Below can be found the principles and philosophy we follow with respect to the different subject areas of the Curriculum
A "Coming of Age" theme in 6th grade begins with summer reading. All rising sixth graders read Theodore Taylor's The Cay, a moving novel about a boy's struggle with race relations and blindness. The school year reading odyssey begins with a re-telling of the epic Beowulf, followed by S.E. Hinton's modern classic The Outsiders. Often, a visiting author sparks titles for a midyear reading choice, and 3 genre projects are completed, typically fantasy-adventure, mystery, and animal stories. 6th graders read Gary Blackwood's The Shakespeare Stealer to set the stage for an introduction and in-class performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Students identify and discuss differences in writing styles, use of figurative language, plot structure and characterization. Each student writes and illustrates a children's book, and these are hard bound and read to younger children. Reading comprehension, vocabulary development, and written expression and voice are all emphasized in the literature course.
The sixth grade course in English grammar is devoted to identifying, understanding, and properly using the eight parts of speech. Basic grammar mechanics and sentence patterns are also taught. Students apply this knowledge effectively in their writing. Simple diagramming is begun as a visual tool for analyzing various sentence patterns and for identifying the function of each word. Classical roots vocabulary is integrated in the program, as well.
Earth Science is a conceptually based course introducing chemistry and physics to understand the geological processes affecting the earth. Sixth grade students are also taught to apply the scientific method. In support of this goal, students will complete an experimental project, following guidelines provided by the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair and the Walker Middle School Science Department. Students will have the option to complete pre-selected projects, or to submit their own ideas for approval by the instructor. Individual projects are entered in the annual Walker Science Fair held in late fall. Hands-on laboratory experiments are included throughout the year integrating the many topics studied. Each young scientist also completes a kinesthetic project on rocks and minerals.
Geography is the study of the earth's surface and the processes which shape it, the connections between places, and the complex relationships between people and their environments. This course is designed to help students gain better understanding of the world in which they live, beginning with the local level. It is organized around the five themes of geography: Location, place, human/environment interaction, movement, and region. Strong emphasis is given to current events and their relationship to geography. During the course of the year, each student "creates" a country, taking into account location, climate, natural resources, economic considerations, religion, political systems, educational systems, national values, housing, education, and transportation. Students learn valuable research and study skills, map skills, and social skills.
6th Grade Math:
A course designed for students whose basic computational skills are weak and whose thinking skills are at a very concrete level. The class maintains a pace which gives students ample opportunity to practice and be successful.
Advanced 6th Grade Math:
A transitional course for students who are beginning to think abstractly, and whose basic skills are adequate, but who would benefit from practice with skills needed to be successful in Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1. Topics include operations with decimals, fractions and integers, ratios, percents and areas.
Honors 6th Grade Math:
A fast-paced course for students whose basic skills are solid and who have entered the realm of abstract thinking. Topics include solving 1 and 2-step equations and inequalities, percents and graphing linear equations.
All sixth graders take a full year of Earth Science, English (grammar and literature), Geography, and Transition Math. In addition they take exploratory courses in Art, Computer, Drama, Music, and Physical Education.