Sixth Grade Basics

Here is some information that I found on the web that could be very helpful as you look at what your child is learning and needs to learn.  I am including the link and some of the information from the actual site. For more information, click on the corresponding links.

“Language Arts this year will focus strongly on expanding writing skills and continued reading in different genres including mythology, Shakespeare and other Classics. Writing will include reports, essays, letters, stories and poems. Some students will be required to keep a journal in order to enhance or strengthen their writing skills.  [Note: Click here for reading/vocab list.]

Through History and Geography, children will continue to explore ancient cultures with an emphasis on their lasting contributions. For example, students will study the similarities in the Roman and United States Government systems. Students will begin to understand different economies in relation to geographic locations of different people groups. Current events through reading newspapers and visiting online news sources as well as watching select television news programs will broaden your sixth graders view of the world. In American History, students will closely investigate immigration, industrialization, and urbanization.

Math students will continue with pre-algebra and begin to utilize statistical probabilities to analyze data. This is the year that many parents feel the need for a refresher math course in order to help their child with homework. During this year, teachers are focused more on teaching children when to use different types of math than rote memorization of math facts. Students must be adept at understanding both the how and why of more complex story problems. For example, students must be able to determine when to use multiplication rather than division to solve a problem.

Through Science, students will study the aspects of astronomy, the oceans and energy. Students may have more time in the lab to conduct physical and chemical experiments. Children may also visit their local weather station or science museum. Students will begin to ask more how than why questions to understand how science affects the world around them.” –Valerie Nelson

For more information from this author regarding 6th grade personality, organizational skills, and music and art, click on the link above. She has also written numerous education related articles in addition to her articles on basic skills.


1: In social studies, your child will probably study:

Correct Answer: World history and geography.

2: In mathematics, your child will learn to:

Correct Answer: Use equations in all areas of problems solving.

3: Your child’s vocabulary will primarily be increased through:

Correct Answer: Reading a wide variety of materials.

4: In writing, your child will spend considerable time creating:

Correct Answer: Multiple-paragraph compositions.

5: By the end of sixth grade, it is most important for your child to:

Correct Answer: Have proficiency in the basic skills (reading, writing, mathematics).


Sixth grade is either the end of elementary school or the beginning of middle school. In either case, emphasis will be placed on increasing your child’s proficiency in the basic skills. Your child will have more than one teacher because teachers are becoming subject specialists. Find out what else your child will learn this year.

  • Identify major chronological events in history, as well as find the areas studied in history on maps and globes.
  • Understand our legacy from ancient and early civilizations.
  • Understand and perform all operations for rational numbers.
  • Write, simplify, and manipulate expressions and equations in all areas of problem solving, including ratios, proportions, geometry, statistics, and probability.
  • Use all stages of the writing process (organizing, drafting, revising, and editing.
  • Write essays, reports, letters, stories, and poems.
  • Set up and conduct simple scientific experiments.
  • Understand the concepts of gravity, motion, energy, chemical compounds, the ecosystem, fossils, heredity, weather, and the classification of matter.
  • Compose reports by using word processing skills.

For information on other grade levels or for quizzes, games, activities, and printables—check out the link above.

An excellent overview of 6th Grade:

Virginia Standard of Learning 6th grade assessments and practice tests

Texas Assessments

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