Middle School Curriculum

Our Middle School (grades 6-8) fosters awareness, curiosity, communication, and critical thinking in a safe, caring, and respectful community. At this stage in life, students are going through significant changes and are surrounded by conflicting stimuli. Greenwood Friends School’s middle school environment is a habitat for healthy, balanced, and mindful learning that incorporates challenging academics, practical life skills, and respectful community participation. Academically and socially, students are honing skills that will enable them to be successful as they move on to life’s greater challenges. Classwork is completed in small groups or independently and assignments and enrichment are addressed on an individual basis. Students learn to find a balance between their particular needs and the requirements of their academics.

The Middle School math program empowers students to apply math skills to solve real-world problems.  Instruction is tailored to give every student opportunities and experiences to learn mathematical skills at the level that challenges and enriches, using web-based resources as well as textbooks.  Students work individually and cooperatively to master math skills and deepen their understanding through open-ended problems and challenge-based learning projects.

 “To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand.” ~ Jose Ortega y Gasset

Our Middle School science program inspires students to explore the world in which we live, sparks their imaginations, and fosters a sense stewardship.  Our program encourages students to become excellent observers of the world around them and to ask and answer scientific questions.   Art, history, and math are integrated into science class, giving students opportunities to examine the cosmos of the microscopic world, the earth, and the Universe beyond our planet.

 

In the Middle School years, the aim of social science is to learn to analyze relationships and identify the roles and responsibilities of government and its citizens.  Students conduct research using both primary and secondary resources and become adept at using tools like maps and graphs to gather and convey information.  Middle Schoolers participate in a variety of field experiences from interviewing a local professor to gain information for a project to doing volunteer work for organizations like Habitat for Humanity.  World, national, state, and local topics are investigated in-depth in a three year cycle.  In past years, Middle School students tried Hernando Cortez for crimes against humanity during a unit on explorers, researched and presented findings on witch hunts in history during a unit on the Salem Witch Trials, and debated birthright citizenship as presented in the Fourteenth Amendment.

 

The aim of Middle School language arts is to help students hone their communication skills.  Middle Schoolers not only read and write, but analyze, act, and debate.  Middle Schoolers work toward writing more efficiently by developing rich vocabularies and studying more complex writing structures. They read both self and teacher selected pieces that include both classics and contemporary works. In the middle school years, students are expected to talk and write about what they read and write, forming opinions and providing the reasoning behind them.  They also learn to give and receive constructive feedback. 

 

Kitchen Science: Intermediate and Middle School students learn basic cooking skills while exploring culture, geography, biology, health sciences, chemistry, and physics.  Part home economics, part science lab, and part applied mathematics, the course seeks not only to teach a wide variety of skills and facts in a number of disciplines, but also to help students connect to the food they eat so that they may better appreciate the work it takes to get food from the seed to the plate.