sixth grade


This week in language arts the 7th grade concluded a mini-unit on poetry that focused on imagery, alliteration, assonance, and the rhythmic and musical qualities of meter. The unit concluded with a live reading of original compositions that were inspired by moments and memories gleaned from relatives in interviews conducted over winter break. We were joined by the 6th grade, who are also studying poetry, for a powerful, mixed-age experience. 

The Importance of Play

The sixth grade students at The Philadelphia School studied the importance of play. Through self-reflection, close observation of preschool children, and the study of play research, they developed insightful ideas around the role of play in their lives. This was an opportunity to tap into the experience and knowledge of the real experts: children.

The sixth graders studied the play of the children at the Schuylkill Center's Nature Preschool and our own preschoolers at TPS.  They presented their findings to TPS parents and parents of the Nature Preschool at SCEE. They also served as Play Experts and held a panel discussion about their philosophy of play.

Read our brochure from our students' Schuylkill Center 2014 Panel Discussion: The Importance of Play.

Rite of Passage Ceremony

The sixth grade's Rite of Passage Ceremony was extraordinary! This was a celebration of the many different projects and other initiatives that the students have completed throughout the year.

The theme of 6th grade is Africa. We organize various facets of the curriculum around ideas and activities related to initiation and rites of passage. This culminates in a celebratory evening of music, reflections about lessons learned throughout the year, and feasting, potluck style.

Thank you, Victoria Bastian, for most of the photos below.


Sixth graders learned the of story of Mteto Maphoyi, a native African whose father left him a single keepsake – a Pavarotti CD – when he abandoned his young family. The CD guided Mteto's childhood and adolescence, inspiring him ultimately to become an opera singer. Mteto is currently studying at the illustrious Black Tie Ensemble in South Africa. Watch his TEDxTeen.  

Sixth Grade Investigations...

Sixth graders have begun to explore the question, "How do others define us?"  Students will pay special attention to how Africa and Africans have been defined by outsiders.  

The first week of this study turn the spotlight on agriculture in South Sudan. The class interviewed TPS alumnus Zach Marks '01, Zach, who helped develop an agricultural proposal in South Sudan last year. Students asked him questions about the ways in which Sudan's plans for agricultural development have been impacted by the recent outbreak of conflict. Zach is currently living in India, where he is working as a free-lance writer and co-authoring a book on chai wallahs (tea vendors).