The sixth grade history curriculum begins with the Renaissance in Italy and throughout Europe. Each student is required to keep a comprehensive notebook using journal entries, pictures, worksheets, and maps to learn about the culture or time period they are studying. They learn the all important skills of note-taking and test-taking. At the end of the year, they write and present a research paper on an African country. The art room becomes an extension of the classroom as many projects are correlated to the history curriculum bringing history into full color.
During the first marking period students learn about the Age of Exploration, The Reformation, and the French and Industrial Revolutions. They write and present a report on a famous explorer. In art class, the students create art based on sculptures and paintings of the masters of the time. Some recent projects include ceiling panels for the art room based on the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and a life-size replica of Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” which hangs in our gymnasium.
For the remainder of the school year the students learn about the continents and countries of Russia, Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Africa, and India. The focus is on religions, geography, and important events that molded the history of each. Students create artwork based on Russian architecture, African weaving, and Chinese watercolors. They celebrate the conclusion of the Asian unit with a feast that includes a variety of food, handmade decorations and costumes. Field trips include visits to Wat Lao Buddhavong, a Buddhist temple in Catlett, Virginia, the National Gallery of Art, the African Museum of Art, and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Museum.