618-377-5507 schooloffice@zionbethalto.org 625 Church Drive, Bethalto IL, 62010

6th Grade Curriculum


We utilize the Concordia Publishing House Series One In Christ.  The sixth grade series emphasizes Bible literacy and discipleship, along with a chronological Bible survey consisting of one hundred Bible stories. The series focuses on the Bible as one big and continuing story of God’s love for all people and His plan of salvation for them through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Additionally each lesson focuses on God’s plan of redeeming mercy and grace and introduces the Six Chief Parts of Luther’s Small Catechism to enhance their studies in their Confirmation classes. Confirmation preparation does begin in sixth grade and is taught by Zion’s Director of Christian Education. .


We use Big Ideas Math: Modeling Real Live.  The course is set up to provide resources that students need to be successful with strategies designed to meet every student’s needs, prepare students for testing, and motivate students by using technology in each lesson.  The chapters include the following: numerical expressions and factors, fractions and decimals, ratios and rates, percents, algebraic expressions and properties, equations, area, surface area and volume, integers, number lines and the coordinate plane, statistical measures, and data displays.


We use Glencoe Writer’s Choice: Grammar and Composition.  Sixth graders apply writing and grammar skills including parts of speech, sentence types, capitalization, punctuation, speaking, and listening.  Students recognize and use simple, complex, and compound sentences, and standard editing symbols. We use a pattern of alternating grammar units with writing units to build on skills as students learn them.

Spelling and Vocabulary

We use Sadlier Oxford’s Vocabulary for Success textbook.  Each week students complete one unit in the textbook and take a spelling test.  Through the use of these workbooks students will identify and understand the literal and figurative meaning of words, expand word meanings and apply other meanings, use word associations to analyze meanings, complete word study activities using context and other clues, and solve analogies.


We use Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Collections.  Sixth graders demonstrate competence in the general skill and strategies of the reading process by applying these skills and strategies to the reading of stories, excerpts of autobiographies and poems.  Students read, analyze, evaluate and respond to literature examples in one of six themes: Facing Fear, Animal Intelligence, Dealing with Disaster, Making Your Voice Heard, Decisions That Matter, and What Tales Tell.


Students will study vocabulary such as names, colors, numbers, cognates, etc. in the first semester.  Second semester students will begin learning how to conjugate verbs and will memorize Bible verses in Spanish.  


In sixth grade Science, we focus on three main topics using Holt McDougal’s Science Fusion curriculum.  First, we study Earth and the physical features on it.  Topics include: Earth surface and changes that take place on it, the history of planet Earth, minerals and rocks, movement and natural disasters on Earth.  Second, we study Space Science.  Topics include: the basics of the universe and stars, our solar system, the relationship between the Earth, Sun, and Moon, and exploring space.  Last we study water and its systems on Earth.  Topics include: the properties of water and its cycles, oceans, the atmosphere, and weather and climate.

Social Studies  

Sixth grade uses the Holt series World History.  They study how people of the world vary from one region to another.  From the discovery of ancient objects we learn how cultures have changed over time.  Students also learn about themselves and others from the past. The five themes of geography (location, place, human/environment interaction, region, and movement) are incorporated into each of the chapters and units in order to provide a well-balanced social studies curriculum.


Sixth graders have art instruction once a week.  The focus of the art program is to teach students about the elements of art (line, shape, form, color, texture, composition, and perspective) and to foster creativity.  We use an art curriculum called Arts Attack through which students learn an appreciation of art regardless of their artistic ability.


Students have three choices for their middle school music class. They can do 1 or 2 of them, depending on the schedule. The choices are below.

Choir: Students sing in parts and as a whole.  They learn a wide variety of songs and hymns, and join in Zion Lutheran Church Sunday worship services.  

Music Class: They use Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Share the Music textbooks and learn a variety of music ideas, along with several types of music.

Band: Band students have a grade level class with a band director for 30 minutes a week, and a large group band time with all of the 6-8th graders in band for 40 minutes a week.

Physical Education

Sixth graders have Physical Education twice a week. Students participate in health-related activities and fitness testing.  They continue to refine basic skills, participate in individual and team sports and describe strategies and rule concepts. Christian sportsmanship is always emphasized.  Sixth graders are eligible to participate in after school athletics in cross country, volleyball (boys and girls), basketball (boys and girls), and track.


Sixth graders have computer class twice a week.  They learn advanced computer terminology, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Publisher.   They also practice their keyboarding skills using “Mavis Beacon Typing” with a goal of 20 words per minute. They also practice searching the Internet and learn how to integrate the Internet with other software for projects.

Cultural Experiences

Sixth graders go on a variety of field trips including Outdoor Education at Camp Wartburg.  They also attend special performances at Metro-East Lutheran High School and when appropriate performances at the Repertory Theater at Webster University.  We take various field trips throughout the year, including a field trip to Springfield, IL, to visit various Lincoln sites and a trip to visit, in alternating years, the Lewis and Clark Museum in Hartford and Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.