Required for All 6th Grade Students
This course serves as an introduction to the Latin language. By the end, students will have a good grounding in many of the inflections of Latin verbs, nouns, pronouns, and adjectives, and the ability to translate some basic prose passages. The linguistic elements are the most important part of the course, but students also learn about a variety of distinctive institutions and customs of the Romans such as roads/transportation, houses, meals, family, clothing, education, and Roman names. Students will study the geography of the ancient Romans, the foundation of Rome, and the stories of the 12 Olympians. Students will learn about the connections between Latin and English through the study of the etymology of English words and common Latin phrases and abbreviations still used in English.
This course is an introduction to ceramics for students in the 6th and 7th grade. Students will develop and refine their skills in the area of hand-building and wheel-throwing. They will explore a variety of decorative techniques on the clay surface as well as with the finished surface of their pottery. To increase their understanding of ceramics, students will become familiar with a working vocabulary of clay terminology.
This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of art for the 6th grade and a reinforcement of these skills for our 8th grade, in order to prepare them to advance to the next level in the upper school. Middle School Art students are guided through a variety of media, art processes, and concepts. They learn how to organize their thoughts and ideas into cohesive visual expressions.
Required for Grade 6-8
Middle School Music classes meet once per week within grade levels, and once per week as a full Middle School. The grade level class includes singing and choral activities, folk dancing, rhythm training, music theory, musical theatre/theatre exercises, sight singing, and audition preparation. There is continued emphasis on listening and skill development, as well as music appreciation.
The full Middle School music meeting is called Choristers. All Middle School students participate in this choral group, which performs in the Holiday and Spring Concerts, as well as all-School Chapels.
Required for Grade 6-8
The Middle School theatre classes focuses on the fundamentals of dramatic performance. The classes build the necessary skills for character development, scene work, and theatre history.
Required for Grade 6-8
The Middle School Dance program concentrates on the development of technical skills, and the appreciation of the art form. An annual dance performance is included in the yearly activities.
In the Library and Information Studies class, students will expand their knowledge of literary forms and describe their characteristics as they read and interpret works of literature for curricular and leisure reading. Students will also identify the criteria of literary genres and award winning books with a focus on diversity and cross-cultural literature. In terms of research, students will learn to identify, evaluate, refine, and ethically integrate a variety of research media into curricular projects. With emphasis on the creation of bibliographic citations, students will also begin to develop an understanding of citation formatting and development.
In the Middle School “Digital Life” Seminar, we explore how mobile digital devices, the Internet, and social media impact the ways that we live and learn. Regardless of one’s individual technology use, we are all citizens of a digital era, and we feel the effects of the devices around us and the ways that information spreads. Through class discussions and activities, we reflect on the ways that we are both more connected and also disconnected because of technology. We also discuss the ways that social media impacts our identity, relationships, and future opportunities. By giving these topics careful thought now, our middle schoolers will be able to manage their digital lives well in the years ahead.
Middle School Social Justice is rooted in building communities of belonging, as students work to understand identity and stereotypes through introspection and perspective. Students explore the many ways identity is formed by reflecting on their own identities, assumptions, stereotypes, prejudice, and bias in the world.
The Middle School Study Skills Seminar meets once a week for eight weeks. The curriculum is designed to improve study skills and test-taking strategies within the context of the class curriculum. Students participate in skill-building activities designed by SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum.
Prerequisite: Foundations of Math or Department Placement
This course is for students who have completed Foundations of Mathematics or an equivalent course. Topics include further exploration of decimals, factors, fractions, integers, exponents, ratios, proportions, and percents, as well as graphing on the coordinate plane, linear equations, algebraic expressions, and solving algebraic equations and inequalities.
Prerequisite: Department Placement
Basic computational skills are reviewed, and problem solving, patterns, estimating, and mental math skills are emphasized. Topics introduced include decimals, fractions, exponents, scientific notation, ratios, rates, proportions, percents, measurement, graphing in the coordinate plane, and an introduction to variables and solving algebraic equations.
This course provides students with an opportunity to learn and improve vocal technique and to experience a repertoire of various styles. Enrollment in choir is not required. Voce Felice, a fine vocal ensemble, is formed from members of this class. Individual singers have the opportunity to perform as soloists at the end of the school year concert. All singers are welcome.
Private lessons are offered for many instruments. Numerous recitals and assemblies involve the Music Program, and public performance at these events is encouraged.
Financial Commitment: Private lessons are billed through the Business Office. The Music Instruction Agreement must be signed by a parent/guardian and returned before lessons can begin. Please contact the Business Office for additional details.
Credits: Winter season co-curricular
Prerequisite: Audition in November
During the winter months, cast members rehearse a play which is presented to the community in mid-February. Past productions have included Good Help is so Hard to Murder, Haiku, Animal Farm, All in the Timing, Rope, and an original Shakespearean adaptation, The Food of Love.
Fall, winter, and spring season
These classes are open to students at any level of dance from beginner to advanced. Students take classes in ballet, modern, jazz, and composition. Winter dance also counts towards the team sport requirement as it includes a performance.
Prerequisite: Fall and winter season commitment; By audition
Dance Ensemble is the high-intermediate level dance company at Walker’s. Students are selected by audition and must commit to dance for the fall and winter seasons. Dance Ensemble members take daily intermediate level technique classes in ballet, modern, jazz, and character. This group also has the opportunity to work with guest artists and they perform in the annual Winter Dance Concert.
The Girl Talk program is part of the Middle School Wellness Program and meets once a week for eight weeks with girls from our Upper School. Girl Talk is part of a national program with a very simple premise: high school girls mentor middle school girls to help deal with the triumphs and trials of the early teenage years.
Required for Grade 6
This course is designed to introduce students to the natural world around them. Students begin the year by studying the role honeybees play in their ecosystem. Students visit the apiary on campus, build their own hive box to add to the apiary, and extract honey. Students also compete in National Geographic’s GeoChallenge, a project-based competition that challenges students to design an innovative solution to a unique environmental problem. For the remainder of the year, students explore field, forest, and aquatic ecosystems inside and outside of the classroom, and the human impacts on these ecosystems.
Required course for Grade 6
At the sixth-grade level, students learn to read deeply, to love reading, and to begin learning how to analyze a literary work. The study of literature at our school draws upon many genres to focus largely on works about growing up and emerging into society. Texts may include: Raymie Nightingale, Beyond the Bright Sea, Counting by 7s, Joyful Noise, a dramatic production of The Diary of Anne Frank, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other texts, including individual poems, myths, fairy tales and essays are carefully selected to be appropriate to the age and developmental level of sixth grade girls. Teachers will challenge students to think in increasingly complex ways. Students will learn oral presentation and discussion skills in class. Each girl will begin to develop her authentic voice through a wide variety of writing assignments, including analysis, persuasive essay, fiction, poetry and personal writing. The Languages Department at The Ethel Walker School provides a sixth-grade grammar course that focuses on parts of speech at the sentence level; therefore, language mechanics in English 6 concentrates on logic, clarity, and flow. Art, music and creative work of all kinds will be at the heart of the course.