Sixth Grade Curriculum Overview

Sixth Grade Curriculum Overview
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This page provides a summary of the key sixth grade curriculum and learning objectives for language arts, math, social studies, and science. Under each is a more detailed description of what children learn in sixth grade subjects, including detailed lesson descriptions of Time4Learning learning activities.

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Overview of Sixth Grade Learning Milestones

Sixth grade is a year of exciting progress in reading and language arts. The major milestones in sixth grade reading and language arts are:

  • Fluent reading with a variety of literary genres
  • Successful application of comprehension strategies
  • Skillful composition development
  • Using punctuation appropriately
  • Ability to speak and listen proficiently

Sixth grade is also a year intense math skill development. Major milestones for sixth grade math include:

  • Proficiency in the four basic math operations
  • Competency with algebraic operations
  • Applying geometry concepts to problem solving
  • Development of complex graphing skills
  • Use of functions and probability to make predictions

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Sixth Grade Language Arts and Reading Curriculum Overview

The Time4Learning curriculum constitutes a solid sixth grade language arts program correlated to state standards, which many homeschool parents use as their entire curriculum. Non-homeschoolers utilize the lessons for extra practice, an online sixth grade tutorial, or summer enrichment. Sixth grade language arts is organized into two large sections: Language Arts and Language Arts Extensions.

  • The language arts section contains 133 learning activities that are primarily based on vocabulary skills, fluency, and comprehension.
  • Our Independent Learning Activities (ILA), think alouds, interactive guided instruction and read & respond lessons will build and develop working knowledge of language arts skills and give students plenty of practice.

Lessons are organized into a series of chapters that introduce and cover:

  1. Vocabulary skills – Synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, prefixes, suffixes, homophones, idioms, and Greek and Latin roots are taught through vocabulary skill exercises. Students are asked to identify the correct word or phrase within a reading activity which teaches an application and expansion of vocabulary.
  2. Process Skills – Uses the Think Aloud format to expose students to various types of texts. Students are challenged to summarize, predict, visualize, clarify, and understand scaffolding while using informational articles, fiction, nonfiction, and fables.
  3. Comprehension – Teaches an application of comprehension strategies. Students are asked to develop summaries, paraphrase, and synthesize information from two or more texts; analyze plot, character, and setting; identify the main idea using supporting details; identifying fact and opinion; using charts and graphs; distinguishing between cause and effect; identifying the author’s purpose; drawing conclusions with inferencing; and compare and contrast.
  4. State Simulation Assessments – A mock test that simulates standardized “high stakes” testing. These tests require application of comprehension skills in order to gain understanding from literary and expository texts.
  5. My Brooklyn Grandmother – ILA Teaches comprehension strategies through the use of an integrated literature based chapter on generational differences and Chinese culture. Students apply their knowledge by engaging in a series of activities that enhance reading, writing, and thinking skills through research based writing. Students are asked to use simple and compound sentences and proper adjectives correctly within their writing assignment.
  6. Far North – ILA – An integrated literature based chapter on survival and friendship that uses pre – reading, during reading, and post reading activities. Language arts skills focus on subject verb agreement and action verbs. Lessons give students an opportunity to apply their knowledge through interactive assignments and by writing an adventure story composition.
  7. Growing Up in Coal Country – ILA – Teaches comprehension strategies through the use of an integrated literature based chapter on hard work and day to day life. Lessons include before reading, during reading, and after reading activities. The writing assignment includes writing a letter of complaint, and using compare and contrast in an article. The student will recognize and apply the language arts skills of using abbreviations and prepositional phrases.
  8. Lupita Manana – ILA – The use of an integrated literature based chapter on survival and determination teaches students complex comprehension strategies by focusing on vocabulary, context clues, predicting outcomes, and drawing conclusions. Lessons encourage students to apply their knowledge through writing dialogue and a persuasive speech. Contractions, pronouns, and the four kinds of sentences are taught and practiced.
  9. Poems by Langston Hughes – ILA – An integrated poetry based chapter on survival and determination encourages students to use various methods of comprehension strategies. Students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge by creatively writing an advertisement and a piece of poetry. Language arts skills are put into practice through exercises reviewing fragments, run-ons, and homophones.

Many parents have expressed interest in purchasing the full versions of the authentic literature excerpted in the sixth grade language arts section. They can be purchased at the links below but they DO NOT need to be purchased in order to use Time4Learning.

Click for lesson by lesson details on the Time4learning 6th grade language arts lesson plans.  Why wait? Sign up for Time4Learning and start learning today!

