Grade 6‎ > ‎

Grade 6 Happenings

Follow the latest happenings in Grade 6 below.

This Week: The Hero and the Minotaur

posted Mar 9, 2020, 7:36 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Mar 9, 2020, 7:37 AM ]

This week in Grade 6, we will be exploring Ancient Greece as we read a version of the well-known Greek myth "Theseus and the Minotaur" called The Hero and the Minotaur. This class is really interested in Ancient Greece and their stories of gods and heroes. Many of the kids spent the first half of the year checking out Rick Riordan's popular retelling of these myths with his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I hope they enjoy this week's reading. If you are not familiar with the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, take a minute to read more here or watch the video to the right.

The handout with this week's spelling and vocabulary words is posted below. There is also some grammar practice and an overview for what we will be doing this week. Take a minute to review this week. I've posted a slideshow below to help with reviewing the vocabulary words. This week's writing lesson will be to review narrative writing and prepare to write their own myths. I can't wait to see their stories next week.

This Week: The Emperor's Silent Army

posted Feb 19, 2020, 6:16 PM by Jason Brunken

Welcome back! It's been over five weeks since I have last seen the kids in class. I'm so happy to see everyone back and healthy for the first week of classes of the new year. Due to the three weeks that have been cancelled, we are changing up our plan for Grade 6 a bit from what was originally scheduled. A new calendar has been sent home to tell you all about what is coming up.

This month, the Grade 6 class will continue to delve into ancient world history. We will explore two more units from Journeys before writing a narrative and then doing a history related research project later and into April. 

This week, we are reading The Emperor's Silent Army. This selection is about the famous Terracotta Soldiers that were buried with Emperor Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of a unified China. The Terracotta soldiers are one of history's most interesting mysteries. While archaeologists believe the army was meant to protect the Emperor in the afterlife, the elaborate detail and craftsmanship put into each statue makes us wonder if they were not something more. We will be discussing this and more as we cover the text on Thursday.

Did you know that Qin Shihuang's tomb is one of the great archaeological mysteries of today? While the location of the tomb has been found, no one is believed to have entered it since the emperor was buried. There are legends that tell of the magnificence of what's inside the tomb, but no one has been inside to confirm them.

Also this week will be vocabulary, writing, grammar, and spelling practice. A spelling test will be given on Friday. Please remind your child to study. Below is this week's handout with the vocabulary and spelling words for this week as well as some grammar practice. I've also posted a slideshow with this week's vocabulary and a Crash Course World history video about Ancient China for students to view to brush up on their history.


This Week: The Real Vikings

posted Dec 30, 2019, 5:16 PM by Jason Brunken

Welcome back! Christmas has come and gone and New Year is days away, so it's time to get back to learning lots and having fun.

For the next two weeks we are reading a nonfiction piece called The Real Vikings by Melvin and Gilda Berger. The Real Vikings takes a look at a people commonly known as the Vikings who entered history in about 700 CE and then slowly faded away by about the 1300s. For about 300 years of European history, the Vikings dominated Northern Europe. They were a scourge on other kingdoms as the Vikings often conducted surprise raids of European lands. They would attack without warning, take everything they could carry, and then be gone before help could arrive. Some historians even attribute the entire feudal system in Medieval Europe as a response to Viking attacks.

The influence of the Vikings in the world can be felt even today as many of our days and months (in English) have Viking names and their myths and stories, gods and heroes still live with us today. But who were these people? One reason Vikings are so popular is because they are such a mystery. We know little about them, but archaeologists are uncovering more and more every year. This week we look at some of what we have learned. What we do know is that the Vikings were the first Europeans to reach and settle North America, they traded with people, as far away as Iraq, and they are responsible for the rise of such nations as England, France, and Russia. I hope the kids enjoy learning more about these fascinating people. 

Below is a copy of our handout for this week with the spelling words, vocabulary words, and grammar concept. We will practice comparing and contrasting ideas in nonfiction with this selection and write a short compare and contrast essay at the end of the week. I have also posted a slideshow of the vocabulary words for students to review below and a video to learn more about the Vikings. Enjoy.  

Extension Week: Writing a Persuasive Essay

posted Nov 21, 2019, 8:49 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Nov 21, 2019, 8:49 PM ]

This past week, the Grade 6 class has been learning the 5 paragraph essay model for writing academic essays. This is a very valuable writing skill that will apply to coursework and exams students will take in the secondary and post-secondary level, especially at international or Western schools. This week, the class gets a chance to apply what they've learned by writing their own essays in response to one of the three questions I've prepared for them. 

Students will begin by using the prewrite sheet to plan their essays before drafting. They will then complete two rough drafts before preparing a final draft that will be displayed on the wall at school and sent home later in the year. Students will be given three essay questions and asked to chose one for which to write an essay. You can view the questions here.

A review of how to write a five paragraph essay can be seen in the images below. Follow the links above to access the questions and planning materials for the assignment.


This Week: Kensuke's Kingdom

posted Nov 21, 2019, 8:46 PM by Jason Brunken

This week in Grade 6 we will be doing the usual, practicing grammar, vocabulary, spelling, reading, and writing. Our story for this week in Journeys is Kensuke's KingdomKensuke's Kingdom is the story of a boy who gets shipwrecked on an island inhabited only by an old Japanese man. The island is fraught with many dangers known to Kensuke but not the boy. There is a lot of exciting things in the this story. We pick up in the story where our main character thinks Kensuke is a bad man who doesn't let him signal a boat in the ocean. However, later Kensuke saves the boy's life from deadly jellyfish. Is Kesuke a kind of bad man? The fun of this story is finding out.

