Curriculum Guide for Grade 6



Note about mathematics curriculum:

Mathematics curriculum at any grade level or for any topic identifies what students should know and be able to do at a particular grade level or course. However, intricately connected to and supporting all mathematics content and curriculum are mathematical processes that are common to all strands and specific expectations. Students at all levels need experiences with and growing proficiency in these practices. Educators and parents keep these in mind and integrate them constantly into mathematics instruction. These practices describe ways that students need to engage with mathematical subject matter increasingly as they progress through the grades.

1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
4. Model with mathematics.
5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
6. Attend to precision.
7. Look for and make use of structure.
8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning

Source: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics process standards, National Research Council’s report on helping children learn mathematics, Adding It Up. 

The Number System

    • Compute fluently with multi-digit numbers including decimals
    • Interpret and compute division of fractions by fractions
    • Represent fraction operations with models and equations
    • Find common factors and multiples of whole numbers
    • Understand positive and negative numbers
    • Describe real world uses of positive and negative numbers
    • Compare and order rational numbers on a number line
    • Understand and find absolute values of numbers
    • Identify and explain prime and composite numbers
    • Find and graph positive and negative numbers as ordered pairs in a coordinate plane
    • Solve real world problems with fractions and positive and negative numbers


    • Evaluate positive rational numbers with whole number exponents
    • Read, write, simplify, and evaluate expressions in which letters stand for numbers
    • Identify parts of an expression
    • Identify equivalent expressions
    • Read, write, and solve one-variable equations
    • Read, write, represent (on a number line), and solve inequalities
    • Recognize that inequalities have an infinite number of solutions
    • Apply the order of operations and properties to operations to solve equations


    • Develop an understanding of statistical variability
    • Recognize, describe, and formulate statistical questions
    • Interpret and create graphical representations of numerical data
    • Understand that a set of data has a distribution described by its center, spread (or range), and overall shape
    • Summarize and describe numerical data sets

    Ratios and Proportional Relationships

    • Describe ratio relationships between two quantities
    • Understand the concept of unit rate
    • Use models to show and solve rate and ratio problems
    • Use ratio reasoning to solve problems involving unit pricing and constant speed
    • Find and use equivalent ratios to solve problems
    • Find a percent of a quantity as a rate per 100
    • Solve problems involving finding the whole, given a part and percent
    • Convert measurement units when multiplying and dividing quantities


    • Find areas of right triangles, quadrilaterals, and polygons by composing them into rectangles or decomposing them into triangles or other shapes
    • Find volumes of right rectangular prisms (including those with fractional edge lengths) by packing with cubes and applying formulas.
    • Draw polygons in a coordinate plane when given coordinates for vertices
    • Represent three-dimensional figures using nets made of rectangles and triangles
    • Use nets to find surface area of three-dimensional figures
    • Solve real world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume
    Language Arts

    Language Arts

    Speaking and Listening

    • Participate in collaborative discussions on a variety of grade-level topics
    • Follow agreed-upon rules and preparation procedures for discussions
    • Listen and respond to others with focus and care
    • Interpret information presented in many media and formats
    • Identify an argument, claims, and evidence presented by a speaker
    • Present claims or information in logical sequence supported with relevant facts and details
    • Use clear diction, appropriate eye contact, and adequate volume when speaking
    • ŸAdd multimedia and visual components to clarify ideas in presentations
    • ŸShow command of formal English language when speaking for a variety of tasks

    Reading Literature and Informational Text and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

    • Cite evidence from text to support analysis of both explicit and implicit messages within the text
    • Cite evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources
    • Find and explain the theme or central idea of a text and details that support it
    • Summarize literary and informational or explanatory texts
    • Describe how a plot unfolds in a series of episodes
    • Analyze how a key event, idea, or character is developed in a text
    • Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history or social studies
    • Describe how a text presents information
    • Follow a multistep written procedure when performing science or technical tasks
    • Compare and contrast characters, settings, events, or ideas in a text
    • Determine meanings and effects of words, phrases, or symbols as used in a text
    • Analyze the effect of specific word choices on a text’s meaning and tone
    • Analyze how a particular part of a text fits into the overall structure
    • Describe overall structure of a passage and its effect on the message
    • Compare and contrast the experience of reading a literary passage with viewing or listening to the same text
    • Compare and contrast texts in different genres and forms
    • Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic
    • Describe how an author develops the point of view of a speaker in a text
    • Integrate quantitative or technical information presented in text form with information expressed visually
    • Explain how visual and multimedia elements help to develop the topic
    • Trace and evaluate the argument and supporting reasons in a text
    • Compare and contrast two authors’ presentations of the same events
    • By the end of the academic year, read and understand grade-level literary and informational texts (including history/social studies, science, and technical subjects) independently and with proficiency