Sixth Grade Language Arts Extensions Curriculum Overview

Language arts extensions is a component of the complete language arts curriculum. Many homeschooling parents have their child complete both the language arts and language arts extensions. Non homeschoolers use the lessons for online tutoring, extra practice, or summer enrichment or as a sixth grade language arts tutorial.

The language arts extensions lessons are organized into several chapters that introduce and cover:

  1. Grammar – Students will learn the appropriate conventions of written language. Grammar lessons will focus on subject predicate agreement, punctuation, the four types of sentences, verb tenses, direct and indirect objects, transitive and intransitive verbs, predicate adjectives, interjections, conjunctions, adverbs, homophones, and compound words. Students learn the correct use of a comma and quotation marks while writing dialogue.
  2. Reading Accurately – Students gain proficiency in reading skills through the development of vocabulary and fluency. Students increase their reading fluency by focusing on structure of words, how letters are combined within words, pronunciation of multisyllabic words, and correctly identifying the various affixes within words.
  3. Reading & Vocabulary Skills – Students develop certain vocabulary building skills through identification of figures of speech, distinguishing between fact and opinion, cause and effect, and fantasy and reality. Students will enhance language use through intensive vocabulary lessons which integrate words from each subject across the curriculum.
  4. Literature – Students will learn how to read and respond to various types of literature and will begin to recognize literature as a record of human experience. This lesson teaches students identification of the author’s voice, point of view, mood and tone, techniques for writing, elements of writing style, and various propaganda techniques. Students will be able to point out examples of each writing style within various texts.
  5. Genres of Literature – Students develop an appreciation for the different genres of literature while recognizing that various literary texts elicit different responses. Students realize that various genres of literature will produce differing responses. Students will determine the characteristics of fiction and biography, universal themes, poetry, and plays.
  6. The Writing Process – Teaches students how to write in a clear concise style. Lessons focus on paragraphs, fictional stories, literature responses, autobiography, letter writing, and plays. Students are asked to choose a topic and write to persuade, entertain, or perform in the form of a short story. Other writing assignments include a response to literature, an autobiographical story, poetry writing, letter writing, and a one-act play.
  7. Speaking and Listening Skills – Students learn how to speak and listen proficiently. Students correctly use the skills of brainstorming, creating a persuasive speech, note taking, listening for a purpose, following instructions, and writing concise directions to demonstrate competence in different situations.
  8. Careers in Language Arts – Teaches students about the various career opportunities that deal with language arts. These include such careers as journalism, library science, publishing, advertising, television, movies, video, and video-game creation.
  9. Conventions of Spelling – Conventions of spelling and proofreading are taught in this chapter. Students are asked to demonstrate the influence of other language and cultures on the spelling of English words, consistently apply rules of spelling, consistently apply word ending rules, use mnemonic devices to spell correctly, apply irregular plurals rules, and recognize 30 grade level sight words.

For details about sixth grade writing standards, please visit Time4Writing.com. Sign up for Time4Learning and start learning today!

Sixth Grade Vocabulary Curriculum Overview

Going beyond traditional vocabulary lists, many of the Time4Learning sixth grade vocabulary exercises are integrated within literature based units designed to promote reading comprehension skills and vocabulary building.   Lesson features include:

  • Animated vocabulary lessons that build on the student’s knowledge of prefixes, suffixes, Latin and Greek roots, idioms, synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms
  • A focus on subject-specific vocabulary in the areas of technology, language arts, science, and art
  • Graphic organizers
  • Printable vocabulary worksheets
  • Concentrated unit studies on topical vocabulary word lists

Language arts based chapters culminate with activities in accurate reading, speaking, listening, and writing across various genres of literature, progressing to the development of different styles and techniques of writing.

Sixth Grade Math Curriculum Overview

The sixth grade math curriculum contains numerous math lessons, along with printable worksheets, quizzes and chapter tests. It constitutes a solid sixth grade math program correlated to state standards, which is important to many homeschooling users. Non homeschoolers use the program as an alternative to a sixth grade math tutor, for test preparation, extra practice, or summer enrichment.

  • Exciting animated characters present the sixth grade math lessons in bite-sized pieces, at the student’s pace.
  • Each chapter of learning builds on previous skills.
  • Interactive prompts and hilarious situations bring the lessons to life.

