Middle School course of study 2019-2020

Middle School course of study 2019-2020
course of study 2019-2020

Middle School course of study 2019-2020
Gilman School is a
diverse community dedicated

to educating boys in mind, body, and spirit
through particular emphasis upon academic
excellence, athletic participation, and aesthetic
appreciation. Gilman seeks to produce men of
character and integrity who have the skills and
ability to make a positive contribution to the
communities in which they live and work.

Middle School course of study 2019-2020
Statement of
Gilman School’s educational philosophy recognizes the critical
importance of developing boys in mind, body, and spirit. Each Gilman
boy should have an excellent academic experience, a vigorous athletic
program, a cultivated appreciation of the arts, and significant attention
to issues of character and spirit in order to realize his full potential and
become a contributing member of society.

Gilman School’s academic program stretches boys to achieve their highest potential
through excellent teaching, high standards, and continuing encouragement. Gilman
School’s core curriculum is designed to promote a strong work ethic, effective oral
and written communication, critical thinking, creative problem-solving, aesthetic
appreciation, and the enjoyment of intellectual pursuits. Beyond the core curriculum,
boys are offered a wide variety of elective courses and other activities in which they can
pursue diverse personal interests in a focused manner.

Gilman School promotes physical fitness and health through required participation in
athletics. In addition to teaching healthy habits of exercise, participation in competitive
team sports develops important qualities, such as teamwork, resilience, discipline,
humility, self-control, and good sportsmanship.

The term “spirit,” as Gilman School intends it, is broadly defined to include issues of
religion and character.

Gilman recognizes the importance of spiritual matters, not only in an abstract, academic
sense, but also in observation and practice to form an integrated personality.

Above all else, Gilman School helps boys evolve to become men of character. The
qualities of integrity, honor, leadership, humility, and service to others cannot be fostered
separately by specific programs, but instead must be woven into all aspects of the School
community. To that end, Gilman School emphasizes a strong and comprehensive honor
system, a community service program, an assembly program that promotes respect for the
dignity and rights of each individual, and significant leadership opportunities.

Middle School course of study 2019-2020
The Middle School seeks to help each student strengthen his self-
concept, to nurture his inherent love of learning, and to prepare him for
the challenges of the Upper School and beyond. Accordingly, the Middle
School program, both in its curricular and extra-curricular components, is
designed to achieve the following goals:

 • P
    rovide developmentally appropriate core courses, stressing the improvement of skills
   that enhance the process of learning.
 • M
    eet individual needs of students by incorporating multiple teaching strategies,
   technology, and support programs.
 • E
    nable students to develop strong organizational and preparation habits, research
   skills, and technology fluency.
 • D
    evelop students’ communication skills and creative expression across subject areas
   through writing, speaking, technology, and the fine and performing arts.
 • Improve comprehension skills and stimulate a love of reading.
 • Further develop writing skills across the curriculum.
 • Challenge students with increasing opportunities for guided independent learning.

 • Encourage a sense of sportsmanship, teamwork, and self-discipline.
 • Promote physical fitness, coordination, and lifelong wellness.
 • Develop basic athletic skills, in both individual and team settings.
 • P
    rovide a variety of physical activities and appropriate levels of competition
   in order to build self-confidence.

 • H
    elp students embrace and understand the value of personal honor, integrity, and
   ethical behavior.
 • P
    romote community responsibility and involvement, with an awareness of the world
   beyond Gilman through learning and leadership in service to others.
 • Provide support and guidance for all students.
 • Create an environment for exploring and celebrating diversity.
 • Challenge students to become more adept at decision-making and problem-solving.
 • P
    romote and reinforce extended relationships and communications among all
   members of the school community.

Middle School course of study 2019-2020
Table of Contents

Curriculum Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Language Arts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Mathematics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Technology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Science. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Social Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Modern Foreign Language. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Latin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Talk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Visual Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Design & Woodworking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
General Music. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Instrumental Music. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Drama. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Journalism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Library. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Athletics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Middle School course of study 2019-2020
 sixth grade           sev en th g r ad e        eighth g r ad e

   Language Arts           Language Arts            Language Arts

    Mathematics             Pre-Algebra                 Algebra

     Geography          United States History       Ancient History

   Introduction to          Life Science           Introduction to
Experimental Methods                               Physical Science

  French or Spanish      French or Spanish        French or Spanish

       Talk I                  Talk II                  Talk III

      General or              General or                 Latin
 Instrumental Music      Instrumental Music

Electives (Required)    Electives (Required)       Electives (Pick 2)

        Art                      Art                      Art

    Design and              Design and               Design and
   Woodworking             Woodworking              Woodworking

       Drama              Public Speaking             Journalism

    Technology               Leadership               Technology

      Finance                                        FIRST Tech
                                                  Challenge Robotics

                                                    Laser Cutting,
                                                   3D Printing, and
                                                    Green Screen

                                                 Masterwork Analysis/
                                                    Composition or
                                                  Instrumental Music

 Physical Education     Athletics Intramural –   Athletics Intramural –
  Sports Program           Interscholastic          Interscholastic

Middle School course of study 2019-2020
l a n g ua g e a r t s

                The Middle School                           sentences so that they can demonstrate
                                                            a mastery of grammatical concepts in
                Language Arts                               their own written expression. Most
                                                            compositions pass through several
                program strongly                            stages from brainstorming activities,
                emphasizes reading                          rough draft, and response group,
                                                            to final draft, often with the use of
                and its relationship                        laptop computers in the classroom.
                to effective thinking,                      The teaching of written expression
                                                            is balanced by instruction in public
                writing, and speaking.                      speaking — such as oral reports,
Language Arts
                                                            storytelling, class instruction, dramatic
                We know that study skills are best
                                                            recitation, and more — all of which are
                learned in context rather than in
                                                            integrated with literature study and
                isolation. Our students are presented
                                                            various research and study skills needed
                with literary works to be studied both
                                                            for success in Upper School.
                as superior examples of the various
                genres for analysis of literary structure   Supplementary Reading: In each of
                and writing techniques, as well as          the Middle School years, students are
                vehicles for class discussion of values,    required to read at least eight books
                ethics, and the problems of moral           of choice outside of class. At each
                decision-making.                            level, boys are asked to read books
                                                            from certain categories to assure
                Readings serve as the springboard
                                                            diversification in their selections.
                for both expository and imaginative
                                                            This program is monitored through
                compositions, as students explore the
                                                            the homeroom advisory groups, under
                writing process and learn the forms
                                                            the general supervision of the Middle
                of literary expression by participating
                                                            School Librarian.
                in them. The formal instruction in
                vocabulary is derived from experience
                with classical roots as well as the
                                                            of study
                literature read at each level. Students
                gain understanding through the study
                of hundreds of Greek and Latin roots
                and affixes, practice with context clues,
                synonyms and antonyms, word-origins,
                dictionary skills, and the synthesis of
                sentences and longer compositions in
                                                                  Grade 6 Language Arts
                which these words are used.
                                                                     (full year 9/10)

