Latin School of Chicago

Middle School Curriculum Chart

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 0

CURRICULUM 2013-14 SUBJECT Fifth Grade Sixth Grade Seventh Grade Eighth Grade 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, which emphasizes pre-writing, organizing, drafting, editing and revising, allows for a variety of writing opportunities. Students are encouraged to become creative and innovative thinkers. 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. ENGLISH Reading; vocabulary; spelling; higher order of thinking and questioning skills; writing Texts may include: Among the Hidden; Al Capone Does My Shirts; Tuck Everlasting; National Geographic's Treasury of Greek Mythology Reading; literary elements; vocabulary; story telling; writing (genres include mystery, historical fiction, realistic fiction, non-fiction, short story) Language Arts: Writer's Workshop Texts may include: The Outsiders; The Puzzling World of Winston Breen; Keepers of the Earth Literature; expository and creative writing; grammar; vocabulary; short stories, myths, and poetry; Language Arts: Writer's Workshop Texts may include: American Born Chinese; Diary of Anne Frank; Haroun and the Sea of Stories; House of the Scorpion Literature; expository and creative writing; grammar; vocabulary; short stories and poetry; Language Arts: Writer's Workshop Texts may include: Of Mice and Men; To Kill a Mockingbird; Romeo and Juliet; A Raisin in the Sun; The House on Mango Street HISTORY & SOCIAL STUDIES Middle school uses the study of geography, ancient history, modern world issues and American history to explore the development of the global and local world from ancient to modern times. As social scientists, students hone their critical thinking skills, research skills, and writing skills through a variety of projects using 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. Where appropriate, an interdisciplinary approach is used. Units: Geography; core social studies concepts (government, economy, population, culture); Ancient Civilizations - India, China, and Greece; leadership study Sample projects: Modern World Leaders project. Students select a contemporary world leader, read a biography on the leader, and analyze the individual's leadership skills. Units: Early Humans & Early Societies; Guns, Germs & Steel; Ancient Sumer; Ancient Rome; the Punic Wars. Sample project: Students Investigate Ancient Sumer and create a Sumerian statue to stand in eternal prayer by utilizing skills taught in math. Units: Migration and Its Global Impact on Society; Immigrants and Cultural Integration; Culture and Globalization: Global Impact of McDonaldization; The World in a Candy Bar: Chocolate's Evolution From New World Currency to Global Addiction; Understanding the Arab Spring; Examining the modern Middle East using political cartoons; Teaching Islam in a Post 9-11 World. Units: 9/11; Revolutionary War; Constitution; Civil War; World War I; The 1920s; The Depression; World War II; Cold War and Communism; Civil Rights Era; Gay Rights; Oral History. Sample Project: Family History Project. Students research, interview, and write about their own families over a period of months. They present and share the final product with their classmates. 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. Students gain experience with technology including the graphing calculator, spreadsheets, geometry software, interactive whiteboards and tablet applications. Goals of the middle school math program are to increase students' willingness to take risks as they attempt to solve challenging problems and to find joy in the study of mathematics. MATHEMATICS Number theory; division, ratios & exponential notation; estimation & calculation; geometry; fractions, decimals & percents; coordinates, area & circles; pre-algebra concepts and skills Math 6: Operations with and uses of fractions, decimals & integers; scientific notation; order of operations; percent of a quantity, discounts & sales tax; rates & ratios; problem-solving strategies; dimensional analysis Math 6A: Probability; multiplication & division with scientific notation; geometry: area, volume, triangles, quadrilaterals & transformations; logic statements; translating words into algebraic expressions & equations; solving linear equations & inequalities Math 7/ Regular and Challenge B: Statistics and displays; ratio and proportion; introduction to geometry; area and volume; probabilty; variables; rational numbers and their properties; solving equations and inequalities with one variable; graphing linear equations Math 7 Challenge A / Algebra 1 Honors: Algebraic expressions; properties of real numbers; rational numbers; equations; ratio and proportion; inequalities; polynomials; factoring; linear equations; graphing; systems; radical expressions; quadratics Math 8/Algebra 1: Functions and relations; linear functions; systems of linear equations and inequalities; exponential functions; graphing and data analysis; polynomials and factoring; quadratic