Math lessons are organized into 11 chapters that introduce and cover:

  1. Whole Numbers – Students learn how to apply concepts of place value and estimation through the use of Arabic and Roman numerals. Students will use Roman numeral, numbers from one to billions, comparison of whole numbers, rounding off and estimating whole numbers, and the four basic operations to solve real world problems.
  2. Operations with whole numbers – Students develop an understanding of operations using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers. Students use exponents, square roots, order of operations, variables and expressions, patterns and sequences, equations, perimeter, area, and problem solving in models and concrete objects to solve real- life problems.
  3. Decimals – Students apply their knowledge of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing using decimals to solve problems. Lessons include generating equivalent forms of decimals, comparing and ordering decimals, estimating, rounding off, multiplying and dividing with decimals, scientific notation, one step equations with decimals, and applying decimals to problem solving.
  4. Fractions – Students develop their ability to add and subtract using fractions and mixed numbers through the use of interactive lessons. Exercises reinforce application of this knowledge to multiplying and dividing with fractions, lowest common multiples, least common denominator, greatest common factor, and developing relationships between fractions, decimals, and percents.
  5. Integers – Students explore integers and variables and how they are used with addition, subtractions, multiplication, and division. Lessons will develop an understanding of integers in the real world, comparing and ordering, adding and subtracting, multiplying and dividing, one step equations with fractions and decimals, and using inductive and deductive reasoning to solve word problems.
  6. Graphing – Students will learn how to analyze, interpret, and create graphs. Students develop accuracy using tables, various graphs, graphing, measures of central tendency, ordered pairs, stem and leaf plots, data analysis, organized lists, and problem solving.
  7. Measurement –Teaches students methods of conversion between standards of measurement. Lessons require students to perform conversions using the metric system and customary system of measurement, determine the best unit of measurement for an object, determine elapsed time, and determine customary and metric measurement for temperature.
  8. Ratios, Proportions, Percents – Ratios, proportions, and percents are presented as a method to solve problems. Students will apply decimals and fractions, unit rates, geometric pictures, simple interest, grids and scale drawing, and percents to solve problems with ratios and proportions.
  9. Geometry – Students will discover various geometric concepts that apply to modeled real life situations. Lessons enable students to explore basic geometry definitions, angles, lines, triangles, solid figures, classification of polygons, circumference, area, proportional change, surface area, and volume.
  10. Functions and Probability – Students will apply the concept of theoretical probability and use results to make predictions. Students will identify function relationships, solve and interpret graphs, find the distance between two points on a graph, draw conclusions from data, determine possible outcomes, find the probability of an event, identify difference between independent and dependent events, find combinations and permutation, and apply algebraic expressions to problem solving.
  11. Practice – Students will apply previous knowledge through interactive lessons on reading and writing numbers, divisibility rules, greatest common factors, rounding off, exponents, greatest common factor, scientific notation, absolute value, inequalities, number lines, absolute value, estimation, inverse operations, using a calculator, exponents, and order of operations. This review chapter is a comprehensive review of the entire sixth grade math course.

For a more detailed description of the sixth grade math lessons, please visit our sixth grade math scope and sequence page. Ready to start learning right now? Sign up today!

Sixth Grade Science Curriculum Overview

Middle school science is organized into three primary courses that correlate to state standards: Earth/Space Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. Middle school science covers materials typically offered at the sixth to eighth grade level, although parents have the option of choosing a middle school science course if they have students in fourth grade and above. In addition, Nature of Science is provided as an added supplement with each of the middle school courses. The middle school science curriculum courses are described in more detail below.

  • Earth/Space Science Course – Teaches students about Earth’s structure, geologic processes, plate tectonics, oceans and the water cycle, Earth’s atmosphere, weather and climate, our solar system, stars, and galaxies. Students also investigate how the motions of the sun, the moon, and Earth create days, seasons, years, eclipses, phases of the moon, and tides.
  • Life Science Course – Covers the characteristics of living things, plant and animal cell structures, the characteristics of unicellular and multicellular life, genetics, classification of organisms, the structure and function of human cells tissues organs and organ systems, and the structure and function of plants.
  • Physical Science Course – Covers chemistry and physics, including physical and chemical changes, atoms and elements, mixtures and solutions, the periodic table, states of matter, motion, gravity, density and buoyancy, energy, heat, the properties of waves, and light.
  • Nature Of Science Supplement – The Science of Nature materials are supplemental, recommended for use alongside the Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth/Space Science courses. It will be included when parents register for any middle school science course. Nature of science teaches students how to safely and correctly use scientific equipment, take measurements, conduct experiments and investigations, collect and analyze data, draw conclusions, evaluate evidence, and present their work.

See the middle school science curriculum overview for more information.