                Grammar and writing mechanics
                                                            As a significant entry year to Gilman
                are taught as integral parts of the
                                                            Middle School, the sixth-grade
                Language Arts program. The goal of
                                                            Language Arts experience focuses
                grammar study is to make students
                                                            on the foundation of key skills in
                more comfortable with the structure of
                                                            literature, grammar, vocabulary, and

Middle School course of study 2019-2020
l a n g ua g e a r t s

writing. The subsequent seventh- and        historical context, in-depth exploration,    to express their written word in the
eighth-grade curricula allow students       and reading comprehension skills             context of formal oratory presentations,
to build upon this foundation with a        throughout these texts.                      debates, and unique artistic or
consistently vertical mindset. Emphasis                                                  technological projects.
on the relationship between the four        The grammar and vocabulary curricula
components of Language Arts allows          establish a strong foundation regardless     Ultimately, this rigorous course renders
for age-appropriate development that        of student background. In accord with        boys prepared for Language Arts 7 and
places boys on a trajectory equipped to     Rules of the Game: Grammar Through           eventually Upper School English. At
meet rigorous Upper School English          Discovery 1, the boys learn identification   the conclusion of the program, each
expectations.                               and classification of all eight parts of     student should be able to comprehend
                                            speech in a sentence as well as basic        and dissect appropriate literature of
The literature curriculum helps             sentence structures, punctuation, and        various genres, label and classify every
students comprehend the basics of           capitalization. Additionally, Vocabulary     part of speech in a sentence, memorize
scholarly analysis. The boys start the      from Classical Roots (Book A) emphasizes     and correctly use new vocabulary, and
year examining the elements of short        the role of Greek and Latin root words       create a strongly organized and edited
story, specifically plot, character,        in memorization and application of           expository paragraph of literary analysis
setting and atmosphere, irony,              various new words. The boys continue         as well as assorted creative compositions.
symbol, and theme, in the context           with these book series throughout all        With stringent class routines and
of multicultural short stories, which       three years of Middle School Language        effective assessments, the course covers
emphasize the school’s mission              Arts, and the traditional approaches to      the foundations of the English language
statement on equity and inclusion.          grammar and vocabulary significantly         for all sixth-grade boys.
In this unit, students enjoy classic        enhance their writing ability.
short stories by noted writers, such
as Langston Hughes and Melissa de           Language Arts 6 appropriately focuses          texts =======
la Cruz. Once the boys cement these         on organizing, composing, and editing          Rules of the Game: Grammar Through
concepts, they apply their analytical       various modes of writing. With both            Discovery 1. Educational Publishing
skills to the memorable play The Diary      hand-written journal entries and word-         Services.
of Anne Frank, C.S. Lewis’s timeless        processed compositions, the boys create
                                            a plethora of expository paragraphs and        Vocabulary from Classical Roots (Book A).
novel Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the
                                            creative writing assignments. Often the        Educational Publishing Services.
Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Gilman
graduate Walter Lord’s A Night to           writing allows students to demonstrate         A Night to Remember.
Remember. Teachers routinely highlight      their detailed comprehension of the            Walter Lord (nonfiction).
                                            various literary studies in the course.
                                                                                           The Diary of Anne Frank. Frances
                                            They are also offered the opportunity
                                                                                           Goodrich and Albert Hackett (drama).
                                                                                           Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the
                                                                                           Witch, and the Wardrobe. C.S. Lewis.

                                                                                             Grade 7 Language Arts
                                                                                                (full year 9/10)

                                                                                         For the second year in the Gilman
                                                                                         Middle School program, the seventh-
                                                                                         grade Language Arts experience
                                                                                         focuses on furthering key skills in
                                                                                         literature, grammar, vocabulary, and
                                                                                         writing. The subsequent eighth-grade
                                                                                         curriculum allows students to build

Middle School course of study 2019-2020
l a n g ua g e a r t s

upon this effort with a consistently
vertical mindset. Emphasis on the
relationship between the four
components of Language Arts allows
for age-appropriate development
                                                                                           texts =======
that places boys on an equipped
trajectory towards rigorous Upper                                                          Vocabulary from Classical Roots (Book
School English expectations.                                                               B). Educational Publishing Services.
                                                                                           Rules of the Game: Grammar Through
The literature curriculum allows                                                           Discovery 2. Educational Publishing
students to comprehend deep                                                                Services.
scholarly analysis. The boys start the
year revisiting the elements of a short      Language Arts 7 appropriately focuses          Little Worlds. Longman Publishing
story in the context of the Little Worlds    on organizing, composing, and editing         (short-story collection).
anthology, which builds sequentially         various modes of writing. With both           Animal Farm. George Orwell (drama).
upon the sixth-grade year. In this text,     hand-written journal entries and
                                                                                           Poems: American Themes.
students enjoy classic short stories by      word-processed compositions, the boys
                                                                                           William C. Bassel, Ed.
renowned writers, such as Edgar Allan        create a plethora of expository essays
                                                                                           Amsco School Publishing.
Poe and Ray Bradbury. Once the boys          and creative writing assignments,
cement these concepts, they apply their      including original short stories,             Chasing Lincoln’s Killer.
analytical skills to the timeless allegory   personal poems, and imaginative               James L. Swanson.
Animal Farm by George Orwell, James L.       Civil War research papers. Often, the
Swanson’s thrilling nonfiction Chasing       writing allows students to demonstrate
Lincoln’s Killer, and Poetry: American       their detailed comprehension of the             Grade 8 Language Arts
Themes, which features historic poets,       various literary studies in the course.            (full year 9/10)
like Langston Hughes and Robert Frost.       Additionally, they are offered the
Each of these works thematically or          opportunity to express their written
                                             word in the context of formal oratory       For the final year in the Gilman
chronologically coincides with the U.S.
                                             presentations, debates, and unique          Middle School program, the eighth-
History curriculum. Teachers routinely
                                             artistic or technological projects.         grade Language Arts experience
highlight historical context, in-depth
                                                                                         focuses on furthering key skills in
exploration, and reading comprehension
                                             This rigorous course renders boys           literature, grammar, vocabulary,
skills throughout these texts.
                                             prepared for Language Arts 8 and            and writing. The progression of the
The grammar and vocabulary curricula         ultimately Upper School English. At         Middle School curriculum allows the
build upon a strong foundation from          the conclusion of the program, each         boys to build upon their sixth- and
the sixth-grade experience. In accord        student should be able to comprehend        seventh-grade foundations. Emphasis
with Rules of the Game: Grammar              and dissect appropriate literature          on the relationship between the four
Through Discovery 2, the boys review         of various genres, examine sentence         components of Language Arts allows
all parts of speech, examine sentence        structures as well as functions of          for age-appropriate development that
structures, and learn functionality of       words and phrases, memorize and             prepares boys for rigorous Upper
words and phrases in the sentence.           correctly use new vocabulary, and           School English expectations.
Vocabulary from Classical Roots (Book        create a strongly organized and edited
                                             expository three-paragraph essay of         The literature curriculum allows
B) emphasizes the role of Greek and
                                             literary analysis as well as assorted       students to comprehend deep scholarly
Latin root words in memorization and
                                             creative compositions. With stringent       analysis. The boys’ year includes
application of various new words. This
                                             class routines and effective assessments,   Greek mythology in Edith Hamilton’s
traditional approach to grammar and
                                             the course covers the foundations of        noteworthy anthology and the timeless
vocabulary significantly enhances their
                                             the English language for all seventh-       play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by
writing ability.
                                             grade boys.                                 William Shakespeare, both in accord

