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Middle School: Grades 6–8

Kids working together on a project

The French word for Middle School is Collège. This stage of development is a complex and exciting time in which students are defining themselves and finding their own voices. They are building confidence, experimenting with a growing sense of independence, and discovering what makes them unique. The Middle School at the French American School is a vibrant community of teachers, parents, and administrators who work together to support each individual during this process, inspiring them to flourish as students and as people.

During the culminating years of our program, a student’s language skills mature considerably, and they develop creativity, critical thinking and depth of knowledge. Language arts are taught in French and English, social studies in French, and math and science in English. A third modern language, Spanish, is introduced in the sixth grade. Project-based learning, which lies at the heart of our program, develops critical thinking skills and empowers students to take ownership of their own learning process. Students demonstrate their knowledge through both formative and summative assessments. Technology is used across all academic disciplines to support and enrich the learning experience. Each student has their own Chromebook, and our educators thoughtfully incorporate these devices into classroom activities. Students attend physical education class at the nearby Boys and Girls Club, and participate in team sports through our cooperative interscholastic program.

The Middle School faculty also pays close attention to the social and emotional well-being of our students. Our goal in the Middle School is to create a safe and nurturing environment where students are able to develop healthy social skills as they mature during adolescence. We want to help our students to realize their full potential to become active contributors in our global world.

Learn more about our curriculum by grade, using the expandable tabs below to see what your child will be accomplishing in each year, or scroll down to explore our program by subject area.

Sixth Grade / Sixième

Programs taught in French:

French Language Arts:
The French curriculum has four objectives: to master the French language, to create and develop a humanistic approach to culture, to master the techniques of appropriately acquiring information, to become effective in the art of communication, and to develop a student’s autonomy and initiative as they take ownership of their learning experience.This curriculum is divided in two cycles; adaptation in sixth grade and centralization in seventh and eighth grades.

In sixth grade, French grammar basics are reinforced and students begin working on more complex grammar concepts. At this time, the French system of conjugation is understood in order for students to be able to write more complex and lengthier essays (one-and-a-half to two pages). The understanding of humanist culture begins with the study of Antique literature. The study of Antique literature establishes an opportunity to introduce the method of linear literary analysis and give students the skills to be able to think critically about literature. The synergistic study of grammar and literature helps students to develop their critical, conceptual, and autonomous thinking skills.

History, Geography, and Civics:
In the sixth grade, students focus on writing and the oral presentation. The students also develop projects, which allow them to produce a purposeful method of evaluation of what they learned and the skills they have acquired. The areas of focus of the history course in the sixth grade are ancient civilizations and the early Middle Ages. Skills developed while studying these moments in history are: map reading and understanding chronology, interpretation of historical documents, analysis of historical events and their implications on the present and future. The focuses of the geography course in the sixth grade are world populations and human settlement around the globe. Skills developed are: Reading and analyzing a globe, analysis of a topographic/political/climate maps, realization of geographical sketches, and interpretation of population dispersion. The focus of the civics course in sixth grade is to answer the question: What does it mean to be a citizen? Students collaborate with peers on common projects to develop an awareness of the duties and rights inherent in citizenship.

Spanish:
In sixth grade students are introduced to Spanish as a second language. The “back up” language for this course is French and our students progress at a much more rapid pace than their monolingual counterparts. By the end of the year, students will gain several different types of competencies in the Spanish language. They will learn how to form fundamental, grammatical and communicative structures in Spanish such as greetings, speaking about themselves, offering an opinion, and asking for personal information in short dialogues by using by formal and informal language. They will learn how to describe the classroom environment through conjugating verbs in the present and the past tenses, describing themselves and others, and talking about likes and dislikes. They will be able to describe their family and friends. They will be able to conjugate in the present tense and will be introduced to past tense or preterit perfect simple. Sixth graders will learn about pronominal verbs, interrogative words, the three groups of verbs and some useful irregular verbs, as well as possessive adjectives and the use of the negative form. The year culminates with the performance of a student-written play in Spanish.

Visual Art:
The overall objective is to orient the students to a range of terms and techniques through observation, interpretation, making, and in-class discussion. During the first two units, the focus is on two-dimensional exercises of drawing and collage, with emphasis on color, composition, and contrast. With this foundation, students begin to explore basic three-dimensional fabrications, such as origami. During the third and fourth units, the students expand on subject material from their other classes. By bridging visual art with literature and science studies, the goal for the students is to have an enhanced understanding of their subject material; in this case visualizing the narrative of the Odyssey and the volume and mechanics of insects. The final unit further addresses observation and composition through perspective drawing and temporary outdoor installations made from natural materials. Objectives are based on the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS).

Physical Education:
The entire middle school participates in physical education together. Students are able to choose a competitive team sport through a cooperative athletic program with Providence Country Day school. Each trimester the activities offered change. The PE class aims at developing the psychomotor, affective, and cognitive abilities of each child.

Programs Taught in English:

English Language Arts:
Sixth graders begin to learn how to think analytically and abstractly about their reading and writing. Much time in the elementary English classroom is spent on making sure students understand what they read. In sixth grade, students begin to gain skills in order to be analytical about what they read. They learn about an author’s purpose and understand the importance of making connections between what they read and the world in which they live. They also learn how to discuss literature and develop thought-provoking questions about their reading and writing—much time is spent on constructing questions that build higher thinking skills. Students no longer write book reports, but they begin to learn how to craft essays. They experiment with several types of writing, including expository, narrative, descriptive, persuasive, and even some critical writing. By the end of sixth grade, students should have achieved the skills necessary to become critical thinkers in regards to their reading. They also should have mastered basic grammatical skills and writing conventions necessary to be effective writers.

Mathematics:
The sixth-grade math curriculum introduces pre-algebraic concepts such as operations with fractions and decimals, variables and expressions. Students are introduced to two-dimensional geometry, statistical analysis and more mature problem-solving skills. The pace is accelerated so the three year middle grades program is completed in two years. By eighth grade students are ready for Algebra. Problem solving skills are enhanced through periodic unstructured problems. Vocabulary skills are developed in each topic. Occasional group presentations are designed to enhance verbal presentation skills and math fluency.

Science:
Throughout the Middle School science program, students maintain a notebook and develop skills in noting observations, using evidence to draw conclusions, and designing and conducting experiments. The sixth-grade science curriculum explores earth science through volcanoes and earthquakes. They also study eclipses, phases of the moon and the solar system. In life science, students create an ecosystem and study food webs, biodiversity, cycling of materials and reproduction. Students also engage in a design project to develop innovation skills.

Music:
The first two terms are performance-focused and involve finding appropriate pieces of music to perform for the winter show. The class chooses and works on 1-2 songs to perform (depending on their difficulty). The last three terms are composition and performance-based. The students are given the option of writing songs based on chosen subjects or writing a musical as a joint project with the French language program. All songs are recorded, and the students learn about the different stages of recording and some of the equipment and software used in the process. Listening material is focused on Blues and early Jazz (1920’s-1970’s). Music theory is worked into the lessons and based on the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) core standards.

Seventh Grade / Cinquième

 Programs taught in French:

 French Language Arts:
The French curriculum has four objectives: To master the French language, to create and develop a humanistic approach to culture, to master the techniques of appropriately acquiring information, to become effective in the art of communication and to develop a student’s autonomy and initiative as they take ownership of their learning experience. This curriculum is divided in two cycles: adaptation in sixth grade and centralization in seventh and eighth grades.

In seventh grade, grammar analysis is taught in depth in order to better understand the nuances of the French language. In parallel with the syntactical analysis, students begin to work on the concept of semantics. The literature program focuses on the medieval period and the connections/influences in the contemporary world. The method is still linear, but the analysis tools become more complex and students begin working explicitly on the text-to-text connections. Writing skills are developed with longer essays (2-3 pages). The synergistic study of grammar and literature helps the students to develop their critical, conceptual, and autonomous thinking skills.

History, Geography, and Civics:
History: The focus of seventh-grade history includes the medieval era through the modern era. Skills developed in this course include interpretation of timelines, reading maps, critical analysis, synthesis of multiple, simultaneous historical events in different parts of the world, and historical map-making.
Geography: The focus of seventh-grade geography is on the human experience and sustainable development. Skills developed in this course include synthesis of economic/demographic figures, study and analysis of diagrams, population/political/topographical maps, comparisons between different development models, and understanding the challenges of protecting planet Earth.
Civics: The focus of seventh-grade civics is diversity and equality. Skills addressed during this course include collaborating with peers on common projects, and awareness to the duties and rights inherent from citizenship.

