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Grades 6-8

In District 68, we offer students a comprehensive educational experience that provides students with a range of programs and services to meet their educational needs. This information is designed to provide you with an overview of the curriculum we offer our students.

Reading/Language Arts

Students will utilize a reading resource called Prentice Hall Literature, Common Core Edition within their literacy block. This reading resource is fully aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Instruction within each lesson has been adapted to meet the demands of content standard and follow the progressions found within the Common Core. Furthermore, lessons within each unit have been designed to meet several standards across the key literacy domains. Students participate in Literary Analysis Workshops that break down the Common Core English Language Arts (ELA) standards, teach and model the standards through the use of increasingly more complex exemplars texts, and provide immediate opportunities for students to apply standards with independent practice. Children demonstrate mastery through completion of performance tasks at the end of each unit. Children will also participate in whole group, small group, and independent reading practice. In addition to Prentice Hall Literature, students will read, write, and discuss various novels during their reading block.


Mathematics

Big Ideas Math is a complete middle school math program developed with the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Content and Standards for Mathematical Practice as its foundation. Additionally, Big Ideas Math has been developed using learning and instructional theory to ensure quality math instruction takes place as learners’ progress through aligned math pathways. A combination of direct instruction and guided practice allow students to gain a deeper understanding of math concepts by narrowing their focus to fewer topics at each grade level. Students master content through inductive reasoning opportunities, engaging activities that provide deeper understanding, concise stepped-out examples, rich thought-provoking exercises, real-life examples and application, and a continual building on what has been previously taught.  Big Ideas Math delivers a unique curriculum providing a balanced instructional approach of discovery and direct instruction through print and online supplementary materials. This approach opens doors to abstract thought, reasoning, and inquiry as students persevere to answer the Essential Questions that drive instruction.


Science

Grade 6

Life Science: Ecology
Physical Science: The Effect of Force on Motion and Interaction of Matter and Energy
Earth Science: Patterns and Interactions in the Universe

Grade 7

Life Science: Animal Adaptations
Physical Science: Energy, Light and Sound
Earth Science: Dynamic Changing Earth: Inside Earth

Grade 8

Life Science: Genetics, Cells, Inherited Traits, DNA, and Current Genetic Issues
Physical Science: Interaction of Matter and Chemistry, Matter, Periodic Table of the Elements, Reactions, Acids and Base
Earth Science: Scientific Method
 

Social Studies

Grade 6

Significant Questions: How do people come together to form a civilization? How are people within a society organized? What characteristics of society endure over time?  Through the study of societies of at the ancient and medieval worlds, students will gain an understanding of and appreciation for the characteristics that make up a society and have endured over time. 


Across civilizations of Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Middle Ages, the following are examined: 

  • Government/Politics (type of leaders, type of  government) 
  • Economics (currency, trade, jobs) 
  • Religion (symbols, documents, practices, places of worship) 
  • Communication (writing systems, language)
  • Geography (landforms, bodies of water, location) 
  • Social Structure (role of individuals, boys, girls, women, men, citizenship, rights and responsibilities)
  • Culture (technology, ideas and philosophy, art, architecture, literature, music) 

 

Grade 7

Overarching Themes: 

  • Manifest Destiny and expansionism including methods of ac­quiring land (treaty, war, settlement, purchase), and reasons people went west (push/pull factors: gold, religious persecu­tion, job opportunities
  • The shift from an agrarian society to a manufacturing  society including the growth of corporations and urbanization, effi­ciency of production, and the emergence of the US as indus­trial power with a diverse society
  • Industrialization which led to prosperity and then to economic downfall (riches to rags) and the changing role of governmen­tal intervention in society
  • Civic responsibility including how the rights, roles, and re­sponsibilities of citizens changed as a result of World War II; how government intervenes to ensure civic responsibility
  • Economic gain at the expense of others and how individuals are shaped by time, place, and perspective
  • Human interaction with the environment and the resulting societal change.
  • Rebuilding a nation after the Civil War and struggles with the challenges of integration; how individuals affirm their place in American society

Units of Study

  • Westward Expansion
  • Industrialization and Immigration
  • The Roaring 20's and The Great Depression
  • World War II on the Home Front
  • Slavery
  • The Civil War
  • Civil Rights

Grade 8

Using the five strands of a social system, students will develop a greater understanding of the world during the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will learn how the events of the last 110 years are connected and be able to explain the resulting changes in the world that are part of the over­arching themes.
 

Overarching Themes:

  • The formation of states and the redrawing of maps
  • The emergence of "Super Powers"
  • Man's inhumanity to man
  • The struggle among ideologies in modem society
  • The motivation of individuals to stand up for their convictions and their attempts to bring about change
  • The powers and limitations of the government and the rights of citi­zens

Units of Study: 

  • Five Strands of a Social System
  • WWI/Middle East
  • WWII/Genocide
  • Cold War
  • Political Movements
  • United States and Illinois Constitutions

Common Core State Standards

Illinois, along with 45 other states, adopted the Common Core State Standards to be used to guide teachers in what students at each grade-level need to learn in English/Language Arts. Each set of grade-level standards consists of literature, informational text as well as listening and speaking standards. The primary grades have standards for foundational skills. Grade-level standards build on knowledge and skills learned the previous year and create a stair-step progression across the K-8 instructional years.

Common Core State Standards Website

 

COMING SOON...Learning Targets for Grades 6-8

 

Additional Student Services and Programs