Middle School Curriculum » Sixth Grade

Sixth Grade

6th Grade Art

“How very drab the lives of our children would be
If they looked, but did not see
Touched, but did not feel
Listened, but never took a curtain call.”
Wilson Riles

Art concepts taught at the Solomon Schechter School of Queens, consist of: Line, shape, form, color, pattern, texture, space and composition.
Introduction to Art begins with drawing lines to form a turtle and a school bus. The children transpose their drawings to clay, where it becomes a three dimensional piece of art. From kindergarten through the 8th grade, drawing continues, consisting of gesture, contour drawing of heads, hands and body, one point perspective to optical illusions.
Throughout the grades, students will be exposed to painting, paper mache, collage, wire sculpture and clay. All children will view the art of the following artists: Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro and Henri Rousseau.
6th Grade Computer Science

All classrooms are equipped with multiple computers and a printer. Most of our classrooms have a Smartboard, an interactive whiteboard that turns your computer and data projector into a powerful tool for teaching and presenting.

The library has a computer center which allows our students the ability to do research through the software on the internet, create signs and write reports.

Our Computer Lab is equipped with twenty-seven flat screen multi-media computers, a printer and a scanner. Through the generous contribution of the Gruss Life Monument Fund, our students are able to have access to numerable enrichment materials in Math and English.
6th Grade English Language Arts
The Sixth Grade English Language Arts program integrates many areas of study: reading, literature, writing, vocabulary, spelling, grammar and oral expression. Our goals are to provide students with an understanding of language, enhance their ability to analyze and think about what they read, hear and say and instill an appreciation of literature. 


  • Our students explore various periods and themes through novels, short stories, poetry and non-fiction literature that includes:
    • Coming of age
    • Friendship
    • Importance of Family
    • Coping with racism and violence
    • Maintaining self-respect
    • Greed
    • Us vs. Them mentality
  • Novels include
    • The Watsons Go to Brimingham, Christopher Paul Curtis
    • The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Speare
    • The Giver, Lois Lowry
    • The Devil's Arithmetic, Jane Yolen
  • Companion novels are also included
  • Introduction to structural analysis and literary elements of the text
  • Use of reading comprehension strategies to ensure understanding
  • Learn to analyze point of view, setting, background, timeline, language and mood
  • Identify literary devices such as simile, metaphor and personification
  • Explore characters, introduction to internal and external conflicts, resolution, and themes
  • Learn to search and utilize text to support ideas
  • Use study guides to enhance comprehension, guide analysis, and encourage synthesis
  • Strengthen basic expository writing skills: sentences, paragraphs and essays
  • Use of graphic organizers to structure ideas and meet the needs of individual students
  • Utilize textual support and appropriate parenthetical citation
  • Focus on content, sequence, analysis, grammar and mechanics
  • Creative writing: historical fiction, various short independent pieces
  • Incorporate new vocabulary in written expression
  • Study prefixes, suffixes and roots, as well as "word families"
  • Utilize word-attack strategies to analyze familiar parts of unfamiliar words
  • Focus on usage and content of words to improve comprehension and internalization
  • Demonstrate ability to understand basic definitions, synonyms and antonyms
  • Familiarity with parts of speech, including nouns, pronouns, adjectives and verbs, adverbs, conjugations and prepositions
  • Review with regular verbs tense conjugations (past, present, future) and introduce new tenses (progressive, perfect)
  • Review basic punctuation and in-depth study of specific rules and advanced usages
  • Focus on active listening, taking turns and speaking respectfully
  • Stress classroom participation and public speaking
  • Develop ability to analyze, think critically and communicate effectively 
6th Grade Hebrew Language Arts

The curriculum is based on the NETA program. Children are given a placement exam at the end of fifth grade to determine their level. NETA is an innovative Hebrew language curriculum designed for Middle and High school students, created by Hebrew language curriculum specialists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem NETA provides a comprehensive linguistic and educational framework that enables students to advance to high levels of Hebrew proficiency. Grounded in principles of second-language learning, this framework includes an intellectually rich and sequential curriculum, The NETA curriculum is linguistically sequential; texts and tasks increase in length and complexity as the student’s Hebrew improves.

The curriculum consists of four levels: true beginners (Alpha NETA), advanced beginners, intermediate, and advanced. The true beginners level is designed for one year of study, while the other levels are each designed for two years of study. Lessons are centered on themes of interest to teenagers, ranging from computers and sports to friendship and freedom. Each theme is presented from three perspectives: Jewish tradition, modern Israeli culture and general world knowledge, including art, science, mathematics, literature and philosophy. Each unit of study incorporates art, music, prose, poetry, news articles and Jewish texts, in layers of language ranging from biblical Hebrew to current scientific Hebrew terminology and common colloquialisms.

A unique and important feature of the NETA curriculum is its adherence to a steady pace that allows students to experience tangible progress in their Hebrew proficiency so that by the end of the advanced level students will be able to study subject matter in Hebrew. The curriculum specifies clear goals and measures of achievement, and is accompanied by standardized tests written by the curriculum development team and educational evaluation experts. Prior to entering the program, each student’s level is determined by a multiple-choice placement test.
6th Grade Judaic Studies

In the sixth grade the students study the book of Bemidbar, directly continuing the story of the Children of Israel in the desert after the giving of the Torah they learned in fifth grade. Special focus is placed on the theme of the historical narrative of conditions wandering in the wilderness, leadership, revolt and dissent, and Lashon Hara. Towards the end of the year they will learn the end of Deuteronomy and the death of Moses, leading into studying the book of Joshua in Navee classes.

