Latin School of Chicago

Latin Middle and Upper School Curriculum Guide 22-23

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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 thinking and questioning skills, responding to text in written form, 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: Framed, The Outsiders, Starfish, 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, They Called Us Enemy. 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, The Warmth of Other Suns, The House on Mango Street, March, Long Way Down. 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, Hunter-Gatherers, Guns, Germs & Steel, European Exploration, Colonial America, Revolutionary War, Founding of America. Sample project: Students design an imaginary map during the geography unit. Students participate in gamification to deepen their understanding of the units. 6 TH GR ADE Units: What does it mean to be American?, Founding of United States Manifest Destiny & United States Expansion, Civil War & Reconstruction, Immigration, Industrial Revolution. 7 TH GR ADE Units: Migration and Its Global Impact on Society, Immigrants and Cultural Integration,Soccer as a Microcosm for Globalization: World Cup 2030, The Scramble for Africa, The World in a Candy Bar: Chocolate's Evolution From New World Currency to Global Addiction and The Day the World Became One: Global Pandemics and their impact on Populations. 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 GR ADE Units: Constitution, Slavery, Civil War, Reconstruction, World War I, The 1920s and America between the wars, Harlem Renaissance, World War II, Cold War and Communism, Jim Crow and Civil Rights, LGBTQ Rights, Oral History, Current Events. Sample Project: Family History Project: students research, interview and write about their own families over a period of months. They 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; four operations with whole numbers, fractions and decimals; conversion; geometry, including volume of solids; data and problem-solving. 6 TH GR ADE Pre-Algebra: Operations with and uses of fractions, decimals and integers; scientific notation; order of operations; rates and ratios; percent; exponents and square roots; absolute value; commutative and associative properties; dimensional analysis. Accelerated Pre-Algebra: Additional topics: algebraic equations and inequalities, introduction to geometry proofs, probability and statistics, logic statements. 7 TH GR ADE Pre-Algebra/Algebra 1 (Part 1): Statistics and displays; ratio and proportion; introduction to geometry; probability; rational numbers; solving equations and inequalities with one variable. Honors Algebra 1: The real number system; polynomials and exponents; functions and relations; linear, quadratic and exponential models. 8 TH GR ADE Algebra 1 (Part 2): The 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 and polynomial functions; complex numbers. 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: Populations, communities, ecosystems, energy flow. 7 TH GR ADE Biomolecules: Protein, carbohydrates, lipids, fats. 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: Water cycle, clouds, weather patterns, extreme weather events. STEM: Levee Project, Stomp Rockets. Environmental Stewardship: Climate change, fossil fuels, natural resources, renewable energy, human impacts on the environment. Astronomy: Moon, stars, planetary characteristics, rocketry, history and future of space travel. The modern languages curriculum at Latin follows 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: Using basic greetings and salutations; describing ourselves and others; expressing likes and dislikes. Chinese: Basic greetings and salutations; talk about family, pets and the Chinese zodiac; write and type Chinese characters. Spanish: Identity (myself, friends, family, origins, descriptions, likes/dislikes); school lifestyles (likes/dislikes pertaining to school; time of day pertaining to school routine); interculturality (Afro Hispanic/Latinx/Indigenous origins in various Spanish-speaking communities); connections and comparisons to cultural thematic content. 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, including preferences and comparisons. Chinese: Describe personalities, appearances, country of origin and languages spoken, school, sports and hobbies. Spanish: Recap of identity and school lifestyle; healthy lifestyle (activities/ food); daily routines; past experiences and weekend plans; interculturality (Afro Hispanic/Latinx/Indigenous origins in various Spanish-speaking communities); connections and comparisons to cultural thematic content. 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: Comparing and connecting with others by discussing interests, routines and celebrations; expressing and supporting opinions about various familiar topics. Chinese: Discuss time, daily routines, weekend plans; extend invitations or ask permission. Spanish: Important historic events and celebrations in Spain and LA. Daily routine (taking care of oneself ) at home and at school. Talking about school life and experiences (describing teachers, classes and lessons). Talking about free time, television and movies. 8 TH GR ADE Latin: Read texts that include verbs in the subjunctive, deponent verbs and present participles. French: Discussing childhood experiences, history, 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 cooking, traditions and festivities. 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, football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, water polo, swimming, fitness challenge. Music, Drama, 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 performances or in middle school theater productions. 5 TH –8 TH GR ADES Students in grades 5-7 choose Band or Chorus (year-long) and have one trimester each of Drama, Dance and Visual Arts. Students in grade 8 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 ADE ARTS C YCLE Drama: Students refine drama skills and work on units including: costume design, radio plays, performance and a study of Thornton Wilder's Our Town. Movement/Dance: The middle school dance/movement program cultivates an empowering and creative environment for students to develop a curiosity, understanding and appreciation for dance as an art form. The students will be introduced to the choreographic process, movement improvisation and the technique and history of various genres of dance. Through visual, auditory and kinesthetic practices, students will gain the necessary skills and insight for a versatile foundation in the ever-changing world of dance. 5 TH GR ADE Students explore creative movement through improvisation and the choreographic process. With an increased understanding of the relationship between movement, time, space and energy, students will develop a vocabulary to communicate artistic expression. 6 TH GR ADE Students will be introduced to contemporary-modern dance technique and phrase work. They develop a deeper understanding of spatial patterning, coordinated movements of the upper and lower body and dancing through space with a wide range of motion. 7 TH GR ADE Students will learn iconic dance trends from the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. They gain cultural insight and appreciation for its evolution and impact. Students develop an embodied understanding of the dynamics and rhythms contributing to the coordination and physical endurance of these popular dance styles. 8 TH GR ADE Students will be introduced to the technique and history of tap dancing. They will develop and refine their skills to wear the hat of both a musician and dancer. 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 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 Students learn how to develop their visual problem-solving skills. The 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. 5 TH GRADE 6 TH GRADE 7 TH GRADE 8 TH GRADE PERFORMING ARTS SCIENCE LANGUAGES HISTORY & SOCIAL STUDIES MATHEMATICS ENGLISH PHYSICAL EDUCATION VISUAL ARTS COMPUTER SCIENCE LIBRARY COUNSELING LEARNING RESOURCES Middle School CURRICULUM MAP Questions? Visit, or email us at

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