Grade 6

Tower’s Upper School begins in sixth grade. It is a time of exploration, trial and error, and individual and cooperative work. Students are expected to master the “what,” “where,” and “when” questions more independently, and they are coached to grapple with the questions “why” and “how” more frequently as the year progresses.

Time management, study skills, self-advocacy, and personal responsibility are taught, modeled, and promoted in sixth grade. Students reflect on their individual learning styles. They work with peers in the classroom, at a trip to leadership camp, and in service activities, athletics, drama, and clubs.

Formal grades are introduced in sixth grade, allowing students to experience formal assessment and the value of grades. Additionally, we focus on good citizenship and etiquette in the classroom and in our community.

Grade 6 Curriculum


●Revisit and become more efficient with fractions, decimals, and percents

●Delve into algebraic topics

●Further develop geometry and measurement skills

●Investigate and apply rates, ratios, proportions, tips and discounts

●Develop more sophisticated, efficient problem-solving skills and strategies

●Investigate and apply statistical measures


●Grow as an active and reflective reader

●Make connections between reading material and real-life situations

●Relate class literature to the history curriculum

●Identify and understand the basic elements and stylistic features of literature

●Practice and apply reading comprehension skills

●Utilize the writing process with increased independence

●Grasp the function and mechanics of non-fiction and expository writing

●Identify basic parts of speech and understand how they should be used

  • Understand the importance of audience


● Understand and explain connections between plants and animals in our local ecosystem

● Learn basic cartography, architecture, and research skills while investigating lighthouses

● Understand how the sun, moon, and Earth interact in our solar system

● Investigate force and motion and use observations to design and improve a simple car ramp

● Learn to use meteorological tools to forecast the weather


●Focus on ancient cultures of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome to explore the critical question “What makes a civilization?”

●Further develop reading for content and highlighting text for information

●Introduce note-taking skills

●Expand experience organizing and writing historical-based essays and reports

●Reinforce research methods through multiple research projects and presentations

●Further develop organization of time, study techniques, and test-taking strategies


●Begin formal instruction of Spanish grammar, including verb conjugation of regular and irregular present tense verbs

●Work on incorporating accurate structures into speech and writing

●Talk about self and others

●Expand vocabulary in order to speak about all that one does in a typical day

●Develop oral skills and complete oral presentations

●Read from authentic sources such as newspapers and magazines

●Explore Spanish and Hispanic culture


The fundamental tools for creating content and managing information on the Internet originate from programming languages. Three of the most common, widely used web development languages are HTML, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), and Javascript. In the first and second trimesters, students will focus on web design and development and will study these three critical languages.

Students will be expected to work on a comprehensive website using the skills that they learned and with attention to appearance, content, functionality, and usability. The website will be presented as part of their final project. Project benchmarks will be due throughout the trimester to help students manage the development of their websites.

The programming language Python has become the language of choice for many programmers for a wide variety of projects ranging from creating video games to automating tasks to powering sites like YouTube, Google, Yahoo Maps and many others. Students will create games, apps, and dynamic graphics while learning Python.

As part of their final project, students will create their own product (application, game, etc.) using Python, which they will then incorporate into their websites. These websites will be due by and presented during their final classes. Grading will be based on a rubric that will be available to students when they start to build their websites.

Students in this class may work at their own pace to complete a series of lessons which will be posted online and accessible to the student on any computer with an Internet connection. Lessons will be largely project-based and will challenge the students to solve problems independently and think analytically.

During significant benchmarks throughout the course, students will take tests to demonstrate their knowledge of the specific topic/s that they are learning.

Integrated Technology

Upper School students’ use of information technology increases as part of their normal growth and development. Students have routine access to computer labs, laptops, and other associated resources to support their learning. Additionally, US students are expected to:

●Follow safe practices when using e-mail or other communications

●Develop appropriate skills with available software and hardware to meet academic goals

●Understand and follow ethical use of information technology, especially regarding original work

●Understand and develop personal limits regarding technology use

Music and Chorus


●Recognize, demonstrate, notate, and create with rhythms

●Identify, sing with accuracy, notate, and create with melodic notes

●Arrange instrumental music to performance level

●Play in an ensemble with up to 4 parts

●Apply knowledge of music theory to the playing of marimbas and keyboards

●Practice, record, film, and edit a music video


All Upper School students sing in the chorus. Students focus on part singing and engage in standard choral repertoire, multi-cultural music and folk songs.

Additionally, students may participate in the a cappella Towerettes and Boys Band.

Visual Arts

●Introduce six elements and six principles of basic design

●Be able to create examples that illustrate each element

●Plan and create design pieces that demonstrate knowledge of the principles of design

●Participate in a community critique using the following vocabulary:

○Elements of design: Line, shape/form, space, color, value, and texture

○Principles of design: Balance, emphasis, movement, repetition (pattern and rhythm), proportion, unity

Arts Block

Tower’s Arts Block program provides upper school students with opportunities in technology, visual arts and musical arts classes. Recent Arts Block trimester offerings include: handbells, photography, woodworking, oil painting, technology, jazz band, marimbas, clay, sculpture, video, chorus, part singing, unaccompanied voice work, multi-cultural works, a cappella and folk groups.


●Learn and enjoy the benefits of physical activity

●Develop a high level of sportsmanship and school spirit

●Develop leadership skills and an appreciation for the value of teamwork

●Seek personal levels of excellence

●Experience playing on a competitive team

●Identify the correlation between hard work and improvement

●Develop relevant skills connected with the sport played


The Upper School Drama program offers the opportunity for burgeoning actors and techies to spread their theatrical wings. Under the guidance of the drama directors, the students are responsible for all aspects of the production; acting, singing, dancing, costume design, set design, stage tech, and booth tech. Our goal is for the students to develop confidence in themselves, while challenging themselves to reach in new directions. Our productions are designed to highlight our upper school student’s talents in order to create a show that our entire school community can enjoy.