Grade 6

Curriculum Guide

English

6 periods per week

The sixth grade English program aims to nurture basic skills and to develop them further through activities involving listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Following a balanced literacy approach to the study of English, as well as making use of technological tools, the course is comprised of shared reading, independent reading, writing workshop, vocabulary and grammar study.

Writing

Students are encouraged to view writing as a process involving prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Throughout this process, they will also collaborate with their peers to improve their writing. A variety of writing will be explored such as narrative, descriptive, and expository.

Grammar

Although grammar is taught in the context of student writing as they pursue accuracy and through literature and language texts, some class time will be set aside for a more in-depth study of grammar concepts.

Vocabulary

Students are encouraged to increase the depth and versatility of the vocabulary they use in their writing. Students collect new words from their shared and independent reading material to study and practice spelling, and then are encouraged to incorporate all of these new words into their writing. Students also expand their vocabulary in writing as they go through the writing process. Both British and American standard spellings are acceptable.

Reading

Literature is a primary stimulus for both student discussion and a springboard to writing. During shared reading, selected novels, poetry and short stories are studied in depth, and students engage in discussions about what they read. In the independent reading portion of the course, students learn practices of effective readers, including the selection of books and responding to reading. A wide variety of quality literature is available for students to borrow in both the school library and the grade 5/6 classroom library. Students are encouraged to read extensively outside of the classroom.

Oral Skills

Students are encouraged to gain confidence in expressing themselves accurately and concisely through class and group discussion, as well as reading aloud their own work and the set texts. At least two formal oral presentations will be assigned during the school year.

Homework and Assignments
Students can expect to do approximately 15 minutes of homework per 40-minute English class.

Homework may be in the form of:

  • Reading
  • Responses to literature (i.e. worksheets, journal writing, blog posts)
  • Vocabulary exercises
  • Grammar and mechanics exercises
  • Process writing (prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, publishing)
  • Oral presentations
  • Blog/Wiki posts
  • Posters and other projects

Students will also complete occasional quizzes and tests on the course material.

Texts

  • WRITESOURCE New Generation
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • The Master Puppeteer by Katherine Paterson
  • Harcourt Trophies
  • Houghton Mifflin Reading

Mathematics

6 periods per week

At each level, the mathematics program introduces and develops new topics and skills while building on the skills previously learned. Its aim is to develop an appreciation of the power and beauty of mathematics at appropriate levels of concrete and abstract development. Investigational and practical tasks are fully integrated into the work using a range of modes of learning, including doing, observing, talking and listening, discussing with other students, reflecting, drafting, and writing. Mental mathematics and problem-solving are used throughout the course. Students are encouraged to monitor their own progress and to develop confidence in using a range of mathematical skills. Topics include the following:

Topics include the following:

  1. Number and Computation - understand and build on number facts using non-calculator methods, continue to develop fraction, decimal, and percentage skills, competent use of, and knowledge of different methods for, the four basic operations, use all four operations with directed number
  2. Measurement and Geometry - use different instruments to measure to a variety of accuracies, read and understand timetables, calculate differences between times, convert between different units of time, measure angles and bearings, use correct angle notation, work with supplementary and complementary angles, and angles within parallel lines, construct triangles and regular polygons using protractors or a set of compasses, use isometric paper to draw 3D shapes, draw nets for 3D objects, find area of more complex shapes, calculate surface area and volume of prisms, calculate missing dimensions from a known area or volume
  3. Patterns and Algebra - identify, describe, and write expressions for, linear number patterns, substitute values into equations, plot linear functions, write equations for straight line graphs

Homework
Continuation of classroom assignments or reviewing for quizzes. 15 minutes per school day.

