Sixth Grade

NFS Curriculum Update :: November, 2013


Sixth graders have finished their study of Surrealism and a brief investigation of symmetry and shading. Recently these artists went to the computer lab and learned to take screen shots then transform the shots to greyscale black and white images. They then learned to use basic Photoshop program features to “posterize” their images. Artists are now in the process of transferring these images to drawing paper using a traditional technique. Once transferred, these drawings will resemble topographical maps and artist will be asked to replicate the value seen in their images. They will be taught several value and shading techniques. These processes are among those taught in high school and to early year design students. Many contemporary artists continue to utilize these techniques in sketches, personal and public works. Sixth grade artists will leave this lesson with a deeper comprehension of art and design elements.

Community Service

We will have one day of Friday Friends were we participate in interviews with the residents and have apartment tours.


We will continue to study character trait vocabulary and practice applying it to our independent reading by analyzing major characters. We will focus on writing a five paragraph essay in MLA format. Finally, we will officially implement book club.


In health we move from learning to understanding self to learning how to care for self. This month will focus on how to care for your body. We will look at changes that are happening in our bodies and the need for deodorant. As acne is an issue many teens will encounter, we will take a look at skin care. Nutrition and exercise also come into play. The month will conclude with a discussion about family, community and self, and all the things we have to be thankful for.


This month the 6th grade Latin students will complete their work for Lesson 3, which covers the present tense of 1st conjugation verbs and direct objects. Our work will include translation, original composition, and the performance of a Latin skit. We will then move on to Lesson 4, which introduces 2nd declension nouns. This will open up for us a wide variety of masculine nouns; up to this point, nearly all our nouns have been feminine! We will also continue to learn about Roman history and culture in preparation for our culture project.


In math we will continue to work with fractions and spend more time looking at conversions between fractions, decimals, and percents. We will examine different word problems that deal with one quantity as a percentage of another, with a focus on real world situations.


Here we go! “No Strings Attached” is up and running! Parts have been assigned, scripts have been handed out and highlighted, cds have been burned and we have started vocal rehearsals. As we move through November, we will finish up vocal rehearsals and begin choreography and blocking. A rehearsal calendar will be coming home soon with dates of what is happening when so that students can be prepared for rehearsal. I have taken the December performance date off the calendar and am now looking at February. As this is a learning process, I want to make sure we have ample time to prepare this without feeling rushed!


In Upper School PE we will continue to develop our physical fitness and work on muscular strength with a focus on core. The team sport we will be playing is European Team Handball, which is a combination of soccer and basketball. We will also continue to play large group activities like Atlantic City Baseball and Power Ball that develop skill and agility. Fitness and skill development is an important part of all of our activities, but also sportsmanship and fair play.


Sixth grade will continue its study of stable structures using a tower challenge as a tool to explore the integration of engineering and science. The students will then build a stable, real-life scaled bridge that will span a distance and support weight. Ultimately, the students will demonstrate their understanding of the material with the culminating “bridge break” challenge. Formative labs and Science in the News (SNEWS) reports will be accomplished using GoogleDocs for both edits and submission of assignments.

Social Studies

This month in sixth grade social studies we will conclude our exploration of Christianity with a unit on Quakerism. We will then begin our unit on Islam. We will incorporate current events into our analysis and research. Students will continue to analyze primary and secondary sources. They will practice the critical reading, note taking, and academic writing through the skills of annotation, synthesis, thesis formation, and source citation. We hope to improve on our simple academic paragraphs that include both evidence and analysis of primary sources. We will conclude the unit with an in-class exam which focuses on Islam and that also incorporates reading, writing, and annotation skills.


In November, sixth grade Spanish students will begin to construct stories that include regular and irregular verb conjugations and other various grammar points learned earlier in the year. They will learn the other verb to be “ESTAR” and distinguish its uses versus the other verb to be “SER”. The irregular verb to go “IR” and places in the city will be studied to talk about where one goes in the city. Students will continue to advance our Spanish studies acquiring more vocabulary and verb knowledge in preparation for reading and discussions of our upcoming reading text. The warm-up sessions of class “calentamientos” include a variety of activities at the start of every class. These will continue to be an interactive and fun part of class where students recycle thematic language orally in a fun way.

US 101

We will be transitioning from the academic domain of Upper School to focusing on the social. We will learn about different communication styles and discover what type of communicators we are. We will discuss how these assorted styles may affect friendships, how we approach people and how we approach situations. These activities will increase self-awareness, encourage empathy and help students understand how they contribute and operate in the social world we live in.

Upcoming Upper School Events

Thursday, November 7th - Upper School Grandparents Day

Friday, November 15th - End of Quarter 1

Friday, November 22nd - SPICES Day #2

Monday, November 25th - Friday, November 29th - Thanksgiving vacation