Latin School of Chicago

Middle and Upper Schools Curriculum Guide 2019-20

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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. There is additional grammar instruction through the No Red Ink program. 5 TH GR ADE Reading, reading strategies and skills, vocabulary, spelling, higher order of thinking and questioning skills, expository and creative writing Language Arts: Writer's Workshop and grammar instruction Texts may include: Among the Hidden, Fever 1793, Tuck Everlasting, Al Capone Does My Shirts 6 TH GR ADE Literary elements, fiction and nonfiction reading strategies and skills, vocabulary, storytelling, expository and creative writing Language Arts: Writer's Workshop and grammar instruction Texts may include: e Outsiders, e Fun Jungle Series, Trouble, Keepers of the Earth, Shelf Life 7 TH GR ADE Literature, fiction and nonfiction reading strategies, expository and creative writing, grammar, short stories, myths, and poetry Language Arts: Writer's Workshop and grammar instruction Texts may include: Animal Farm, Diary of Anne Frank, House of the Scorpion, It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, Shadow Hero 8 TH GR ADE Literature, fiction and nonfiction reading strategies expository and creative writing, grammar, vocabulary, short stories and poetry Language Arts: Writer's Workshop and grammar instruction 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 GRADE Units: Geography, Hunter-Gatherers, Guns, Germs & Steel, European Exploration, Colonial America, Revolutionary War, the Founding of America Sample project: Students design an imaginary map during the geography unit. Also, speeches are written on current events that represent the Bill of Rights. 6 TH GRADE Units: America and Guns, Germs, and Steel, Early Republic, 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 GRADE Units: Migration and Its Global Impact on Society, Immigrants and Cultural Integration,Soccer as a Microcosm for Globalization: World Cup 2030, e Scramble for Africa, e World in a Candy Bar: Chocolate's Evolution From New World Currency to Global Addiction, and e Day the World Fell Silent: Human Rights Violations from 1915–2003 Sample project: Using the Project Based Learning model (PBL), students create a coding project focused on the Syrian Refugee Crisis, and participate in a digital exchange with middle school students in Karachi, Pakistan which culminates in a joint problem- solving exercise. Students also learn about global interdependence by working in pairs to create the World in a Candy Bar Project and a bid to host the 2030 World Cup. 8 TH GRADE 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 GRADE Number theory; estimation and calculation; geometry; fractions, decimals and percents; coordinates, area and circles; pre-algebra concepts and skills 6 TH GRADE 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 GRADE 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 GRADE 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, and ellipses); 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, the 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 Biomolecules: 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 GRADE 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 myself and others, life at school, time, neighborhood, house chores and free time 6 TH GRADE 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 and hobbies Spanish: Talk about food and health, daily routines, past experiences and weekend plans 7 TH GRADE 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 weekly routines, helping others, how we celebrate together around the world and travel Chinese: Discuss time, daily routines, weekend plans; extend invitations or ask permission Spanish: Important historic events and celebrations, shopping, routines, leisure time and technology, movies and TV 8 TH GRADE Latin: Read texts that include verbs in the subjunctive, deponent verbs and present participles French: Discuss childhood experiences, feelings, health, art, literature, current events 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 GRADE Units: Striking, throwing and catching, organizational games, swimming, racquet sports, fitness, yoga, diamond games, basketball, soccer, fitness challenge, Human Growth and Development 6 TH GRADE Units: Football, field hockey, volleyball, team building, fitness, swimming, yoga, ultimate games, unique games, softball, fitness challenge 7 TH GRADE Units: Volleyball, floor hockey, Frisbee, golf, swimming, unique games, fitness, fitness challenge, racquet sports, yoga/Pilates, basketball, track and field 8 TH GRADE Units: Team building, fitness, football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, water polo, swimming, 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 as well as 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 – 8 TH GR ADES Fifth through seventh grade students choose Band or Chorus (year-long), and have one trimester each of Drama, Dance and Visual Arts. Eighth grade students choose Band, Chorus or Arts Cycle. Band/Chorus: Posture, diaphragmatic breathing, and tone production; rehearsal and performance etiquette; solfège and ear training (Chorus); scales (Band); theory and composition; and developmentally appropriate repertoire 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 ADES Students refine drama skills and work on units including: costume design, radio plays, performance and a study of ornton Wilder's Our Town. 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. Latin believes that students learn art best through creating it and that every child has the potential to be an artist. Our visual arts program focuses student attention on observation and communication through creative challenges that help our students develop visual-spatial skills and build habits of mind through artistic practices. As they explore a variety of traditional and new media students build visual literacy skills. By looking at the work of traditional and contemporary artists students gain insight into the meaning and purpose of visual art and how it serves as a window and or a mirror into a time period and or a culture. We also collaborate to integrate art with other disciplines. 5 TH – 6 TH GR ADE Fifth and sixth grade students learn how to refine their drawing skills as well as concepts such as composition, visual balance, line, rhythm, scale and perspective. 7 TH – 8 TH GR ADE Seventh and eighth grade students learn how to develop their visual problem- solving skills. e students also continue refining their use of design, mixed media, technology and drawing. 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, 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. Support is provided through small group study halls, accommodations within the classroom and/or consultative services. 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 families, 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 wellbeing or the wellbeing 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 SCIENCE LANGUAGES HISTORY & SOCIAL STUDIES MATHEMATICS ENGLISH 5 TH GRADE 6 TH GRADE 7 TH GRADE 8 TH GRADE PHYSICAL EDUCATION VISUAL ARTS COMPUTER SCIENCE LIBRARY COUNSELING LEARNING RESOURCES Middle School 2019/2020 CURRICULUM MAP Questions? Visit, or email us at

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