Assessment
Assessment of the level of individual student progress is derived from a wide variety of sources that may include:

  • Class work
  • Homework
  • Projects
  • Quizzes and tests

Science

4 periods per week

This is the second year of the three-year Middle School general Science course. It aims to provide the student with a basic and broad knowledge of Science that can be developed further up the school. The course is taught with an emphasis on skill and knowledge development through practical work. As well as learning science skills i.e. observation, recording data, analyzing information, planning and carrying out experiments, the students will also develop their skills of researching and group work.

  1. Water & Air - Investigating water (including its properties, the water cycle and water pollution) and air (including the main gases and their properties and air pollution).
  2. Sound, Light and Senses - The properties of sound and light and how the eyes and ears work.
  3. Ecology - How living things interact with each other and their environment.
  4. Forces - Investigate different types of forces and their effects.
  5. Human Body - An introduction to the structure and function of human body systems.
  6. Astronomy - The solar system and the effects on the Earth of the Sun and the Moon.

Homework and Assignments
These will include:

  • Lab reports
  • Researching
  • Written reports
  • Oral and multimedia presentations
  • Practice questions
  • Reading

Assessment
The development of the science skills outlined above will be assessed along with organisational skills. The development of scientific knowledge is assessed through a variety of assignments and quizzes.

Social Studies

5 periods per week

The sixth grade Social Studies curriculum includes the study of History and Geography while making connections to today’s world whenever applicable.
In History, the course aims to introduce the civilizations of East Asia with particular emphasis on the cultural appreciation of Japan and China.
In Geography, map reading and atlas skills are enriched.
Some of the course objectives are:

  • To enrich the experience of living in the "East"
  • To foster an appreciation of China’s influence on the region
  • To develop an understanding of the unique histories and cultures of Tibet and Korea
  • To provide a historical background to the culture of Japan
  • To explore the concept "culture"
  • To further develop map work and atlas skills
  • To foster historical imagination
  • To explore the ways in which trade develops and enriches the lives of people

Homework
Continuation of class work, written work, research, map work

Assignments
Research, presentations, writing exercises, projects, history chronicles

Assessment

  • Written work, note taking, reading comprehension, interpreting sources, extended writing and research projects
  • Oral skills: class discussion, debate, individual and group presentations
  • Tests and quizzes
  • Simulations and role-play
  • Class participation

Media

1 period per week

ICT (Information, Communication and Technology)

The main objective of ICT classes in the Grade 6 is to develop each student’s independence on the computer through engaging assignments in which skills can be transferred to all other curriculum areas.

By the end of Grade 6, students will have:

  • become proficient using Google Docs to manage files as well as save, share and work collaboratively.
  • further developed basic coding skills using the Python programming language.
  • created interactive slideshows that progress in a non-linear format.
  • learned to use spreadsheets to plan and budget.
  • reviewed and learned to practice online safety.

Library

Library Media Studies

The purpose of this course is to ensure that the students are confident users of the facilities and resources offered in the Middle and High School library. Students will continue to learn about the borrowing policies associated with various resource types and how to locate those resources in the library, particularly through the use of the Alexandria Online catalog database. Students will learn how to conduct and refine searches in other digital environments such as EBSCO Host’s journal database and other online resources. They will focus on locating and evaluating scholarly and trusted information on the internet that will assist them in meeting their future research needs. The development of information literacy skills will be a core objective of the course. An appreciation of literature and opportunity to read for pleasure will be addressed by participation in the Sakura Medal program.

Languages

The sixth grade language classes are scheduled with sixth grade classes. All three languages offered are timetabled simultaneously and classes in all three languages develop the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing and are kept small to maximize language acquisition.

JAPANESE: 4 periods per week

Japanese as a Second Language

The aim of this course is for students to acquire sufficient competence in Japanese to meet their communicative needs, to gain knowledge and appreciation of Japanese culture and to enjoy using the language so that they may become life-long learners. Students will acquire sufficient competence in Japanese by developing all four language skills. Students are placed in different levels according to their language ability. Classroom activities include oral, reading, writing, role-play, skits, interviews, essays, journals, projects, presentations, etc.

