Middle School Language Arts instruction consists of reading thought-provoking texts and responding by means of class activities, discussions, writings, and performances. Writing generated by thought-provoking literature promotes critical thinking and provides rich opportunities for cross-curricular projects in addition to an introduction to process writing, vocabulary development, and meaningful grammar instruction.
6th Grade – The following is required.
Language Arts 6 – This foundational course focuses on the skills students need for critical reading and analysis. Genres include novels, short stories, poetry, plays, and excerpts from non-fiction selections. These readings enable students to recognize and analyze figurative language, themes, and other literary elements and provide an opportunity to connect reading to their own lives. Grammar skills are consistently developed, practiced and reinforced within all writing assignments. Writing includes narrative, comparison/contrast, argument, and analysis. Research is introduced.
7th Grade – the following is required.
Language Arts 7 – At an accelerated pace, this course builds on and extends the skill sets developed in Language Arts 6 through the examination of the role literature has played in our past- how it helps make sense of our present and how it provides assistance in shaping our future. Students analyze increasingly complex texts, write personal narratives and persuasive and exploratory pieces with increasing sophistication, speak and listen more effectively and research with increasing independence. Students learn to identify central ideas and themes in literature and support claims with explicit and relevant textual evidence. Students further develop their knowledge of literary terminology and apply that knowledge in the analysis of literary texts with increasing sophistication. Vocabulary, close reading, process writing, and grammar exercises as well as the use of technology enhance students’ ability to communicate effectively. Syntax and conventions instruction encourages the writing of increasingly complex pieces. Texts to support instruction include articles, poems, mythology, short stories, fiction (longer works in a variety of genres), and nonfiction. Grammar studies continue to be developed, practiced, and reinforced through all writing assignments. Collaborative work with seventh grade Social Studies and Life Science subject matter is created throughout the year. Rigor increases each nine weeks to include more challenging texts to engage in deeper levels of critical reading, thinking, and more advanced writing assignments.
8th Grade – One of the following is required.
CP Language Arts 8 – This course builds on, and extends, the skill sets developed in Language Arts 7. The texts invite students to discover what it means to be fully human in our technological world. Themes include the coming of age, overcoming adversity, solving mysteries, and standing up for what is right. Students experience Shakespeare through drama and poetry; they read and reflect on selections through writing and class discussions. Grammar instruction continues as students grow as critical and creative writers. Vocabulary, critical reading and analysis, research, and technology usage continue to be emphasized and enhanced. Collaborative work with World History is created throughout the year.
AC Language Arts 8 – This course builds on, and extends, the skill sets developed in AC Language Arts 7. The study of non-fiction, mystery, drama, horror, and dystopian selections serves as a springboard to understanding the present and possible future world and invites students to discover what it means to be fully human in our technological world. Themes include coming of age, overcoming adversity, solving mysteries, and standing up for what is right. Students experience Shakespeare through drama and poetry; they read and reflect on selections through writing and class discussions. Grammar instruction continues as students grow as critical and creative writers. Vocabulary, critical reading and analysis, research, and technology usage continue to be emphasized and enhanced. Collaborative work with World History is created throughout the year. The accelerated course requires students to read more challenging texts and to engage in deeper levels of critical reading, thinking, and more advanced writing assignments than CP Language Arts 8.
Social Studies 6 – This course is a study of American history from the Civil War to the present. Major topics of emphasis are the Civil War, Industrial Age, Progressive Era, WWI, WWII and the Great Depression, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Cold War era. The course includes discussions of current events in the state, nation, and world.
Social Studies 7 – This course is divided into two distinct units of study.
1st semester: Georgia Studies is a semester-long course for all 7th graders. The course provides students with an overview of the history, politics, geography, and culture of Georgia. It demonstrates how Georgia fits in with the global economy, the history of the United States, and also the unique features of the state. Students will leave the class with an understanding of the factors that have shaped Georgia’s historical, economic, cultural, and political development.
2nd semester: The second unit is a study of state and federal government and civics education. Major topics include how our government was founded, the Constitution, branches of government, amendments and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
World History I – This eighth grade course examines ancient civilizations starting with Mesopotamia through the collapse of the Roman Empire and focuses on analyzing the five unifying themes of history: social, political, cultural, economic, and interactions between humans and the environment. This class also incorporates current events and world geography. Primary and secondary sources as well as the traditional textbook are utilized as students put historical developments in context, make connections between societies and developments, and analyze claims, evidence, and reasoning in sources.