This week we will also begin our look at essay writing. On Friday, I will teach students how to write a proper five-paragraph persuasive essay. Next week the students will begin crafting their own.

Below is the weekly handout sheet for this week and a slideshow to review the vocabulary words. Please remind your child to study the spelling and vocabulary words for this week. Great job getting those WIRSFs done!! Keep it up!


This Week: Science Friction

posted Nov 11, 2019, 4:34 AM by Jason Brunken

This week the grade 6 class will be reading "Science Friction" by David Lubar. This story is a funny look at how collaborative work can work even with people with very different personalities, skills, and talents. This selection is always a popular one with the children. This story is part collection of short stories in the book Tripping Over the Lunch Lady and Other School Stories.

We will begin looking at persuasive writing this week. Little by little this month, the students will learn the basic parts, organization, and strategies for writing a standard five paragraph persuasive essay. This is a writing skill will serve them them as long as they in school. It isn't the funnest writing assignment, but it is one of the most valuable that I teach this year. I hope all of the students try their best to master it. This week students will practice supporting their opinions with facts and examples from a text. 

Below is the weekly handout for this week. You can also find a slideshow for learning the vocabulary words. Please help your child review the spelling and vocabulary words. Also, don't forget those WIRSFs on Tuesday.

This Week: The Boy Who Saved Baseball

posted Nov 3, 2019, 2:31 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Nov 3, 2019, 2:31 AM ]

After wrapping up the ASLA Fun House and Haunted House on Monday, this week we will be reading John Ritter's The Boy Who Saved Baseball. This is a snippet of a longer book about a town that is facing a problem many are facing all over the world: a large corporation wants to come in and use the land that the baseball field is on to build something more profitable. Of course, the baseball field is used by the town's baseball team and is beloved by the kids. After a public outcry caused by the efforts of one boy on the baseball team, the boss of the corporation agreed not to develop that land if the town's team won the championship. We will see what happens on Thursday.

In this new unit, we will be venturing into persuasive writing this week. Our main assignment will be a college-style five-paragraph essay in November. First, we will practice establishing opinions, using facts to back up opinions, and learn the format of this kind of writing. 

Our spelling and vocabulary words for the week can be found below or downloaded here and a slideshow of the vocabulary words is posted below to help kids review. Please remind your children to take some time to study them a few times this week. 


Extension Week: Haunted House Scene

posted Oct 20, 2019, 7:12 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Oct 20, 2019, 7:12 AM ]

Image attributed to Flickr user lobo235.
The next two weeks are extension weeks for the grade six students. They will be getting their first taste of dramatic writing this week. The assignment: Prepare a spooky story to act out for visitors to the Happy Kids ASLA Haunted House on October 31. The students will work to decorate and prepare a scenes for the younger ASLA visitors. Students working on scenes will be expected to write a short script that tells a mini story related to our theme of "Mad Science". Together, it should make for a fun and spooky Haunted House for our Halloween Fun House this year.

The kids have already begun planning this assignment and are excited to get to work on it. During this week we will not be having a spelling test, grammar lesson, or vocabulary words. We will still have library on Tuesdays, and WIRSFs are still due on Tuesday as usual. 

Remember that Parent-Teacher Conferences are this week, so no class on Thursday and Friday. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone then.

This Week: The ACES Phones

posted Sep 28, 2019, 8:27 PM by Jason Brunken

Hello Grade 6! This week we are moving on in Journeys to The ACES Phone. This is a wonderful science fiction story by Jeanne Duprau. Duprau is a popular science fiction writer for young adults. Perhaps her most famous book is The City of Ember. We have a few of her titles in our library that I highly recommend the kids pick up. You can see a complete list of her books here.

As always we will begin the week looking at our vocabulary words, move into grammar on Tuesday, read the selection on Thursday, and then do a writing assignment on Friday. The spelling test will also be on Friday. Please remember to help your child study for the tests. Below is the weekly handout and a slideshow of the vocabulary words to help your child review and practice at home. On it you will find all of the spelling and vocabulary words along with some grammar practice.

We will also be using time from class to wrap up our Fruit Bowl Project from last week. The kids' ideas were so great they needed more time to complete them.  I hope to have pictures posted before next week. I'm looking forward to sharing their work with you all.

Extension Week: Our "Fruit Bowl" Project

posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:16 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Sep 24, 2019, 7:17 PM ]

It's finally here! This week, the 6th grade class will begin its first extension activity: a "fruit bowl" project. This activity comes straight from our reading last week. The idea is that writers use words like painters use paint. When two painters paint the same bowl of fruit, the results are never identical. The same goes for writers. Give different writers the same elements of a story to work with and they will manipulate words differently to create very different works.

For this assignment we will be writing our own “Fruit Bowl” Project. The students' task is to create pieces of writing of any genre that includes the seven elements below. They will begin by drafting at least three different ideas in your journal (some can be short, but not all.) They will then choose their favorite two to edit and make into final drafts.

Final drafts should be written with graphics and text features and displayed in a creative way. These will be hung outside the classroom for all of Happy Kids to see how awesome they are. They will also be posted on the class website when they are finished. The seven elements that students must include in their pieces are listed below. I think we will have some very creative work this year.

The Seven Elements

  1. 6th grade
  2. precisely 5:00
  3. a girl sneezes vigorously
  4. a revolting smell coming from a backpack
  5. pandemonium
  6. spilled tea
  7. a drowsy student has a great fall

1-10 of 214