Spanish:
Seventh-grade Spanish is for those students who have some previous knowledge of basic Spanish structures. They will increase their level of grammar and vocabulary and be able to express themselves functionally in various communicative contexts. Students will continue learning the use of the preterit perfect simple, the preterit imperfect, and be able to express themselves by asking about location and giving instructions. They will be able to describe characters and speak about past events. Reading activities are very important in the Spanish course. Comprehension and expression strategies are used to engage the students in interesting conversation and discussion. The students will explain to each other what they understand and share their ideas and opinions.

Visual Art:
The overall objective is to orient the students to a range of terms and techniques through observation, interpretation, making, and in-class discussion. During the first two units, students continue to explore methods of three-dimensional design and materials. For the third and fourth units, students participate in a group project with a local community artist. This exercise tests their ability to work together to critique and support ideas and to simplify them to produce a collective piece of work. The fifth unit addresses composition in perspective paintings, introduction to color theory, and value studies. The final unit will enable individual students to apply their understanding of three-dimensional design by building a kinetic sculpture. Objectives are based on the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS).

Physical Education:
The entire middle school participates in physical education together. Students are able to choose a competitive team sport through a cooperative athletic program with Providence Country Day school. Each trimester the activities offered change. The PE class aims at developing the psychomotor, affective, and cognitive abilities of each child.

Programs taught in English:

English Language Arts:
Reading: Students also are responsible for leading their own Socratic seminars (book discussions) and generating thought-provoking questions about their reading. Students learn how to take effective notes on their reading through the use of graphic organizers. They are able to make connections between the literature they read and the world in which they live—giving vitality and a deeper understanding of the relevance of the texts that they read. Seventh graders are expected to read much longer texts and build on their skills for sustained reading outside of the classroom. They are also responsible for learning challenging vocabulary on a weekly basis.
Writing: In seventh grade, students learn how to master the art of crafting an effective essay. They learn how to develop a strong thesis statement and support their thesis through textual evidence. They continue to experiment with different styles of writing: expository, narrative, persuasive, creative, and research writing; there is a major push during this academic year to be able to write a critical essay. MLA conventions for citing texts are introduced at this time, and students learn the rules for avoiding plagiarism. Grammatical rules and structure are reinforced.
Speaking: Another focus of seventh grade is to learn how to become effective speakers. At the end of the year, students are required to present an inquiry-based project to the class. This inquiry project is the product of a thought-provoking question derived from a text that they read during the school year.

Mathematics:
The seventh-grade math curriculum dives deeper into exponents, square roots and scientific notation. Geometry skills include the Pythagorean Theorem, congruency, properties of shapes formed by parallel lines, scaling, composite shapes, surface area and volume of 3-dimensional solids. Algebraic skills include linear and non-linear relationships, slopes and rates of change, equality and solving multi-step equations. Statistical skills include comparing and contrasting theoretical and experimental probabilities. The pace is accelerated so the 3-year middle grades program is completed in two years. By eighth grade students are ready for Algebra. Problem solving skills are enhanced through periodic unstructured problems. Vocabulary skills are developed in each topic. Occasional group presentations are designed to
enhance verbal presentation skills and math fluency.

Science:
The seventh- and eighth-grade science curriculum follows a two-year schedule in which a broad array of science topics is explored. Force and motion physics principles are discovered through the design and testing of a prototype of a flying car. Life science topics include human body systems, diffusion, genetics, adaptation and natural selection. Earth science explorations include weather and water, global climate issues, layers of the atmosphere, seasons, the rock cycle, fossils and minerals. Space science includes the scale of the universe, the solar system, planets, moons and galaxies. Chemistry topics include the periodic table, kinetic energy, properties of materials, conservation of energy and mass, phase changes, solutions, chemical reactions. Design and innovation projects continue in seventh and eighth grade as well.

Music:
The first two terms are performance-focused and involve finding appropriate pieces of music to perform for the winter show. The class chooses and works on 1-2 songs to perform (depending on their difficulty). The last three terms are composition and performance-based. The students are given the option of writing songs based on chosen subjects or writing a musical as a joint project with the French language program. All songs are recorded, and the students take part in the recording/mixing process. Listening material is focused on Folk and the evolution of Rock and Roll. Music theory is worked into the lessons and based on the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) core standards.

Eighth Grade / Quatrième

Programs taught in French:

French Language Arts:
The French curriculum has four objectives: To master the French language, to create and develop a humanistic approach to culture, to master the techniques of appropriately acquiring information, to become effective in the art of communication and to develop a student’s autonomy and initiative as they take ownership of their learning experience. This curriculum is divided in two cycles: adaptation in sixth grade and centralization in seventh and eighth grades.

In eighth grade, grammar analysis taught in depth in order for students to better understand the nuances of the French language. The literature program is about the 18th and 19th century French literature. Students work on oeuvre bundling and comparative literature is introduced. The literary analysis is linear and thematic. Student produce longer essays (2-3 pages), which varying in type. The objective of mastering informative and communication techniques is completed, and students should be able to write complete persuasive essays. The synergistic work on grammar and literature enables the students to develop their critical, conceptual, and autonomous thinking skills.

History, Geography, and Civics:
History: The focus of eighth-grade history is the period beginning with the Enlightenment through the Industrial Era. Skills developed throughout the year are persuasive writing on historical topics, interpretation of maps, and critical analysis of contextual documents.
Geography: The focus of eighth-grade geography is globalization. Skills developed throughout the year are scientific writing, interpretation of contextual maps/ pictures/ diagrams, analysis of population dispersion, and a deeper understanding of economical and social concepts.
Civics: The focuses of eighth-grade civics are topics of liberty, equality, and justice. Students collaborate with peers on common projects, awareness to duties and rights inherent in being a citizen.
Throughout the year, in addition to the oral presentations, the eighth-grade students build a complete file of documents they choose and analyze. They write a synthesis based on these documents. They also conduct a press review once a month.

Spanish:
Eighth-grade Spanish is for those students who have already acquired an amount of skills and Spanish grammatical structures, which permit them to communicate in real-life situations. They will increase their level of grammar and vocabulary and be able to express themselves in various communicative contexts. They will learn about Hispanic culture and habits—both negative and positive—in order to understand their reactions in American society. They will be empowered to interact with Latinos they meet. The students will hold conversations with each other, express their ideas, beliefs, agreements and disagreements, and be able to give and follow directions. They will practice ways to describe and compare places, people, and activities, as well as clothing and preferences.

Visual Art:
The overall objective is to orient the students to a range of terms and techniques through observation, interpretation, making, and in-class discussion. The first two units continue to explore three-dimensional design with an emphasis on gestural expression and color and the use of unique materials. Students will be exposed to sculptors and other artists who use a range of materials in their work. The third and fourth units focus on group work to research, design, and build a clock that ties into their science studies on gear mechanisms. At the end of the fourth unit, individual students will enhance and further their knowledge of design principles and art history leading them to a final painting and a functional three-dimensional object that is assisted by a local artist. Objectives are based on the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS).

Physical Education:
The entire Middle School participates in physical education together. Students are able to choose a competitive team sport through a cooperative athletic program with Providence Country Day school. Each trimester the activities offered change. The PE class aims at developing the psychomotor, affective, and cognitive abilities of each child.

Programs taught in English:

English Language Arts:
Reading: By eighth grade, students are responsible for leading their own Socratic seminars (book discussions) and know how to create thought-provoking questions about their reading. Students should have the skills to know how to take effective notes, decipher critical information, and make connections between texts. Eighth graders are expected to read much longer and challenging texts and build on their skills for sustained reading outside of the classroom. They should have mastered the skills to be efficient readers and retain critical information about what they read. They should also have several different strategies at their disposal to assist them in their reading. Like seventh grade, they are also responsible for learning challenging vocabulary they encounter in a text.
Writing: By the end of eighth grade, students should know to craft a strong and effective critical essay. Although they continue to experiment with different styles of writing: expository, narrative, persuasive, creative, and research writing—having the ability and knowledge to write critically and analytically is essential. MLA conventions for citing texts are reviewed, and students must know how avoid plagiarism. Students are expected to be able to use outside sources/texts to support their writing.
Speaking: Like seventh grade, the students in eighth grade continue to work on becoming effective speakers. At the end of the year, students are required to present an inquiry-based project to the class. This inquiry project is based on a thought-provoking question derived from a text that they read during the school year. By this point, they should have the skills and strategies to be organized and have clarity in their presentations to an audience.

Mathematics:
In eighth grade, students begin Algebra 1. They study rational and irrational numbers and their significance, and perform operations will all types of real numbers. Students distinguish between linear and non-linear relationships, inverse, exponential and quadratic functions. They solve complex equations and systems of equations involving operations on expressions, simplifying expressions, and the distributive property. They explore quadratic functions, factoring and inequalities. In the geometry unit, they explore surface area, similarity and the effect of scaling on volume. The entire array of shapes are considered, including cylinders, cones, pyramids, rectangular and triangular prisms. In the data and statistics unit, students become proficient with an array of analytical tools including tables, charts and scatter plots.