    English Language Skills

    • Recognize and follow proper usage of pronouns; correct improper usage
    • Form, recognize, and use various verb tenses and appropriate shifts in verb tense
    • Correctly use conventions of English when writing (capitalization, punctuation, and spelling)
    • Spell grade-level words correctly
    • Consult reference materials to check spellings
    • Vary sentence patterns for meaning, interest, and style when writing; avoid passive constructions
    • Maintain consistency in style and tone when writing
    • Know the difference between formal and informal English and when to use each


    • Use context clues to determine word and phrase meanings
    • Use word structure clues to determine meanings of unknown words
    • Use relationships between words to better understand each word
    • Use references (print and digital) to determine or verify a word’s meanings, find its pronunciation or its part of speech
    • Interpret and use figurative language (similes, metaphors, idioms, adages, proverbs, etc.) and nuances in words
    • Distinguish literal and nonliteral meanings of words in context
    • Distinguish shades of meaning among related words
    • Distinguish among connotations of words with similar denotations
    • Learn and use grade-level general academic vocabulary


    • Write arguments supported with clear reasons and relevant evidence, including arguments in history, social studies, science, and technical topics
    • Write informative or explanatory pieces developed with relevant details, including arguments in history, social studies, science, and technical topics
    • Write narrations that include details, put events in order, and provide a conclusion
    • Produce writing appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience
    • Strengthen writing by getting feedback, revising, editing, and rewriting
    • Add dialogue and descriptions to develop characters and events
    • Use tools, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing
    • Contribute to collaborative group writing projects
    • Conduct short research tasks on a topic through investigation
    • Gather information from various sources to answer a question
    • Include evidence from literary or informational texts
    • Regularly produce clear writing for a variety of tasks, purposes, and audiences (including writing in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects)


    Note about science curriculum: 

    The Next Generation Science and Engineering Standards (developed in 2013 in a joint collaboration among the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, and Achieve) describe scientific practices that scientists use as they investigate the natural world and engineering practices that engineers use as they design and build models and systems. In addition, they present seven crosscutting concepts that apply across all the topics and fields of science. The teaching of science topics and the corresponding standards at all grade levels K-12 are intricately interwoven with these practices and crosscutting concepts. Students need consistent experience and connection with these two dimensions of science education (practices and cross-cutting concepts) as they work with the third dimension (core science content topics).

    Science and Engineering Practices

    1. Asking questions (science) and defining problems (engineering)
    2. Developing and using models
    3. Designing and carrying out investigations
    4. Organizing and interpreting data
    5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
    6. Constructing explanations (science) and designing solutions (engineering)
    7. Engaging in argument from evidence
    8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

    Crosscutting Concepts

    1. Patterns
    2. Cause and effect
    3. Scale, proportion, and quantity 
    4. Systems and system models
    5. Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation
    6. Structure and function
    7. Stability and change

    Life Science

    • Biological classification systems
    • ŸStructure and function of living things
    • Cell structures and their functions
    • ŸRelationships of cells, tissues, organs, and systems
    • ŸGrowth and development of organisms
    • ŸSingle-cell and multicellular organisms
    • Sexual and asexual transfer of genetic information to offspring
    • Traits, variations of traits, and inheritance of traits
    • Animal behaviors that increase odds of reproduction
    • Sensory receptors and processes in animals
    • Plant reproduction
    • Food chains and food webs
    • Global temperature trends and effects on organisms
    • Ecosystems and ecological communities

    Physical Science

    • Potential and kinetic energy
    • Mechanical energy
    • Simple and complex machines
    • Friction
    • Law of Conservation of Energy
    • Phases of matter and particle motion
    • Density
    • Changes in energy
    • Energy transfer
    • Relationship between temperature and energy

    Earth and Space Science

    • Climate and biomes
    • Ecosystems and ecological communities
    • Human impacts on Earth systems and habitats
    • Water cycles
    • Changes and movement of water
    • Global movements of water
    • Ocean temperatures and currents
    • Role of density and salinity in ocean currents
    • Weather and climate patterns and what influences these
    • Influence of oceans on weather and climate
    • Weather predictions
    • Global climate patterns and changes

    Social Science - The Eastern Hemisphere to the Renaissance  

    Notes about social science curriculum:

    1. These ten themes of social studies serve as a background framework for the teaching of the social sciences at all grade levels. They weave through all content and are interrelated with one another. Students need exposure to and development of these themes throughout the grades.

