Students begin their studies in American History with the establishment of the thirteen colonies and travel a time line to the present. Students participate in activities such as internet scavenger hunts, traveling the Oregon Trail and becoming a figure in a wax museum of important historical figures. Once every two years, the fifth and sixth grade classes take a weeklong trip to Washington, D. C., to visit the Capitol, White House, National Archives, and many other historical buildings. On this trip, students have the opportunity to see how the government serves our country. They also visit memorials that honor the country’s forefathers, leaders, and those who fought to protect our freedom.
Sixth graders at Riverhill learn math using the Saxon system. Saxon’s distributed approach breaks apart traditional units and distributes the concepts throughout the year. Not all students learn at the same rate, and Saxon allows for skills to be built upon every day throughout the entire year. Guided problem solving is a first approach toward mastery of higher level thinking skills; students then move on to applying their problem solving skills to real-world situations.
English for sixth graders at Riverhill consists of learning the grammar, usage, and mechanics skills necessary for clear written and oral communication. Using the skills learned, students write narrative, persuasive, expository, and descriptive essays. Writing and public speaking skills learned in English are integrated throughout the sixth grade curriculum. Language concepts are further explored through the continuation of our Greek and Latin Root Words program, our spelling program, and our vocabulary program.
Science is an adventure through the earth–including a trip to the center! The year begins with a brief look at maps. Next is a unit on space which is a favorite with everyone. Following the adventures in space, students buckle down and begin studying earth processes, including the rock cycle, plate tectonics, weather, oceans, and biomes. What is science without experiments? In sixth grade, students do many experiments including measuring the altitude of the sun, drawing ellipses, looking through spectroscopes, measuring an earthquake, and triangulating the location of a hidden treasure on the school grounds.