Assessment: Unit test (speaking, listening and writing), quizzes (oral and written), kanji, essays, homework, oral presentation (skit, speech, interview, presentation and oral work in class), projects and class participation.

Japanese as a First Language

This course is designed for native Japanese speakers and follows the Japanese language curriculum program used in the Japanese schools. Students follow a balanced program, which incorporates development in the four language skills. Students develop critical thinking, linguistic sensibility and sensitivity through reading of fiction and nonfiction, appreciating poetry and writing on varied topics. Kanji skill is developed as well as relevant and accurate expressions in writing and speaking. Students are given the opportunity to connect with their own experience and to foster a positive attitude to Japanese culture and other cultures. Teachers use varied methodology in class and students are placed in levels according to their language ability.

Assessment: Unit test, quizzes , kanji, essays, homework, oral presentation (skit, speech, interview, presentation and oral work in class), projects and class participation.

FRENCH: 4 periods per week

Language as communication is the basic concept of the fifth and sixth grade French program. There are two levels offered to students who are placed according to their proficiency in the four language skills. Students will learn to read, speak and write about a variety of topics beginning with themselves and reaching out to the world around them.
Grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary are presented in dialogues, descriptions, short stories, poems, small plays, drill exercises, educational games, songs, as well as using video and Internet resources. These are integrated through specific projects and productions (dialogues, descriptions…). Emphasis is placed on vocabulary expansion, verb tense mastery and pronunciation. Students are encouraged to extend their language skills beyond the program when possible
Within the study of the language, students will discover French culture, as well as other cultures included in the French speaking world known as La Francophonie.
The levels taught are in line with DELF’s exams of French Ministry of Education.

Reference Book: Et toi 1, Manuel + Exercise book. (A1 of CECR)
Homework: Text comprehension, grammar and vocabulary
Assessment: Tests, quizzes (oral and written), listening practice, reading and conversation in class, oral presentation, class
participation and homework

ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE: 4 periods per week

A student enrolled in the ESL (Language) program has additional English language instruction while other students are taking French or Japanese. ESL students use these periods for theme-based English Language study with a communicative and genre-based focus. Content material is often based on the themes and the language skills addressed in mainstream classes.

ESL students in this program have generally achieved a strong communicative competence in their interpersonal use of language. However, because their academic language skills are still developing, additional ESL instruction is needed. This course aims to develop academic reading and writing skills, in particular. As student independence is also one of the goals of the ESL program, these classes also aim to further develop learning-how-to-learn skills, as well as compensatory strategies to enable students to continue to learn language independently. Instruction and assessment focus on skills which enable students to self-monitor, self-correct, and self-assess in order to become active and independent language learners.

Once a student has acquired a level of competency that allows her to function in the content areas along with her peers, she will transfer from the program to take either Japanese or French, provided there is a suitable class available.

Assessment: A student’s growth in English is monitored on a regular basis through a variety of language-based tasks. Effort and in-class participation are also important criteria in the assessment of an individual’s language development.

Creative and Performing Arts

ART: 2 periods per week for one semester

The course aims to promote an enjoyment and appreciation of art while developing the necessary skills to enable the realization of successful works of art. Students will complete projects that give them experience in the areas of drawing (charcoal), painting (watercolour and acrylics) and design. Emphasis is placed on both creativity and skill development. By teacher demonstration and practice, students will learn to use art materials, equipment and techniques with confidence and proficiency. The development and improvement of observational skills will be encouraged as well as the ability to develop a thoughtful, original, and well-composed finished piece.
Assessment: Critiques of work (in progress and completed) and written feedback, selection of work for display within the school and possibly in exhibitions such as Artscape

DRAMA: 2 periods per week for one semester

All activities in this course are based on aspects of storytelling, limericks, fables, improvised stories, group stories, sound effect stories, stories in verse, stories of the East. Skills developed include clarity and fluency. Integration of movement and speech, drama improvisation, and public performance.
Assessment: Students will be assessed on their group co-operation, participation, their ability to focus, their ability to master simple accurate dramatic expression

