English Language Arts (ELA)
Beginning in grade 6, students build on the foundations of grammar and learn to identify parts of a sentence. They learn and practice the writing process, which includes prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, proofreading, publishing and presenting. They learn about effective sentences and word choice, sentence variety and structure, and paragraph organization and unity. Different types of essays are studied, such as informative/explanatory, argumentative, narrative and compare/contrast essays. Students also practice presentation skills through poetry recitations each month.
Throughout the three years in junior high school, students expand their vocabulary through the use of vocabulary workbooks and readings of literature stories. In addition, they read various genres of books (fiction, nonfiction, dramas, plays); learn how to cite textual evidence to support analysis of text; determine themes/central ideasdiscuss plots; describe character responses to changes as plots develop; determine the author’s point of view; and compare and contrast texts.
The foundation of the science curriculum in grades 6 to 8 is centered around the meaning of science (skills, attitudes, reasoning, processes, knowledge, tools, engineering and design process, and communication). Lab Learner lessons that coincide with the syllabus are given weekly in our STEM lab, where students conduct experiments and collect and interpret data.
- Students in grade 6 learn about the scientific method and physical science topics such as matter, energy, waves and electromagnetic radiation, electricity and magnetism, information technology, atoms and the periodic table, chemical reactions, and forces and motion.
- Grade 7 students gain an understanding about earth science, and explore topics such as minerals and rocks, earthquakes, weathering and soil, the atmosphere, weather, solar system and the universe, human impact on the environment, and more.
- The syllabus for Grade 8 entails life science topics such as classifying organisms, cells, genetics, DNA, viruses, bacteria, plants, animals, the human body, ecosystems and biomes, study of evolution, and more.
The social studeis curriculum in grades 6 to 8 meets the Common Core’s goals, which include being able to identify the locations of places and regions in the world; understand the characteristics of cultures in the world from the past; analyze how societies have interacted with one another in the past or present; understand a variety of forms of government from the past; analyze and interpret historical materials from a variety of perspectives in ancient history; understand how cultures in ancient civilizations contributed to world history; learn American history starting with the Native American cultures, European exploration to the New World to the Vietnam War; and learn the birth of American democracy.
- Some topics that Grade 6 students learn include the history of the world and explanation of historical relationships; development of historical perspectives by analyzing issues that affect the present and future, and examining change and continuity over time; the foundations of our political systems; sociology concepts through the discussion of the interactions among individuals, groups and institutions; anthropology concepts through the study of the cultures in various times and settings; major scientific discoveries and technological innovations and their social and economic effects on society; and the development and concepts of major world religions.
- Grade 7 students learn about the beginnings of American history and the geography of North America. They learn about the colonies and the events leading up to the Revolution, the sources of American democracy, the principles of the Constitution, the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, the duties and responsibilities of citizens, and the organization and work of each branch of government. They also learn about the themes of geography: place, location, region, movement and human-environment interaction. This is done by examining how geographers look at the world in order to draw conclusions and make inferences; different landforms and major climate zones; key elements in a people’s culture and how people have impact on the environment; and major physical features, different climates, and main features of the economy of the United States, Canada and Europe.
- Grade 8 students continue with the American history curriculum at the pre-Civil War era. They learn about the differences between the North and the South that led to the secession of most slave states from the U.S.; the Civil War strategies; the reconstruction policies and their effects on the former U.S. Confederacy; educational and social reforms and early women’s movement; the development of the West; the industrial revolution and its impacts; governmental and social reforms during the late 1800s and early 1900s; how and why the U.S. expanded its economic and political influence in the Pacific and Latin America; the causes, course and outcome of World War I; the events of the 1920s and its effects on American culture and the causes of the Great Depression; how the New Deal changed American economy; causes of World War II and the role of the U.S.; the causes and results of the increased tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Union after WWII; the economic, social and cultural distinctions of the U.S. during the 1950s; the U.S. civil rights movement; and the causes, course and effects of the Vietnam War.