functions; radicals; rational functions Math 8 Challenge B /Algebra 1 Honors: Linear functions and lines of best fit; linear systems; inequalities and systems of inequalities; polynomials; factoring polynomials; applying fractions; rational and irrational numbers; quadratic functions; probability Math 8A /Algebra 2 Honors: The Field Axioms; functions and relations; linear functions; systems of linear equations and inequalities; quadratic functions and complex numbers; exponential and logarithmic functions; rational and irrational algebraic functions; quadratic relations and systems; sequences and series; probability 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. SCIENCE Science Skills: scientific method and metric system; Chemistry: properties of matter, atoms, periodic table; Physics: simple machines, electricity, magnetism; Biology and Ecology: water quality, plants; reasons for the seasons Cells: microscope skills, cell structure and function, cellular life cycles; Animal Life: classification, behaviors, characteristics, adaptations; Ecology & Environmental Science: biomes, human impact, environmental solutions Human Body: organ systems, structures, functions, anatomy; Heredity & Genetics: DNA, genes, proteins, cellular reproduction, cloning; Evolution: natural selection, adaptation, extinction; Human Perception: optics and the brain, sound and the ear, learning and the brain; electromagnetic spectrum Meteorology: weather instrumentation and analysis, atmospheric thermodynamics and chemistry, climate change; Geology: plate tectonics, Earth's interior, rocks and minerals; Astronomy: moon, astronomical motions, planetary atmospheres and geology; Renewable Energy: forms and conservation of energy, energy and society The modern languages, based on ACTFL's National Standards, are oral proficiency programs, which focus primarily on performance and communication (speaking and listening). Students develop their reading comprehension using authentic texts and writing skills while they become proficient speakers of their respective languages. Latin Translate the nominative, accusative and ablative cases in the first three declensions, as well as verbs in the present tense. Study Roman daily life, families, religion and the map of Italy. Translate the genitive and dative cases, pronouns, as well as verbs in the imperfect, future, perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect tenses. Study how Romans traveled, living in a Roman city throughout the empire, Roman heroes, chariot races, and the map of the city Rome. Translate verbs in the passive and active voices. Study the history of the Roman Republic, food and dining, communication, education and the map of the Roman Republic. Translate verbs in the subjunctive mood, deponent verbs, ablatives absolute, participles, indirect statements, result clauses, and purpose clauses. Study the history of the Roman Empire, baths, gladiators, marriage, death, and the map of the Roman Empire. Describe where they live and their basic household chores; what they wear; stores and places in a city; ask and give directions; make travel plans Describe and discuss holidays and how to organize a party; shop for food; prepare, simple recipes; describe their school activities, and daily routine Describe childood experiences; compare life in the country vs. in a city; describe feelings, talk about health; describe and discuss literature, television programs, movies and music Mandarin 6: Talk about personalities, appearances, country of origin and languages spoken; where people live; school, grade levels, sports, hobbies. Students are exposed to Chinese culture through a variety of readings, activities and presentations Mandarin 7: Ask about time and timing of events; discuss classes, school and home routines; talk about weekend plans; invite others to an event or ask permision to do something; describe what someone is wearing and express opinions about clothes. Students are exposed to Chinese culture through a variety of readings, class activities and presentations Mandarin 8: Buy and negotiate the prices of something; express food and beverage preferences; talk about basic tastes of food and beverages; talk about different Chinese dishes and likes and dislikes; order food and beverages at a restaurant and pay for the check. Students are exposed to Chinese culture through readings, class activities and presentations Describe what they wear; talk about stores and places in the city; ask for directions; make travel plans. Describe and ask about daily routine and activities; hobbies, free time and leisure activities; school responsibilities and procedures; experiences and future plans. Give and receive instructions on how to prepare meals; become familiar with culturally specific foods and traditions; discuss helping in the community; talk about media and personal experiences. French LANGUAGES Use basic greetings and salutations; describe themselves, friends and family; talk about activities; a typical school day; basic