Science:
The seventh- and eighth-grade science curriculum follows a two-year schedule in which a broad array of science topics is explored. Force and motion physics principles are discovered through the design and testing of a prototype of a flying car. Life science topics include human body systems, diffusion, genetics, adaptation and natural selection. Earth science explorations include weather and water, global climate issues, layers of the atmosphere, seasons, the rock cycle, fossils and minerals. Space science includes the scale of the universe, the solar system, planets, moons and galaxies. Chemistry topics include the periodic table, kinetic energy, properties of materials, conservation of energy and mass, phase changes, solutions, chemical reactions. Design and innovation projects continue in seventh and eighth grade as well.

Music:
The first two terms are performance-focused and involve finding appropriate pieces of music to perform for the winter show. The class chooses and works on 1-2 songs to perform (depending on their difficulty). The last three terms are composition and performance-based. The students individually compose electronic music pieces using synthesizer tracker software and GarageBand. Listening material is focused on electronic music from 1970 to present day. Music theory is worked into the lessons and based on the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) core standards.

Browse the Middle School Curriculum by subject area using the expandable tabs below.

French Language Arts

The French curriculum has four objectives: to master the French language, to create and develop a humanistic approach to culture, to master the techniques of appropriately acquiring information, to become effective in the art of communication, and to develop a student’s autonomy and initiative as they take ownership of their learning experience.This curriculum is divided in two cycles; adaptation in sixth grade and centralization in seventh and eighth grades.

Through reading and interacting with a wide variety of children’s literature, students will be introduced to the basics of language arts. The program will teach students to develop strong phonics, reading, and comprehension skills while fostering a love of books and the habit of reading for pleasure. Language learning requires the constant interaction among speaking, listening, reading, and writing. In Cycle Two, students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend and interpret language and to communicate effectively. While learning a language requires systematic activities, it also takes place in all classroom situations.

Sixth Grade / Sixième
In sixth grade, French grammar basics are reinforced and students begin working on more complex grammar concepts. At this time, the French system of conjugation is understood in order for students to be able to write more complex and lengthier essays (one-and-a-half to two pages). The understanding of humanist culture begins with the study of Antique literature. The study of Antique literature establishes an opportunity to introduce the method of linear literary analysis and give students the skills to be able to think critically about literature. The synergistic study of grammar and literature helps students to develop their critical, conceptual, and autonomous thinking skills.

Sample Yearly Progression:
First Trimester
Reading 1: Les mystères de l’alphabet and L’indispensable pointilleux
Project: Language tree about languages families
Grammar: Verbal and non-verbal sentences and basic sentence structure
Reading 2: Le Petit Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupery
Writing Project: Essay of Meeting the Little Prince, “Apprivoiser” an animal.
Visual Project: Biography of Saint-Exupery and poster about the Le Petit Prince.
Grammar: Verb basics: present and imperative and verb-subject agreement.

Second Trimester:
Reading: Iliade, Odysseus, 9 heroïnes de l’antiquité
Writing Project: Imagine a new Odysseus’ adventure
Project: Pick and depict one of the heroines present in the book
Visual Project: Virtual exposition and dossier about Homère
Grammar: L’indicatif, past tenses, different kind of accord, and accents
Reading 2: Les mille et une nuits

Third Trimester:
Reading 1: Eneide/Métamorphoses
Writing Project: La foundation de Providence
Project: Icarus myth.
Grammar: Past tenses 2, Synonyms and Antonyms
Reading 2: Paroles
Project: Analyze a poem
Grammar: Introduction to poetry, Sens propre/sens figuré

Seventh Grade / Cinquième
In seventh grade, grammar analysis is taught in depth in order to better understand the nuances of the French language. In parallel with the syntactical analysis, students begin to work on the concept of semantics. The literature program focuses on the medieval period and the connections/influences in the contemporary world. The method is still linear, but the analysis tools become more complex and students begin working explicitly on the text-to-text connections. Writing skills are developed with longer essays (2-3 pages). The synergistic study of grammar and literature helps the students to develop their critical, conceptual, and autonomous thinking skills.

Sample Yearly Progression:
First Trimester
Reading 1: Short Stories
Writing Project: Writing a short story using the « schéma narratif »
Grammar: Simple and complex sentences, types, formes, voix, and past time
Reading 2: Contes et légendes des chevaliers de la Table by L. Camiglieri Ronde and Le Roi Arthur by Michael Morpurgo
Writing Project: To create a knight’s adventure
Grammar: Complexe sentences 2, subordonnées relatives et conjonctives
interrogatives, conjonctions, and les pronoms relatifs

Second Trimester
Reading: Perceval ou la quête du Graal by Chrétien de Troyes in conjunction with Le lion by Joseph Kessel.
Writing Project: Courtly love
Project: After working on a virtual exposition in the BNF website, student will create an instruction booklet about medieval society
Project: L’héritage médiéval
Grammar: Les complements, le discours rapporté, and les temps composes
Reading: Le livre des merveilles by Marco Polo.

Third Trimester
Reading: Mondo et trois autres histoires by J.M.G Le Clézio and Vendredi ou la vie sauvage by Michel Tournier
Writing Project: Découvrir son monde/ écriture de poésie
Project: Explorateurs, affichage poète.
Grammar: Le conditionnel and retour sur le groupe nominal et ses expansions.
Reading 2: Collection of poetry
Writing Project: Student-created collection of poetry.

Eighth Grade / Quatrième
In eighth grade, grammar analysis taught in depth in order for students to better understand the nuances of the French language. The literature program is about the 18th and 19th century French literature. Students work on oeuvre bundling and comparative literature is introduced. The literary analysis is linear and thematic. Student produce longer essays (2-3 pages), which varying in type. The objective of mastering informative and communication techniques is completed, and students should be able to write complete persuasive essays. The synergistic work on grammar and literature enables the students to develop their critical, conceptual, and autonomous thinking skills.

Sample Yearly Progression:
First Trimester:
Readings: A collection of texts of the Enlightenment
Writing Project: Argumentative essays (3)
Project: Student-created French Republican calendar.
Grammar: Argumentation, logical connective, subjonctif, and pronominal verbs
Project 2: 19th Century literature timeline and the literary movement and its authors

Second Trimester:
Readings: Vanina Vanini by Stendhal, Madame Bovary by Flaubert, La Parure by
Maupassant, La Vénus d’Ille by Mérimée
Writing project: Continuation of Vanina Vanini
Project: Women in 19th Century French literature
Grammar: Complex sentences and prepositions
Reading 2: Debout les morts by Vargas
Writing project: Student-created criminal story

Third Trimester:
Reading: Collection of poetry and Anthologie de la poésie engage
Writing Project: Create a collection of our own poetry
Project: Poster of famous poets
Grammar: Verbs, apposition, and versification
Reading 2: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and Germinal by Emile Zola
Writing Projects: Students write and alternative chapter for the character of Jean Valjean and Etienne Lantier
Projects: Two heroes of 19th century literature

History, Geography and Civics

At the French American School, history, geography and Civics are taught in French. Students continue to build upon the excellent foundation they achieved in their elementary grades and begin to be able to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired to grasp more complex and abstract historical concepts in French. In their middle-school years, students move from the acquisition of the French language to possessing the ability to think, write, and express themselves in French. History, Geography and Civics classes adhere to the standards and requirements set by French Ministry of Education.

Sixth Grade / Sixième
History: The focus of seventh-grade history includes the medieval era through the modern era. Skills developed in this course include interpretation of timelines, reading maps, critical analysis, synthesis of multiple, simultaneous historical events in different parts of the world, and historical map-making.
Geography: The focus of seventh-grade geography is on the human experience and sustainable development. Skills developed in this course include synthesis of economic/demographic figures, study and analysis of diagrams, population/political/topographical maps, comparisons between different development models, and understanding the challenges of protecting planet Earth.
Civics: The focus of seventh-grade civics is diversity and equality. Skills addressed during this course include collaborating with peers on common projects, and awareness to the duties and rights inherent from citizenship.

Sample yearly progression:
Throughout the year, seventh-grade students will realize different projects during each chapter. They must answer questionnaires and conduct interviews in order to link the world in which they live with what they learn. There is also a tremendous focus on how to use the information from different sources and to understand them.

First Trimester:
Topics in History: The Ancient Orient and Greek civilization
History Project: Oral presentations on a chosen topic from a list of historical topics. Students must research French history books and websites and then make a presentation through different types of media (Powerpoint, video, drawing, self-produced texts, posters and models).
Topics in Geography: My own environment and world populations
Geography Project: Students create a map of their own environment
Topics in Civics: “What does it mean to be a middle school student?” and
comparisons between school systems in France and the United States.

