Latin School of Chicago

Middle and Upper Schools Curriculum Guide

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The primary goal of the middle school English program is to teach and model the skills necessary for students to effectively articulate responses to literature, the world and themselves. Students are taught to read, think and write in a careful, critical and creative manner. A student-directed Writer's Workshop emphasizes prewriting, organizing, drafting, editing and revising. In Language Arts, students receive additional writing instruction. As they experiment with a variety of literary forms, students work on grammar, style, format and mechanics. 5 TH GR ADE Reading, vocabulary, spelling, higher order of thinking and questioning skills, writing Language Arts: Writer's Workshop Texts may include: Among the Hidden, Fever 1793, Tuck Everlasting, Al Capone Does My Shirts 6 TH GR ADE Literary elements, vocabulary, storytelling, writing (genres include mystery, historical fiction, realistic fiction, nonfiction, short story) Language Arts: Writer's Workshop Texts may include: e Outsiders, e Fun Jungle Series, Trouble, Keepers of the Earth, Shelf Life 7 TH GR ADE Literature, expository and creative writing, grammar, short stories, myths and poetry Language Arts: Writer's Workshop Texts may include: Animal Farm, Diary of Anne Frank, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, House of the Scorpion 8 TH GR ADE Literature, expository and creative writing, grammar, vocabulary, short stories and poetry Language Arts: Writer's Workshop Texts may include: Romeo and Juliet, e Warmth of Other Suns, e House on Mango Street, March The middle school social studies program uses the study of geography, modern world issues and American history to explore the development of the global and local world. As social scientists, students hone their critical thinking, research and writing skills through a variety of projects using MIT Scratch Coding, React Learning SIMS, and the Project Based Learning model. By focusing on the rights and responsibilities of global citizenship, Latin students will become better prepared to address the complex issues the U.S. and other countries face in a rapidly changing and increasingly interconnected world. 5 TH GR ADE Units: Geography, First Americans, Colonial America, Founding of America Sample project: Students create their own continent through an Imaginary Map Project and develop research and speech skills in the Culture Clash. 6 TH GR ADE Units: America and Guns, Germs, and Steel, Slavery and Reform Movements, Industrial Revolution and Migration, American Culture Project Sample project: Focusing on an aspect of American culture of their choosing, students utilize historical skills and design thinking to develop a project that requires an action component. 7 TH GR ADE Units: Migration and its Global Impact on Society, Immigrants and Cultural Integration, Sports and Globalization, e World in a Candy Bar, e Scramble for Africa, Chocolate's Evolution From New World Currency to Global Addiction, Teaching Islam in a Post 9/11 World, Africa is not a Country. Sample project: Students create both a coding project and participate in a simulation focused on the Syrian Refugee Crisis and a digital exchange with middle school students in Pakistan. 8 TH GR ADE Units: 9/11, Constitution, Civil War, World War I, e 1920s and America between the wars, World War II, Cold War and Communism, Civil Rights, Gay Rights, Oral History, Current Events Sample Project: Family History Project: students research, interview, and write about their own families over a period of months. ey present the final product to classmates and family. The middle school mathematics curriculum expands on the areas of number theory, geometry and other pre-algebra concepts and skills. As students are introduced to higher levels of abstract thinking, they are taught to apply previously learned skills to solve more complex problems. Problem-solving skills and strategies are emphasized. At a minimum, all students will complete an Algebra 1 course. Students gain experience with technology including iPad applications, scientific and graphing calculators, geometry software, experience with coding and interactive whiteboards. 5 TH GR ADE Number theory, estimation and calculation, geometry, fractions, decimals and percents, coordinates, area and circles, pre-algebra concepts and skills 6 TH GR ADE Pre-Algebra: Operations with and uses of fractions, decimals and integers, scientific notation, metric conversions, order of operations, rates and ratios, percent, exponents and square roots, commutative and associative properties, dimensional analysis Accelerated Pre-Algebra: Additional topics: probability, multiplication and division with scientific notation, geometry, logic statements, translating words into algebraic expressions and equations 7 TH GR ADE Pre-Algebra/Algebra 1 (Part 1): Statistics and displays, ratio and proportion, introduction to geometry, probability, variables, rational numbers, solving equations and inequalities with one variable Honors Algebra 1: e real number system, polynomials and exponents; functions and relations, linear, quadratic, and exponential models 8 TH GR ADE Algebra 1 (Part 2): e real number system, polynomials and exponents, functions and relations, linear, quadratic, and exponential models Honors Algebra 2: Functions; conic sections (parabolas, circles, ellipses, and hyperbolas), properties of exponents and logarithms, rational functions, right triangle trigonometry An experiential, inquiry-based approach is at the heart of middle school science teaching and learning. Middle school students discover and learn about biological, physical, earth and space sciences. They also learn to observe, measure, experiment, think critically and communicate their scientific understandings through a variety of methods. 