ADW Language Arts Standards (Grade 6)


The Sixth Grade English and Literature (Language Arts) Curriculum is intended to help students achieve greater proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.  The curriculum is committed to helping develop the students’ understanding and use of strategies which will broaden their knowledge and improve their comprehension as well as increase their appreciation of reading.

Emphasis is placed on the six traits of writing with the expectation that students will leave sixth grade with the capability of being able to express themselves competently in written language. Students will study the elements of structure, conventions, and literary styles of a variety of genres: lyric poetry, narrative prose, drama, and essays.

Selected Goals

As readers, students are encouraged and expected to develop the following skills:

  • The sound comprehension of ideas expressed in the various forms of writing
  • The ability to recognize implications and to make inferences
  • The ability to distinguish fact from fiction
  • The ability to differentiate between fact and fantasy and fact and opinion
  • The ability to identify and describe settings, characters and plots
  • The ability to identify different genres
  • The ability to define unknown words by their roots and context clues
  • The ability to make predictions, summarize, and sequence information in written material
  • The recognition and identification of point of view
  • The recognition of the different forms and purposes of written expression
  • The development of a larger, more varied vocabulary
  • The recognition of personification, metaphors, similes

As writers, students are encouraged and expected to seek proficiency in the following areas

  • Generating ideas about an assigned topic
  • Expressing those ideas in well-ordered paragraphs
  • Constructing sound sentences and using varied syntax
  • Correctly applying the rules of punctuation, grammar, spelling and capitalization
  • Controlling diction and tone
  • Drafting and revising

In Language Arts (Grammar), students are encouraged and expected to develop the following skills

  • Pre-writing strategies for essays and other writing exercises
  • Writing complete sentences and paragraphs
  • Diagramming sentences
  • Listening and speaking
  • Acquiring group learning strategies
  • Reading comprehension strategies
  • Creating meaning through vocabulary study
  • Creating meaning from context
  • Critically responding to information
  • Using dictionaries, atlases, magazines, library catalogs, directories, and other texts
  • Using technology in reading, writing, and oral presentations
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Read daily for 30 minutes from various teacher guided selections
  • Keep a reading journal, which contains an essay on one of the reading experiences, will be submitted for a grade on the first day of the school week
  • Keep a writing journal also used daily, with writing assignments to be completed in the computer lab weekly. Long-term projects, such as research papers, oral presentations, skits, stories, poems, and plays, will require written work to be done at home
  • Pre-reading- introducing vocabulary using context clues, prefixes, suffixes, roots.
  • During reading- Study guides and discussions which utilize strategies to enable students to make personal connections, visualize, identify parts of story, monitor their understanding and recall information.
  • After Reading- Projects done in groups or individually which include reports, skits, speeches, art work, etc.
  • Reading strategies include skimming, rereading, questioning, visualizing, evaluating making predictions, reflecting, inferring, note taking, and summarizing.
  • Using media center time for writing and researching
  • Instruction in grammar- parts of speech, tenses, agreement
  • Vocabulary and Latin Roots instruction
  • Taking notes while viewing instructional videos, during lessons, and speeches given by classmates
  • Delivering speeches and oral reports, acting in skits, acting out stories
Texts Used for Literature
  • The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling
  • Black Ships Before Troy, by Rosemary Sutcliff
  • Children’s Homer, Padraic Colum
  • A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
  • Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
  • Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw
  • The Yearling, by Marjorie K. Rawlings
  • And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie
  • The Adventures of Ulysses (Evslin)
  • Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes (Literature), Prentice-Hall:  Short stories and poems
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
  • Biographies of Authors
Texts Used for English
  • GRAMMAR:  Warriner, John E., ed. Holt Handbook, Introductory Course. Harcourt School Publishing, 2003.
  • VOCABULARY:  Shostak, Jerome. Vocabulary Workshop, Level B. New York: Sadlier-Oxford Press, 1996.
  • Vocabulary from Classical Roots, Series A. Norma Fifer and Nancy Flowers. Cambridge and Toronto: Educators Publishing Service, 2003.
  • Writing Skills by Diana Hanbury King

ADW Math Standards (Grade 6)


The sixth grade curriculum is designed to complete a fundamental understanding of the properties of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals as well as introduce students to integers, their properties, and how to perform calculations with them.  The beginning stages of learning fundamental algebraic concepts takes place in the sixth grade, with the introduction of the order or operations and an equation with one variable.  Comparing two quantities with a ratio or a percent is a large topic as the comparison of two quantities and recognizing how related values may change together is a large part behind algebraic thinking.

