Saint Andrews Episcopal School -> Middle School -> Curriculum -> Sixth Grade -> English
Saint Andrew's Episcopal School

Sixth Grade English Overview

 “I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top." ~An English Professor, Ohio University
English permeates all other subject areas. The writing, reading, and speaking involved in history, science, math and all other subjects will be linked to the goals of the English curriculum; all skills learned in English are expected to be applied to all subject areas. 


Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.  ~Gene Fowler
Using the Six Traits of Writing and a variety of writing modes, students will hone their writing skills in the following areas:
  • Organization
  • Content
  • Voice
  • Word Choice
  • Sentence Variety
  • Mechanics, Usage, Spelling, & Grammar


You need to know the rules before you choose to break them effectively.  ~Mrs. Hansen
  • Grammar is taught as a separate discipline.
  • Grammar, usage, spelling and mechanics are taught through writing projects.
  • All skills expected to be applied to all writing in all subject areas.
  • The textbook is Grammar for Writing published by Sadlier-Oxford.


The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.   ~Mark Twain

Sixth grade literature includes:

  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
  • A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
  • Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • The Contender by Robert Lipsyte
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • Four book reports assigned with various writing and public speaking activities, emphasizing literary plot structure

Literary Structure

Plot Peak.jpg
Literary Plot Peak

Students learn to identify key Literary Elements

  • Characters: protagonist vs. antagonist and dynamic vs. static
  • Conflict:
    • Man vs. Self
    • Man vs. Society
    • Man vs. Nature
    • Man vs. Man
  • Plot Structure
    • Exposition
    • Rising Action
    • Inciting Incident
    • Climax
    • Falling Action
    • Resolution
  • Setting: Time period and place significance to plot development; Mood
  • Point-of-View: First Person vs. Third Person
  • Techniques: suspense, foreshadowing, symbolism
  • Students learn to identify and write using figurative language:
    • Hyperbole
    • Simile
    • Metaphor
    • Personification

Vocabulary Workshop

One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilizing
or it will die
.  ~Evelyn Waugh
  • Spelling
  • Tests:
    • Parts of Speech
    • Definitions
    • Antonyms & Synonyms
    • Reading Comprehension/Usage
  • Auditory:
    • Students will hear the words pronounced several times, used in several different contexts; games

Public Speaking

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly
timed pause.  ~Mark Twain
In Sixth Grade English we discuss basic skills for public speaking:  Composure, Effective/Appropriate Audience interaction, Body Language/Eye Contact, Efficient use of notecards
We discuss how to create and deliver an effective speech and study famous speeches and monologues.  Practice includes Readers' Theatre, Poetry Recitation, Speech and Debate activities.


  • Homework is assigned every day: studying, practice, review, long term (e.g. book report reading)
  • Vocabulary and Grammar are usually interchanged every other week. The assignment is posted a week before due date on SchooLoop
  • 70% of earned credit if 1 day late
  • No credit if more than one day late
  • Average of 1 test per week

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