Grade 6 Curriculum

In grade six many physical changes can be seen in the students: their limbs begin to lengthen and a tendency for awkward, angular movement can surface. These physical changes are accompanied by an emerging intellectual capacity. Twelve year-olds develop a sense for cause and effect and they enjoy creating causes in order to see what effect they might have. There is a growing orientation towards the world, and peer values become increasingly important. Grade six is a year of dramatic physical, social, and emotional growth. Throughout this year greater emphasis is placed on strengthening the students’ connection with the world by means of direct experience.

Language Arts

  • Writing from myths and stories of Ancient Rome are recapitulated by the students; ballads, poems and legends are learned by heart
  • The study of sentence structure including subject, predicate, and direct and indirect object and adverbial phrases, comprehensive review of parts of speech, active and passive voice, feeling for the subjunctive mood, modal verbs, phrases and clauses, direct and indirect speech, punctuation
  • Independent composition using correct sentences and paragraphs continues, to accurately describe science experiments or portray scenes from history; expository, narrative and descriptive writing
  • Numerous book reports or give these reports orally (3-6); business English letter writing
  • Readers support the historical themes and questions are given for reading comprehension
  • Scripted class play is based on Roman or early Medieval themes
  • Spelling and dictionary skills practiced on a regular basis
  • Independent reading expected


  • Continue Mental math in narrative and written form
  • Review four processes with natural numbers fractions and decimals
  • Introduce Theorem of Pythagoras experientially (NOT written formula)
  • Convert fractions into decimals and percentages and back again; with estimation
  • Business Math including: percentages, interest, discount, exchange, profit and loss, tax, general introduction to the use of formula by using simple interest
  • Introduction to simple algebra and substitution
  • Order of operations, exponents, temperature conversion
  • precise use of compasses, ruler/straight edge, set squares to draw constructing geometric figures
  • Make use of colours and shading in finding/producing freehand perspective
  • Fundamental constructions – such as constructing a perpendicular bisecting a line, bisecting an angle, copying an angle
  • Knowledge of kinds of angles and triangles
  • Measuring of angles


In Grade 6 physics and geology and astronomy are taught. The subject of physics introduces the student to the phenomena of acoustics, optics, thermal physics, magnetism and static electricity. In acoustics, for example, the students find through hands-on manipulation of the monochord the relationship between the interval they hear and the string length.

A study of geology gives them a broad description of the forces that have built up and worn down the surface of the earth. This study ends with a trip to Canada’s mineral capital, Bancroft, where the three groups of rocks and their mineral makeup can be directly experienced.

A main lesson in astronomy, which can be brought in Grade 6 or 7, acquaints the students with the motions of the stars, the origin of the seasons, the planets and the zodiac, often ending in a trip to the planetarium at McMaster’s University in Hamilton. This subject is presented as seen from the point of view of the student who stands on the earth – a geocentric view.


Grade Six students move out of the realm of myths and legends.  As twelve-year-olds, they crave facts, historical events and time lines.  History in grade six responds to this desire through the study of Ancient Rome – it’s mythological beginnings to the Seven Kings and the Roman Republic.  Rome’s transformation from Republic to Empire and within this, the life of Jesus of Nazareth as a historical figure and the early ideals of Christianity.  The fall of the Roman Empire, the birth of Europe in the early Middle Ages after the dark time of chaos brought about through the Barbarian invasions are also studied.  Included within this is the study of feudalism, peasant life, nobility, knighthood and monasteries.  The life of Mohammed and the rise of Islam are studied as well as the Crusades.


In sixth grade, the students study South American geography which includes the physical features of the lands as well as the fauna and foliage.  The economic, political and cultural aspects which have arisen from the different regions are also studied.  The colourful beauty of the rainforests, rivers and land is captured in their paintings and drawings.


With the importance of French in Canada as one of its official languages and the wish to prepare students for high school and mandatory French in Grade 9, We work with texts, grammar and vocabulary in a more structured way through a French textbook and the accompanying exercise book. This provides a wide range of exercises which support individualized practice, allows students to learn how to work with a textbook (a skill they will need in high school), and gives them a tangible sense of achievement, something that can’t be underestimated in the early adolescent years. The material of the textbook is complemented, in various degrees, with examples from literature, poetry, history and geography from the ‘Francophonie’.

In addition to guided and structured work we aim to develop in students the confidence and skill to write their own texts, to make little presentations in French. Text comprehension is practiced on increasingly more complex texts and students learn how to use the resource material that has been developed in class, or is available through their textbook.


In Grade Six the children continue practicing unison singing of new material, rounds and parts singing through choral work. Both soprano and alto recorder playing continue in ensemble work and the students increasingly understand rhythm, melody and harmony in music theory.  Grade six students join the grade five in the junior choir.


The students participate in one double movement period per week.  During September, October, May and June we utilize the school field. In the winter term, Grades 5-8 come together to participate in four afternoons of downhill skiing/snowboarding at a local ski hill. Otherwise the students are transported to a rented Gym facility where conventional sports are taught. The students are now able to appreciate and be guided by rules. As the students become independent more emphasis is placed on skills development, technique and self-discipline.

In Grades 6, 7, and 8 the students are exposed to as many forms of movement as possible. The lesson begins with running or skipping for cardiovascular stamina and muscle strength. Spatial dynamics exercises are continued for coordination, flexibility and grace. Ball work becomes specialized and techniques improve with annual repetition. The complexity of rules increases with the developing students each year.

Practical Arts:  Handwork

Hand sewing; after a study of the elephant, students draw and paint to gain understanding of form; draw own patterns and, following them (going from 2 to 3 dimensional forms draws on creative forces; create and sew other forms after elephant completion; learn various stitches; supports stage of development – using hands to bring outward expression to something they are feeling inwardly.

Practical Arts:  Woodworking

Carved spoon; students learn how to safely use carving tools and manage healthy risk; learn how to be adaptable, flexible and creative problem solvers; healthy challenge for the developing adolescent; improve observation skills

Visual Arts

  • Wet-on-wet painting (physics, history, geography)
  • Coloured chalk pastels are used extensively (South American geography, history, seasonal)
  • Calligraphy (Medieval history)
  • Coloured pencil crayons are used for main lesson books and shaded drawing (a technique to strengthen the will)
  • Charcoal to support the preadolescent development

Class Trips

Students go to Bancroft, the mineral capital of Ontario. They are taken by a geologist to main sites in the area to explore geological formations, rocks and minerals. They typically have a camping trip and a day trip to the Royal Ontario Museum to view the Rome exhibit.


This monochord was used in the acoustics portion of the grade six physics unit. The musical string was altered by measurements of eighths, quarters and halves to determine how much adjustment to its physical limits was needed to bring about a complete change in octave.


Geometry lessons include beautiful hand drawings.



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