Selected Goals
  • Complete a fundamental understanding of place value in large whole numbers and large decimals within the framework of a base 10 system
  • Complete a fundamental understanding of the properties of decimals, fractions, and integers, becoming proficient in their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
  • Gain an understanding of place value, the least common multiple (LCM), greatest common factor (GCF), prime numbers, opposites, and absolute value along the way
  • Become familiar with the order of operations in numerical expressions containing more than one operation, allowing students to correctly evaluate such numerical expressions
  • Introduce the ideas of performing the inverse operation and working backwards and to solve one-step (and possibly two-step) equations involving whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and integers
  • Use ratios to compare two quantities and use the properties of ratios and proportion to determine a missing piece to a proportion problem
  • Extend the concept of ratios through the discussion of percents, learning how they relate to fractions and decimals, and determine the percent of a given number
  • Continuation of basic geometry ideas such as lines, points, angles, polygons, triangles, quadrilaterals, circles, recognizing special cases or pairs of the above list
  • Introduce congruence and similarity
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Almost daily homework assignments to reinforce concepts discussed in class with some review problems of older material as well
  • Solving challenging problems in class

ADW Religion Standards (Grade 6)


The Sixth Grade class will attend religion classes four times weekly. In addition to learning about the traditions of our faith, students will learn commonly used prayers and how to pray in different ways. Graded activities include quizzes from the texts, journal work, class participation, homework activities, and written tests.

Selected Goals
  • Students will read the Bible and examine the teachings of the Church with respect to Biblical history, western liturgical traditions, and Christian doctrine
  • Students will examine their consciences in prayer to seek God’s guidance in their daily thoughts and actions
  • Students will study the liturgy and rituals of the daily and Sunday masses, as well as ceremonies and sacramental observances in the liturgical calendar
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Studying the people, histories, and traditions of the Jewish people and examining the story of  their covenants with God throughout the Old Testament
  • Deepening of the students’ faith through prayer
  • Corresponding Christ’s message from the gospels to daily activities by means of reflection, prayer, and action
  • Demonstrating behavior that fosters respect, sensitivity and appreciation for others
  • Examining the physical and emotional changes that occur during puberty and adolescence
  • Using the following material:  Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts, School Ed., Loyola Press, 2005, New American Bible  (Fireside Study Edition), 2006, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pauline Books and Media
Social Studies

ADW Social Studies Standards (Grade 6)


Students in sixth grade study the regions and nations of the Western Hemisphere, including historical, geographic, economic, political, and cultural relationships.

Selected Goals
  • Ancient Rome and Greece
  • Explorers of the Americas
  • Canada
  • Causes of World War I
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Qualifying for the Olympics: each of the city-states must earn academic points in order to participate in the physical Olympics held at Yates Field House in cooperation with the physical education department
  • Note taking from videos as well as lectures and textbooks
  • Explorers’ Academy Awards:  Researching and selecting explorers of the Western Hemisphere to win a variety of awards
  • Preventing World War I

Art – Curriculum

  • Students will use personal experience, observation and experimentation to generate ideas for artwork.
  • They will follow appropriate steps and use materials safely.  They will use reflection as part of the art process.
  • Students will use a variety of media, techniquesand art forms when producing artwork.
  • Students will use goodcraftsmanship.  They will apply knowledgeand relationships from other disciplines.
  • Students will understand art inrelationship to history and culture. Students will apply criticism and aesthetics when producing and responding to artworks.

The library’s mission is to ensure that students can analyze, evaluate and use information effectively in their journey to become lifelong learners.  The library provides students in grades fifth through eighth with a collection of over 12,000 volumes that have been selected to meet the needs of a diverse curriculum and to promote reading for pleasure.  A range of electronic resources, pre-selected websites, and the online catalog are available from school and home so students have the resources to meet their informational needs.  Students come to the library with teachers as needed to meet these needs.


