Sixth - Eighth
Middle school students progress through each subject over the course of the three years they spend there. All subjects move students from a basic understanding to a more advanced level to prepare them for high school.
Students begin the day with a lesson in religion and/or Family Life. Grade 6 studies the Old Testament and birth to aging and death in Family Life. Seventh graders learn about the symbols, rituals and sacraments and discover the value of deepening their relationship with Jesus. They discuss family relationships, values and virtues, and Christian Life. Eighth grade students discuss morality, church history, and becoming witnesses to their faith. They also take a trip to the Franciscan Life Center to participate in a team building program. All middle school students participate in the Christmas pageant and other social action projects where they can share their faith with others.
All middle school grades learn Spanish. Classes focus on basic language skills and the customs and culture of Hispanic countries.
Students in middle school develop advanced skills in using iPads, (one-to-one), laptops, and interactive Smartboards to prepare and present their work.
The literature course covers a variety of genre and introduces the students to the concepts of short stories and novels both fiction and nonfiction. Students are given an opportunity to respond to literature and discuss reactions. Students learn writing concepts and analyze various types of writing. In addition to the anthology, students are introduced to novel study appropriate to grade level. Some of the novels that have been studied are Johnny Tremain and To Kill a Mockingbird. Students write across the curriculum and are encouraged to write in a variety of genre. Skills necessary to write a research paper are further developed and the subject matter is generally cross curricular.
Sixth grade science students first learn what it means to be a scientist. They learn to use lab equipment while studying matter, the periodic table, energy and the organization of living things. Cells, heredity, bacteria, plants and the systems of the human body are the focus of seventh grade studies. They also learn about the six kingdoms and complete a life sciences project where they research a plant and then grow it from a seed. Eighth graders learn about forces and energy using simple machines. They also study the periodic table, the reactivity of elements, and the characteristics of matter and how they relate to energy.
In grammar, the study of parts of speech and their application to writing, students are taught the seven parts of speech and the parts of sentences and their related structure. Students are required to demonstrate understanding of these key concepts and to apply acquired knowledge to their own writing through a variety of assignments and assessments. This course is cyclical and each of these concepts is repeated in grades 6, 7, and 8.
The mathematics curriculum is designed to help students develop self-confidence and recognize math as a necessary and daily life skill. The goal is to fully prepare each student for high school mathematics. Pre-Algebra (7th grade) and Algebra (8th) are offered for students who qualify. Students of all levels are encouraged to join our after-school MathCounts Club, which meets once a week and participates in a national math competition in February of each year.
Sixth grade history class takes students back to Ancient cultures of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Seventh graders begin the study of American history starting with the Colonial Period and ending with the Civil War. Eighth grade students study Reconstruction, World War I, the Great Depression, the Holocaust, WWII, Vietnam and current events. These subjects are brought to life with discussions, videos, WebQuests and 3D projects.
Seventh and eighth grade students travel the world in their geography classes. With extensive use of the internet and several guest speakers, they can learn about other cultures and actually see what life is like in other areas of the world. Seventh grade concentrates on Latin America and Europe while the eighth grade focuses on Russia, Asia, Africa and Australia. The culminating activity is participation in a Multicultural Fair at the end of the school year.
All students attend physical education classes once a week and have daily time for free play at recess.