Second Trimester:
Topics in History: Alexander the Great, Greek Scholars, and Rome: The republic and its empire
History Project: Students write the biography of a historical Greek character. They present their work to the class.
Topics in Geography: Living in an urban area and living in a costal area
Geography Project: Students compare and contrast the two types of areas and
present their findings to the class.
Topics in Civics: Children’s rights and family heritage

Third Trimester:
Topics in History: The beginnings of monotheistic religions: Judaism and
Christianity; the Byzantine Empire; the Carolingian Empire; and the Eastern
History Project: The students choose their favorite topic of this term and build a presentation. They must produce two different documents to present and answer a thought-provoking question poised by their teacher.
Topic in Geography: Living in a difficult environment
Geography Project: The students will write a story as if they were living in a difficult environment. Their story can be presented in a self-produced graphic novel or in stop-motion animation.
Topics in Civics: Cultural heritage and the French concept of laïcité (laicism).

Seventh Grade / Cinquième
History: The focus of seventh-grade history includes the medieval era through the modern era. Skills developed in this course include interpretation of timelines, reading maps, critical analysis, synthesis of multiple, simultaneous historical events in different parts of the world, and historical map-making.
Geography: The focus of seventh-grade geography is on the human experience and sustainable development. Skills developed in this course include synthesis of economic/demographic figures, study and analysis of diagrams, population/political/topographical maps, comparisons between different development models, and understanding the challenges of protecting planet Earth.
Civics: The focus of seventh-grade civics is diversity and equality. Skills addressed during this course include collaborating with peers on common projects, and awareness to the duties and rights inherent from citizenship.
 
Sample Yearly Progression:
Throughout the year, seventh-grade students will realize different projects during each chapter. They must answer questionnaires and conduct interviews in order to link the world in which they live with what they learn. There is also a tremendous
focus on how to use the information from different sources and to understand them.

First Trimester:
Topic in History: The Muslim world
Topic in Geography: The importance of sustainable development
Topic in Civics: Discrimination

Second Trimester:
Topics in History: Western feudality and Medieval Africa
Topic in Geography: The inequalities of development
Topic in Civics: The identities of a person

Third Trimester:
Topics in History: Humanism, Renaissance, and Reform, the New World, and the birth of absolutism in France
Topic in Geography: Sharing the world’s resources
Topics in Civics: Solidarity, equality, and respect of the environment

Eighth Grade / Quatrième
History: The focus of eighth-grade history is the period beginning with the Enlightenment through the Industrial Era. Skills developed throughout the year are persuasive writing on historical topics, interpretation of maps, and critical analysis of contextual documents.
Geography: The focus of eighth-grade geography is globalization. Skills developed throughout the year are scientific writing, interpretation of contextual maps/ pictures/ diagrams, analysis of population dispersion, and a deeper understanding of economical and social concepts.
Civics: The focuses of eighth-grade civics are topics of liberty, equality, and justice. Students collaborate with peers on common projects, awareness to duties and rights inherent in being a citizen.
 
Sample yearly progression:
Throughout the year, in addition to the oral presentations, the eighth-grade students build a complete file of documents they choose and analyze. They write a synthesis based on these documents. They also conduct a press review once a month.

First Trimester:
Topics in History: Slavery and the slave trade around the world; Aabsolutism in France
Topics in Geography: The main areas of production and trade, trading goods, and global centers of power
Topics in Civics: Civil liberties and rights

Second Trimester:
Topics in History: The birth of the United States, the French Revolution, and the new Europe of 1815
Topics in Geography: Human migration and the USA as a center of globalization
Topics in Civics: The French and US justice systems

Third Trimester:
Topics in History: The Industrial Age: Europe and the United States; European
national movements; and 19th century colonization
Topics in Geography: Emerging countries, third-world countries, and cultural
diversity in a globalized world
Topic in Civics: Citizenship

Spanish

Because students at the French American School already know French, they learn Spanish at a much faster pace than their monolingual counterparts. The Middle School experience culminates with a trip to Reus Spain where they attend classes in French, English, and Spanish. Families also have the opportunity to host a student from Reus.

Sixth Grade / Sixième
In sixth grade students are introduced to Spanish as a third language. The “back up” language for this course is French and our students progress at a much more rapid pace than their monolingual counterparts. By the end of the year, students will gain several different types of competencies in the Spanish language. They will learn how to form fundamental, grammatical and communicative structures in Spanish such as greetings, speaking about themselves, offering an opinion, and asking for personal information in short dialogues by using by formal and informal language. They will learn how to describe the classroom environment through conjugating verbs in the present and the past tenses, describing themselves and others, and talking about likes and dislikes. They will be able to describe their family and friends. They will be able to conjugate in the present tense and will be introduced to past tense or preterit perfect simple. Sixth graders will learn about pronominal verbs, interrogative words, the three groups of verbs and some useful irregular verbs, as well as possessive adjectives and the use of the negative form.
 
Sample Yearly progression
First Trimester:
Speaking: Greetings, introducing oneself, objects in the classroom, Latin American countries and capitals
Reading: Easy Spanish Reader by William T. Tardy, Sos Se Necesita Sonrisa by
Violeta Monreal, Spanish World in Your Backpack and ¿Qué tal? Magazine
Writing: Student-created short dialogues
Lexicon: The alphabet, days of the week, months of the year, seasons, time, numbers from zero to twenty, and dates
Grammar: First verbs: the present tense of Ser, Tú and Usted forms, present tense of
the verbs in AR (first group), punctuation and capitalization, pronouns and nouns, adjectives and adjectives of nationalities
Creative writing projects: Soy, classroom crosswords, posters and PowerPoint presentations

Second Trimester:
Speaking: The names of family members, friends, character descriptions, and time
Reading: Easy Spanish Reader by Willam T. Tardy
Writing: Describing a person’s personality
Creative project: Family tree poster
Grammar: ER and IR verbs in present tense, interrogative words: cómo, cuándo, cuál, cuáles, quién, quiénes, cuánto, por qué, plural and singulars, masculine and feminine, and number

Third Trimester:
Speaking: Using the first group verbs AR, ER and IR in present tense, using
possessive adjectives and qualitative adjectives
Phonetics: Fluency, spontaneity, and intonation
Reading: Biographies (research)
Creative writing: Student-written play

Seventh Grade / Cinquième
Seventh-grade Spanish is for those students who have some previous knowledge of basic Spanish structures. They will increase their level of grammar and vocabulary and be able to express themselves functionally in various communicative contexts. Students will continue learning the use of the preterit perfect simple, the preterit imperfect, and be able to express themselves by asking about location and giving instructions. They will be able to describe characters and speak about past events. Reading activities are very important in the Spanish course. Comprehension and expression strategies are used to engage the students in interesting conversation and discussion. The students will explain to each other what they understand and share their ideas and opinions.
 
Sample Yearly progression
First Trimester:
Speaking: Review of daily greetings, common expressions, instructions and directions, and use of the imperative form. Storytelling
Reading: ¿Quién soy Quién soy? by Antolina Ortiz, La pena de Jonás by Juan Cruz Iguerabide and Mikel Valverde, Todos somos especiales by Arlene Maguire, Ratón y las letras by Jim Arnosky, La mejor Colección by Laura Fernández Rivera Rio, Las niñas del Mundo by Sara Ruano, Colas by Silvia Dubovoy, De la A a la Z con el agua by Rafael Cruz Contarini, La hermanita de Franklin by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark, SOS Se necesita Sonrisa by Violeta Monreal, and Cuentos Para Pensar by Robert Fisher.
Writing: Constructing a story in Spanish
Creative Project: Spelling Bee Competition
Grammar: Verb review of ser, estar, poder and gustar, study of the present tense (three groups), regular and irregular verbs, and the preterit (el pretérito)

Second Trimester:
Speaking: Using the recent past, telling stories
Reading: Cuentos para Pensar by Robert Fisher, Querido Hijo: Estas Despedido by Jordi Sierra I Fabra, and Qué tal? Magazine
Grammar: Review of preterit perfect simple of the verbs ending in AR, ER and some IR verbs, Introduction of the Preterit Imperfect for the three groups of verbs, and
Contractions: Al / del
Writing Project: El Cid a small student-created play

Third Trimester:
Speaking: Storytelling using the two preterit combined and discussions regarding
their student-written, full-length play
Writing: Descriptive writing: Comparing sports teams in the United States and
those of the Spanish-speaking world.
Research Project: The Spanish world in my backpack
Grammar: The two preterit tenses: perfect simple and imperfect, stem-changing verbs like: Interesar, aburrir, and gustar, the comparative form, adverbs, the preterite tense of AR, ER, IR verbs, and the direct object pronouns: Lo, la, los, las
Phonetics: Fluency, spontaneity, and intonation; the consonants s, c, z, v/b
Reading: Qué tal? Magazine, the epic poem El Cid, La tierra de las Adivinanzas by Cesar Villarreal Elizondo, and La Camisa de Margarita by Ricardo Palma

Eighth Grade / Quatrième
Eighth-grade Spanish is for those students who have already acquired an amount of skills and Spanish grammatical structures, which permit them to communicate in real-life situations. They will increase their level of grammar and vocabulary and be able to express themselves in various communicative contexts. They will learn about Hispanic culture and habits—both negative and positive—in order to understand their reactions in American society. They will be empowered to interact with Latinos they meet. The students will hold conversations with each other, express their ideas, beliefs, agreements and disagreements, and be able to give and follow directions. They will practice ways to describe and compare places, people, and activities, as well as clothing and preferences.
 
