6th grade

Rite of Passage

On Thursday evening sixth graders participated in a time-honored TPS tradition at this year's Rite of Passage ceremony. The evening featured song, dance, drumming, artwork, TED Talks, and a feast. The central activity was a moving bead ceremony, a rite of passage celebration honoring individual and collective achievement. 

Central to the sixth grade Africa curriculum is the theme of rite of passage, a particularly timely topic because of the developmental transitions experienced by children of this age. Throughout the year, each student earns beads that symbolize achievement in meeting a variety of academic, social, emotional, and physical goals. This not only marks individual achievement but also serves to enhance cohesiveness of the class.  

Creative Africa

On Friday the sixth grade walked along the Schuylkill Banks to the Philadelphia Art Museum to see the recently opened exhibit Creative Africa. The exhibit's celebration of African art and culture featured a mix of centuries-old artifacts and innovative photography, fashion, and architecture.

The timing of the exhibit couldn't have been more perfect as the class's year-long study of Africa comes to an end,. The combination of traditional and innovative art was powerful.

Spotlights on Africa

Since January, the 6th grade has been investigating the question, "How do others define us?" Throughout the winter months, students have been spotlighting various African countries and learning about their histories, struggles, triumphs, and modern events. A throughline, or overarching concept, in our curriculum is that there are multiple ways of knowing. To reinforce and demonstrate this idea, we interview experts on the topics we study. We have been very lucky this year to bring in new people and perspectives into our class this year.

After returning from winter break, we looked at humanitarian organizations and their influence on African communities. We began by spotlighting missionary work in Ethiopia.

Spreading the Knowledge

During the school year, there are many opportunities for students to share their learning with older and younger schoolmates.

The Museum of 6th Grade Museum of Biome Adaptations was open to visitors yesterday. Sixth graders guided guests through a tour of individual dioramas representing an imaginary country each student had created. A specific location on earth was selected for the country; the biomes, watersheds, and sky had to accurately reflect the country's location in the world. Students went through the tricky and reflective process of balancing their own vision and desires with what can be. 

Primary Unit students took part in hands-on geology lessons when 7th graders brought their rock collections, consisting of specimens collected throughout the fall,  to their classrooms. 

6th Grade Overnight!

This week the the 6th grade went on an overnight trip to Camp Dark Waters in New Jersey. Students completed high and low ropes activities that helped build teamwork and community bonding. The students also sharpened their archery and fishing skills!