Sixth Grade Curriculum

Social Studies

Ancient Civilizations World History
  • Compare ancient civilizations (Egypt, Mesopotamia, Hebrew, Phoenician, and Persian) in terms of:
- The development of social, political, and economic patterns - The development of religious traditions - The development of language and writing
  • Describe, analyze, and evaluate the history of ancient civilizations in terms of their impact on:
- The contributions of philosophers - The contributions of scientists, mathematicians, inventors - The contributions of artists, architects, writers - The contributions of history, language, religious institutions, law, and government
  • Analyze the reasons for the collapse of ancient civilizations.
  • Describe and compare the different government structures and powers in ancient civilizations and western civilization.
  • Describe contributions of leaders (Menes, Alexander the Great).
 Economics/Goods and Services
  • Identify natural and human resources that shaped the development of civilizations.
  • Locate and identify by name the major countries in each region and the major rivers, mountain ranges, and surrounding bodies of water.
  • Describe how natural geographic features affected the development of ancient civilizations and Western Europe.


  • Understand patterns, relations, and functions.
  • Represent, analyze, and generalize a variety of patterns with tables, graphs, words, and, when possible, symbolic rules.
  • Relate and compare different forms of representation for a relationship.
  • Identify functions as linear or nonlinear and contrast their properties from tables, graphs, or equations.
  • Represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic symbols.
  • Develop an initial conceptual understanding of different uses of variables.
  • Explore relationships between symbolic expressions and graphs of lines, paying particular attention to the meaning of intercept and slope.
  • Use symbolic algebra to represent situations and to solve problems, especially those that involve linear relationships.
  • Recognize and generate equivalent forms for simple algebraic expressions and solve linear equations.
  • Use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships.
  • Model and solve contextualized problems using various representations, such as graphs, tables, and equations.
  • Analyze change in various contexts.
  • Use graphs to analyze the nature of changes in quantities in linear relationships.
  • Specify locations and describe spatial relationships using coordinate geometry and other representational systems.
  • Use coordinate geometry to represent and examine the properties of geometric shapes.
  • Use coordinate geometry to examine special geometric shapes, such as regular polygons or those with pairs of parallel or perpendicular sides.
  • Analyze characteristics and properties of two- and three-dimensional geometric shapes and develop mathematical arguments about geometric relationships.
  • Precisely describe, classify, and understand relationships among types of two- and three-dimensional objects using their defining properties.
  • Understand relationships among the angles, side lengths, perimeters, areas, and volumes of similar objects.
  • Create and critique inductive and deductive arguments concerning geometric ideas and relationships, such as congruence, similarity, and the Pythagorean relationship.
  • Apply transformations and use symmetry to analyze mathematical situations.
  • Describe sizes, positions, and orientations of shapes under informal transformations such as flips, turns, slides, and scaling.
  • Examine the congruence, similarity, and line or rotational symmetry of objects using transformations.
  • Use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems.
  • Draw geometric objects with specified properties, such as side lengths or angle measures.
  • Use two-dimensional representations of three-dimensional objects to visualize and solve problems such as those involving surface area and volume.
  • Use visual tools such as networks to represent and solve problems.
  • Use geometric models to represent and explain numerical and algebraic relationships
  • Recognize and apply geometric ideas and relationships in areas outside the mathematics classroom, such as art, science, and everyday life.
  • Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement.
  • Understand both metric and customary systems of measurement.
  • Understand relationships among units and convert from one unit to another within the same system.
  • Understand, select, and use units of appropriate size and type to measure angles, perimeter, area, surface area, and volume.
  • Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements.
  • Use common benchmarks to select appropriate methods for estimating measurements.
  • Select and apply techniques and tools to accurately find length, area, volume, and angle measures to appropriate levels of precision.
  • Develop and use formulas to determine the circumference of circles and the area of triangles, parallelograms, trapezoids, and circles and develop strategies to find the area of more-complex shapes.
  • Develop strategies to determine the surface area and volume of selected prisms, pyramids, and cylinders.
  • Solve problems involving scale factors, using ratio and proportion.
  • Solve simple problems involving rates and derived measurements for such attributes as velocity and density.
  • Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them.
  • Formulate questions, design studies, and collect data about a characteristic shared by two populations or different characteristics within one population.
  • Select, create, and use appropriate graphical representations of data, including histograms, box plots, and scatter plots.
  • Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data.
  • Find, use, and interpret measures of center and spread, including mean and interquartile range.
  • Discuss and understand the correspondence between data sets and their graphical representations, especially histograms, stem-and-leaf plots, box plots, and scatter plots.
  • Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data.
  • Use observations about differences between two or more samples to make conjectures about the populations from which the samples were taken.
  • Make conjectures about possible relationships between two characteristics of a sample on the basis of scatter plots of the data and approximate lines of fit.
  • Use conjectures to formulate new questions and plan new studies to answer them.
  • Understand and apply basic concepts of probability.
  • Understand and use appropriate terminology to describe complementary and mutually exclusive events.
  • Use proportionality and a basic understanding of probability to make and test conjectures about the results of experiments and simulations.
  • Compute probabilities for simple compound events, using such methods as organized lists, tree diagrams, and area models.