Sample Yearly progression:
First Trimester:
Speaking: Welcome back: conversation regarding activities during summer vacation and travel around the world
Reading: La Casa en Mango Street, “Mi casa Propia” and “Mi Nombre” by Sandra Cisneros, Hispanic culture in the United States, Christopher Columbus Expeditions and Discovery in Latin America, the Mestizaje in Latin America, and ¿Qué Tal? Magazine
Writing: Hispanic culture in the United States and research on America’s discovery, descriptive, narrative, and comparative writing
Creative Project: PowerPoint Presentation on Christopher Columbus’ expeditions and discovery
Grammar: Present and preterit perfect simple tenses, a review of AR ,Er,Ir verbs, present participle or gerund (Estar + present Participle) and verbs “ser” versus “estar”
Lexicon: Language level/words connotation and social dimensions
Oral and Written Project: Self timeline

Second Trimester:
Speaking: Food: the food pyramid, restaurant vocabulary, recipes, and cooking
Reading: La Casa en Mango Street “ Una Casa Propia” and Niños and Niñas by Sandra Cisneros, Querido hijo: Estas despedido by Jordi Sierra I Fabra, ¿Qué Tal? Magazine, XVIe Century Spanish novel: El Lazarillo de Tormes Versos Sencillos by José Martí, and Primer Dia de Clase by Hugo Beker
Writing: Una Casa Propia by the students (play) based on “La casa de Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros and The Hispanic World in Your Backpack
Creative Project: Geographic and culinary arts (video)
Grammar: Preterit imperfect AR, ER and IR verbs, the conditional tense, irregular verbs, adverbs, expressions with the infinitive: ir a, tener que, acabar de, and stemchanging verbs: tener, querer, preferir, poder, venir, reir.
Lexicon: Music of the 21st century
Creative Project: Hispanic TV commercial and Hispanic movies

Third Trimester:
Speaking: Conversation in creation of student-written play
Reading: La casa en Mango Street “No Speak English” by Sandra Cisneros
Lexicon: New words in context
Grammar: Introducing the imperfect tense in Ar, Er and Ir, imperfect of irregular verbs, how to use the imperfect, the conditional tense
Writing: Dialogue for Spanish play, eighth-graders edit the play, short stories, constructing an argument: debate, convince, persuade, acknowledge the positivity of diverse ideas about a topic
Creative Writing Project: Write your own Versos Sencillos, in José Martí’s style

Visual Art

Visual art is taught in the French language in the Middle School. The overall objective of program is to orient the students to a range of terms and techniques through observation, interpretation, making, and in-class discussion. Objectives are based on the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS).

Sixth Grade / Sixième
During the first two units, the focus is on two-dimensional exercises of drawing and collage, with emphasis on color, composition, and contrast. With this foundation, students begin to explore basic three-dimensional fabrications, such as origami. During the third and fourth units, the students expand on subject material from their other classes. By bridging visual art with literature and science studies, the goal for the students is to have an enhanced understanding of their subject material; in this case visualizing the narrative of the Odyssey and the volume and mechanics of insects. The final unit further addresses observation and composition through perspective drawing and temporary outdoor installations made from natural materials.
 
Sample Yearly progression:
First Trimester:
Acrostiche: Adjectives derived from the letters of student’s first name, depicted graphically
Self-portrait collage: Magazine photo cutouts, based on the notions of value and temperature
Origami: Observation painting and drawing of a composition made from origami using shades of the same color
Abstract Watercolor: Inspired by Paul Klee (temperature, contrast and composition)

Second Trimester:
Drawing a Narrative: Study of mosaic techniques, creating a paper mosaic of scenes from the Odyssey
3D Representation: Painted cardboard elements of the stories The Iliad and The Odyssey with studies in title’s typography
Drawing Insects: Contour line drawing, shading, drawing details of insect anatomy
Modeling Insects: Built representations of insects with modeling wire

Third Trimester:
Introduction to a Mosaic: Orientation to the history, materials and techniques of mosaics, this piece is intended for the school auction
Group Project: Composition and assembly of mosaic
Insect Masks: Pliable craft foam and other materials used to make individual masks based on drawing observations
Perspective Studies: Exploring one and two-point perspective through drawing exercises
Environmental Art: Referring to artists and sculptors, such as Andrew Goldsworthy, who used natural materials in their work, students will use found and natural materials to create on-site, temporary compositions to be photographed

Seventh Grade / Cinquième
During the first two units, students continue to explore methods of three-dimensional design and materials. For the third and fourth units, students participate in a group project with a local community artist. This exercise tests their ability to work together to critique and support ideas and to simplify them to produce a collective piece of work. The fifth unit addresses composition in perspective paintings, introduction to color theory, and value studies. The final unit will enable individual students to apply their understanding of three-dimensional design by building a kinetic sculpture.
 
Sample Yearly progression:
First Trimester:
Introduction to Contemporary Sculpture: Students learn how choice of material directs feeling of sculpture (figures made from contrasting materials, burlap and wire, stiffened silk and glass were used as precedents) Arpilleras, South American cloth collages: In conjunction with Spanish studies, studied composition and history of these collages as protest narratives, two group collages are designed and assembled

Second Trimester:
3D Composition: Representing atmosphere and feeling of inspirational book or play in cardboard, paper and paint
Group Project: Designing functional ceramic tableware based on rich and colorful culture of New Orleans (these pieces are intended for the school auction)
Visual Interpretation of Music: We discuss the connection between music and the visual arts, specifically the paintings of Paul Klee. Students use color pastel and charcoal for drawings focusing on rhythm, mood, sequence and improvisation while listening to New Orleans jazz music.
Group Project: Continued progress in improving design and scale of ceramic tableware

Third Trimester:
Analysis and Comparative Study of Paintings: Focus on composition and perspective in Las Meninas by Velasquez and The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit by Sargent.
Introduction to Color Theory: Study of main color contrasts
Observation Drawing: Value studies, drawing and shading various objects from in-class still-life assembly.
Kinetic Sculpture: Conceptualize, design and make sculpture from found and recycled objects based on actions and movements of machines. The focus will be on aesthetic interest of the whole objects and how the materials relate to each other.

Eighth Grade / Quatrième
The first two units continue to explore three-dimensional design with an emphasis on gestural expression and color and the use of unique materials. Students will be exposed to sculptors and other artists who use a range of materials in their work. The third and fourth units focus on group work to research, design, and build a clock that ties into their science studies on gear mechanisms. At the end of the fourth unit, individual students will enhance and further their knowledge of design principles and art history leading them to a final painting and a functional three-dimensional object that is assisted by a local artist.
 
Sample Yearly progression:
First Trimester:
Discussion: Figurative sculptures; expression, gesture and caricature in the work of Rodin, Camille Claudel, Daumier, and Messerschmitt
Clay Modeling: Tête de caractère models made in clay; expressive clay models of heads and facial expressions
Figure Studies: Modeling the human figure in wire and burlap with focus on form and gesture
Introduction to Paper Sculpture: Introduction to artist and sculpture Irving Harper who uses paper and cardboard to make 3D constructions
Making Sculpture from Planar Material: Students texture and paint paper, tear and cut corrugated cardboard and use thin sheet metal to make 3D configurations

Second Trimester:
Industrial Design: Introduction to building a clock, bridging science and art in studying gears and mechanics of a clock along with designing a theme for the clock face. The playful design is meant to inspire younger students to learn to tell time in the classroom. Simple materials and accuracy are stressed in this project
Field Trip: RISD Museum was used as grounds for inspiration in the design of functional pieces being created in the art class, in particular to improve the design of the clock and ceramics
Poster Design: Stressing simple composition, color, line, typography and effectiveness of posters intended for sale at school auction. Toulouse Lautrec and jazz album covers were used as precedents

Third Trimester:
Design Principles: Composition, light, line and perspective in Edward Hopper’s paintings. Students will make drawing studies in class exploring the style of Hopper
Drawing: Students will draw and photograph a building near the school. They will make a painting of this subject emulating the artist’s techniques
Functional Object Design: Students will design and make a clay teapot in collaboration with local ceramic artist Luke Chen

Physical Education

The entire Middle School participates in physical education together and activities are directed in the French language. Students may choose between two physical activities each week. Each trimester the activities offered change. The PE class aims at developing the psychomotor, affective, and cognitive abilities of each child. In addition to our regular PE program our middle-school students also have the option of playing on a team at the Providence Country Day School.