Middle School course of study 2019-2020
l a n g ua g e a r t s

with their Ancient History coursework.     Language Arts 8 appropriately focuses      and correctly use new vocabulary,
In addition to these ancient texts, the    on organizing, composing, and editing      and create a strongly organized and
students examine classic literature like   various modes of writing. With both        edited expository five-paragraph essay
Lord of the Flies by William Golding and   hand-written journal entries and word-     of literary analysis as well as assorted
Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Teachers    processed compositions, the boys create    creative compositions. Complementary
routinely highlight historical context,    a plethora of expository essays and        skills in research, note-taking,
in-depth exploration, and reading          creative writing assignments. Often the    and oratory presentation are also
comprehension skills throughout these      writing allows students to demonstrate     thoroughly developed. With stringent
texts.                                     their detailed comprehension of the        class routines and effective assessments,
                                           various literary studies in the course.    the course covers the foundations of
The grammar and vocabulary curricula       Additionally, they are opportunities       the English language for all eighth-
build upon a strong foundation             for boys to express their written          grade boys.
from the sixth and seventh-grade           word in the context of formal oratory
experience. In accord with Rules of        presentations, debates, and unique
the Game: Grammar Through Discovery        artistic or technological projects. Many     texts =======
3, the boys review key elements of         of these writing projects also include       Vocabulary from Classical Roots
the previous year, examine verbals,        significant research expectations,           (Book C). Fifer and Flowers.
learn functionality of dependent           including the Fahrenheit 451 Great
clauses in the sentence, and review                                                     Rules of the Game: Grammar Through
                                           Debate project that examines the
various sentence types. Vocabulary from                                                 Discovery 3. Educational Publishing
                                           relevancy of Bradbury’s social
Classical Roots (Book C) emphasizes the                                                 Services.
                                           commentary on contemporary society.
role of Greek and Latin root words                                                      Mythology. Edith Hamilton
in memorization and application of         This rigorous course renders boys
                                                                                        Lord of the Flies. William Golding
various new words. This traditional        prepared for Upper School English. At
approach to vocabulary and grammar         the conclusion of the program, each
greatly enhances the students’ writing     student should be able to comprehend         The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.
ability as they approach a challenging     and dissect appropriate literature           William Shakespeare (tragic drama).
curriculum in Upper School.                of various genres, examine sentence          Fahrenheit 451. Ray Bradbury
                                           structures as well as functions of           (science-fiction novel).
                                           words, phrases, and clauses, memorize

m at h e m at i c s

              The Middle School                         The curriculum is designed to mirror
                                                        the National Council of Teachers
              Mathematics program

                                                        of Mathematics standards with a
                                                        special emphasis on placing children
              consists of six                           in problem-solving situations. The
              interrelated courses,                     program is spiraled, indicating that
                                                        the same topic is addressed in all
              two per grade level,                      three years but at an increasing level
              designed to meet the                      of complexity. For example, a sixth
                                                        grader learns why you find common
              needs of youngsters                       denominators when adding 3⁄7 and 2⁄5.
              with a range of                           A seventh grader explores the complete
                                                        rational number system with a problem
              mathematical talents.                     like this: .777 + 3⁄5 + 31%. Finally, an
                                                        eighth grader discovers that adding
              This two-tiered structure                 rational algebraic expressions,      +   ,
              accommodates differing growth             behaves in the same fashion as the sets
              patterns along the concrete/operational   he explored in grades six and seven.
              to formal/abstract continuum. The
              enriched programs challenge the most      Each math period provides
              talented students through advanced        opportunities to think, write, question,
              problem-solving, data analysis,           answer, and react. Students frequently
              and critical thinking, rather than        work with a partner to brainstorm

m at h e m at i c s

                                             course                                     In preparation for their eighth-grade
                                                                                        “Lottery” experience, students are

                                             of study                                   exposed to open-ended problem-solving

                                             2019-2020                                  situations where they are required to
                                                                                        write about their observations and
                                                                                        propose solutions.

                                                   Grade 6 Mathematics                  No Text: Materials provided by teacher.
                                                     (full year 9/10)