5 TH GR ADE Chemistry: Properties of matter, atoms, periodic table Physics: Simple machines, electricity, engineering Biology: Plant growth and development 6 TH GR ADE Cells: Microscope skills, cell structure and function, cellular life cycles Animal Life: Classification, behaviors, characteristics, adaptations Ecology & Environmental Science: Biomes, human impact, environmental solutions 7 TH GR ADE Microbiology: molecules, protein, carbohydrates, lipids, fats Heredity & Genetics: DNA, genes, meiosis, cloning Human Biology: Organ systems, structures, functions, anatomy, biomimicry Physical Science & Perception: Optics and the eye, sound and the ear STEM: Robot Hand project 8 TH GR ADE Meteorology: Weather elements, systems and data analysis; extreme weather patterns Geology: Plate tectonics, Earth's interior, rocks and minerals Astronomy: Moon, astronomical motions, planetary characteristics and geology, history and future of space travel Environmental Stewardship: Effects of climate change and conservation of natural resources The modern languages curriculum at Latin follow an oral proficiency program, which focuses primarily on speaking and listening. Using comprehensible texts and authentic resources, students develop their reading and writing skills as they become proficient speakers. The middle school Latin language curriculum prepares students to read authentic texts and introduces them to Roman civilization. 5 TH GR ADE Latin: Read texts that include nouns in the nominative and accusative cases in the first three declensions and verbs in the present, imperfect and perfect tense French: Basic greetings and salutations; talking about likes, dislikes, school, family and food Chinese: Basic greetings and salutations; talk about family, pets and the Chinese zodiac; write and type Chinese characters Spanish: Talk about friends and family, activities, preferences, a school day and food 6 TH GR ADE Latin: Read texts that include nouns in the dative and ablative cases, pronouns, relative clauses, adjectives and irregular verbs French: Describe your typical day at school, at home and in the community Chinese: Describe personalities, appearances, country of origin and languages spoken, school, sports, hobbies Spanish: Discuss specific events, daily routines and leisure activities 7 TH GR ADE Latin: Read texts that include verbs in the pluperfect tense, nouns in the genitive case, 4th and 5th declension nouns and perfect participles French: Discuss how we celebrate together around the world, helping others and describing events in the past Chinese: Discuss time, daily routines, weekend plans, extend invitations or ask permissions Spanish: Important historic events and celebrations, shopping, routines, leisure time and technology, movies and TV 8 TH GR ADE Latin: Read texts that include verbs in the subjunctive, deponent verbs present participles French: Discuss childhood experiences, feelings, health, art, literature and future plans Chinese: Buy and negotiate prices; discuss food preferences; study Chinese culture through readings, class activities and presentations Spanish: Talk about childhood experiences, the environment and helping others, Spanish and Indigenous heritage in the Americas In middle school physical education, students participate in a wide variety of activities designed to develop skills, improve fitness, increase cognitive function and social development by encouraging leadership, cooperation and problem solving. The program's goal is to establish lifelong fitness through unique and relevant experiences. 5 TH GR ADE Units: Striking, throwing and catching, organizational games, swimming, racquet sports, fitness, yoga, diamond games, basketball, soccer, fitness challenge, Human Growth and Development 6 TH GR ADE Units: Football, field hockey, volleyball, team building, fitness, swimming, yoga, ultimate games, unique games, softball, fitness challenge 7 TH GR ADE Units: Volleyball, floor hockey, Frisbee, golf, swimming, unique games, fitness, fitness challenge, racquet sports, yoga/Pilates, basketball, track and field 8 TH GR ADE Units: Team building, fitness, sport education (student led curriculum whereby each student has the opportunity to assume the various roles associated in a variety of sports and activities), fitness challenge Music, Theater, Dance, Movement The goal of the middle school performing arts program is to give students the time and opportunities to explore their artistic interests and talents. Students participate in band or chorus and dance and drama. They are introduced to the fundamentals and develop skills in each area. Throughout the year they perform in musical concerts, dance presentations or in middle school theater productions. 