Sixth Grade / Sixième
Sample Yearly progression:
First Trimester:
Outdoor Soccer: Students will be able to do the following:
1) Demonstrate basic control of a soccer ball while dribbling, passing the ball and defending (psychomotor)
2) Show respect for all peers while engaging in the activities (affective)
3) Understand the concept of finding open space while dribbling as well as the concept of passing the ball and following a trajectory (cognitive)
Basketball: Students will be able to do the following:
1) Demonstrate correct technique when passing, catching, and shooting a ball while dribbling (psychomotor)
2) Respect and pass the ball to all team mates (affective)
3) Understand the concept of catching a ball and passing a ball following a trajectory (cognitive)

Second Trimester:
Volleyball: Students will be able to do the following:
1) Learn from the beginning a new team sport and its rules and functions
2) Respect and value rules of intensive teamwork
3) Work on the coordination (psychomotor)
Indoor Soccer: Students will be able to do the following:
1) Work on the technical nature of game of soccer
2) Transfer skills already acquired during the outdoor soccer in another context
3) Develop stamina

Third Trimester:
Field Hockey: Students will be able to do the following:
1) Play and understand a new team sport.
2) To perceive the distances (stick) and control body in motion
3) Respect and pass the ball to all team mates (affective)
 
Seventh Grade / Cinquième
Sample Yearly progression:
First Trimester:
Outdoor Soccer: Students will be able to do the following:
1) Demonstrate basic control of a soccer ball while dribbling, passing the ball and defending (psychomotor)
2) Show respect for all peers while engaging in the activities (affective)
3) Understand the concept of finding open space while dribbling as well as the concept of passing the ball and following a trajectory (cognitive)
Basketball: Students will be able to do the following:
1) Demonstrate correct technique when passing, catching, and shooting a ball while
dribbling (psychomotor)
2) Respect and pass the ball to all team mates (affective)
3) Understand the concept of catching a ball and passing a ball following a trajectory (cognitive)

Second Trimester:
Volleyball: Students will be able to do the following:
1) Learn from the beginning a new team sport and its rules and functions
2) Respect and value rules of intensive teamwork
3) Work on the coordination (psychomotor)
Indoor Soccer: Students will be able to do the following:
1) Work on the technical nature of game of soccer
2) Transfer skills already acquired during the outdoor soccer in another context
3) Develop stamina

Third Trimester:
Field Hockey: Students will be able to do the following:
1) Play and understand a new team sport.
2) To perceive the distances (stick) and control body in motion
3) Respect and pass the ball to all team mates (affective)

Eighth Grade / Quatrième
Sample Yearly progression:
First Trimester:
Outdoor Soccer: Students will be able to do the following:
1) Demonstrate basic control of a soccer ball while dribbling, passing the ball and defending (psychomotor)
2) Show respect for all peers while engaging in the activities (affective)
3) Understand the concept of finding open space while dribbling as well as the concept of passing the ball and following a trajectory (cognitive)
Basketball: Students will be able to do the following:
1) Demonstrate correct technique when passing, catching, and shooting a ball while dribbling (psychomotor)
2) Respect and pass the ball to all team mates (affective)
3) Understand the concept of catching a ball and passing a ball following a trajectory (cognitive)
 
Second Trimester:
Volleyball: Students will be able to do the following:
1) Learn from the beginning a new team sport and its rules and functions
2) Respect and value rules of intensive teamwork
3) Work on the coordination (psychomotor)
Indoor Soccer: Students will be able to do the following:
1) Work on the technical nature of game of soccer
2) Transfer skills already acquired during the outdoor soccer in another context
3) Develop stamina

Third Trimester:
Field Hockey: Students will be able to do the following:
1) Play and understand a new team sport.
2) To perceive the distances (stick) and control body in motion
3) Respect and pass the ball to all team mates (affective)

English Language Arts

Sixth Grade / Sixième
Sixth graders begin to learn how to think analytically and abstractly about their reading and writing. Much time in the elementary English classroom is spent on making sure students understand what they read. In sixth grade, students begin to gain skills in order to be analytical about what they read. They learn about an author’s purpose and understand the importance of making connections between what they read and the world in which they live. They also learn how to discuss literature and develop thought-provoking questions about their reading and writing—much time is spent on constructing questions that build higher thinking skills. Students no longer write book reports, but they begin to learn how to craft essays. They experiment with several types of writing, including expository, narrative, descriptive, persuasive, and even some critical writing. By the end of sixth grade, students should have achieved the skills necessary to become critical thinkers in regards to their reading. They also should have mastered basic grammatical skills and writing conventions necessary to be effective writers.

Sample Yearly progression:
First Trimester:
Readings: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and The Golden Fleece by Padriac Colum
Writing Projects: Descriptive writing and narrative writing
Creative Projects: Visual demonstration of the novel and student-created myth
Grammar: End punctuation, commas, comma splices, semicolons and colons, punctuating dialogue, quotation marks and italics, apostrophes, nouns and verbs
Second Trimester:
Readings: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
Writing Projects: Persuasive writing and research writing
Creative Projects: Shakespearean performance and inquiry project
Grammar: Hyphens and dashes, other forms of punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations and numbers, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, plurals and spelling, using the correct word, subjects and predicates, transitions, common sentence mistakes, and subject-verb agreement

Third Trimester:
Readings: Poetry of Robert Frost and other American poets
Writing Project: Comparative essay
Creative Project: Student-created poetry journal
Grammar: Combining sentences, complex sentences, prepositions, sentence variety, parts of speech review, and conjunctions and interjections 

Seventh Grade / Cinquième
Reading: Students also are responsible for leading their own Socratic seminars (book discussions) and generating thought-provoking questions about their reading. Students learn how to take effective notes on their reading through the use of graphic organizers. They are able to make connections between the literature they read and the world in which they live—giving vitality and a deeper understanding of the relevance of the texts that they read. Seventh graders are expected to read much longer texts and build on their skills for sustained reading outside of the classroom. They are also responsible for learning challenging vocabulary on a weekly basis.
Writing: In seventh grade, students learn how to master the art of crafting an effective essay. They learn how to develop a strong thesis statement and support their thesis through textual evidence. They continue to experiment with different styles of writing: expository, narrative, persuasive, creative, and research writing; there is a major push during this academic year to be able to write a critical essay. MLA conventions for citing texts are introduced at this time, and students learn the rules for avoiding plagiarism. Grammatical rules and structure are reinforced.
Speaking: Another focus of seventh grade is to learn how to become effective speakers. At the end of the year, students are required to present an inquiry-based project to the class. This inquiry project is the product of a thought-provoking question derived from a text that they read during the school year.
 
Sample Yearly progression:
First Trimester:
Reading: The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton and Bless, Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
Writing Projects: Narrative writing and persuasive writing
Creative Project: Student-created poster of the novel
Grammar: End punctuation, commas, comma splices, hyphens & dashes, apostrophes, quotation marks and italics, and other forms of punctuation

Second Trimester:
Reading: Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and nonfiction texts
Writing Project: Response to literature (critical writing) and an online inquiry project regarding race relations in the United States
Creative Project: Shakespearean mask project
Grammar: Capitalization, numbers and abbreviations, plurals and spelling, nouns, pronouns, pronoun-antecedent agreement, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections, and subjects and predicates

Third Trimester:
Reading: Biography (student’s choice)
Writing Project: Blog/webpage (Inquiry)
Creative Project: Oral Presentation (Inquiry)
Grammar: Phrases and clauses, sentence fragments, run-ons, and rambling sentences, misplaced and dangling modifiers, wordiness and unparallel construction, and shifts in construction

Seventh Grade / Cinquième
Reading: Students also are responsible for leading their own Socratic seminars (book discussions) and generating thought-provoking questions about their reading. Students learn how to take effective notes on their reading through the use of graphic organizers. They are able to make connections between the literature they read and the world in which they live—giving vitality and a deeper understanding of the relevance of the texts that they read. Seventh graders are expected to read much longer texts and build on their skills for sustained reading outside of the classroom. They are also responsible for learning challenging vocabulary on a weekly basis.
Writing: In seventh grade, students learn how to master the art of crafting an effective essay. They learn how to develop a strong thesis statement and support their thesis through textual evidence. They continue to experiment with different styles of writing: expository, narrative, persuasive, creative, and research writing; there is a major push during this academic year to be able to write a critical essay. MLA conventions for citing texts are introduced at this time, and students learn the rules for avoiding plagiarism. Grammatical rules and structure are reinforced.
Speaking: Another focus of seventh grade is to learn how to become effective speakers. At the end of the year, students are required to present an inquiry-based project to the class. This inquiry project is the product of a thought-provoking question derived from a text that they read during the school year.
 
