Grade 6


The theme in Grade 6 is Art's Impact on the World. Students create original works of art reflecting personal choices and increased technical skill. Painting, charcoal drawing, and a study of color form important lessons. Construction activities with three-dimensional materials help the students build spatial awareness, inventiveness, and sensitivity to structure in their environment. The students grow in understanding that artists are innovators and discoverers who use their experiences, perceptions, and ideas to express and influence civilization and culture.


In Grade 6, English classes are dynamic and cooperative. Students build more advanced reading and writing skills to support the demands of middle school academics. During the year, students learn techniques to support analysis, self-reflection, and discussion of both fiction and nonfiction texts. Students delve deeply into the theme Heroes and Villains in both classic and contemporary literature. Writing instruction starts with a focus on complex and varied sentences, followed by planning and creating well-structured and detailed paragraphs. Formal study of grammar and vocabulary continues.


Grade 6 mathematics makes use of two different sections to offer a range of curricula. Students are placed based on their retention of math concepts from previous years as demonstrated on several measures. The goals of all Santa Catalina Middle School math classes are to build skills, confidence, and habits to enable success in high school math no matter the level. Students work toward mastery and retention of concepts in the following courses:

  • Math 6
  • Math 6 Fundamentals


Grade 6 music provides a variety of musical opportunities and experiences twice per week. Students develop their music fundamentals such as rhythm, melody, form, tempo, dynamics, and harmony. They incorporate these fundamentals through exploration of vocal technique and Orff instruments, ear training and sight singing, music theory, stage presence, and general musicianship. All students participate in two musical concerts a year.

Physical Education

Grade 6 students take part in physical education classes four times per week. Physical education includes 10 weeks of swimming—five weeks each in the fall and spring. Students work on their swim strokes and get the opportunity to learn water polo. Grade 6 students sharpen their skills in traditional sports like volleyball, basketball, and tennis. Those who play on school teams have their practices during class time.

Religious Studies

Grade 6 religion, meeting twice per week, focuses on God’s plan as revealed through salvation history. Students study the Hebrew Scriptures, which tell the stories of God’s people. Students read and reflect on Scripture as the word of God. These enduring lessons and truths provide a basis for a better understanding of themselves and their relationships with others. Students develop an appreciation and respect for the Jewish roots of the Christian tradition.


Grade 6 science meets four times a week and uses the Cambridge Physics Outlet (CPO) program to study Earth science. Students take part in hands-on science investigations and learn science study and writing skills. Students learn foundational skills such as the scientific method and metric measurement. Later, they apply those skills to the study of meteorology, oceanography, geology, and biomes.

Social Studies

Using the Teachers' Curriculum Institute (TCI) program, Grade 6 students study ancient civilizations in an interactive and collaborative way. Four times a week, students examine the world’s past from the beginning of human history through the fall of Rome. Students learn the study skills needed to examine historical data: academic writing, note taking, test preparation, test taking, and research.


Grade 6 Spanish is offered in two separate sections to offer grade-level and accelerated paths for students. Students are placed based on past Spanish experience and a placement test. Both paths work to develop student listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in an immersion classroom where Spanish is spoken most of the time. The goal of the Middle School Spanish program is to produce students with the study skills, vocabulary, and grammar needed for placement in Spanish 2 or above at the high school level.


Grade 6 technology meets twice a week and emphasizes using Google Apps for Education and coding. The course reviews and introduces technologies available to the students, who learn to use the school network, the Internet, and a variety of desktop and mobile applications. They work collaboratively to create informative projects and designs, blogs, and digital portfolios. Students participate in projects—which include 3D modeling, video, and animation—as well as work with circuitry and robotics.

Writing Lab

Grade 6 Writing Lab seeks to grow a love of writing in students. The course exposes students to a variety of writing styles and forms, including creative and analytical writing. Students work to develop unique writing voices and to experiment with a variety of techniques.