The curriculum of the sixth grade offers support and nourishment for the adolescent child in the midst of the changes and self-consciousness of puberty. Observation is emphasized as a balance to the natural pull of asserting one’s own judgment, opinion, preference and expectation of the world. The curriculum meets these pulls with the force of new challenges to students’ awakening thinking powers through all aspects of the curriculum. The teacher provides the students with varied perspectives, particularly directing their attention out into the world.

The Child

Sixth graders are on the cusp of adolescence and, as such, they bring an increased capacity for critical thinking into the classroom. These students experience rapid physical growth and psychological change and often seek rules and causality to bring order to their new experience of the world. The student has an increased interest in social relationships. Once the sixth grader becomes more comfortable with these new developments, the child is ready to look out into the world to discern his place, responsibilities, and opportunities.

The Class

The students’ interest in causality and desire for equality is met with the study of the Roman system of order and justice. 

The study of geography and history also includes the middle ages, knighthood, the Crusades, the Middle East and the rise of Islam. They continue to explore the wonder and beauty of the world through geology and through geocentric astronomical observations of the sun and planets, visible constellations and the moon faces. Strict observation in the science curriculum and exact thinking in their studies of geometric figures require the students to hone their critical thinking skills. 

Physics gives students insight into the properties of acoustics, optics, heat, magnetism and static electricity. 

Mathematics lessons are designed to give the students’ real-life experiences of the world through percentages, profit/loss calculations, ratio and proportion, and estimation. Pre-algebra lays a foundation for the middle school algebra curriculum. Through principal and interest calculations, algebra begins in sixth grade.

In world language and grammar lessons, students are introduced to business letters and more formal elements of grammar: declensions, sentence structure, punctuation, prepositions, active and passive voice, etc.

Cyber Civics classes begin in sixth grade with the study of digital citizenship. 

Music studies proceed with individual and ensemble recorder playing (soprano, alto and tenor); orchestra and ensemble work; and singing using complex harmonies and minor keys. 

Fine and practical art lessons now include making patterns and sewing stuffed animals, painting and black and white drawing. 

In physical education, the students continue working with the javelin, discus and sprinting for regional medieval games.

Middle School Faculty:

Helen Zadourian
Grade 6 – Palm Trees

Mrs. Zadourian has a Master’s degree in English Language and Literature and a teaching diploma. She also has 20 years of…

…experience teaching in the private system in Lebanon where she taught elementary, middle, and high school for 10 years and worked another 10 years as a university instructor/coordinator teaching communication skills, business English and humanities courses. She also had the opportunity to teach history which she absolutely loved doing because she is just fascinated by it. She is proficient in four languages; Armenian, Arabic, French, and English. It is through her two daughters, aged 8 and 6, that the universe of Waldorf was revealed to her and she has been mesmerized ever since. Her children attended Waldorf Beirut where she also worked as a teacher training coordinator. Her whole perception of education widened with the spiritual aspects of child development as described by Steiner, and she found the perfect environment that would hold her children in love and reverence. It is now her desire and goal to put her 20 years of experience in the field of education in service of the Steiner/Waldorf philosophy in order to follow what she feels is now her purpose or higher calling in life for both her children and herself.

In her free time, she enjoys painting, reading, and meditating. She also happens to have a degree in Culinary Arts and she is a certified chef. She absolutely loves cooking and baking.

She is looking forward to an amazing year full of adventures with the 6th grade students and their families.