Sixth Grade Units of Inquiry

Sixth grade classes participate in six units of inquiry throughout the year. Click on each unit below to learn more.

Unit 1 - How we express ourselves

Transdisciplinary Theme

How we express ourselves: an inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity, our appreciation of the aesthetic.

Central Idea

Cultural beliefs and traditions impact choices.

Lines of Inquiry

  • Author's choices and structures
  • The forces that create various landforms
  • The factors that shaped colonial america
  • European exploration in North America and Africa
  • The development of Native American culture in North America

Attributes of the Learner Profile

  • Open-Minded
  • Reflective

Parent Support

*Talk to your child about your own culture.

*Ask your student about the cultures they have been learning about throughout the unit.

Single Subject Connections

6th grade students will be exploring the form of throwing and catching of baseballs and footballs.  Students will learn the history of football and baseball and how it has influenced our culture today. They will use self assessment and reflection to monitor their progress of the skills learned.

6th graders will explore the art of Keith Haring and the impact that he had on the street art culture in New York City during the 1980s.  Using similar Haring form and figures, students will create a self-portrait that represents their cultural identity, interests, and traditions.  Students will reflect on their artwork with peers and stay open-minded during the art making process.

 Sixth grade musicians will  explore different cultures through the lens of world drumming.  We will make connections across different styles and forms of drumming.  Students will discover how the music of today is influenced by a variety of cultures.

Unit 2 - How the world works

Transdisciplinary Theme 

How the world works: an inquiry into the natural world and its laws, the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

Central Idea

Patterns help us understand how our world is organized

Lines of Inquiry

  • The relationships within the Solar System
  • The sources of Earth's energy
  • The organizational patterns of text

Attributes of the Learner Profile

  • Knowledgeable
  • Communicator

Parent Support

Single Subject Connections

STEAM - Sixth grade students will develop their math and science skills by creating an animated solar system through a coded program called scratch.  Students will gain knowledge of scale size within the solar system, geometric transformations, and coding skills. Sixth graders will collaborate with others and communicate their knowledge through a presentation at the end of the unit.  

 Art - Students will explore the cultural aspects of traditional basket weaving throughout history and present day artists.  6th graders will create a basket with a color pattern that ties to a specific memory. As students explore the art of basket making, they will determine the function of their basket connected to its form.  

PE - 6th grade students will be exploring the form of gymnastics, yoga and 8 count dances.  Students will learn the history of gymnastics and dance and how it has transformed our culture today.  Students will learn the techniques of gymnastics, yoga and dance through technology, pictures and teacher demonstration.  For assessment students will create gymnastic and dance routines and will perform them in front of their peers. 

Unit 3 - Where we are in place and time

Transdisciplinary Theme 

Where we are in place and time: an inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationship between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

Central Idea

Lines of Inquiry

Attributes of the Learner Profile

Parent Support

Single Subject Connections

Unit 4 - Who we are

Transdisciplinary Theme 

Who we are: an inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

Central Idea

Actions within our world can influence change.

Lines of Inquiry

  • properties of water                                                                                                                                                                               
  • role of water in our environment 
  • cause and effects of Westward Expansion                                                                                                                                     
  • choices authors make 

Attributes of the Learner Profile

  • Thinker
  • Principled

Parent Support

  • Talk to your student about how they can influence change in your family
  • Ask your student about how they can make  change in our world

Single Subject Connections

Sixth grade musicians will explore choices composers make in film scoring (such as tonality, tempo, style, dynamics, and instrumentation) and how these choices affect the perspective of viewers.  They will also explore choices of rhythm and pitch in setting a simple text to music.

Unit 5 - How we organize ourselves

Transdisciplinary Theme 

Central Idea

Lines of Inquiry

Attributes of the Learner Profile

Parent Support

Single Subject Connections

Unit 6 - Sharing the planet

Transdisciplinary Theme 

Central Idea

Lines of Inquiry

Attributes of the Learner Profile

Parent Support

Single Subject Connections