strategies for new problem situations.       In this course, students make the
                                                                                              Grade 7 Pre‑Algebra
Children look forward to the many            transition from elementary school
                                                                                                (full year 9/10)
occasions when they are performing           arithmetic to formal mathematical
at the board. Calculators are used as        thinking. They operate within many         In this course, students become
exploratory tools. During his stay in        number systems and begin to see the        proficient at the skills they will need
the Middle School, a student might           relationships among these number sets.     for success in Grade 8 Algebra I:
take a partner quiz, tessellate, build a     The children apply their skills to word    operating with integers, exploring
Twang board, roll dice, design a mod         problem situations and explore both        algebraic expressions, and solving
art project, construct a perpendicular       elements of geometry and real-world        simple equations. They firmly establish
bisector with a compass, present a           measurement geometry. Additionally,        the relationship among number sets
lottery problem solution, or become a        they intuitively explore probability.      and become comfortable making
Hex champion.                                                                           decisions when operating in the
                                             No Text: Materials provided by teacher.
                                                                                        rationals. The students apply their
Each child will master three major
                                                                                        skills to word-problem settings and
objectives: achieve arithmetic and
                                                                                        real-life geometry. In addition, students
algebraic basic skills excellence, explore
                                                         Grade 6                        continue their computer awareness by
new topics at an intuitive level, and
                                                  Enriched Mathematics                  participating in a two-week PYTHON
develop a wonder for mathematics.
                                                     (full year 9/10)                   programming unit.
Arithmetic basic skills excellence might
include simplifying the following                                                       No Text: Materials provided by teacher.
expression: -6 + 21 x –3. In Algebra I,      In this course, the most mathematically
the boys will perform a multiplication       talented sixth graders are challenged
of polynomials such as: (x + 3)(x + 7).      to think Why? Why is finding common
We will explore topics intuitively. For      denominators when adding fractions
                                                                                                    Grade 7
example, the boys will have a chance to      identical to lining up decimal points
                                                                                              Enriched Pre‑Algebra
create a tessellation project. By creating   when adding decimals? Why are
                                                                                                (full year 9/10)
the project, each boy will discover for      you guaranteed that given any two
himself how various shapes interact          locations in space there is always a       In this course, seventh graders
and tile across a surface. As the boys       third between them? The students           investigate finite and infinite systems
develop a wonder for math, they will         explore the rational number system         from a formal standpoint. For the
want to work independently at home.          and the relationships among its            first time in their mathematical
For example, a boy might figure out          subsets. The students are introduced to    experience they’re asked to consider
how to transform a trapezoid into a          algebraic concepts and a wide variety of   the circumstances under which 9+5=1.
parallelogram, and thus, produce the         elemental and measurement geometry         Through a series of fascinating systems
formula for calculating the area of a        concepts. Additionally, they intuitively   (Army commands, rotations of a square,
trapezoid.                                   explore probability.                       electrical circuitry, etc.) they explore
                                                                                        the world of properties in finite
                                                                                        settings, and use this knowledge to

m at h e m at i c s

                                                                                                     Grade 8
                                                                                                Enriched Algebra I
                                                                                                 (full year 9/10)

                                                                                             In this course, eighth graders
                                                                                             conclude their three-year
                                                                                             enriched math sequence.
                                                                                             Students complete the entire
                                                                                             algebra program in an enriched
                                                                                             fashion, as designated in the
                                                                                             regular Algebra I curriculum
                                                                                             guide, i.e. linear equations
                                                                                             and inequalities, systems
                                                                                             of equations, solutions to
                                                                                             verbal problems, graphing,
                                                                                             polynomials, factoring, solving
                                                                                             quadratic equations, rational
                                                                                             algebraic expressions, and
                                                                                             irrational numbers. In addition,
                                                                                             they explore relations and
                                                                                             functions and investigate still
                                                                                             another new system — complex
                                                                                             numbers. A major component
                                                                                             of this course, accomplished
create a mathematically constructed                Grade 8 Algebra I                         throughout the year on a
art project. The boys begin their formal            (full year 9/10)                 monthly basis, is problem-solving.
algebraic education by simplifying                                                   This journal-writing exercise, known
expressions, solving linear equations,                                               as “The Lottery,” permits students to
and attacking word problems. The           In this course, students complete their   independently explore the notion of
students continue their computer           Middle School math experience with        deductive and inductive reasoning,
awareness by participating in a project-   a formal look at Algebra I. Students      alternative solutions, and creative
oriented PYTHON programming unit.          solve and graph linear equations,         problem-generating.
They also continue their practice of       inequalities, and systems of equations.
approaching problems strategically         Graphing calculators are used             No Text: Materials provided by teacher.
and intuitively by engaging in written     pedagogically. Next, they explore the
assignments that require them to
observe patterns, make predictions,
                                           new set of polynomials — operating,
                                           factoring, and solving equations. Then       = = = =
propose solutions, and justify their       they translate those skills to rational
decisions.                                 algebraic expressions. The course
                                           concludes with a look at still another
No Text: Materials provided by teacher.    new set — irrational numbers.

                                           No Text: Materials provided by teacher.


                    Grade 6 Computer                        Grade 8 FIRST Tech
                     (full year 2/10)                        Challenge Robotics
                                                         (one semester elective 4/10)

             This course is designed to develop
             21st century skills through a series of   This course is designed for eighth
             carefully crafted STEAM modules.          graders who have previous robotics
             Over the course of the year, students     experience and are interested in
             will explore robotics using EV3 Lego      learning about Tetrix Robotics and
             Mindstorms kits, investigate the          Java Programming. Students will build
             principles of coding, and venture into    and program a robot for a FIRST Tech
             the world of circuits and breadboards     Challenge Competition in January.
             using SparkFun Inventor kits.             Each student in the class will be
                                                       responsible for a different component
             Students will develop a core              of the robot and for documenting their
             set of essential skills beyond            work in an Engineering Notebook
             STEAM, including: collaboration,          that will be judged as part of the
             communication, critical thinking,         competition. Grading will be based on
             perseverance, and problem-solving.        class participation, contributions to
             These dynamic skills will serve as        the Engineering Notebook, teamwork,
             a springboard for discovering new         and willingness to learn about
             interests and developing individual       building and programming.
             talents along lines of excellence

                                                           Grade 8 Laser Cutting,
                  Grade 8 Technology                   3D Printing, and Green Screen
               (one semester elective 4/10)             (one semester elective 4/10)

             The eighth-grade technology elective      Students will create three projects:
             is a semester-long course designed to     one laser cut project, one 3D printed
             introduce students to film production     project, and one Green Screen iMovie
             as a medium for creative expression.      project. Students will use Adobe
             During the first quarter, students        Illustrator, Tinkercad, and DoInk
             acquire basic camera skills and begin     to create their projects. One of the
             production on a short film that           three projects must be researched
             introduces the anatomy of filmmaking,     and designed to better the local or
             from storyboarding through post-          global community. Grading will be
             production editing. Later in the          based on class participation, a short,
             semester, students produce a music        written reflection on each project, the
             video that calls upon them to refine      creativity of the three projects, and
             their filmmaking skills and to apply      willingness to learn new technologies.
             them along creative lines. In the late
             spring, these projects are screened for
             the entire Middle School.


