Marist Brothers International School


Early Years

Curriculum overview

Grade 6

In the Writing about Reading unit, students will develop their ability to write about what they are reading. They will learn how to state clear opinions and to support these ideas with text evidence. Students will learn how to properly format their responses as they learn to think more deeply about characters and themes.

In the combined Reading and Writing Poetry unit, students will develop a deep understanding of the poetry genre as they study figurative language, elements of poetry, and learn how to write poems inspired by the mentor poems read throughout the unit.

In the Realistic Narrative Writing unit, students will learn about narrative writing and actively participate in the writing process. They will write realistic narratives that include key elements of narrative writing:
ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and conventions.

In the Literary Analysis Essay unit, students will learn how to write a five-paragraph essay in which they craft a claim about a character from a short story. Students will learn how to introduce their claim, provide evidence to support their ideas, and provide analysis of why their points are important. Finally, students will learn how to write conclusions to support their opinion and analysis.

By the end of grade six, students have mastered the four arithmetic operations with whole numbers, positive fractions, positive decimals, and positive and negative integers; they accurately compute and solve problems. They apply their knowledge to statistics and probability. Students understand the concepts of mean, median, and mode of data sets and how to calculate the range. They analyze data and sampling processes for possible bias and misleading conclusions; they use addition and multiplication of fractions routinely to calculate the probabilities for compound events. Students conceptually understand and work with ratios and proportions; they compute percentages (e.g., tax, tips, interest). Students know about pi and the formulas for the circumference and area of a circle. They use letters for numbers in formulas involving geometric shapes and in ratios to represent an unknown part of an expression. They solve one-step linear equations.

The science curriculum in grade six emphasizes the study of earth sciences. Students at this age are increasing their awareness of the environment and are ready to learn more. The standards in grade six present many of the foundations of geology and geophysics, including plate tectonics and earth structure, topography, and energy. The material is linked to resource management and ecology, building on what students have learned in previous grades. Unless students take a high school earth science class, what they learn in grade six will be their foundation for earth science literacy.

Students in grade six expand their understanding of history by studying the people and events that ushered in the dawn of the major Western and non-Western ancient civilizations. Geography is of special significance in the development of the human story. Continued emphasis is placed on the everyday lives, problems, and accomplishments of people, their role in developing social, economic, and political structures, as well as in establishing and spreading ideas that helped transform the world forever. Students develop higher levels of critical thinking by considering why civilizations developed where and when they did, why they became dominant, and why they declined. Students analyze the interactions among the various cultures, emphasizing their enduring contributions and the link, despite time, between the contemporary and ancient worlds.

Japanese advanced/intermediate

Advanced Japanese focuses on learning the Japanese language within the context of the content areas of science, Japanese social studies, and Japanese literature. During the first semester of the Grade 6 course, students will learn the ancient ways of living in Japan from BC (Jomon period) to 2AC (Yayoi period), beginning the goal of students understanding how life styles change through time and comparing lifestyles of the past with those present in modern Japan. Students will also gain general knowledge and understanding of scientific experiments in Japanese. During the second semester, the focus will change to creating five paragraph essays using appropriate vocabulary, form, and style. Students will read non-fictional stories about The Great Hanshin Earthquake while sharing their opinions during class discussions. They also work on typing their essay using computers and learn how to proof-read and revise their drafts. By the end of the course, students will have developed greater ability organizing and expressing their thoughts, in writing and verbally, using the appropriate Japanese, in the content areas mentioned. Students will also work extensively in improving their Kanji ability, learning about 100-150 more Kanji during the year, depending on their current level.

Japanese beginners

Students learn about Japan and Japanese cultures through a variety of activities. They will learn reading and writing Hiragana, Katakana and basic 80 kanji depending on each student’s level. The goal is to be able to understand simple spoken Japanese, follow the instructions, be able to express simple ideas, ask questions, and be able to communicate with others in Japanese.

The physical education program in grade six provides the opportunity to expand a student’s performance and understanding of fundamental movement and motor skills to more specialized movement and motor skills used in a variety of content areas. In sixth grade, students are involved in cooperative games that use rules, skills, and offensive strategies. The skills students learn in grade 6 will be able to be transferred to competitive game situations. Students will also engage in lessons about grade level health and safety.

Students continue to explore the 3 content areas of health: Injury Prevention and Safety, Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs, Mental Emotional and Social Health. Students focus on what they can do to promote good health and their personal well-being. They will learn to make informed decisions, modify behaviors and change social conditions in ways that are health enhancing and increase health literacy. Students will learn to explain methods to reduce conflict, harassment, and violence, explain short- and long-term effects of alcohol, tobacco, inhalant, and other drug use, including social, legal, and economic and describe the importance of setting personal boundaries for privacy, safety, and expressions of emotions and opinions.

The Lower School Visual Art program engages students in making art, viewing and discussing art, learning about contexts in which art has been created, and pondering fundamental questions about art. Emphasis is placed on familiarizing students with a wide variety of studio materials, processes and a high level of fine motor dexterity. Through a variety of art activities students learn the fundamentals elements and principles of design such as line, texture, color, value, and balance. Students explore the art of many cultures and artistic styles throughout history.

The 6th graders music class consists of beginning band. The basic elements are still a main focus including note and rhythm reading, simple musical forms, musical term definition, proper instrument maintenance, and breath control and support. Students select an instrument based on their class at the end of Grade 5 or the beginning of Grade 6. The classes are split into Woodwind (flute or clarinet) or Brass (trumpet or trombone) based on what students select. Instruments are expanded to include saxophone, percussion, or other brass instruments throughout the course of the year based upon the discretion of the teacher. There are instruments available through the school, but students are encouraged to purchase an instrument if possible. Rental agreements and fees apply to students who do not purchase their own instrument.

Students will have the opportunity to think about choices in their personal deeds and daily life, as well as the standards and values of society that influence their choices. This course will help guide students to think critically and to evaluate their acceptance in building a good character. Topics such as Love, Care, Truthfulness and Charity/Compassion are the emphasis throughout the course. All of the topics will be discussed in relation to God, others and the environment. In this course the students also study people who have made great contributions to society, such as – Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Dalai Lama and Mother Theresa.

In sixth grade, students continue to apply more complex search strategies for print and online resources. Sixth-grade students become more sophisticated and safer users of the Internet. Students demonstrate proper and responsible use of technology. Students analyze the evidence they have found to support a research question. Students in sixth grade can explain the authority, timeliness, and accuracy of specific information resources. They restate facts and details and organize those ideas for note taking. Students learn to accurately record citation information for each type of resource used. Sixth-grade students pursue information related to personal well-being. Students continue to read a wide variety of text, making progress toward the goal of reading one million words per year by grade eight.