    Source: National Council for the Social Studies

    Ten Themes of Social Studies

    1. Culture
    2. Time, continuity, and change
    3. People, places, and environments
    4. Individual development and identity
    5. Individuals, groups, and institutions
    6. Power, authority, and governance
    7. Production, distribution, and consumption
    8. Science, technology, and society
    9. Global connections
    10. Civic ideals and practices

    2. In addition, there are social studies practices and habits and literacy skills that should be fostered and integrated with all social studies content. Students at all levels need grade-level appropriate experiences that develop and polish these practices.

    1. Gathering, interpreting, and using evidence from various sources
    2. Applying critical thinking skills to organize, use, and evaluate information
    3. Problem solving and decision making processes
    4. Chronological reasoning and understanding of causation
    5. Comparing and understanding events and relationships in context
    6. Comparing different ways of looking at an event or problem
    7. Understanding how people might be affected by events, changes, settings, or problems
    8. Communicating knowledge, research conclusions, and ideas in written, oral, and visual forms
    9. Geographical reasoning and use of geographical tools
    10. Describing and explaining economics and economic systems
    11. Civic understanding and participation 


    • Geographical features of the hemisphere
    • Patterns of settlement in the hemisphere
    • Patterns of movement and migration in the hemisphere
    • Interactions of geography, history, and economics in the hemisphere
    • Mapping a variety of physical and cultural features of regions or countries
    • Detailed study of the geography of one region or country in the hemisphere

    Citizenship and Government

    • Social hierarchies in early civilizations
    • Development of political systems in early civilizations
    • Roots of democracy in the classical civilizations
    • Decentralization of political authority in medieval Europe
    • Spread of Christianity and Church in authority in medieval Europe
    • Current political features and issues of regions and countries in the hemisphere
    • Political cooperation in the hemisphere or its regions today
    • Current types of governments throughout the hemisphere
    • Detailed comparison of the current governments of countries in one of the regions


    • Use of resources in the earliest settlements
    • Economies of the river valleys: products and activities
    • Geographical influences on historical events
    • Economic developments in early civilizations
    • Economic interdependence in the hemisphere today
    • Detailed study of the economy of one region or country in the hemisphere

    Community and Culture

    • Current cultural makeup and features of the regions or the hemisphere
    • ŸCultural contributions of past societies to current societies
    • ŸCultural interactions and issues in the regions of the hemisphere
    • Cultural diffusion in the hemisphere
    • Detailed study of the culture of one region or country in the hemisphere


    • How archaeologists have learned about past cultures and activities
    • First humans in the hemisphere and their ways of life
    • Hunter-gatherer societies
    • Development of tools and use of fire
    • Climate changes and human adaptations
    • Patterns of settlement and movement over time
    • Neolithic Revolution
    • Comparison of the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages
    • Agriculture and domestication of animals
    • The river civilizations: Mesopotamia, Indus River Valley, Yellow River Valley, and the Nile River Valley
    • Major religions and belief systems
    • Lasting influences of various belief systems
    • The classical civilizations
    • Lasting influences of the classical civilizations
    • Comparison of the Chinese and Greco-Roman civilizations
    • The rise and fall of Roman Empire
    • Development of feudalism
    • The Byzantine Empire
    • Spread of Islam
    • The Crusades
    • Afro-Eurasian trade and its effects
    • The Mongol Empire
    • The Middle Ages
    • Spread of the Bubonic Plague
    • The Renaissance (Early Modern Period)
    • Technology and transportation changes
    • Detailed study of the history of one region or country in the hemisphere