          Science in the Middle                      with nutrition, which leads into the
                                                     Digestive and Excretory unit. In the
          School is an exciting                      eighth grade we move on to a Physical
                                                     Science Laboratory course focusing on
          mixture of learning by                     chemistry and formal lab report skills.

          reading, discussion, and
          active participation in                    course
          laboratory work.                           of study
          In the sixth grade, we begin scientific
          discovery through the study of
          many topics including: the Earth’s
          composition and surface, Weather,                Grade 6 Introduction
          Astronomy, and Ecology. In the seventh             to Earth Science
          grade, we focus on the human body and              (full year 7/10)
          its systems, beginning with the cell and
          its function, and progressing through
          the organ systems: Circulatory and         The foundation of scientific skills
          Respiratory, Immune and Lymphatic,         begins in the sixth grade with emphasis
          Skeletal and Muscular, and concluding      on the scientific method as well as the

engineering design process. The boys              Grade 7 Life Science                     texts =======
identify the parts of each method and               (full year 8/10)                       Biology (iBook). Miller and Levine.
apply them in laboratory activities.
                                                                                           Pearson Publishing.
Using the metric system, we explore
the concepts of mass, volume, and           The seventh-grade Life Science course
density while practicing the techniques     begins by defining what it means
necessary to correctly use a triple beam    to be living, focusing on life at the                   Introductory
balance, a metric ruler and a graduated     cellular level. Students make their                   Physical Science
cylinder. These activities allow students   own slides of Elodea, an aquatic plant,               (full year 8/10)
to learn proper usage of the lab            for use in identification of organelles
equipment.                                  within the cell. This identification
                                            continues throughout the year when           The eighth-grade course is a laboratory-
During all of the units in sixth-grade      viewing slides of cells. The boys begin      based class that investigates the
science, there is an emphasis on using      learning the proper technique involved       development of the atomic theory of
proper techniques for note-taking and       in scientific sketching and labeling.        matter throughout the year’s work. The
bibliography-writing when compiling         Sketching is used throughout the year        boys work in partnership with another
research on specific topics that directly   in all units of Life Science.                student to prepare, carry out and
relate to our classroom work. There is                                                   analyze the results of each lab activity.
concentration on the proper method          Each unit focuses on a combination           We begin the year with an introductory
of scientific reading and the use of        of rigorous content and thorough             lab that focuses on heating baking
scientific terminology. Lab activities      laboratory work. The boys begin to           soda in order to separate it into the
and lab reporting reinforce the use         apply the concepts learned through           three states of matter. This leads to a
of units of measurement, decimal            their textbook and class discussions         discussion of solids, liquids and gasses,
place value and writing skills for lab      to the samples seen through the              and how to measure the amount of
conclusions.                                microscope. This application is seen         each. We continue throughout the
                                            in the completion of the conclusion          year taking substances apart using
This course focuses on applying lab         questions on each lab report and on          many methods such as: heat, solubility,
skills with Earth Science concepts.         essay questions done for homework            boiling point, freezing and melting
Students will spend time integrating        assignments.                                 point, fractional distillation and
concepts they learn with genuine                                                         fractional crystallization.
hands-on learning activities. We begin      After the midterm exam, we change our
the year with an introduction to            focus from life at the cellular level to     Through this lab work, students
proper lab techniques, and use those        human body organ systems. Students           gain knowledge of the characteristic
skills throughout the entire year,          are able to understand how each system       properties of matter used to identify
focusing on topics such as the Earth’s      is controlled by individual cells, tissues   and tell materials apart. They apply
surface, Weather and Climate, and           and organs, and how these complex            newly learned concepts in their lab
Astronomy. We finish the year with          systems are able to come together to         report writing, class discussions and
a short study on Ecology. The boys          form a fully functional organ system.        problem-solving. Note-taking skills
learn about ecosystems on a global,                                                      are reinforced during the post-lab
                                            Students are introduced to dissection
national and local level and then                                                        discussions as a source of material for
                                            methods at the end of the course of
apply their knowledge of a healthy                                                       review and study for evaluations.
                                            study when they are guided through
ecosystem to examine the stream that
                                            the dissection of a frog. The purpose of
runs through campus.
                                            this dissection is to identify the systems     texts =======
                                            found within the frog and compare them
                                                                                           Introductory Physical Science. 9th Edition
  texts =======                             to human systems. This is a voluntary
                                                                                           (iBook). Science Curriculum, Inc.
                                            activity where boys may participate or
  Earth & Space: iScience (e-book).
  McGraw-Hill Publishing.
                                            complete an alternative activity.
                                                                                           = = = =
social studies

                 Throughout the Social Studies               The first course is the sixth-grade

Social Studies
                 program, there is an emphasis on            Eastern Hemisphere geography class.
                 improving the following skills: reading,    This is followed by a study of U.S.
                 writing (from single-sentence answers       historical figures and events in their
                 to multi-paragraph essays and projects),    historical context throughout seventh
                 note-taking and organization, analysis,     grade. The Middle School social
                 using and creating maps, research,          studies curriculum concludes with an
                 artistic expression, public speaking, and   examination of the ancient Greek and
                 teamwork.                                   Roman civilizations in eighth grade.

                 Along with these skills,
                 students master a large
                                                             of study
                 body of information
                 that makes them more
                 informed citizens and                             Grade 6 Geography
                 prepares them for                                  (full year 7/10)
                 future studies in the
                                                             Our sixth-grade geography students
                 humanities.                                 explore the world using a thematic
                                                             approach focusing primarily on
                                                             five themes of geography: place,
                                                             location, regions, human-environment
                                                             interaction, and movement. Students
                                                             will learn where places are located,
                                                             and why human and natural features
                                                             occupy particular locations. Students
                                                             will examine how geographic regions
                                                             are formed and change over time. They
                                                             will also work to gain an understanding
                                                             of how humans relate to their
                                                             environment and how the movement
                                                             of people and ideas influence places
                                                             around the globe. Geography gives
                                                             students the opportunity to gain a more
                                                             thorough understanding of our ever-
                                                             changing world. The study of geography
                                                             also includes the examination of
                                                             physical geography, landforms, climates
                                                             and cultures of Asia, Europe, the
                                                             Middle East and Africa.

