6th Grade Course Descriptions

  • West Chester Area School District 2021-22 Middle School Course Description Guide

    6th Grade Academic Courses

    Language Arts - English (6th Grade)

    All sixth grade English classes include the study of a variety of texts: novels, poetry, short stories, drama, and nonfiction, which includes speeches, biographies, autobiographies, and editorials. Integrating reading, speaking, listening, writing, and viewing skills encourages critical thinking and effective communication. Students also study grammar, spelling, and vocabulary according to a grade level scope and sequence.

    The specific data points that middle school principals will consider for placement into sixth grade reading and English courses are as follows: teacher recommendation, historical and current PSSA performance in reading and writing, PVAAS projections, and fifth grade reading and writing report card grades. Principals may also consider additional data points that may be available for individual students.

    Cyber Course  - this course is offered in the WC Cyber Program


    English Accelerated Honors Cyber Course

    This course is recommended for avid readers, advanced writers, critical thinkers and those who have a passion for Language Arts. This class teaches students to analyze, explain, and evaluate elements of literature and write at an accelerated pace.

    English 6 Honors Cyber Course

    This class teaches students to analyze, explain, and evaluate elements of literature and writing at a challenging pace.

    English 6 Grade Level Cyber Course

    This class teaches students to explain, evaluate, and analyze elements of literature and writing at a continuous pace.

    Language Arts - Reading (6th Grade)

    Reading Through Time 6 Honors

    This course is for self-directed students who apply advanced reading strategies independently across all content areas.

    Reading Through Time 6 Grade Level

    This course is for students who need additional instruction and practice in developing reading skills and strategies in all content areas.

    Reading Plus Cyber Course

    Reading Plus is designed to provide intense, formal reading intervention by a reading specialist. Students who are required to take this course will be selected based on need as determined by multiple criteria. This course replaces World Cultures and Geography.

    Mathematics (6th Grade)

    All sixth grade Math classes study content as outlined by the Pennsylvania Core Standards, Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content. This includes: Positive & Negative Numbers and the Number Line, Fractions & Decimals, Ratios, Rates, Percent, Algebraic Expressions, Equations & Inequalities, The Coordinate Plane, Area of Polygons, Surface Area & Volume, Statistics, and Measures of Central Tendencies. Instruction focuses on the progression of mathematics from concrete to pictorial to abstract.

    The specific data points that middle school principals will consider for placement into sixth grade math courses are as follows: teacher recommendation, historical and current PSSA performance in math, PVAAS projections, and fifth grade math grades. Furthermore, all students will take the Orleans Hanna Algebra Prognosis Test in the spring of their fifth grade year. Student scores on the Orleans Hanna Algebra Prognosis Test will not include points for self-reported grades in math, science, English or social studies. These results will serve as an additional data point for placement in 6th grade. Principals may also consider additional data points that may be available for individual students.

    Students who are non-proficient on the PSSA may receive math support through an additional math class or support within their regular math class.

    Mathematics 6 Accelerated Honors Cyber Course

    This course is designed for students who have demonstrated the prerequisite skills needed to study math at a high level and a rigorous pace. The curriculum is aligned to provide extensions and enrichment to focus on abstract and complex problem solving.

    Mathematics 6 Honors Cyber Course

    This course provides students with experiences to further build the foundational concepts necessary for the higher study of math. It is intended for students who are continuing the development of their abstract reasoning. Exposure to higher-order problem solving is prevalent within the challenging pace of this course.

    Mathematics 6 Grade Level Cyber Course

    This course focuses on abstract thinking and provides an introduction through concrete and numeric examples. The transition to abstract problem solving occurs at a continuous pace with a focus on supporting a strong foundation of math knowledge.

    Math Plus 6 Cyber Course

    This course replaces a 2 day Unified Arts class
    Math Plus is designed to provide intense, formal math remediation. Students who are required to participate will be selected based on need as determined by multiple data. Math Plus is in addition to a student’s core math class.

    Science (6th Grade) Cyber Course

    The sixth grade science curriculum emphasizes the nature of science and the scientific method which facilitates an appropriate vertical alignment from the elementary science program to the middle school sequence. In accordance with the Pennsylvania State Standards and Assessment Anchors, the principles of life science are taught. Topics include cells, bacteria, plants, animals, heredity, and environmental science. The course utilizes guided inquiry laboratory activities and reading strategies. It offers students a variety of opportunities for acquisition of content and skill development that facilitate their understanding of the process of science and prepares them to become actively engaged in their future learning experiences.

    Social Studies (6th Grade)

    World Cultures and Geography Cyber Course

    In accordance with Pennsylvania State Standards, the sixth grade World Cultures/Geography classes focus on geography, government, economics, and historical analysis of cultures from regions around the world. Included in the study of each region are a variety of thinking skills, problem solving activities, and analysis of text. As the students engage in interactive and creative opportunities, they become more knowledgeable about our world and its diversity. The units of study include a strong emphasis on map and globe skills, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia/Oceania.

    Unified Arts Courses (6th Grade)

    Art Cyber Course

    This class meets 4 days per 6-day cycle for a semester

    The primary focus of this curriculum is to incorporate the elements and principles of art through global study. Emphasizing techniques, tool use, care and safety in the art room, students learn the arts of different cultures through projects utilizing a variety of media. Vocabulary and writing exercises are included in lessons to reinforce new concepts. Ideas learned at the elementary level are reviewed and built upon in the sixth grade.