Sixth Grade Social Studies Curriculum Overview

The sixth grade social studies curriculum contains numerous lessons, as well as worksheets and quizzes, organized into different chapters. Members use the social studies curriculum as a sixth grade social studies tutorial, for extra practice, or to supplement their homeschooling approach. Although the materials are extensive, it does not correlate to all state standards and many lessons are not animated. In the sixth grade social studies curriculum, students will cover:

  1. Ancient Hebrew Civilization – Students learn about the major characteristics and contributions of the Ancient Hebrew civilization. Aspects about Yahweh, the Code of Morals, and how these ethical traditions affected Western Civilization are explored.
  2. Early Civilization of India – Teaches students about the Indus River Valley and its physical setting, Brahmanism and Hinduism, the Caste System, Buddhism in India and its spread to surrounding countries, and the contributions of India in the areas of art, literature, medicine, astronomy, and mathematics.
  3. Early Civilization of China – Students learn about the major characteristics and contributions of the Early Chinese civilization. Lessons cover the first emperor, the Han Dynasty, the “silk” road, the Tang Dynasty, and important Chinese discoveries.
  4. Rome – Teaches the major characteristics about Rome and its development. Students will be able to describe the location and rise of the Roman republic, the features of Roman government, reasons for the growth of Roman territories, the transition from republic to empire, the migration of the Jews, origins of Christianity, how Christianity spread, and the Roman legacy left to us in art, architecture, technology, science, literature, language, and law.
  5. Civilizations of Islam – Students learn about the major characteristics and contributions of the Islamic Civilizations including the location of the Arabian Peninsula and its physical features, the spread of Muslim rule by military conquest and treaty, and Muslim contributions to science, geography, mathematics, philosophy, medicine, art, and literature.
  6. African Civilization – The sub-Saharan African civilizations of Ghana and Mali are explored in this chapter. Students are required to locate the Niger river and other vegetation zones, relate these features to the trade of Ghana and Mali, describe the caravan trade across the Sahara, and summarize the written and oral traditions in African culture.
  7. Settling the Western U.S. – Students will learn about the history of the United States during the settlement of the American West including information about the Plains Indians, Settler and Native American Wars, life on the plains, and farming in the late 1800’s.
  8. Industrial Revolution – Teaches about the growth of industry in America. Students will be able to explain why railroads grew after the Civil War, how steel became a big industry, how inventions during this time revolutionized the nation, how factory work changed in the 1880’s, and why there were issues between the workers and owners of factories.
  9. Immigration to America – Students will explore the influx of immigrants in America after 1870 including the reasons they immigrated, the various populations, attempts at urban development, and the changes that took place in cities.
  10. United States 1877-1914 – The changes that were brought about by political, social, and economic effects in the U.S. are discussed. Students are expected to describe the fight for women’s rights, how Theodore Roosevelt became president, Roosevelt’s reforms, Woodrow Wilson’s policies, the fight for equality and against discrimination, and the problems faced by African, Asian, Mexican, and Native Americans.
  11. The U.S. as a World Power – Students will learn about the circumstances that helped the U.S. become a world leader including overseas expansion, the Spanish-American War, the Panama Canal, and the Invasion of Mexico.
  12. Investigate Your State – Students will examine people, events, and ideas of particular importance to the development of their state. Lessons include research based activities to determine which Native American artifacts and homes have been used in your state. Students will also identify their state’s major office holders and develop a chart depicting the branches of their local government.
  13. Characteristics of Your State – Students will examine the natural resources, industries, and landmarks present in his or her state. Students are required to develop a creative travel brochure depicting the information gathered.
  14. Maps/Globes/Geographic Tools – Teaches students about the advantages and disadvantages of using maps and globes. Students will also learn about the methods used for finding particular locations on the globe, and the various weather patterns in relations to ecosystems.
  15. Political Science – Students learn about political science through a look at the political make up of our country. Lessons include a look at the Constitution, the ways to become a citizen, a citizen’s rights, responsibilities, and privileges, American principles and values, the importance of guaranteeing human rights, private life, and civic life.
  16. U.S. Political System – The U.S. political system is viewed through a historical context. Lessons include a look at political parties and what they are, how a presidential candidate is selected, and how the presidential election flows from nomination to the general election.
  17. Economic System – Describes the various influences on the economic systems found in the Eastern world. Students should be able to explain how physical geography, specialization and trade influence the way people earn money; international trade requires a system for exchanging money between nations; the economic factors such as scarcity choice, opportunity, cost, money, goods, and services, price, and supply and demand affect global trade; how each system determines what will be produced, for whom, and how; and the Gross Domestic Product in the Eastern world and the United States.

For a more detailed description of the sixth grade social studies lessons, please visit our sixth grade social studies scope and sequence page. Why wait? Sign up for Time4Learning and start learning today!

Sixth Grade Educational Resources

Because you’re interested in educating a sixth grader, you might also be interested in:

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