social studies

An emphasis on skill development             Following this introduction to civics          Martin Luther King, Jr.:
is established, especially with              in the United States, the students will        A Photobiographic Story of a Life.
regard to reading, writing, research,        read about Frederick Douglass and his          Amy Pastan. DK Publishing.
organization, note-taking, and study         heroic struggle to achieve freedom and
skills. Geography students will learn to     equality for African Americans in the
use a variety of maps and to interpret       United States during the 1800s. As the          Grade 8 Ancient History
data and draw conclusions based on a         students research the Civil War and                 (full year 8/10)
collection of sources.                       Reconstruction they will encounter the
                                             Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth
                                             Amendments to the Constitution. These        This course seeks to provoke each
  texts =======                              amendments bring to life what Frederick      student’s interest in the origins of
  World Geography Eastern Hemisphere.        Douglass struggled for during his            western civilization, and explores
  myWorld Interactive,                       lifetime. However, these amendments          the impact of Greek and Roman
  Pearson Education, Inc., 2019.             did not expand rights for all people in      civilizations on our own American
                                             the United States. As the students will      experience. To facilitate the fulfillment
  The Nystrom Desk Atlas.
                                             see, the Women’s Suffrage Movement           of these goals, high priority is given to
  Herff Jones Nystrom.
                                             wanted women to be included in these         cooperative learning, the development
                                             definitions and had to fight until the       of strong reading skills, productive
                                             1920s for women to receive the right         note-taking and research skills, and
           Grade 7                           to vote. This part of the curriculum         the ability to write analytically and
     United States History                   will include a research project followed     persuasively. Focus is also given to the
       (full year 7/10)                      by the creation of a children’s book         development of a variety of studying
                                             describing portions of the Women’s           and test-taking techniques.
The seventh-grade history course             Suffrage Movement. Our seventh-grade
                                                                                          The Ancient History curriculum
revolves around the central ideal upon       students will meet with and present
                                                                                          complements that of the Language
which the United States was founded,         their books to first-grade students.
                                                                                          Arts and Latin departments to explore
“…that all men are created equal…”
                                             As the year draws to a close, the students   coordinated curriculum opportunities,
Those six words from the Declaration
                                             will study the Civil Rights Movement         which utilize students’ varying
of Independence provide a theme
                                             and its leaders in order to understand       interests and strengths. Examination
and checkpoint for students as they
                                             why, in the 1950s and 1960s, people were     of Greek and Roman culture, warfare,
progress through different time periods
                                             still fighting for rights that had already   and government expose students to the
in American history. In addition,
                                             been included in the Constitution. We        themes and ideas representative of life
the course is designed so that events
                                             will focus on the life of Dr. Martin         in the ancient Mediterranean world,
are studied largely in the context of
                                             Luther King, Jr. as our guiding light        and connections are drawn between
the people who helped shape them.
                                             through this portion of the curriculum.      ancient democracies and the Republic
Course content is used for continued
                                             Once again, the students continue to         of the United States.
development of each student’s reading,
                                             examine the founding ideal of equality
writing, note-taking, and research skills.
                                             and the ongoing struggle to make it a
                                                                                            texts =======
Students begin the year learning about       reality in America.
                                                                                            The Greeks: An Illustrated History.
the historical context surrounding the
                                                                                            Diane Harris Cline. National
ratification of the Constitution. As the
students learn about democracies of
                                               t e xts =======                              Geographic.
Ancient Greece, Rome, and England,             The Life of Frederick Douglass:              The Romans: From Village to Empire:
they will discover the similarities            A Graphic Narrative of a Slave’s             A History of Rome from Earliest Times
between those governments and                  Journey from Bondage to Freedom.             to the End of the Western Empire,
the U.S. Government while also                 David F. Walker. Ten Speed Press.            2nd Edition. Mary T. Boatwright,
investigating the function and                 With Courage and Cloth: Winning              Daniel J. Gargola, Noel Lenski,
structure of the U.S. Constitution and         the Fight for a Woman’s Right to Vote.       Richard J. A. Talbert.
Bill of Rights.                                Ann Bausum. National Geographic
                                               Children’s Books.
m o d e r n f o r e i g n l a n g ua g e

                          The Middle School Language                  and self-correction, test preparation,
                          curriculum emphasizes competence            and memorization of verb forms and
                          in four language skills — speaking,         vocabulary. Teachers often employ

Modern Foreign Language
                          aural comprehension, reading,               music to enhance memory and
                          and writing — through a carefully           retention.
                          sequenced three-year program. Cultural
                          themes provide the content around           Instruction, even at the introductory
                          which these four skills are developed.      level, is predominantly in the target
                          Conversation, grammar instruction,          language. Throughout Middle School,
                          and vocabulary are structured around        students are actively engaged in
                          textbook readings, short stories,           producing and navigating the language
                          dialogues, videos, audio recordings,        as they expand and enhance their
                          and popular songs. Movies, computer         communication skills.
                          programs, and websites are also used
                          in instruction. Students are exposed to
                          various aspects of the target language          Grade 6/7 French A or
                          civilization, including language in an         Spanish A (full year 8/10)
                          authentic context, familiar/formal
                          address, geography, monumental
                          cities, schools, family life, free-time     Beginning students in French and
                          activities, art, classical and popular      Spanish study elements of the language
                          music, and cuisine. These topics serve      with a strong emphasis on basic oral
                          as a springboard for projects and           and written sentence construction
                          writing assignments that range from         and aural and reading comprehension.
                          paragraphs to full compositions and         Initially, the program concentrates
                          oral presentations.                         on the alphabet and phonics, subject
                                                                      pronouns, the present tense of regular
                                                                      and select irregular verbs, articles,
                          Various cultural                            classroom commands, the negative,
                          themes are explored                         and basic prepositions. Grammar is
                                                                      introduced in tandem with simple
                          with a goal of                              vocabulary themes such as classroom
                          encouraging Gilman                          objects, the calendar, weather and
                                                                      seasons, numbers, colors, time, and
                          students to travel and                      school subjects.
                          to appreciate their role                    Throughout the remainder of the year,
                          as world citizens.                          the daily life of a typical French- or
                                                                      Spanish-speaking teenager provides
                          Additionally, the development of            the core of the cultural content of the
                          study skills is a significant aspect        course, with units on schools, leisure
                          of the language program. Faculty            activities, and sports. In addition to
                          assign regular homework and teach           these themes, geography, holidays,
                          techniques in the organization, peer        and famous people are explored, as