    Computer Science (6th Grade)

    Computer Science Fundamentals (6th Grade)

    This class meets 2 days per 6-day cycle for 1 quarter

    Computer Science Fundamentals is the first in a series of computer science courses offered for middle school students. This sixth grade course introduces the concepts of computer science such as hardware, software and networking while teaching computer skills in word processing, multimedia and spreadsheets. Digital Citizenship topics are reviewed and practiced throughout the course.

    Computer Science Applications (6th Grade)

    This class meets 2 days per 6-day cycle for 1 quarter

    Computer Science Applications is the second course for 6th grade students. Students build on skills from the first course and are introduced to basic concepts of computer programming through flowcharts, algorithms and applications of the coordinate plane.

    Family and Consumer Sciences (6th Grade)

    Food Science

    This class meets 2 days per 6-day cycle for 1 quarter

    This course introduces students to wellness and healthy food choices as outlined by the principles of the USDA’s My Plate guidelines. Students explore the following content: laboratory and equipment safety, the science of food safety and food borne illness, accurate measuring techniques, chemical changes that occur during food preparation, healthy meal planning and lab procedure guidelines. Students participate in food experiments by applying these concepts. They critique their performance as members of a team.

    Consumer Studies

    This class meets 2 days per 6-day cycle for 1 quarter

    Comprised of two interrelated units, students examine income and expenses in relation to their needs versus wants and use a decision-making model to manage resources. Through the examination of physical, emotional and social needs of the family, the young adolescent learns to distinguish needs and goals across the lifespan. They explore a variety of housing options to suit family structures. Using computer technology, students create a “dream room” involving a budget and purchasing strategies.

    Health (6th Grade) Cyber Course

    This class meets 6 days per 6-day cycle for a semester

    The Health Education Program is designed to motivate and encourage active student participation in developing life skills for optimal emotional, mental, physical, and social health. The curriculum is aligned with the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety & Physical Education and is delivered in a variety of teaching styles to optimize and accommodate student learning. A main goal of the program is for students to apply the knowledge gained to make healthy lifestyle decisions.

    Music (6th Grade)

    Band, Chorus, and String Orchesta all meet 2 days per 6-day cycle for the entire school year.

    If qualified, middle school students may register for ONE performing ensemble class (band, chorus, orchestra) OR they will be enrolled in Classroom Music.

    Band

    Students who play band instruments are given the opportunity to perform many styles of literature from classical to contemporary. The development of technical skills, musical knowledge and self discipline, as well as learning to work together as a unified organization, are important elements of the band program. Group lessons are scheduled on a rotating basis during the school day. Home practice is essential. Extracurricular activities such as Jazz Band, Pep Band, and small ensembles may be offered as enrichment opportunities for exceptionally motivated students. Pennsylvania Music Educators association District 12 band festivals for fifth and sixth grades and other small ensembles, may be offered as enrichment opportunities for exceptionally motivated sstudents.
    Prerequisites: Essential technical skills on a band instrument as prescribed in the district band curriculum and approval by the band director.

    Chorus

    Each grade level practices and performs varied selections of choral literature while working toward developing tone, intonation, diction, blend, balance, and breathing techniques. Furthermore, students will continue to improve their music literacy, ear-training/audiation skills, and sight-reading abilities. Chorus is designed for students who have a high level of interest in singing and improving their vocal skills. Extracurricular ensembles such as Stetson Singers, Peirce Vocal Ensemble, Fugett Chorale, PMEA Songfest, and District Honors Chorus may be offered as enrichment opportunities for exceptionally motivated students.

    String Orchestra

    Students who play string instruments are given the opportunity to perform many styles of string ensemble/orchestral literature ranging from baroque to jazz. Students develop their technique and their knowledge of scales and rhythms as well as their sensitivity to style and character of the music. As a community of people, members of the string orchestra learn to work together with self discipline toward a common goal: excellence in performance. Group lessons are scheduled on a rotating basis during the school day. Home practice is essential, and private lessons are encouraged. Extracurricular activities such as Select Strings, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 12 string festivals for fifth and sixth grades, and other small ensembles may be offered as enrichment opportunities for exceptionally motivated string students.
    Prerequisites: (1) essential technical skills on a violin, viola, cello or double bass and (2) approval by the elementary and middle school string directors.

    Classroom Music Cyber Course

    All Classroom Music students study a variety of topics, including music theory, music history, instrumentation, composition, musical careers, recording, and the music industry. They actively participate in musical performance while learning about the basic elements of music through the use of the MIE keyboard lab and guitars. The Classroom Music course is designed to develop and expand upon the students’ knowledge of history and culture through the medium of music. The course focuses on various instruments of the symphonic orchestra, world instruments, the voice, melody, rhythm, harmony, form and musical theatre productions.

    Physical Education (6th Grade) Cyber Course

    This class meets 2 days per 6-day cycle for the entire school year

    The Physical Education Program provides cognitive, affective and psychomotor learning opportunities aligned with the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety & Physical Education in order to gain a better appreciation, working knowledge and understanding of the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. Students engage in a wide variety of activities including team sports, cooperative games, personal fitness, lifetime pursuits, team building and indoor rock climbing. Classes are differentiated to meet all levels of ability and students are encouraged to optimize their participation by being prepared with a required uniform.

    Technology Education (6th Grade)

    Introduction to Technology

    This class meets 2 days per 6-day cycle for 1 quarter

    Students are introduced to the engineering design process. Students learn how technologies are created, modified, and how they impact every day life.

    Robotics

    This class meets 2 days per 6-day cycle for 1 quarter

    Students engage in the engineering design process while solving problems that relate to real world situations utilizing 21st century manufacturing and robotic principles. Students explore many facets of technology to gain an understanding of the technological world around them.