Grade 6

Grade 6 Curriculum

List of 9 items.

  • Design

    This course introduces students to the Design Cycle, which is, at its core, a model for empathetic problem solving. The cycle has four stages: analysis, ideation, creation, and evaluation; students find that they often need to rethink their progress and revisit stages of the cycle. The importance of the process, not simply the final product, is stressed as the main focus of Design. Students track their progress and provide reflection, an integral component of the process, in individualized design blogs.

    This rethinking and revisiting can occur through a variety of individual and collaborative projects like the Car Challenge, the Cardboard Arcade and the interdisciplinary Rube Goldberg Machine. Over the course of the year, students develop familiarity with basic construction, the iterative process, and coding.
  • Individuals & Societies

    In their Individuals and Societies courses, students explore our world through the study of history, geography, and civics, as well as current topics and information. These courses emphasize the development of strong research and study skills, alongside exploring the world through the Key Concepts of Change, Global Interactions, Systems, Time, Space and Place. All courses encourage students to draw connections to their own experiences, think critically about problems and solutions, and seek out and analyze a diversity of sources and voices in order to help them become engaged and responsible global citizens.

    This course is designed to enrich a student’s foundation of conceptual historical knowledge of the world. The overall purpose is to encourage students to create a meaningful connection between what they already know and what they are attempting to learn. The relationship between geography and history is an underlying theme throughout. Beginning with the study of world history in ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, and ending the year with an examination of medieval times, students focus on building geography skills, reading comprehension, inquiry, note taking, and writing skills.
  • Language & Literature

    Our Language and Literature courses help students grow as confident and capable readers, writers, speakers, thinkers, discussion leaders, and collaborators. By engaging with diverse texts and writing and speaking for a variety of purposes and audiences, students come to view language as a vehicle for the expression of ideas, creativity, analysis, and reflection.

    Students focus on interpreting literature, including Greek myths, poetry, short stories, the play The Miracle Worker, and selected excerpts from the works of authors known for their descriptive prowess, including John Steinbeck and Roald Dahl. Additionally, students learn the mechanics of writing, with a focus on solid paragraph construction, mastering commonly confused words, understanding apostrophe usage, and establishing strong proofreading skills. Listening, speaking, note-taking, organizational skills, and expanding students’ written and spoken vocabulary are also integral to this course. Beyond classroom discussion and writing prompts, students engage in novel projects that allow them to choose from selections of literature based on common themes.
  • Language Acquisition (Spanish)

    Building on four key skill areas: speaking, reading, writing, and listening, this class develops from foundational awareness to deepening understanding, and finally developing strong confidence in all areas. A strong commitment to developing verbal skills ensures that students are engaged in an environment with at least 90% target language per class. These are mixed ability classes, and differentiation occurs through homework assignments and other class activities. 

    Students engage in units focusing on preliminary vocabulary related to greetings, introductions, common expressions of courtesy, numbers, days, weeks, dates, times, seasons, and weather, describing oneself and others, house and family, and in-school and after-school activities. This class also engages our students in a variety of cultural activities that are aligned with the units of study in order to prompt a deeper understanding of the language, people, and customs in a variety of Spanish-speaking countries. By the end of the year, students will have completed the first one-third of the high school Spanish 1 textbook, ¡Así se dice!
  • Mathematics

    All mathematics courses are taught through the MYP lens, working to promote inquiry and application and helping students become better communicators and problem solvers. In Grade 6, all students take Math 6. In Grades 7 and 8, students take grade-level, 1-year advanced or 2-year advanced courses. Course placement in Grades 7 and 8 is determined by the Mathematics Department after considering available grades, Math Inventory scores, teacher recommendation, and student interest.

    In Grade 6, the math course reviews number operations involving whole numbers, fractions and mixed numbers, and decimals. Students also become more sophisticated in their study of number theory (factors and multiples), geometry (area, perimeter, surface area, and volume), proportional relationships (ratios and rates), and data analysis (measures of center and variation), Students will be introduced to integers and begin to see concrete problems as abstract algebraic ideas (expressions, equations and inequalities).
  • Physical & Health Education

    The aim of Physical and Health Education (PHE) is to engage our students in developing a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, focusing on communication, social responsibility and reflection. 75% of this course is focused on physical education activities, with the remaining 25% focused on the health and the social-emotional development of each student.

    This class will focus on the development and understanding of growth in our fitness and of the health-related fitness components. Students will explore how nutrition and exercise impact our overall health and wellness. Students will be tasked with creating journals and healthy habits as well as developing stretching routines and creating an aesthetic movement.
  • Science

    In each grade level, Middle School Science includes units of study in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Science. Science at AWS is inquiry-based and emphasizes the application of knowledge to novel situations. At least two times per grade level, students apply the scientific method to design their own laboratory investigations, collect data, process and evaluate their results, and draw conclusions. Students also conduct independent research evaluating how scientists solve real world problems. Hands-on and virtual laboratory experiences actively engage students in scientific inquiry.

    Units of study in Grade 6 include Newton’s Laws of Motion, Plate Tectonics, States of Matter and the Periodic Table, and Marine Ecology. Highlights for Grade 6 include the Journey to California, where students carry out planned field experiments investigating the biodiversity of the tidal pools of Monterey Bay and the design and construction of Rube Goldberg Machines as a culminating, interdisciplinary experience.
  • Theatre

    The art of theatre demands that artists engage in an ongoing process of construction and deconstruction. MYP Theatre will explore the art of theatre and place it in the context of our changing world. Students begin with an overview of theatre history focusing on how theatre developed, the purpose it served in the development of human society, and the forces that changed theatre throughout history. Students will deconstruct characters created by a playwright and learn to create a believable character on stage. While our main focus will be on acting, students will have the opportunity to learn the basics of theatre design through scenery, lights, and costumes.
  • Visual Art

    Students investigate their art more deeply and extend their skill levels. There is concentration on their individual art practice and productions. We will place emphasis on their ability to transfer artistic skills learned and practiced to a variety of subjects. Students will focus on creating works that will be shared with the communities for influence.
For questions please contact Upper Schools Admissions Director
Maddy Mancuso ’05MS at 253.284.8603


Annie Wright Schools
827 North Tacoma Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98403


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Founded in Tacoma, Washington, in 1884, Annie Wright Schools serve students from age three through high school. Annie Wright Lower and Middle Schools offer coed programs in Preschool through Grade 8, while separate Upper Schools for girls and boys offer day and boarding options in Grades 9 through 12. Annie Wright is proud to be an International Baccalaureate World School.