5 TH –7 TH GR ADES Students choose Band or Chorus (year-long), and have one trimester each of Drama, Dance and Visual Arts. 8 TH GR ADE Students choose Band, Chorus or Arts Cycle. 5 TH – 8 TH GR ADES Band: Students are introduced to band instruments, reading music and ensemble performance and refine these skills, working on increasingly complex pieces. Chorus: Students are introduced to the Solfege scale, basic posture, Bel Canto breathing; performance practice, one-part and two-part songs, note and rhythm identification and build on these skills. 5 TH –7 TH GR ADES Drama: students are introduced to story dramatization, pantomime, theatre vocabulary, character development, dramatic structure, vocal characterization, stage direction, playwriting, and theatre history. 8 TH GR ADE Students refine drama skills and work on units including: costume design, radio plays, performance, and a study of ornton Wilder's Our Town. 5 TH – 8 TH GR ADES Movement/Dance: Students learn about the elements of movement; locomotor and axial movement; core; posture and alignment; dance technique, beginning choreography; folk dance, ballet and modern dance history. In middle school, the visual arts curriculum focuses on skill development and the expression of individual ideas. Students are encouraged to increase their observational skills and become aware of visual art elements and principles. Students also learn to make connections between their world and their art. 5 TH GR ADE Drawing the human figure, Greek mythology, still life drawing, value studies in black, white and gray, illuminated manuscripts, Impressionist painting 6 TH GR ADE Self-portraits, optical effects, mannequins, cityscape, chalk drawings, digital dinosaur painting 7 TH GR ADE Value painting of animals, Chinese Lattice design, Aboriginal dot painting, Chimera painting, genre drawing, color gradations 8 TH GR ADE Abstract design, illusion of depth, collage, contour hand drawing, transformation drawing, color theory painting, Cubism, interior shaded drawing, and personal monuments connected with their Project Week to Washington D.C. The middle school computer science program aims to highlight the foundational concepts of computer science in a manner all students will find accessible and relatable. An interdisciplinary approach further illustrates the universal applicability of the discipline. Students will achieve an understanding of how digital information is encoded, how to approach problems algorithmically, and how programming can be used in both creative and problem solving capacities. Students will be exposed to a wide array of programming concepts and environments and will further explore these topics via "unplugged" activities and cross-curricular projects. The middle school library program is structured around two major components: the teaching of research and library skills and promoting the love of reading. While there are no separate library classes, the librarians work closely with faculty in developing units that integrate library and research skills into the curriculum. The goal of the middle school learning resources program is to create successful, independent learners who are capable of advocating for themselves and utilizing the resources available to them. Students receive support with study skills and strategies,classroom assignments, and executive functioning skills. Safety and well being are the main priorities of the counseling program in the middle school. The counselor offers assistance and expertise to students who may be experiencing psychological stress, social difficulties and acute crisis, or are participating in high-risk behaviors. The middle school counselor offers an open and accepting environment in which each student is treated with care while promoting respect for diversity, equity and inclusion. The counselor also serves as a consultant and liaison to parents, faculty, staff and administrators, while helping community members to understand the child/adolescent development process. Any student or family member may request to be referred to the counselor, who will work collaboratively with families to develop the best plan to address that student's needs. Students are also always welcome to stop by the counseling office informally to discuss any issues concerning their own well being or the well being of others. The counselor provides programs around social/emotional wellness for students, and provides parent education opportunities around these themes throughout the year. PERFORMING ARTS VISUAL ARTS COMPUTER SCIENCE LIBRARY LEARNING RESOURCES COUNSELING SCIENCE LANGUAGES MATHEMATICS HISTORY & SOCIAL STUDIES ENGLISH 5 TH GRADE 6 TH GRADE 7 TH GRADE 8 TH GRADE PHYSICAL EDUCATION Middle School 2018 /2019 CURRICULUM MAP Questions? Visit, or email us at

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