Return to Curriculum

6th Grade

Literacy Class

Engage, NY Curriculum:

Cultural Immersions (Unit 1): Students will learn how children from around the world live their daily lives and how these children overcome struggles. We will be teaching students how to effectively become close readers and how to use the A.P.E. (Answer, Prove, Explain) strategy for writing.  Students will also be working towards our goal of becoming globally aware citizens.  This unit is not on the Engage, NY website.


Module 1: Myths, Not Just Long Ago: Students will be reading a high interest fantasy novel, The Lightning Thief, during this unit.  They will be using Greek myths and nonfiction texts to enhance their understanding of the novel. Students will be learning about an archetypical hero’s journey, developing their knowledge of the typical plot diagram, learning to answer text dependent questions, and learning how authors develop character perspectives.  Additionally, students will learn how to write analytical essays and the story of an archetypical hero; we will practice these types of writing as well.


Module 2a: Working with Evidence, Rules to Live By: Throughout this unit, students formulate their views of “rules to live by” through reading Steve “Jobs’ Commencement Speech to Stanford University”, Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”, and the novel Bud, Not Buddy. Students will continue to practice using text evidence to justify their ideas. They will learn to identify figurative language, word choice, and structure in a variety of genres and analyze how this word choice affects tone and meaning. Students will learn how text details can be used to develop theme and compare/contrast theme across texts, students will learn to make judgments about rules (text details) in the texts they read (Do Bud’s rules help him survive or thrive?), and they will practice writing analytical literary essays and persuasive essays as well.


Module 3b: Author’s Point of View and Perspective: Students will be reading two books in this unit, Flush and World Without Fish. They will begin the unit reading the nonfiction text and use the information they learned to enhance their understanding of the novel. In this unit students learn how authors develop their point of view based on perspective and geographic location. As students read texts about ocean conservation and the impact of human life on life in the ocean, they will consider the point of view of two authors as well as their own point of view. They will read closely, answer text dependent questions, use evidence to back their thinking, practice identifying how characters perspectives are developed in a novel, and learn strategies do acquire academic vocabulary. Students will practice writing for a real world purpose. They will develop consumer guides that will be shared in local grocery stores. These guides will encourage shoppers to buy fish that were caught using sustainable methods. We also practice sustainable fishing methods in the pond by our middle school in this unit!


Humanities Class

The Eastern Hemisphere

In all Humanities Units, we compare how the culture we are studying is similar and different to our culture today. 

We also discuss contributions each culture has given to our society today.

Unit 1: Eastern Hemisphere Geography: The geography of the Eastern Hemisphere has influenced human culture and the way they settled.  Civilizations occurred the way they did because humans adopted to or modified their physical environments.


Unit 2: Stone Age/ Neolithic Revolution: We learn in this unit how the people of the Stone Age developed and how they changed from nomadic tribes to farming communities.


NYS Inquiry: Was the Development of Agriculture Good for Humans?


Unit 3: Early River Valley Civilizations in The Eastern Hemisphere; In this unit, we particularly focus on Ancient Egypt and the impact of the Nile River on the development of this civilization.  Students complete a multiple intelligences project on a topic of their choice during this unit.


NYS Inquiry: Does Religious Freedom Exist?


Unit 4: Ancient India: Students compare how Ancient India was developed to Ancient China.  They learn about aspects of culture that were unique to Ancient India and similar to other civilizations around the world.  Students directly use the information we learned about in our religions inquiry in this unit. During this unit we complete a caste system simulation activity.


Unit 5: Ancient China: In this unit, we compare the culture of Ancient China to cultures we have previously covered while learning about unique characteristics of the culture of Ancient China.  Like our Ancient India unit, students directly use information we learned from our religious freedom inquiry to understand the major religions of Ancient China.  A highlight of this unit is learning about Chinese dynasties.


Inquiry: Should the One Child Policy have been changed? (Infographic project)


Unit 6: Ancient Greece: Students have background knowledge to draw upon for this unit from our first literacy module when students explored Ancient Greek myths.  Students will learn how this complex society developed, rose to power, and fell from power.  We will also discuss natural buriers during this unit.  This unit is filled with centers and inquiry based activities.


NYS Inquiry: Are the Olympics About More than Sports?


Unit 7: Ancient Rome: This unit is much like our Ancient Greece unit.  We explore how this empire came to power, rose to power, developed, and fell.  We also talk about the influence of natural buriers and the sea.  At the end of this unit, students will complete a research project; they will work through a Webquest to explore a topic of choice from Ancient Rome and complete a Thing Link to demonstrate their knowledge of their topic and our essential question “How have the Ancient Romans influenced us today?”


NYS Inquiry: Did the Chinese and the Romans Know Each Other?


Unit 8: Feudal Western Europe, Byzantine Empire, Islamic Caliphates: Students will learn how these civilizations reshaped the Mediterranean World after the fall of the Roman Empire.  These three cultures and religions practiced by them interacted with each other and clashed over control of the holy lands.


NYS Inquiry: Was the Caliphate of Córdoba a Success?


Unit 9: Interactions Across the Eastern Hemisphere: In this unit, we will learn how trade networks caused exchange of language, belief systems, tools, ideas, and inventions.


NYS Inquiry: Can Disease Change the World?