In Pre-Algebra and Algebra I, a student’s eligibility for Accelerated (AC) or College Prep (CP) classes is determined by a committee comprising the department head, the student’s teacher, and the student’s future teacher. Students are evaluated using the following criteria:
Academic performance during the current year including
Performance on major assessments, including tests and 9 week/semester exams
Aptitude for critical thinking
Ability to work independently
Work ethic (including homework)
Standardized test scores above grade norm (Quantitative Reasoning and Mathematics)
6th Grade – The following is required.
Math 6 – This foundational course provides in depth study of the properties of numbers and shapes, computation, and problem solving. Topics covered include operations of whole numbers, fractions, decimals, geometric applications, ratios, percentages, integers, exponents, and the metric system.
7th Grade – One of the following is required.
CP Pre-Algebra 7 – This course builds upon and extends the study of concepts learned in sixth grade with an emphasis on pre-algebra skills. Rules, mechanics, and computations are stressed to enable the student to prepare for Algebra I. Concepts related to solving equations are developed throughout the course.
AC Pre-Algebra 7 – This course builds upon and extends the study of concepts learned in sixth grade with an emphasis on pre-algebra skills and elements of geometry, with emphasis placed on application. This accelerated course requires students to engage in deeper levels of critical thinking and more extensive problem solving than CP Pre-Algebra 7.
8th Grade – One of the following is required.
CP Algebra 1-A – This course begins with a review of basic mathematics and pre-algebra topics deemed necessary to be successful in the study of algebra and continues into initial Algebra I topics. Solving equations and inequalities is the major focus during the first semester, and working with linear functions is the second semester focus. More time is spent on each unit of study to allow for enduring and more in-depth understanding of these most important foundational concepts.
AC Algebra I – This course is a more extensive review of the basic properties of mathematics and the operations on algebraic expressions. This includes adding polynomials, factoring, graphing equations, solving inequalities, and simplifying radicals. These topics lead to in-depth understanding of linear, exponential and quadratic functions.
The Physical Education Department provides instruction in team sports, individual sports, dual sports, and personal fitness in Middle School. Team sports include red ball, basketball, flag football, soccer, speedball, arena ball and newcomb/volleyball. Individual and dual sports offered include motor skill games, archery, tennis, track/field, and pickleball. Personal Fitness will be assessed on a weekly basis in cardio activities. Administration of the American Alliance of Health, and Physical Education and Recreation Test is also a part of the curriculum.
Earth Science 6-This course is a culmination of topics including geology, meteorology, oceanography, and astronomy. The first unit includes the study of the nature of science and the scientific method, which is referenced and applied throughout the course. Next, the processes that shape and change our planet are investigated and discussed. The final unit includes the study of resources and conservation. Knowledge built throughout the year is used to analyze how the different branches interact with each other to create habitats and ecosystems and how resource use and the addition or removal of important species can impact resource use and the ecosystem as a whole. Topics are supplemented with lab activities, and students begin learning the basics of writing lab reports.
Life Science 7-This course begins with a study of the methods of science. The compound microscope is utilized extensively as an aid in learning basic structural units of life such as cells, tissues, and organs. This is followed by a study of the kingdoms of living things, including anatomy and physiology. Lab work consists of sheep eye, sheep heart, owl pellet, and frog dissection, and students continue to hone their skills of writing lab reports.
Physical Science 8- This course is based on the study of matter, energy, and motion. The course develops skills and knowledge through lecture and lab activities in measurement, motion, classification of matter, light, sound, heat, electricity, and magnetism. The mathematical measurements and calculations associated with concepts studied are taught during the course.
Spanish 6- This introductory course exposes students to the core elements of the Spanish language. Basic vocabulary, verb and grammatical structures as well as cultural elements are taught. This course is input based, focusing on vocabulary and reading comprehension. Spoken and written elements will be composed of mostly memorized phrases.
Spanish I-A- This seventh grade course introduces the Spanish language and aims at novice proficiency in the language encouraged through listening, speaking, reading, and writing practices. By interweaving language and culture, the course seeks to broaden students’ communication skills while at the same time deepening their appreciation of other cultures. This is the first year of a two-year course.
Spanish I-B- This course builds on and extends the skills acquired in Spanish I-A through the continued study of the Spanish language and the culture. Proficiency in the language is encouraged through listening, speaking, reading, and writing practices. By interweaving language and culture, the course seeks to broaden students’ communication skills while at the same time deepening their appreciation of other cultures. This is the second year of a two-year course; the prerequisite for this course is Spanish I-A or an equivalent.
NOTE: Students who complete Spanish I in Middle School will advance to Spanish II in 9th grade unless remediation is recommended by a committee comprising the department head, the student’s current teacher, and student’s future teacher.