Grade Six - Emphasizing the Concrete World
Yerkes Observatory Mrs Cooper

“Learning is not done to you. Learning is something you choose to do.”
- Seth Godin.

At this stage of development the student’s world is delineated in absolutes (more inclusive thinking will develop in the future). The 6th grade curriculum focuses on strong guidelines and clear differentiation concepts as well as a morality of right and wrong. During the study of Ancient Greece in fifth grade, the students made a gradual transition from myth to history. Now in sixth grade, the students are interested primarily in fact. Thus students study Roman law, they engage in black and white drawing (for the first time color is restricted), they undertake specific gym exercises that involve overcoming obstacles, and classroom teaching relies heavily on the method of “compare and contrast.”

In sixth grade the students are introduced to laboratory science and physics. Now they are eager to test their ideas and are able to form clear and accurate judgments. Subjects taught include acoustics, optics, heat, magnetism, and static electricity. The goal is to train the students to make careful observations of the physical phenomena in order to arrive at valid conclusions.

In Mathematics, where previously formal shapes have been drawn freehand in earlier grades, the 6th grader learns exact geometric construction with compass and straight edges as well as the mathematical properties of these shapes. The students learn, and apply, business math, including discounts, interest, taxes, and profit and loss.The concepts and computations to calculate perimeter and area and other spatial math are also introduced.

In Language Arts, the students continue to hone their research and writing skills in subject-based papers that research and profile a foreign country. They build academic skills by consulting multiple resources, organizing notes and synthesizing interpretations from their research to present a comprehensive profile of their chosen subject. They practice rhetoric and discourse in formal verbal presentations of their subject matter.

Main Learning Objectives

  • Main Lesson Skills: Academic Organization & Multi-tasking, Mineralogy, Roman Law
  • Language Arts: Ancient Civilizations, Independent Writing, Reading, Vocabulary, Grammar
  • Mathematics: Mechanical/Mathematical Geometry, Decimals, Percentages
  • Sciences: Geology & Mineralogy, Astronomy
  • Geography: South American or European Geography
  • Art: Painting, Drawing, Modeling

Special Subjects

  • Foreign Language: Spanish
  • Handwork: Four Needle Knitting
  • Music: Orchestra, Singing
  • Gym: structured movement activities to improve balance, agility, strength, coordination


  • Write rough drafts; present & incorporate revisions to book reports and research papers.
  • Study and prepare for weekly spelling, math, vocabulary and subject-based quizzes
  • Prepare and submit their Main Lesson block books for periodic assessment & feedback
  • Memorize their lines and actions for parts in the grade monologues & public performances
  • Practice for orchestral performances of music with string instruments (Violin, Viola, Cello or Bass)