Sample Yearly progression:
First Trimester:
Reading: The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton and Bless, Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
Writing Projects: Narrative writing and persuasive writing
Creative Project: Student-created poster of the novel
Grammar: End punctuation, commas, comma splices, hyphens & dashes, apostrophes, quotation marks and italics, and other forms of punctuation

Second Trimester:
Reading: Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and nonfiction texts
Writing Project: Response to literature (critical writing) and an online inquiry project regarding race relations in the United States
Creative Project: Shakespearean mask project
Grammar: Capitalization, numbers and abbreviations, plurals and spelling, nouns, pronouns, pronoun-antecedent agreement, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections, and subjects and predicates

Third Trimester:
Reading: Biography (student’s choice)
Writing Project: Blog/webpage (Inquiry)
Creative Project: Oral Presentation (Inquiry)
Grammar: Phrases and clauses, sentence fragments, run-ons, and rambling sentences, misplaced and dangling modifiers, wordiness and unparallel construction, and shifts in construction

Mathematics

Mathematics is taught in English in the Middle School. Students benefit from a highly individualized approach and progress at their own speed.

Sixth Grade / Sixième
The sixth-grade math curriculum introduces pre-algebraic concepts such as operations with fractions and decimals, variables and expressions. Students are introduced to two-dimensional geometry, statistical analysis and more mature problem-solving skills. The pace is accelerated so the three year middle grades program is completed in two years. By eighth grade students are ready for Algebra. Problem solving skills are enhanced through periodic unstructured problems. Vocabulary skills are developed in each topic. Occasional group presentations are designed to enhance verbal presentation skills and math fluency.
 
Sample Yearly Progression:
First Trimester:
Decimals
Orders of operations with decimals
Variables and expressions
Divisibility
Prime factorization
Greatest common factor
Least common multiple
Fractions
Operations with fractions and mixed numbers

Second Trimester:
Distributive property
Simplifying expressions
Solving one-step equations
Ratios
Unit rates
Equivalent rates
Percentages

Third Trimester:
Integers and rational numbers
Comparing and ordering rational numbers
Inequalities
Points and polygons
Graphing functions
Areas of polygons
Volume and surface area of solids
Measures of central tendency
 
Seventh Grade / Cinquième
The seventh-grade math curriculum dives deeper into exponents, square roots and scientific notation. Geometry skills include the Pythagorean Theorem, congruency, properties of shapes formed by parallel lines, scaling, composite shapes, surface area and volume of 3-dimensional solids. Algebraic skills include linear and non-linear relationships, slopes and rates of change, equality and solving multi-step equations. Statistical skills include comparing and contrasting theoretical and experimental probabilities. The pace is accelerated so the 3-year middle grades program is completed in two years. By eighth grade students are ready for Algebra. Problem solving skills are enhanced through periodic unstructured problems. Vocabulary skills are developed in each topic. Occasional group presentations are designed to enhance verbal presentation skills and math fluency.
 
Sample Yearly Progression:
First Trimester:
Irrational numbers and square roots
Cube roots
Pythagorean Theorem
Distance on coordinate plane
Simplifying expressions
Solving multi-step equations with variables on both sides

Second Trimester:
Proportional relationships
Linear & nonlinear functions
Solving Systems of Equations
Various methods for solving systems
Graphing functions
Slope
Rules for comparing functions
Relating graphs to events

Third Trimester:
Exponents
Scientific notation
Operations with scientific notation and exponents
Pairs of angles
Angles and parallel lines
Congruent figures
Proving similar triangles
Angles and polygons
Translations, reflections, rotations, symmetry, dilations, congruence
Solids, prisms, cones, spheres, similarity
Scatter plots
Modeling data

Eighth Grade / Quatrième
In eighth grade, students begin Algebra 1. They study rational and irrational numbers and their significance, and perform operations will all types of real numbers. Students distinguish between linear and non-linear relationships, inverse, exponential and quadratic functions. They solve complex equations and systems of equations involving operations on expressions, simplifying expressions, and the distributive property. They explore quadratic functions, factoring and inequalities. In the geometry unit, they explore surface area, similarity and the effect of scaling on volume. The entire array of shapes are considered, including cylinders, cones, pyramids, rectangular and triangular prisms. In the data and statistics unit, students become proficient with an array of analytical tools including tables, charts and scatter plots.
 
Sample Yearly Progression:
First Trimester:
Variables and expressions
Order of operations and evaluating expressions
Real numbers and the number line
Operations with real numbers
Distributive property
Graphing on the Coordinate Plane
Patterns, equations and graphs
Solving equations

Second Trimester:
Ratios, rates and conversions
Solving proportions and similar figures
Using graphs to relate two quantities
Patterns, linear and nonlinear functions
Graphing and writing an equation
Formalizing relations and functions
Slope, y-intercept and Y=mx+b
Parallel and perpendicular lines
Scatter plots and trend lines
Graphing absolute value functions
Point-slope form
Solving systems of equations

Third Trimester:
Inequalities
Solving systems of inequalities
Exponents and exponential functions
Operations with exponents
Polynomials and factoring
Quadratic functions
Radical expressions
Pythagorean theorem
Trigonometric ratios
Rational expressions
Data analysis and Probability

Science

Science is taught in English in the Middle School. Throughout the Middle School program, students maintain a science notebook and develop skills in noting observations, using evidence to draw conclusions, and designing and conducting experiments.

Sixth Grade / Sixième
The sixth-grade science curriculum explores earth science through volcanoes and earthquakes. They also study eclipses, phases of the moon and the solar system. In life science, students create an ecosystem and study food webs, biodiversity, cycling of materials and reproduction. Students also engage in a design project to develop innovation skills.
 
Sample Yearly Progression:
First Trimester:
Volcanoes
Earthquakes
Computer programming
Phases of the moon
Eclipses

Second Trimester:
Solar system
European Space Agency
Rosetta comet mission
Nanotechnology
Scale of the universe

Seventh Grade / Cinquième
The seventh- and eighth-grade science curriculum follows a two-year schedule in which a broad array of science topics is explored. Force and motion physics principles are discovered through the design and testing of a prototype of a flying car. Life science topics include human body systems, diffusion, genetics, adaptation and natural selection. Earth science explorations include weather and water, global climate issues, layers of the atmosphere, seasons, the rock cycle, fossils and minerals. Space science includes the scale of the universe, the solar system, planets, moons and galaxies. Chemistry topics include the periodic table, kinetic energy, properties of materials, conservation of energy and mass, phase changes, solutions, chemical reactions. Design and innovation projects continue in seventh and eighth grade as well.
 
Sample Yearly Progression:
First Trimester:
Force and motion
Trout life cycle
Phases of the moon
Eclipses

Second Trimester:
Solar system
European Space Agency
Rosetta comet mission
Ecosystems
Food webs
Nanotechnology
Scale of the universe

Third Trimester:
Invention and innovation
Weather and seasons
Layers of the atmosphere
Water cycle, clouds
Hurricanes and tornadoes
Global climate issues

Eighth Grade / Quatrième
Sample Yearly Progression:
First Trimester:
Force and motion
Trout life cycle
Phases of the moon
Eclipses

Second Trimester:
Solar system
European Space Agency
Rosetta comet mission
Ecosystems
Food webs
Nanotechnology
Scale of the universe

Third Trimester:
Invention and innovation
Weather and seasons
Layers of the atmosphere
Water cycle, clouds
Hurricanes and tornadoes
Global climate issues

Music

Music is taught in English in the Middle School. Students progress in music performance and theory is worked into the lessons based on the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) core standards.

Sixth Grade / Sixième
The first two terms are performance-focused and involve finding appropriate pieces of music to perform for the winter show. The class chooses and works on 1-2 songs to perform (depending on their difficulty). The last three terms are composition and performance-based. The students are given the option of writing songs based on chosen subjects or writing a musical as a joint project with the French language program. All songs are recorded, and the students learn about the different stages of recording and some of the equipment and software used in the process. Listening material is focused on Blues and early Jazz (1920’s-1970’s).
 