HOME ECONOMICS: 2 periods per week for one semester

Students broaden the skills learned in fifth grade. Through teacher demonstration and practice, they acquire knowledge about kitchen and food safety, basic kitchen equipment, measuring techniques, cooking terminology and techniques and dishwashing techniques. For nutrition education, MyPlate dietary guidelines is used so that they become comfortable and confident in their food choices. Table manners are also emphasized.
Assessment: Class participation, motivation, positive attitude, cooperation with group members, time management, organization of self and materials, clean up, group reflection and self-evaluation

MUSIC: 1 period per week for one year

This course aims to develop an appreciation of music through a varied schedule of activities including guided listening, note-reading, composition, performance through singing and instruments. Ancient chants to popular songs of today are included in the range of this course as students are asked to deepen their knowledge of music as reflected in different cultures. It is hoped that students will come to understand the central place that music plays in our lives. In sixth grade students are taught to read music and sight-reading becomes part of the course. In addition, students continue to develop their understanding of music theory.
Assessment: Projects, presentations, worksheets, written Homework, tests (written, aural, transcription, listening, sight-reading), quizzes, group work/performance, posters, public performance, effort

POTTERY: 2 periods per week for one semester

Students follow a developmental syllabus building on the work from fifth grade. They are given opportunity to work through throwing skills and techniques. Students will make thrown, extruded and slip cast pottery. Students will make, decorate and glaze their own pots. There will also be problem-solving group projects, which use 3D materials. Surface decoration, slipware, texture and sculptural additions will also feature in this course. Students begin basic throwing techniques. Glass and basic glaze techniques are explored at this level

Assessment: Group critiques of student work, teacher assessment of finished practical work, written feedback to students at the end of each project block, written self-assessment by students at the end of each project block, regular public display of student work throughout the school, selection of better pieces for inclusion in Artscape annual children's art exhibition, class participation, motivation, co-operative group work, organization of self and materials

Values

2 periods per week

The aim of all Values courses is to encourage students to discover and define the values by which they live, to show concern and respect for all people and for their faith, to reflect on their own behavior and to value prayer and spirituality.

The Values program at Grade Six will focus on World Religions including Christianity.

World Religions

The aim of studying World Religions is to introduce students to the history and fundamental beliefs of some of the major world religions. Students are encouraged to discover and define the values by which they live, to manifest concern and respect for others, to reflect on their own behavior and to value prayer and worship. An understanding of the common strands in all religions is fostered. During this year, Hinduism and Sikhism are the major faiths that are studied.

Christianity

The aim of studying Christianity is to encourage students to consider their own beliefs and faith. We will look at the history of the Bible. Students reflect on their own experience and beliefs as well as on the experiences and beliefs of others through the themes of Story and Values. We will look at morality, decision making skills and the dangers of Prejudice and Discrimination.

Assessment
In Grades 5 and 6 teachers will use a variety of methods to assess the student’s progress. Students will be assessed on:

  • Class work
  • Group work
  • Written work
  • Participation in class

Physical Education

3 periods per week

The Physical Education program promotes mental, physical, emotional and social development through guided sports activities. The students work in an educational environment which promotes an enjoyment of sport and provides opportunities for students of all levels to improve their skills, ability and understanding in the sport or activity being studied.

In Grade 6 students participate in a number of sports and activities covering skills, game play, rules and strategies.
Incorporated within the program is extensive fitness testing.

Inter-Scholastic League Sports
All students are encouraged to participate in the Sacred Heart sports teams, which practice after school and compete against other international schools in the Tokyo area on Saturdays.

Fall Sports Season (Sep - Nov)

  • Volleyball
  • Cross-Country

Winter Sports Season (Nov - Feb)

  • Netball
  • 7 aside Soccer

Spring Sports Season (March - May)

  • Track and Field
  • Basketball