NAVI (Prophets)
Thu curriculum is in a process of transition, currently undergoing revision. Each grade begins the year with selections from the book of Psalms that correspond to the High Holiday season. Projected content will be that in the beginning of the year the sixth grades will study the scrolls of Jonah, Esther, and Ruth, together with prophetic themes. Towards the end of the year they will start the story of Joshua This is intended to follow after they finish the book of BeMidbar in Torah classes and the passing of leadership from Moses to Joshua.

The sixth graders study a unit on the Holocaust, and integrate a portion of their Jewish History curriculum to coincide with the annual Curriculum Fair for which they present a project on the Jewish heritage of their family. The seventh graders study a survey course of history from the time of the Second Temple until the end of the Middle Ages. The eighth graders focus on the history of Zionism beginning with the late 1880’s until the present time, in preparation for the eighth grade trip to Israel.

The sixth Grade Rabbinics program includes Mishna study revolving around the Jewish holidays, as well as units on repecting parents and expressing gratitude and appreciation through blessings. Each grade studies a special Chanukah unit in preparation for the annual exciting Chanukkah Quiz Bowl.

Middle School students participate once a week in a Bar-Bat Mitzvah class. This class is designed to present issues of adolescence, ultimate questions about religious thought, and the significance of the Bar mitzvah ceremony. The sixth grader portion devotes time to the relationships children reach as they mature, including seven spheres including Me and myself, my family, my school, Klal Yisrael, America, Israel, and Tikkun Olam. The second half of the year they study the life cycle from birth to age 13.

Sixth graders meet once weekly to learn the musical notes for the Torah cantillation. Advanced students may also learn to sing the melodies of scrolls like Megillat Ester in this class.Advanced students may also learn to sing the melodies of scrolls like Megillat Ester in this class.

Holidays are celebrated and noted in various ways depending on the nature of the day. Certain days like Rabin Memorial Day, Krystalnacht Memorial, Holocaust Day, and Israel Memorial Day are celebrated with appropriate assemblies. Chanukkah time there is an annual quiz bowl. Purim, Israel Independence Day and Jerusalem Day generally include a fun school program like a thematic game, or a performer. On Sukkot the children eat lunch in the school Sukkah. Different grades conduct Tu Bishvat Seders with an emphasis on ecology. Before Pesach community rabbis come to teach the children texts from the Haggadah in anticipation of the upcoming Passover Seder. On Lag B’Omer the entire school goes out on a picnic.
6th Grade Mathematics
On Grade Level
  • Place value and operations with decimals
  • Introduction to integers
  • Order of operations
  • Introduction to the algebraic process
  • Number theory and fractions
  • Operations with fractions
  • Introduction to ratios, rates, proportions, and percents
  • Topics in geometry and measurement
  • Data Analysis and graphing
  • Introduction to graphing in the coordinate plane
  • Topics in probability
  • Problem solving
• Place value and operations with decimals
• Operations with integers
• Order of operations
• Introduction to the algebraic process: equations and inequalities
• Operations with fractions
• Ratios, rates, proportions and percents
• Topics in geometry and measurement
• Patterns and rules
• Data analysis and graphing
• Graphing in the coordinate plane
• Topics in probability
• Problem solving
6th Grade Music
The Music Curriculum combines Hebrew/Israel and American songs while learning the fundamentals of music theory, musical instruments, and musical compositions. Many of the vocal selections are integrated with the holiday curriculum.

The Sixth Grade Music Curriculum draws upon the foundation the children received in the lower elementary school grades. In these older grades the curriculum transitions to learning the different periods of music history, together with the associated composers. The students particularly focus on works of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Haydn, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky. A special unit also introduces the wind, brass and percussion instruments of the orchestra.
6th Grade Physical Education

Physical education continues to be a favorite of all our students. The PE program is designed to develop lifetime activities in order to keep their bodies strong and healthy. Social skills, positive self concepts, cooperative and team play all provide a strong basic foundation. The program will continue to increase skill level during modified sport games. This will include more advanced rules, player positions and strategies. The 6th grade PE curriculum includes a variety of basic sports that provide maximum student participation where inclusion is encouraged and promoted. Sports include: football, track and field, volleyball, soccer, basketball, and softball. Students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the sport skills. Students will design and change in order to reach competency in all skill levels to reach their personal best.
6th Grade Science
• Branches of Life Science
• Scientific tools
• Graphing
• Characteristics and requirements of living things
• Organic compounds
• Cell structure / functions/ organization
• Populations / communities / ecosystems
• Study parts and functions of a microscope
• Use of microscope in our Science Lab
• Microscope measurement
• Protozoan, algae and crystals
o Circulation in fish tails
• Cell processes
o Diffusion / Osmosis
o Respiration
o Photosynthesis
o Mitosis
o Protein synthesis
• Heredity / genes / gene technology
• Mutation / Adaptation
6th Grade Social Studies
  • Middle East
    • First civilizations: Mesopotamia and Egypt
    • Foundations of religion: Judaism, Christianity and Islam
    • Modern Day: Creation of the State of Israel and its role in the Middle East
  • Africa
    • Early trading centers
    • European exploration and slave trade
    • European colonization
    • Current issues plaguing the continent: genocide, famine, AIDS, orphans and endangered species
  • Europe
    • Golden Age of Greece and Rome
    • Dark Ages
    • Renaissance
    • WWI - Modern Era
  • Asia
    • Civilizations and culture of the different regions
    • Trip to Metropolitan Museum of Art