m o d e r n f o r e i g n l a n g ua g e

well as art, music, and cuisine. These     to make exaggerated gestures when             Grade 7/8 French B or
themes are woven into the grammatical      learning the pronouns — is a key             Spanish B (full year 8/10)
content of the course, as students begin   element, especially initially. Further,
to attack more complex concepts,           in evaluating students’ progress,
including question formation,              teachers give significant weight not       Intermediate language study continues
contractions, adjective agreement,         only to quizzes/tests and writing          to develop the four language skills
the near future tense, the use of the      assignments, but also to the quality and   while broadening the cultural themes
infinitive, and more.                      frequency of student contributions to      introduced in Level A. After a review of
                                           oral discussions through full-sentence     the previous year’s grammar, students
Students will engage in a dialogue         responses, questions, or comments.         acquire mastery of new irregular verbs
project, a poster project, iPad                                                       and stem-changing verbs. Possessive
presentations, and brief writing                                                      adjectives, the past tense, object
assignments. These activities provide        r e s our c es ====                      pronouns, and an in-depth look at
a creative vehicle for using the             Teacher-generated Canvas pages           articles form the core of the grammar
vocabulary and structures reinforced                                                  curriculum. Likewise, students explore
                                             Duolingo (duolingo.com)
daily through verb and vocabulary                                                     a wide variety of other concepts,
assignments, workbook exercises, and         Quizlet (quizlet.com)                    expanding on phonics, the negative,
worksheets. This work also fosters an                                                 adjective agreement, and question
exploration of French- or Spanish-                                                    formation. Study skills are continually
speaking cultures.                                                                    emphasized, with increasing student
                                             D’accord!, Vista Higher Learning
                                                                                      independence as a goal.
Classes are instructed in the target         textbook (e-book or hard copy),
language. Faculty teach vocabulary           Supersite, and hard copy workbook.       As in French/Spanish A, culture acts
through pantomime, dramatizations,                                                    as the vehicle for presenting grammar
                                             Descubre 1, Lengua y cultura del mundo
SmartBoard activities, props, photos,                                                 and vocabulary. The sixth-grade theme
                                             hispánico. Vista Higher Learning
and songs. Learning depends largely on                                                of teenage life is expanded to the
                                             (online textbook, Supersite, and hard
active student engagement in lessons.                                                 entire family. Other topics include
                                             copy workbook).
Thus, the physical involvement of the                                                 music, geography, meals, shops, and
student — for example, coaching him                                                   neighborhoods. Practical situations,
                                                                                                        such as buying
                                                                                                        groceries, ordering
                                                                                                        in a restaurant, and
                                                                                                        receiving guests,
                                                                                                        are also included.
                                                                                                        Again, these themes
                                                                                                        provide opportunities
                                                                                                        for projects, iPad
                                                                                                        presentations, and
                                                                                                        writing assignments,
                                                                                                        which supplement the
                                                                                                        daily practice.

                                                                                                      In the classroom,
                                                                                                      teachers continue
                                                                                                      to present material
                                                                                                      predominantly in the
                                                                                                      target language and
                                                                                                      encourage several full-
                                                                                                      sentence contributions
                                                                                                      from each student

m o d e r n f o r e i g n l a n g ua g e

daily. The use of visual aids continues;           Grade 8 French C                    on the cinema. French C students may
however, whereas the visual mode is the               or Spanish C                     explore the music of La Marseillaise,
fundamental characteristic of the Level             (full year 8/10)                   a movie such as Au Revoir les Enfants,
A classroom, students are expected to                                                  Impressionist art, the French monarchy,
become less dependent on visuals as                                                    or gothic architecture. Similarly,
their listening comprehension increases.   In Level C, students continue to expand     Spanish C students may explore
Dialogues, movies, media, and popular      and refine their proficiency in the four    indigenous cultures, current political
songs are vehicles for promoting           language skills. After a thorough review    systems in the Spanish-speaking world,
listening comprehension, and students      of Level B curriculum, the class will       ecotourism, the encounter between
tackle increasingly complex readings.      pursue the effective use of the past        Spain and the Americas, Picasso,
                                           tense, interrogative constructions, and     Dalí, Velásquez, Rivera, Orozco, and
As in Level A, the ongoing development     demonstratives. French students will        Siqueiros, and more.
of sound study skills, which a student     also study the imperfect, while Spanish
can bring to all disciplines, remains      students will simply be introduced          These complementary themes often
constant throughout the course.            to it. In Spanish, the boys study the       form the basis for more sophisticated
                                           accent rules so that they can determine     writing tasks. Teachers work to help
                                           whether a word requires an accent           students hone their composition,
  res o urces ====                         when a syllable is added to its end.        creative expression, and critical
  Teacher-generated Canvas pages           This might involve the adding an –es        thinking skills.
  Duolingo (duolingo.com)                  to a noun or a pronoun to a command,
                                                                                       In addition, as in previous levels, the
                                           an infinitive, or a present participle.
  Quizlet (quizlet.com)                                                                quality and frequency of classroom
                                           Level C language students strive to
                                                                                       participation are paramount to student
  WordReference.com                        master the negative and indefinite
  (wordreference.com)                      words, adjective agreement, commands,
  D’accord! Vista Higher Learning          demonstratives, and question formation
  textbook (e-book or hard copy),          to expand their language skills.              r esour c es ====
  Supersite, and hard copy workbook.                                                     Teacher-generated Canvas pages
                                           Students continue their studies
  Descubre 1, Lengua y cultura del mundo   of the cultures of French- and                Duolingo (duolingo.com)
  hispánico. Vista Higher Learning         Spanish-speaking peoples. Studies
                                                                                         Quizlet (quizlet.com)
  (online textbook, Supersite, and hard    include monumental cities, modes
  copy workbook).                          of transportation and travel savvy.           WordReference.com
                                           Complementing these themes, teachers          (wordreference.com)
                                           may also introduce units based on             ¡Avancemos! — text (hard copy or
                                           literature, history, art, music, science,     e-book) and workbook — McDougal
                                           or math, and students may choose to           Littell with accompanying
                                           research topics of personal interest.         interactive website (classzone.com).
                                           By using the target language to learn
                                           about a myriad of topics, students
                                           expand their language proficiency. The       = = = =
                                           French C students explore the city of
                                           Paris, modes of transportation, the
                                           life of Charles de Gaulle, and a unit

l at i n

Latin                       course
                            of study
                                                                          the material that students are learning
                                                                          in other subjects. Frequent activities
                                                                          on topics of Roman art and culture

All eighth graders are
required to take one year
                            2019-2020                                     complement the timeline of Roman
                                                                          events that students examine in
                                                                          their Ancient History class. The
of Latin. Those who opt                                                   memorization of Latin vocabulary
to continue with Latin        Grade 8 Introductory Latin                  strengthens the comprehension of
in the Upper School                (full year 7/10)                       English vocabulary from classical roots
will find this course a                                                   which is an integral part of Language
useful introduction to                                                    Arts. The Language Arts reading list
more advanced studies       Eighth grade Latin is an introductory
                                                                          also introduces students to topics of
in the language. Those      course that familiarizes students with
                                                                          classical mythology and literature; these
who choose to study a       the basic grammar, vocabulary, and
                                                                          topics are then expanded upon in Latin.
different language in       translation skills of the Latin language.
                                                                          In reading about the Pompeian family,
the Upper School will       Students learn the principal forms of
                                                                          students broaden their Latin vocabulary
nevertheless benefit from   verbs, nouns, and other parts of speech,
                                                                          and demonstrate an understanding
                            and then put these forms into practice
the rich content            by translating from Latin into English.
                                                                          of the perspectives of ancient culture
                                                                          as revealed in the practices of the
of vocabulary,              Over the course of the year, they will
                                                                          people. Furthermore, the very skills
                            build up a vocabulary of more than
                                                                          that are acquired in Latin — grammar,
cultural                    350 of the most frequently used Latin
                                                                          vocabulary, sentence structure, and
                            words. They will also become familiar
background,                 with reading progressively longer
                                                                          translation — are the same skills that
                                                                          must be applied to the study of Modern
and language                passages about families in Pompeii and
                                                                          Languages. Because it is the historical
                            Roman Britain.
skills acquired                                                           root of all the Romance Languages,
                            The scope of the Middle School Latin          Latin provides an invaluable basis
during the                  program goes well beyond the language         for the study of French and Spanish.
course of the               itself. The text integrates grammar and       Students in Latin use their knowledge
                            syntax, vocabulary, and the culture of        of vocabulary, grammar and syntax,
year.                                                     ancient         mythology, and history in order to
                                                          European        improve their language abilities, as well
                                                          civilizations   as to draw connections between ancient
                                                          that remain     traditions and those of modern day.
                                                          part of our
                                                                            texts =======
                                                          today. The
                                                          eighth-grade      Cambridge Latin Course Units 1 and 2
                                                          curriculum        (Stages 1-20) (iBook).
                                                          is also
                                                          designed in
                                                          such a way
                                                                            = = = =
                                                          that Latin