Sample Yearly Progression:
First Trimester:
1. Students explain how understanding the structure and the elements of music are used in music selected for performance.
2. Students identify how cultural and historical context inform performances and result in different music interpretations.
3. Students analyze selected music, read and identify by name or function standard symbols for rhythm, pitch articulation, and dynamics.
4. Students apply teacher-developed criteria for selecting music to perform for a specific purpose and/or context, and explain why each was chosen.
5. Students perform a selected piece of music demonstrating how their interpretations of the elements of music and the expressive qualities (such as tempo, timbre, articulation/style, and phrasing) convey intent.
6. Students identify and apply teacher-provided criteria (such as correct interpretation of notation, technical accuracy, originality and interest) to rehearse, refine, and determine when a piece is ready to perform.
7. Students perform the music with technical accuracy to convey the creator's intent.
8. Demonstrate performance decorum (such as stage presence, attire, and behavior) and audience etiquette appropriate for venue and purpose.

Second Trimester:
1. Students select, organize, develop and document personal musical ideas for arrangements, songs, and compositions within AB or ABA form that demonstrate an effective beginning, middle and ending, and convey expressive intent.
2. Students use standard and/or iconic notation and/or audio/video recording to document personal rhythmic phrases, melodic phrases, and two-chord harmonic musical ideas.
3. Students generate simple rhythmic, melodic and harmonic phrases within AB and ABA forms that convey expressive intent.
4. Students select or choose music to listen to and explain the connections to specific interests or experiences for a specific purpose.
5. Students describe how the elements of music and expressive qualities relate to the structure of the pieces.

Third Trimester:
1. Students evaluate their own work, applying teacher-provided criteria such as application of selected elements of music, and use of sound sources.
2. Students identify the context of music from a variety of genres, cultures, and historical periods.
3. Students describe the rationale for making revisions to the music based on evaluation criteria and feedback from others.
4. Students present the final version of their documented personal composition or arrangement, using craftsmanship and originality to demonstrate an effective beginning, middle, and ending, and convey expressive intent.
5. Students select from teacher-developed criteria to evaluate musical works or performances.

Seventh Grade / Cinquième
The first two terms are performance-focused and involve finding appropriate pieces of music to perform for the winter show. The class chooses and works on 1-2 songs to perform (depending on their difficulty). The last three terms are composition and performance-based. The students are given the option of writing songs based on chosen subjects or writing a musical as a joint project with the French language program. All songs are recorded, and the students take part in the recording/mixing process. Listening material is focused on Folk and the evolution of Rock and Roll.
 
Sample Yearly Progression:
First Trimester:
1. Students explain and demonstrate the structure of contrasting pieces of music selected for performance, explaining how the elements of music are used.
2. Students identify how cultural and historical context inform performances and result in different music interpretations.
3. Students analyze selected music, read and identify by name or function standard symbols for rhythm, pitch articulation, dynamics, tempo, and form.
4. Students apply collaboratively developed criteria for selecting music of contrasting styles for a program with a specific purpose and/or context, and, after discussion, identify expressive qualities, technical challenges, and reasons for choices.
5. Students perform contrasting pieces of music, demonstrating their interpretations of the elements of music and expressive qualities (such as dynamic, tempo, timbre, articulation/style, and phrasing) convey intent.
6. Students identify and apply collaboratively developed criteria (such as demonstrating correct interpretation of notation, technical skill of performer, originality, emotional impact, variety, and interest) to rehearse, refine, and determine when the music is ready to perform.
7. Students perform the music with technical accuracy, stylistic expression to convey the creator's intent.
8. Students demonstrate performance decorum (such as stage presence, attire, and behavior) and audience etiquette appropriate for venue, purpose, and context.

Second Trimester:
1. Students select, organize, develop and document personal musical ideas for arrangements, songs, and compositions within AB, ABA, or theme and variation forms that demonstrate unity and variety and convey expressive intent.
2. Students use standard and/or iconic notation and/or audio/video recording to document personal rhythmic phrases, melodic phrases, and harmonic sequences.
3. Students generate rhythmic, melodic and harmonic phrases and variations over harmonic accompaniments within AB, ABA, or theme and variation forms that convey expressive intent.
4. Students select or choose contrasting music to listen to and compare the connections to specific interests or experiences for a specific purpose.
5. Students classify and explain how the elements of music and expressive qualities relate to the structure of contrasting pieces.

Third Trimester:
1. Students evaluate their own work, applying selected criteria such as appropriate application of elements of music including style, form, and use of sound sources.
2. Students identify and compare the context of music from a variety of genres, cultures, and historical periods.
3. Students demonstrate a personal interpretation of contrasting works and explain how creators' and performers' application of the elements of music and expressive qualities, within genres, cultures, and historical periods, convey expressive intent.
4. Students describe the rationale for making revisions to the music based on evaluation criteria and feedback from others.
5. Students present the final version of their documented personal composition, song, or arrangement, using craftsmanship and originality to demonstrate unity and variety, and convey expressive intent.
6. Students select from teacher-developed criteria to evaluate musical works or performances.
I am excited to announce the new member of our middle school team, Laure Hallworth.  Laure will be the new middle school Spanish teacher. 

Eighth Grade / Quatrième
The first two terms are performance-focused and involve finding appropriate pieces of music to perform for the winter show. The class chooses and works on 1-2 songs to perform (depending on their difficulty). The last three terms are composition and performance-based. The students individually compose electronic music pieces using synthesizer tracker software and GarageBand. Listening material is focused on electronic music from 1970 to present day.
 
Sample Yearly Progression:
First Trimester:
1. Students compare the structure of contrasting pieces of music selected for performance, explaining how the elements of music are used in each.
2. Students identify how cultural and historical context inform performances and result in different music interpretations.
3. Students analyze selected music, sight-read in treble or bass clef simple rhythmic, melodic, and/or harmonic notation.
4. Students apply personally developed criteria for selecting music of contrasting styles for a program with a specific purpose and/or context, and, after discussion, identify expressive qualities, technical challenges, and reasons for choices.
5. Students perform contrasting pieces of music, demonstrating their interpretations of the elements of music and expressive qualities (such as dynamic, tempo, timbre, articulation/style, and phrasing) convey intent.
6. Students identify and apply personally developed criteria (such as demonstrating correct interpretation of notation, technical skill of performer, originality, emotional impact, variety, and interest) to rehearse, refine, and determine when the music is ready to perform.
7. Students perform the music with technical accuracy, stylistic expression to convey the creator's intent.
8. Students demonstrate performance decorum (such as stage presence, attire, and behavior) and audience etiquette appropriate for venue, purpose, and context.

Second Trimester:
1. Students select, organize, develop and document personal musical ideas for arrangements, songs, and compositions within AB, ABA, or theme and variation forms that demonstrate unity and variety and convey expressive intent.
2. Students use standard and/or iconic notation and/or audio/video recording to document personal rhythmic phrases, melodic phrases, and harmonic sequences.
3. Students generate rhythmic, melodic and harmonic phrases and variations over harmonic accompaniments within AB, ABA, or theme and variation forms that convey expressive intent.
4. Students select programs of music (such as a CD mix or live performances) and demonstrate the connections to an interest or experience for a specific purpose.
5. Students compare how the elements of music and expressive qualities relate to the structure within programs of music.

Third Trimester:
1. Students evaluate their own work, applying selected criteria such as appropriate application of elements of music including style, form, and use of sound sources.
2. Students identify and compare the context of music from a variety of genres, cultures, and historical periods.
3. Students support a personal interpretation of contrasting works and explain how creators' and performers' application of the elements of music and expressive qualities, within genres, cultures, and historical periods, convey expressive intent.
4. Students describe the rationale for making revisions to the music based on evaluation criteria and feedback from others.
5. Students present the final version of their documented personal composition, song, or arrangement, using craftsmanship and originality to demonstrate unity and variety, and convey expressive intent.
6. Students apply appropriate personally developed criteria to evaluate music works or performance.



“During their years at FASRI, the students get the maximum benefit of dual language education in the middle school. I am so grateful to FASRI for giving this to my son.”
~ FASRI parent


Middle School Schedule


School hours are:

Early drop off:
7:30am to 8:15am

Maternelle School:
8:15am to 2:55pm

Afterschool program:
3:00pm to 5:30pm

FASRI essentially follows the calendar of the Providence Public Schools except for a one-week break in the third week of October.


Working Closely with Faculty


Boy smiling at the camera

Due to an excellent teacher to student ratio, our middle-schoolers benefit from working closely with faculty. Teachers have the ability to provide individualized attention and offer additional help when necessary. A student’s individual talents and interests are nurtured through special projects and our electives taught by faculty and volunteers from our parent community. Recent opportunities for our students include a creative writing elective taught by a best-selling novelist, an industrial design elective taught by a RISD professor and working one-on-one with a faculty mentor to build a computer.