Junior High/Middle School Curriculum (Grades 6-8)
Geography & Social Studies
Religion emphasis is on both the Old Testament Bible stories and New Testament stories that begin with the birth of Jesus and follow his life, including sections on parables, miracles, and the crucifixion and resurrection. Our 7th graders receive two courses of study. Confirmation which involves basic Christian doctrine and the Old Testament history and i's connection to the New Testament. The 8th grade religion class focuses on the Six Chief Part of Lutheran doctrine. This course also stresses learning to utilize the scripture as a model and guide for living a life of Christianity. Character education and apologetics are also integrated into the curriculum. All students engage in various service projects through which they share the love of Christ in service to the community.
Students learn and review the various parts of speak in our language, then practice use of these elements through basic writing assignments which include narrative, expository, and persuasive paragraphs. Students also grow in their creative writing with poetry, conversations, and short plays. Students in 7th grade will expand upon the elements of grammar introduced the previous year, then practice those grammar skills in various writing projects which include narrative, expository, and persuasive essays, and the creative writing of poetry and fables. Our 8th grade students expand from the previous year by practicing s. kills in various writing projects which include narrative, expository, persuasive, and literary analysis essays, along with creative writing of stories and poetry
Students begin 6th grade are involved in a survey of mathematics. Topics include problem solving, place value, order of operations, decimals, percents, fractions, geometry measurement, integers and algebraic expressions. 7th graders are placed in either leveled 7th grade math or pre-algebra. Both math levels have similar topics, with pre-algebra progressing at a faster pace and covering additional algebraic topics. 8th graders are divided into two groups, algebra for those who completed pre-algebra in 7th grade and pre-algebra for the remaining students. Algebra consists of a study of problem solving, properties of real numbers, linear equations, functions, linear inequalities, exponents and exponential functions, quadratic equations, polynomials and factoring, rational expressions and functions, and radical expressions. Instruction is based on the use of hands on materials as well as pratice.
The emphasis on Earth Science begins in 6th grade with other areas included. Topics include: scientific methods, physical chemical properties, elements, atoms, motion, simple machines, Newton's laws, electricity, magnetism, waves rocks, minerals, plate tectonics, erosion, weather, oceans and cells. In 7th grade they study Life Science/Biology. Their topics include structure and classification of living things, genetics, heredity, body systems, plants, environmental science, matter, energy, natural resources, physical/chemical change, acids/bases, solutions/mixtures, and states of matter. The instruction for science is lab -based curriculum that engages students through lecture, discussion, demonstration and hands-on experiences. 8th grade science focuses on Physical Science. Topics include scientific method, biosphere, communities, cycles of nature, ecosystems, atoms, energy, particle physics, elements, compounds, bonds, chemical formulas/reactions, motion, force, Newton's laws, seafloor spreading, earthquakes and volcanoes.
Students study the world, its people, and landscapes using elements from Human and Physical Geography in five major themes. Social Studies covers the time of pre-colonial America through the American Civil War. The time period from Reconstruction through modern times is also taught using a mixture of textbook readings, interactive presentations, videos, discussion based critical thinking, and experiential forms of learning. An in depth study of the United States Constitution and Illinois State Constitution also serves a major portion of this class.
St. John's uses the Art Attack series, which is led by their classroom teacher. In addition, once a month students enjoy Brush With Art, which encompasses Art History in special lessons where students learn about artists and create projects based on their art media.
St. John’s offers Physical Education to all of its grade levels.
In middle school (grades 5-8) the students are required to wear a PE uniform, which can be purchased through the school office. Fifth through eighth grade students meet 3 to 4 times a week for 45 minutes each period. Basic physical fitness is stressed throughout the curriculum, while students participate in recreation activities, group games, and team sports.
In addition to Physical Education class, the students do have opportunity for exercise during recess periods throughout the day. Outdoor education (which takes place at Walcamp) is part of the 6th grade curriculum.
Students read numerous selections and practice reading skills that include phonics, context clues, prediction, and analysis. Several middle school novels, which introduce the study of vocabulary, reinforce comprehensive skills, and initiate class discussion of themes, narrator, and point of view are also part of this course. In addition, students begin the study of Greek and Latin roots in our language. Students also study poetry, the short story, folk tales and fables, along with non-fictional writings. Practice in oral presentation is given throughout the year.
Grades 5-8 The Spanish program for grades 5 – 8 is centered around a communicative approach that emphasizes oral language skills pertaining to everyday conversations. The junior high student will receive Spanish instruction twice a week for 40 minutes each session.
Most of the instruction will take place in the classroom using the book Realidades Peggy Boyles, Myriam Met, Richard Sayers, Book 1, Prentice Hall, but there are also frequent teacher devised homework assignments.
This curriculum content aligns with the Illinois Learning Standard [28.D.1b]. Foreign Languages. Use the target language to present information, concept and ideas for a variety of purposes to different audiences.
Students will learn more complex rhythmic, melodic and harmonic phrases. Singing will include more expressive qualities such as dynamics, virous tempos, articulations, styles and phrasing. Perform music with technical accuracy and expression to convey the creator’s intent for an audience. Identify and compare music from a variety of historical periods and cultures along with their composers. Identify and demonstrate how instruments produce sound and are constructed.