Students in the Third through Sixth Grades at CCS will be taught Michael Clay Thompson’s approach to grammar analysis. The Word Within Word 1 volume has a vocabulary component “based on Latin stems and lists of Nonfiction Words made from the stems as well as lists of Advanced Words and Classic Words.” The grammar lessons, Magic Lens 1, reflect the four levels of grammar analysis so students study parts of speech, parts of the sentence, to phrases and to clauses. Included in this classical approach is the study of poetry, Poetry and Humanity, which demands a whole-brain appreciation and produces better readers and writers.
Students in the Third through Sixth Grades at CCS will continue to be taught the 6 + 1 Writing Traits, an internationally renowned program developed by educator, Ruth Culham. This methodology breaks the writing process down into the seven traits used by an effective writer: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentation. Instruction is based on the appropriate developmental abilities of young writers. Writing prompts are created by the teacher and are woven into the Bible, Science, Literature, and Social Studies units being taught in the classroom. Thus, writing becomes an integral part of how a student responds to his or her every-day learning. Students in Grade 6 will continue to learn the Zaner-Bloser cursive method of handwriting.
Students will progress in their ability to write effectively in all four genres of writing: Narrative, Descriptive, Expository, and Persuasive. Students will be taught to edit and revise their own writing and will be given the tools to assess their own writing, as well as that of others.
The sixth graders at CCS begin their study of American History with the end of the War of 1812, and study the USA through the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and the beginning of World War I in 1914. The Veritas curriculum is supplemented by use of volumes 5-8 of The History of US. These one hundred years are comprised of some of the most important events in American History: the Civil War; Reconstruction; the Industrial Revolution; and the lead up to World War I; as well as the many men and women who shaped these events and times. These are the years in which the United States begins to become a power on the world stage, and our interaction with other countries and governments is emphasized. Primary source documents and the great writers of our national literature are read: Longfellow, Alcott, Poe, Hawthorne, Twain, Whitman, and Crane, to name a few. Critical thinking skills, problem solving, and decision-making skills are emphasized throughout the social studies curriculum.
Saxon Math 7 is a rigorous math curriculum selected for the Logic Stage students at CCS. The 6th Grade students are engaged in using algebraic ideas, and these ideas are built upon throughout their middle school years. At this grade level, Saxon Math weaves algebra and algebraic ideas with hands-on, inquiry-based explorations for students working independently and in groups. Word problems are a major focus of this year of study, as well as keeping a Math Journal, learning to solve algebraic equations, and working with geometric formulas. The curriculum is presented in carefully developed textbooks and supporting materials that has been implemented with over 3,500 middle school students across Texas. In the words of E. M. Forster, "Spoon feeding, in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon."
In Earth Science and Astronomy for the Logic Stage, there is a weekly topic to be studied. The students will conduct an experiment posed by a question related to the topic. As the students follow the scientific method in conducting the experiment, the scientific method trains the brain to examine and observe before making a statement of fact. The process will teach the student to look at all the facts and results before drawing a conclusion. The student learns to take the time to discover the answer to a given problem by using the knowledge they have and the things they observe during an experiment. Students will continue to use the process for the experiment write-up sheets learned in fifth grade to demonstrate mastery of the scientific method. Students will also be assigned sketches to complete, color and label. Additionally, students will have vocabulary and memory work for every unit.
Sixth grade will finish the rest of the New Testament beginning with the Acts of the Apostles and the spread of the Gospel. The students will learn about Paul`s writings and the struggles of the early Church. Seeing the timing of the writing of many of the epistles in the context of the book of Acts is particularly helpful in understanding the Bible.
Students throughout the Grammar stage are taught to use higher level thinking skill; however, at the middle school or Logic stage, students are naturally beginning to reason and question at a much deeper level of reasoning. They inherently begin to question rules and will inevitably argue so the classical Christian education approach is to teach them to argue knowledgeably, skillfully and respectfully. The sixth grade students at CCS will study logic using an award winning program, The Art of Argument, which teaches students the mastery of 28 informal logic or logical fallacies which becomes the foundation upon which other subjects are evaluated, assessed, and learned. The students will also work with their teacher to solve logic problems and puzzles, to engage in dialogues and dialectic discussions and to participate in logic skits.