·         Unifying concepts and processes.
  • Explain common cycles in Earth systems (e.g., tides, movements of celestial objects, predator-prey populations, life cycle, the rock cycle).
  • Understand that cycles can be described in terms of cycle length or frequency.
  • Understand that any system is usually connected to other systems, thus becoming a subset of a larger system. A change in one system may cause a change in other systems.
  • Analyze a variety of systems in terms of inputs and outputs.
  • Recognize that energy is often an input or an output in a system, and analyze the effect on the system of changing the amount of energy coming in or going out.
  • Predict the effect of changing a component of a simple system such as a food web.
  • Analyze diagrams of rock layers to determine the order in which they were deposited.
  • Explain how the layers in which fossils have been found indicate their relative age.
  • Compare the shape of coastlines of continents and other evidence to infer the movement of crustal plates.
  • Relate modern occurrences such as earthquakes, volcanoes, continental movement detected by satellites and floods to historical evidence of how Earth has changed.
  • Identify and describe the relationship between soil type and the vegetation it will support.
Scientific Inquiry
  • Ask focused questions about objects, organisms, and events that can be answered through investigation.
  • Identify variables that influence a situation and can be controlled.
  • Describe and conduct a controlled experiment.
  • Recognize a set of procedures which will provide data to address the question or hypothesis in question.
  • Gather, record, and interpret data.
  • Organize data to produce a report.
Earth and Space Science
  • Recognize the Earth is layered with a lithosphere, a hot convecting mantle, and a dense metallic core.
  • Understand that the lithosphere plates move at centimeters per year in response to movement in the mantle (e.g., earthquakes, volcanic eruptions).
  • Distinguish between constructive (crustal deformation, volcanic eruptions) and destructive (weathering and erosion) forces in land formation.
  • Discriminate between steps in the rock cycle, types of rock formed (sedimentary, metamorphic, igneous) and consequent changes to Earth’s surface.
  • Identify factors affecting water flow, soil erosion, and deposition.
  • Understand the evidence that supports the theories of continental drift and plate tectonics.
  • Trace a drop of water through the water cycle and be able to explain the process.
  • Know that clouds form by the condensation of water vapor, affect weather and climate.
  • Define factors that cause or affect weather patterns.
  • Identify examples of evaporation and condensation in the students’ environment.
  • Explain the effect of oceans on temperature and precipitation.
  • Distinguish among surface water, atmospheric water, and ground water.
Life Science
  • Identify populations of organisms within an ecosystem by the function they serve (i.e., producer, consumer, or decomposer) and how they interact.
  • Describe conditions that might cause a species to become endangered or extinct.
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