meals Chinese Mandarin 5: Use greetings and introduce people; talk about people's age appropriately; talk about family members and their occupations; pets and the Chinese zodiac animals; write and type Chinese characters. Students are exposed to Chinese culture through readings, class activities and presentations Spanish Describe themselves, friends and family; activities they like and don't like to do; a school day and basic meals. PHYSICAL EDUCATION In middle school physical education classes, students participate in a wide variety of activities designed to promote skill acquisition and refinement, improved fitness levels, increased cognitive function, and social development including, but not limited to leadership, cooperation and problem solving. The goal of establishing lifelong fitness through unique and relevant experiences spans the entire middle school physical education program. Striking; throwing and catching; sex ed; low organizational games; swimming; racquet sports; fitness; yoga; diamond games; basketball; soccer; fitness testing Football; field hockey; team building; fitness; swimming; sex ed; yoga; ultimate games; softball; fitness testing Football; softball; soccer; volleyball; floor hockey; frisbee games; golf; sex ed; dance; swimming; fitness; Marathon Club; racquet sports; yoga/pilates; basketball; track; fitness testing Team building; fitness; sex ed; choice units (selected from student voting); fitness testing In middle school performing arts students participate in band or chorus and are introduced to relevant literature. Their course of study culminates in musical presentations during the year. In dance, the curriculum is designed to further improve students' ability to demonstrate conceptual understanding of space, time and dynamics. In drama, students are introduced to the fundamentals of drama skills such as characterization, pantomime, plot-study and the elements of design. Students choose Band or Chorus (year-long), and have 1 trimester each of Drama, Dance and Visual Arts. Students choose Band, Chorus or Arts Cycle Band PERFORMING ARTS MUSIC - THEATER - DANCE - MOVEMENT Band 5: Introduction to band instruments; basic music reading skills; introduction to ensemble performance, styles and basic terminologies Band 6: Review and reinforce wind and percussion technique - basic music reading skills, articulation, and meter; introduce longer forms Band 7: With Band 8, expand wind and percussion technique and range; popular styles; compound rhythms; continue to develop independence Band 8: Sight-reading skills and technique; extend range; develop greater confidence and discipline in ensemble and solo performances Chorus 6: Review and reinforce skills from Chorus 5 plus build on tone quality; breathing techniques; diction; Intro to foreign languages; note identification Chorus 7: Solfege identification at sight; singing at sight; tone quality; dynamic interpretation; tempo differentiation; intermediate singing posture and technique Chorus 8: Review and reinforce skills from Chorus 7 plus build on contextual song interpretation; appropriate language interpretation Vocabulary; stage direction; body position; folk tales, fairy tales and myths; The Underground Railroad; Darkwood Manor Theater history; vocabulary; stage direction; body position Drama performance for senior kindergarten; costume design unit; vocal characterization, radio play, study of Our Town Elements and qualities of movement; atmosphere in dance; choreographic studies; basic dance technique; performing for peers Folk dance around the world; choreography; Africa dance history; performing for peers Choreographic devices; dance production; history of ballet and modern dance; performing for peers Chorus Chorus 5: Solfege scale; basic posture; Bel Canto breathing; performance practice; one-part and two-part songs; note and rhythm identification Drama Story dramatization; pantomime; theater vocabulary; dramatization of literary genre; dramatic structure, oral expression, character development Movement/Dance Elements of movement; locomotor and axial movement; core; posture and alignmnet; beginning choreograph; modern dance history; performing for peers VISUAL ARTS The mission of the Visual Arts Department is to involve students in the creative process. 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. Drawing the human figure; Greek mythology; still life drawing; value studies in black, white and gray; Silk Road Islamic patterns; illuminated manuscripts; Impressionist painting (landscapes) Self-portraits; optical effects; mannequins; cityscape; chalk drawings; dinosaurs Value painting of animals; Chinese Lattice design; Aboriginal dot painting; Chimera painting; genre drawing; color gradations Abstract design; illiusion of depth; collage; countour hand drawing; transformation drawing; color theory painting; Cubism painting LIBRARY 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.

Articles in this issue

view archives of Latin School of Chicago - Middle School Curriculum Chart