ta l k

The intent of the                  diversity of our community;                 Religions, will be used to study the
                                   (d) developing in each student ethical      similarities and differences of the
Talk curriculum                    futures in his decision-making.             world’s major religions.

is to provide
a structured                       course                                        texts =======
program of                         of study                                      Insignificant Events in the Life of a

                                                                                 Cactus. Dusti Bowling.
human values
education and                                                                            Grade 7 Talk II
a forum for                                  Grade 6 Talk I                              (full year 3/10)
                                             (full year 3/10)
discussion of
                                                                               Talk II is a yearlong course, meeting
issues related to                  Meeting three times a cycle, in groups      three times a cycle, for groups of
positive human                     of no more than ten students with a         approximately eight students with a
                                   teacher-facilitator, this yearlong course   teacher-facilitator. The curriculum’s
interaction and                    addresses the issues young adolescents      general objective is to encourage
                                   are faced with in today’s society           students to develop positive human
constructive                       and in the Gilman community. The            values and to become constructive
community                          principal issues and concepts discussed     participants in their communities.
                                   are: the Middle School Handbook;            Specifics include: group dynamics;
involvement.                       community service; global learning;         self-concept development; parent-
In all three grades, course        honesty and honor; communication;           child interaction; relationships;
objectives include: (a) linking    the interaction of children and adults;     discrimination and prejudice; the
the student, the school, and the   individual and collective integrity and     decision-making process; substance
family in ways that reinforce      responsibility; family elder interview;     abuse prevention; human development;
the importance of mutual           human reproduction and development;         and school issues.
respect, open communication,       peer relationships and pressures;
                                   jealousy and bullying; temptations,         The student’s Talk Journal, in which he
and adult-child understanding;
                                   choices, decisions, and consequences;       writes regular entries during class and
(b) enhancing each student’s
                                   self-concept and self-discipline; and       into which all his written homework
self-concept and his
                                   understanding world religions.              assignments are inserted, becomes a do-
understanding of how he
                                                                               it-yourself “text,” covering all aspects of
can best relate to the world
                                   The actual text for the course is the       the course’s work.
around him; (c) appreciating
                                   student’s own journal, which will
and affirming the uniqueness                                                   Project Alert, a nationally recognized
                                   include journal entries, homework
of each individual and the                                                     program for drug education, forms
                                   assignments and feedback. At the end
                                   of the year, each student will take his     the backbone of the substance abuse
                                   Talk I Journal home. The text, World        unit. Project Alert provides students
                                                                               with current scientific information

ta l k

                                                                                                             The course is
                                                                                                             designed to
                                                                                                             challenge eighth
                                                                                                             graders regarding
                                                                                                             the attitudes they
                                                                                                             take, the decisions
                                                                                                             they make and
                                                                                                             the ways that they
                                                                                                             relate to peers,
                                                                                                             faculty, parents, and
                                                                                                             younger students.
                                                                                                             The centerpiece
                                                                                                             of the course is a
                                                                                                             curriculum from The
                                                                                                             Institute for Global
                                                                                                             Ethics that provides
                                                                                                             students with models
on cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and         faithfulness, honesty, love, respect for                       for making decisions
other psychoactive drugs and the              self and others, and the goodness of       based on a foundation of values.
effects of their use/abuse. The program       life.” In addition, a variety of videos    Students will learn to distinguish
encourages students to make well-             are used to present or reinforce the       between a “right vs. wrong” decision
considered, positive choices in their         course’s concepts.                         and a “right vs. right” decision; i.e. a
lives. Both through an investigation                                                     true ethical dilemma. Dilemma analysis
of positive human values and                                                             and dilemma resolution are explored
through training in resistance skills,          t e xts =======                          using real-life situations the boys are
the program works to strengthen a               Game Changer. Tommy Greenwald.           likely to encounter. Students will also
student’s ability to resist cultural forces                                              revisit the Project Alert curriculum
that lure many to be involved in the                                                     with “booster lessons” designed to build
use of these substances. The idea of a                 Grade 8 Talk III                  on the seventh-grade Talk curriculum
student helping a fellow student to deal               (full year 2/10)                  and their decision-making skills
with the challenges posed by tobacco,                                                    related to drugs and alcohol. Issues of
alcohol and other drugs is encouraged.                                                   transition, both into their role as eighth
Project Alert uses a variety of videos,       Meeting two times a cycle in groups        graders as well as the challenges of
handouts, visuals, and skits to help          of no more than ten students with          transitioning into Upper School will
train students.                               a teacher-facilitator, this yearlong       also be a significant part of the course.
                                              course addresses some of the issues
During the second semester, students          that adolescents face as they finish
will explore values and ethics as they        their final year in the Middle School.       texts =======
relate to human development and               While many of these issues, such as          Handouts from Building Decisions
sexuality. Love and Sex in Plain Language     values and decision-making, drug and         Skills. The Institute for Global Ethics.
(Eric Johnson), will be one of the            alcohol awareness and relationships
resources used. The text was chosen                                                        Booster Lessons 2 & 3 from Project
                                              sound familiar, in Talk III these issues
for this course primarily because                                                          Alert.
                                              are focused to support eighth graders in
Mr. Johnson, a veteran educator and           their position as leaders of the Middle      All American Boys. Jason Reynolds and
dedicated member of the Society               School who are soon to transition into       Brendan Kiely (summer reading).
of Friends (Quakers), presents the            the Upper School.
facts of human sexual development
“in a framework of values: caring,
                                                                                          = = = =
responsibility, self-control, the family,

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