Music in sixth grade is designed to foster lifelong appreciation of music through active music making. The program follows the Archdiocese of Washington Standards for Music, which provides a framework for teaching rhythm, harmony, melody, notation, texture, form, and performance techniques. Fifth grade will build upon the basic recorder skills students learned in fourth grade. Students will continue to build a repertoire of liturgical music, allowing for greater participation during our school liturgies. Singing and performing repertoire will grow to include Americana, Spirituals, partner songs, and folk/traditional music from the Caribbean, Australia, Africa, Europe, China, and South America. Music history will be introduced through listening and reading.

Students will sing, dance, and perform on class instruments, both pitched instruments (xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels and hand bells) and non-pitched instruments (hand drums, egg shakers and rhythm sticks).

Upper School Chorus: Fifth and sixth grade students are invited to join the Upper School Chorus to sing popular songs (in 2-part harmony) and to sing at school liturgies, the Georgetown University Community Christmas party, and other events throughout the year. Rehearsals are held Thursdays during lunch/recess.

Selected Goals
  • Sing independently and in ensembles with proper technique (diction, breath control, posture, tone quality)
  • Sing expressively with dynamics and articulation
  • Sing in unison and with two-part harmony, partner songs, rounds, descants
  • Play instruments in a group, with a steady beat and using correct technique
  • Play melodies on pitched and non-pitched instruments by rote and by reading
  • Maintain an independent part on instruments while following the cues of a conductor
  • Create and perform rhythmic and melodic accompaniments
  • Improvise melodies and rhythmic variations
  • Create musical questions and answers
  • Perform folk dances and study techniques of dance (tap, ballet, Irish)
  • Experience and study music from a variety of cultures and historical eras
  • Listen to and watch portions of a Broadway musical; learn how to read a score
  • Develop an understanding of musical forms (ABA, AABA, introduction/coda, canon, rounds, partner songs, call and response, theme and variations, rondo, question and answer phrases)
  • Rhythm:  (identify and notate) quarter note, eighth note, half note, whole note, quarter note rest, sixteenth note, dotted half note, dotted eighth note
  • Time signatures: introduce simple vs. compound meter, duple vs. triple meter, mixed meter (5/4, 6/8, 9/8, 2/2)
  • Experience and recognize syncopation, anacrusis
  • Study conducting patterns
  • Note-reading: continue learning about the staff; study chords (I, V, IV)
  • Identify intervals in melodies
  • Improvise melodies on the recorder and mallet instruments
  • Improvise rhythms on non-pitched instruments
  • Identify and apply musical terms for dynamics, tempo, articulation, and expression
  • Tempo and expressive elements:  pp, ff, legato/staccato, accent, fermata
  • Explore music of the Classical Period
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Perform a song or instrumental piece for Grandparent’s Day, kindergarten buddies
  • Learn folk dances from the United States, Ireland, and other countries
  • Accompany a song on recorder
  • Have the opportunity to serve as cantor at a school mass
Physical Education

To engage students in developmentally appropriate activities that creates maximum opportunities for development of skills, knowledge, health-related fitness, and ultimately, the confidence to enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle.

Selected Goals
  • Fitness Development
  • Cooperative Games
  • Development of Soccer Skills and Tactics
  • Development of Ultimate Frisbee Skills and Tactics
  • Frisbee Golf
  • Development of Tennis Skills and Concepts
  • Flag Football (“Capture the Football”)
  • Development of Team Handball Skills and Tactics
  • Development of Basketball Skills and Tactics
  • Development of Volleyball Skills and Badminton Skills
  • Introduction to Hockey and Racquetball Skills and Concepts
  • Track and Field Activities
  • Introduction to Softball Skills and Concepts
  • Introduction to Lacrosse Skills and Concepts
  • Review of Games and Activities
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Regular attendance is required
  • Correct uniform is required
  • Emphasis on effort, sportsmanship, and skill development
  • Students are graded on effort, participation, sportsmanship and skill development

In the sixth grade, the students use programs such as Inspiration Mapping, PowerPoint, and MS Publisher to reinforce and present topics learned in class.  Students continue to build skills in keyboarding and word processing.  Lab time is sometimes used to conduct Internet research for class projects.  Effective strategies for searching and researching on the Internet are introduced, as are issues of plagiarism and fair use.

Updated:  June 2011