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Sixth Grade Curriculum

Dept. of Teaching and Learning Services

565 NW Holly Street Issaquah, WA 98027
(425) 837-7030

The Issaquah Content Standards guide teaching and learning in all our classrooms in the areas of Literacy (reading, writing, and communication), Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Health and Fitness, and the Arts. These statements describe what students should know and be able to do during and as a result of their educational experiences. The Issaquah Content Standards are based on the Washington State K-12 Learning Standards.


Reading

The following standards offer a focus for instruction each year and help ensure that students gain adequate exposure to a range of texts and tasks. Rigor is also infused through the requirement that students read increasingly complex texts through the grades. Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered in preceding grades.

Reads Grade Level Text

  • Reads and comprehends literature and nonfiction text proficiently

Comprehension: Key Ideas and Details

  • Cites textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
  • Determines a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provides a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments
  • Describes how a plot unfolds and how the characters respond or change; analyzes how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text

Comprehension: Craft and Structure

  • Determines the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyzes the impact of word choice on meaning and tone
  • Analyzes how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas or story
  • Determines an author's point of view or purpose in a text and explains how it is conveyed or developed in the text

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  • Compares and contrasts the experience of reading a text to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text; integrates information presented in different media or formats  as well as in words to develop an understanding of a topic or issue
  • Traces and evaluates the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not
  • Compares and contrasts texts in different forms or genres, or different authors’ presentations, in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics

Writing

The following standards offer a focus for instruction each year to help ensure that students gain adequate mastery of a range of skills and applications. Each year in their writing, students should demonstrate increasing sophistication in all aspects of language use, from vocabulary and syntax to the development and organization of ideas, and they should address increasingly demanding content and sources. Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered in preceding grades.

Range of Writing

Writes routinely over extended time frames and shorter time frames for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences

Text Types and Purposes

Writes arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence 

  • Introduces claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly
  • Supports claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text 
  • Uses words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons. 
  • Establishes and maintains a formal style 
  • Provides a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented

Writes informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

  • Introduces a topic; organizes ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension 
  • Develops the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples 
  • Uses appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts
  • Uses precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic. 
  • Establishes and maintains a formal style
  • Provides a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented

Writes narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences

  • Engages and orients the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organizes an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically 
  • Uses narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters 
  • Uses a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another 
  • Uses precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to convey experiences and events
  • Provides a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events

Production and Distribution of Writing

  • Produces clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
  • With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develops and strengthens writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach
  • Uses technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrates sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

  • Conducts short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate
  • Gathers relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assesses the credibility of each source; and quotes or paraphrases the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources
  • Draws evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research

Mathematics

In Grade 6, instructional time focuses on four areas: (1) connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems; (2) completing understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers; (3) writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations; and (4) developing understanding of statistical thinking.

Ratios and Proportional Relationships

  • Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems. 

The Number System 

  • Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division to divide fractions by fractions.
  • Compute fluently with multi-digit numbers and find common factors and multiples. 
  • Apply and extend previous understandings of numbers to the system of rational numbers.

Expressions and Equations 

  • Apply and extend previous understandings of arithmetic to algebraic expressions.
  • Reason about and solve one-variable equations and inequalities.
  • Represent and analyze quantitative relationships between dependent and independent variables. 

Geometry

  • Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume. Statistics and Probability 
  • Develop understanding of statistical variability.
  • Summarize and describe distributions.

Statistics and Probability 

  • Develop understanding of statistical variability. 
  • Summarize and describe distributions.

Mathematical Practices

  • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
  • Model with mathematics
  • Use appropriate tools strategically
  • Attend to precision
  • Look for and make use of structure
  • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning

Life Science

Students in middle school develop understanding of key concepts to help them make sense of life science. The ideas build upon students’ science understanding from earlier grades and from the disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts of other experiences with physical and earth sciences. There are four life science disciplinary core ideas in middle school: 1) From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes, 2) Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics, 3) Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits, 4) Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity. The performance expectations in middle school blend the core ideas with scientific and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts to support students in developing useable knowledge across the science disciplines. 

From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

  • Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells; either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells. 
  • Develop and use a model to describe the function of a cell as a whole and ways parts of cells contribute to the function. 
  • Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells. 
  • Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively. 
  • Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms. 
  • Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms. 
  • Develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism. 
  • Gather and synthesize information that sensory receptors respond to stimuli by sending messages to the brain for immediate behavior or storage as memories. 

Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

  • Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem. 
  • Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems. 
  • Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem. 
  • Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations. 
  • Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

  • Develop and use a model to describe why structural changes to genes (mutations) located on chromosomes may affect proteins and may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function of the organism. 
  • Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation. 

Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

  • Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past. 
  • Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships. 
  • Analyze displays of pictorial data to compare patterns of similarities in the embryological development across multiple species to identify relationships not evident in the fully formed anatomy. 
  • Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment. 
  • Gather and synthesize information about the technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms. 
  • Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time. 

Engineering Design Storylines

In middle school students will build on engineering experiences by defining problems more precisely, conducting a thorough process of choosing the best solution, and optimizing the final design.

Engineering Design

  • Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
  • Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
  • Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
  • Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.