    Health and Safety

    • Health choices and long-term consequences of choices
    • Benefits of, practices for, and personal responsibility for health (including healthy eating, personal hygiene, exercise, stress-management, adequate sleep, social and emotional health, disease prevention, and avoidance of accidents and dangers)
    • Components of a personal health plan
    • Impacts of social pressures on physical, emotional, and social health
    • Structure, functions, and interdependence of major body systems
    • Changes in anatomy during puberty
    • ŸRole of hormones in growth, development, and personal health
    • ŸMyths and facts related to disease transmission and prevention
    • ŸWays the body defends itself against germs
    • Communicable, noncommunicable, and hereditary diseases
    • ŸUse, abuse, and effects of medications, tobacco, alcohol, and other substances
    • ŸRelationship between tobacco, alcohol, and drugs and unsafe situations
    • ŸPreventing the use of tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs
    • Basic understanding of first-aid procedures
    • Prevention of and response to deliberate and accidental injuries
    • ŸReasons and ways to avoid violence, gangs, weapons, and drugs
    • ŸEnvironmental factors that affect health
    • Basic safety rules for daily and recreational activities
    • Skills to identify, avoid, report, and cope with potentially dangerous situations
    • ŸPractices for responding to emergencies
    • Positive and negative characteristics of social groups, gangs, clubs, cliques
    • Development of self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-control
    • Physical, social, and emotional impacts of decisions regarding sexual behavior
    • Strategies to resist pressures to become sexually active
    • Respect and consideration for all individuals
    • Understand appropriate ways to express emotions
    • Positive social interactions with peers, in home, and in the community
    • Bullying, alternative behaviors to bullying, and appropriate responses to bullying
    • Strategies for resolving conflicts with peers and others
    • Skills for meeting people, making friends, and being a good friend
    • Getting personal support from family
    • How and where to get help in making health decisions
    Typical Course of Study arts


    • Demonstrating proficient keyboarding skills
    • Use of a variety of common applications and productivity tools
    • Creation of products combining text, images, sound, music, and video
    • Use of spreadsheet and concept-mapping software
    • Use of interactive tools to design polls or surveys to gather data
    • Making contributions to blogs, wikis, and other collaborative forums
    • Gathering weather information and predictions
    • Use of online databases or simulation software to interpret and predict trends
    • Use of digital collaboration tools
    • Increasing knowledge about many cultures through digital content
    • Use of online interactive tools to communicate with learners from other cultures
    • Communicating with multiple audiences through a variety of formats and media
    • Increasing understanding of a local or global issue
    • Choosing appropriate digital resources to plan a project or solve a problem
    • Choosing appropriate search engines or directories
    • Selecting and using appropriate online applications for various purposes
    • Selecting appropriate, relevant sources for a purpose or audience
    • Analysis and synthesis of information to make decisions or develop solutions
    • Assessing the credibility and validity of online sources
    • Following fair use rules
    • Use of bibliography tools to cite sources from digital sources
    • Reporting and sharing of results or solutions
    • Exploring ways to receive feedback from multiple, appropriate audiences
    • Recognition and avoidance of potential online dangers
    • Safe and legal use of online sites and information
    • ŸUnderstanding of privacy issues
    • Understanding how data are kept and available publicly
    • Understanding safety issues related to sharing personal information online
    • Practicing ethical and respectful behavior
    • Careful, responsible use and maintenance of digital equipment
    • Demonstrating openness to learning new technologies and procedures


    Note about middle school arts curriculum: Middle-level curriculum often includes and offers experiences and study in a variety of areas in the arts. Some examples are:

    • Animation
    • Architecture
    • Casting
    • Ceramics
    • Choral music
    • Computer graphics and applications
    • Construction
    • Dance or other creative movement     
    • Digital arts
    • Drama (including mime, storytelling, and technical aspects of theater)
    • Drawing
    • Film
    • Graphic design
    • Improvisational music
    • Instrumental music
    • Metal Sculpture
    • Mosaics
    • Sculpture
    • Textiles and fiber art

    In the study and practice of any of the performance or visual arts, students encounter such topics as:

    • Skills of watching, listening, and responding to works of art
    • Background and elements of particular art form
    • Understanding of the processes and techniques of particular forms
    • Principles of design
    • Vocabulary of particular art forms
    • Interpretation, analysis, and evaluation of works of art
    • Reflecting on own experiences and creations or performances
    • Art history
    • Well-known artists and works of visual or performing art forms
    • Cultural contexts and expressions of art
    • Style, materials, and techniques used in a work of art
    • Generating questions about a work of art
    • Considering messages and purposes of a particular work of art
    • Responding orally, in writing, or some other way to works of art
    • Contributions of artists to society
    • Careers in art
    • Discipline and mindset for improving and developing skills in art
    • Fostering of creativity and self-expression
    • Development of artistic awareness, imagination, perception, skill
    • Experimenting with a variety of media, forms, and techniques
    • Solving design problems
    • ŸUse of digital media and tools for producing, viewing, or responding to art
    • Polishing and furthering personal skills in a chosen area of art
    • Participation in collaborative discussions about works of art
    • Participation in collaborative creation of works of art
    • Proper safety procedures for activities in the specific arts

    Download World Book's Typical Course of Study