John Adams Middle School Santa Monica

Humanities Teachers

Department Chair
Alva Scotland

Hanna Duff

Mikaela Lee-Garcia

JAMS Humanitites Department

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> Humanities Home

> Course Content

> Research Directory

> Research Projects

JAMS Humanities Department

6th Grade Course of Study

All course work, activities, and assignments are designed to expand students' knowledge in the areas of Language Arts and Social Studies. Students will further develop their literacy skills and study a variety of cultures.
  1. To present 6th grade Humanities course content and facilitate advancement
    in academic areas.
  2. To enhance development of students' listening, speaking, reading and
    writing skills.
  3. To promote continued enrichment in the area of various cultures.
  4. To foster students' social development and interaction in a nurturing and
    safe classroom environment.

While all new material will be covered in class, students are expected to complete in a timely manner any reading or follow-up work assigned as homework or missed due to absence. Projects, reports, presentations, etc., are to be turned in when due, and full participation in class discussions and cooperative work groups is expected of all students. One special project will be completed each grading period, and some form of homework (reading, study, or other) can be expected Monday through Thursday.

Grades will be based on effort and participation, the successful and timely completion of class work, projects, and homework assignments, and performance on occasional exams and quizzes.

6th Grade Monthly Reading

Students are expected to read at least one book a month selected from a variety of genres including:
  • Autobiography, Biography, and Heroes
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Mystery, Adventure, and Supernatural
  • Historical Fiction
  • Contemporary Realism
  • Poetry and Humor
  • Nonfiction
  • Classic and Honor/Award Winners

During the month, students complete a bibliography card that includes publishing information and a concise summary of the book. A different creative response is due at the end of the month.

Students will:

  • read from a variety of genres
  • identify, analyze and critique literary elements (e.g., plot, setting, character, theme
  • summarize the main idea
  • recognize figurative language in poetry and prose
  • develop vocabulary

Writing Strategies

The writing process will be used to produce clear, coherent, and focused essays. Emphasis will be placed on the following genres:
  • narrative (e.g., story, personal narrative)
  • expository (e.g., description, explanation, compare &contrast, problem solution)
  • response to literature
  • research reports (e.g., ancient Egypt/Greece/Rome)
  • persuasive

Writing Conventions

Students will be introduced to:
  • sentence structure (e.g., complete sent., compound/complex sent.)
  • grammar (e.g., pronouns, subject-verb agreement)
  • punctuation (periods, commas, question marks, exclamation marks, quotation marks, apostrophes, semicolons, colons)
  • spelling - frequently misspelled words (e.g., there, their, they're)

Social Studies

Social Studies skills integrated with those of language arts include:

  • note taking and outlining strategies
  • question & answer
  • cause & effect
  • research and technology
  • Bibliographic form

Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District