are assigned according to the grade level.  We are fortunate to have physical education every day, so that we can accomplish a lot in a school year.  They also continue to grow in working on good sportsmanship, respect, and kindness as we play different games.  What has been practiced in previous years is expanded upon and brought up to a higher level of performance.
On some Fridays, the students get to choose a game to play.  This is known as our “Free Choice Friday”, which is a great day to be very active and work on our cardio for the week.  What better way to take care of our bodies than to have fun with friends?