Social Studies

In sixth grade, students are ready to deepen their understanding of the Earth and its peoples through the study of geography, history, civics, politics, culture, and economic systems. The context for social studies learning in sixth grade is world history and geography. Students begin their examination of the world by exploring the location, place, and spatial organization of the world’s major regions. This exploration is then followed by looking at world history from its beginnings. Students are given an opportunity to study a few ancient civilizations deeply. In this way, students develop higher levels of critical thinking by considering why civilizations developed where and when they did and why they declined. Students analyze the interactions among the various cultures, emphasizing their enduring contributions and the link between the contemporary and ancient worlds. Sixth grade students will also learn specific Social Studies skills

Geography: 

The Sixth Grade student in the Issaquah School District

  • Identifies the location of places and regions in the world and understands their physical and cultural characteristics. 
  • Constructs and analyzes maps using scale, direction, symbols, legends and projections to gather information
  • Understands and analyzes how the environment has affected people and how people have affected the environment in the past or present.
  • Understands the characteristics of cultures in the world from the past or in the present.
  • Understands the geographic factors that influence the movement of groups of people in the past or present.
  • Understands that learning about the geography of the world helps us understand issues related to global issues of sustainability.

History

The Sixth Grade student in the Issaquah School District

  • Understands how the rise of civilizations defines eras in ancient history by:
    • Explaining and comparing the rise of civilizations from 8000 BCE to 200 CE on two or more continents.
    • Explaining and comparing the rise of civilizations from 200 CE to 600 CE on two or more continents.
  • Analyzes different cultural measurements of time. 
  • Understands and analyzes how individuals and movements from ancient civilizations have shaped world history.
  • Understands and analyzes how technology and ideas from ancient civilizations have impacted world history.
  • Analyzes and interprets historical materials from a variety of perspectives in ancient history.
  • Analyzes multiple causal factors that shape major events in ancient history.
  • Understands and analyzes how cultures and cultural groups in ancient civilizations contributed to world history.

Civics

  • Analyzes how societies have interacted with one another in the past or present.
  • Understands a variety of forms of government from the past or present
  • Understands the historical origins of civic involvement.

Economics

  • Understands the production, distribution, and consumption of goods, services, and resources in societies from the past or in the present.
  • Understands how the forces of supply and demand have affected international trade in the past or present.
  • Understands the role of government in the world’s economies through the creation of money, taxation, and spending in the past or present.
  • Understands the distribution of wealth and sustainability of resources in the world in the past or present.
  • Analyzes the costs and benefits of economic choices made by groups and individuals in the past or present.

Social Studies Skills

  • Analyzes multiple factors, compares two groups, generalizes, and connects past to present to formulate a thesis in a paper or presentation.
  • Understands and demonstrates the ethical responsibility one has in using and citing sources and the rules related to plagiarism and copyrighting.
  • Analyzes the validity, reliability, and credibility of information from a variety of primary and secondary sources while researching an issue or event.
  • Understands positions on an issue or event
  • Creates and uses research questions to guide inquiry on an historical event.
  • Evaluates the significance of information used to support positions on an issue or event.
  • Engages in discussions that clarify and address multiple viewpoints on public issues.

Physical Education

The student is expected to meet and demonstrate all previous grade level skills.

The Sixth Grade student in the Issaquah School District will explore, develop, and refine basic movement and manipulative skills through a variety of activities at developmentally appropriate levels.

Movement Skills

  • Applies more complex skills to a variety of movement activities; team sports, individual sports, and recreational activities

The Sixth Grade student in the Issaquah School District will increase understand- ing  and  appreciation  of  their  fitness level while engaging in a variety of physical activities.

Physical Fitness

  • Measures  physical  fitness,  sets  fitness and activity goals, and explores a variety of activities to maintain healthy levels of cardio-respiratory  fitness,  muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, and body composition

The Sixth Grade student in the Issaquah School District will demonstrate responsible behaviors and positive sportsmanship skills in individual and group activities.

Communication

  • Follows rules and safety procedures with civility, practice sportsmanship, cooperation, and teamwork in a variety of games and  fitness activities
  • Uses communication skills without judging others when discussing sports-related issues

Cognitive Skills

  • Demonstrates knowledge of both past and current history of activities
  • Demonstrates proper use and care for equipment  of activities
  • Applies basic rules and strategies in sports activities

Health

The student is expected to meet and demonstrate all previous grade level skills.

The Sixth Grade student in the Issaquah School District acquires the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain an active life: movement, physical fitness, and nutrition. Understand Nutrition and Food Nutrients and How they Affect Physical Performance and the Body Pyramid Food Guide

  • Knows and applies the concepts of food groups, servings, and serving sizes
  • Explains why a variety of foods provide a variety of nutrients

The Sixth Grade student in the Issaquah School District acquires the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain a healthy life: recognize patterns of growth and development, reduce health risks, and live safely.

Recognize Patterns of Growth and Development

F.L.A.S.H./K.N.O.W.

  • Predicts the changes that accompany maturity and the transition from adolescence to adulthood
  • Differentiates between good touch and bad touch
  • Identifies the parts of the reproductive system and how it works and how a pregnancy occurs

Understand the Transmission and Control of Non-Communicable and Communicable Diseases

  • Understands what A.I.D.S. is and how it is contracted
  • Understands the transmission and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases

Acquire Skills to Live Safely Drug Awareness:

Tobacco and Alcohol

  • Understands the negative health effects and harmful chemicals in tobacco and alcohol

Body Systems:

Respiratory and Circulatory

  • Recognizes how these systems are affected

The Sixth Grade student in the Issaquah School District uses analyzes and evaluates the impact of real-life influences on health.

Understand How Emotions Influence Decision-Making

  • Names the steps for refusal skills

The Sixth Grade student in the Issaquah School District uses analyzes health and safety information to develop health and fitness plans based on life goals.

Assess Needs and Resources

  • Explains the relationship between good hygiene and positive physical, mental, and social health