Welcome To Sixth Grade

What Every 6th Grade Student Should Know and Be Able To Do!

En Español

This curriculum brochure is an overview of the Mesa School District expectations of what 6th grade students are expected to know and be able to do in the major subject areas of reading, writing/language, mathematics, science, and social studies in order to be prepared for the seventh grade.

The expectations listed are summarized from the Mesa Public Schools curriculum, which is aligned with the Arizona Academic Standards. These performance standards reflect the goals of the educational community to ensure all students an education essential to success in our local and global communities.


Social Studies




The goal of MPS is for every child to be a successful and independent reader. Recognizing the importance of reading practice, it is necessary to read with your child, read to your child, or allows your child to read independently every day.


Students should know and be able to …


Vocabulary/Word Analysis


• use a wide variety of vocabulary strategies such as prefixes, suffixes, context clues, and figurative language to figure out unfamiliar words




• read grade-level material with fluency and appropriate expression


Comprehension – Literary Text (fiction)


• identify types of fiction (mysteries, science fiction, historical fiction, adventures, fantasies, fables, myths)

• describe components of plot (setting, main events, conflict, rising action, turning point, falling action, resolution)

• identify theme

• draw conclusions about mood and author’s style

• identify point of view

• identify features of poetry


Comprehension – Informational Text (nonfiction)



Students are required to understand and use the wide variety of informational materials that are part of our daily life: autobiographies, nonfiction books, content textbooks, reports, and newspapers.

• summarize the main idea and critical details

• locate information using key words, topic and concluding sentences, bold print, and glossaries

• locate and use specific information from print and electronic reference sources such as almanacs, encyclopedias, maps and websites

• interpret information from charts, diagrams, graphs, illustrations, maps, tables, and timelines

• recognize persuasive vocabulary used in ads, billboards, commercials, labels, newspapers, and posters

• draw valid conclusions supported by the text




Writing Process



Through use of the writing process, students will continually develop and improve their writing.


Students should know and be able to …

Prewriting use strategies to generate, plan and organize ideas for specific purposes

Drafting incorporate prewriting activities to create a first draft

Revising evaluate and refine the rough draft for clarity and effectiveness

Editing proofread and corrects the draft for conventions

Publishing format and present a final product for the intended audience


Writing Elements



Through daily writing activities, students will develop the elements/traits of effective writing.


Students should know and be able to …

Ideas use clear, focused ideas and details to support the topic; develop a sufficient explanation or exploration of the topic

Organization develops a strong beginning and ending; arrange sentences to construct organized paragraphs; include effective transitions among sentences, paragraphs, and ideas

Voice use appropriate language for the audience and purpose; express a sense of originality and personality in the writing

Word Choice use specific, descriptive, and powerful words that effectively convey the intended message

Sentence Fluency use a variety of sentence beginnings, lengths, and patterns; use effective and natural dialogue

Conventions follow rules of capitalization and punctuation including commas, quotation marks, apostrophes, and italics; use homonyms correctly; use spelling patterns/generalizations to spell words correctly; use grammar (parts of speech) correctly


Writing Applications



Through a variety of writing applications, students will improve their written communication skills.


Students should know and be able to …

• write narratives/stories and poetry

• record information using logs, notes, or lists

• write essays, summaries, newspaper articles, and journal entries

• write for real world tasks such as directions, procedures, and graphs/tables

• write letters using friendly and formal letter format

• address an envelope for correspondence

• write persuasive text that attempts to influence the reader

• write personal reflections and responses to literature selections

• write an informational report that includes a focused topic, appropriate facts/details, logical sequence, a concluding statement, and a list of sources used

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The goal of MPS is for every child to be successful in developing the concepts and understanding of mathematics and to recognize the connections between mathematics and everyday life.


Students should know and be able to …


Number and Operations



• convert between expressions for positive rational numbers, including fractions, decimals, percents, and ratios

• compare and order integers, positive fractions, decimals, and percents

• determine the least common multiple and greatest common factor for two whole numbers

• understand fractions as rates, division of whole numbers, parts of a whole, parts of a set, and location on a real number line

• express a whole number as a product of its prime factors using exponents when appropriate

• represent the absolute value of a number
• maintain memorization of all facts (+, -, x, ÷)

• simplify expressions using properties and the order of operations

• express the inverse relationship between exponents and roots for perfect squares and cubes

• multiply and divide whole numbers, fractions, mixed numbers, and decimals through thousandths

• add and subtract integers using models

• use estimation strategies to determine reasonableness of numbers for place value, computation, and problem-solving


Data Analysis and Discrete Mathematics



• formulate and answer questions about displays of data

• find the extreme values, mean, median, mode and range of a data set

• compare two or more sets of data by identifying trends

• determine, predict outcomes, and evaluate probability using multiple trials of probability experiments

• understand and demonstrate the systematic listing and counting of possible outcomes using tree and Venn diagrams

• understand and apply Hamilton paths and circuits to vertex-edge graphs


Pattern, Algebra and Functions



• use inverse properties to solve two-step algebraic equations with fractions and decimals

• use an algebraic expression to represent a quantity and evaluate algebraic expressions

• create, analyze and extend a numerical sequence involving fractions and decimals

• recognize and describe a relationship between two quantities


Geometry and Measurement



• define π (pi) and explain the relationship among the diameter, radius and circumference of a circle

• draw and use geometric shapes to demonstrate translation (slide) and reflection (flip)

• graph ordered pairs in any quadrant of the coordinate plane

• solve problems using the properties of supplementary, complementary and vertical angles

• understand and apply appropriate units of measure, measurement techniques, and formulas to determine measurements

• solve area and perimeter problems

• estimate the measure of objects using a scale drawing or map

• describe the relationship between the volume of a figure and the area of the base





• use the problem-solving process and strategies to solve mathematical problems

• explain mathematical thinking and evaluate the reasonableness of solutions

• solve simple logic problems

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Students should know and be able to …


Inquiry Process



• differentiate among a question, hypothesis, and prediction

• formulate questions based on observations

• locate and use background research

• design and conduct controlled investigations testing individual variables

• record, analyze, evaluate, and interpret data

• create and display procedures and data

• formally communicate results and conclusions


History and Nature of Science



• describe history of science as a human endeavor including diversity of people and science-related careers

• analyze the impact of a major scientific development within the past decade

• describe the use of technology in science-related careers

• describe how science is an ongoing process and scientific knowledge is subject to change

• apply the scientific process to other problem solving or decision making situations


Personal and Social Perspectives



• evaluate the effects of natural hazards and how people respond to them

• propose viable methods of responding to an identified need or problem

• compare possible solutions to a problem

• design and construct a solution to an identified need

• describe a technological discovery that influences science


Life Science



• describe the basic structure and function of a cell

• differentiate between plant and animal cells

• relate structures of living organisms to their function

• describe how systems of living organisms work together

• explain that sunlight is the major source of energy for most ecosystems


Physical Science



• identify various ways electrical energy is generated using renewable and nonrenewable resources

• identify ways energy can be stored and transformed

• explains how thermal energy can be transferred


Earth and Space Science



• describe the layers of the atmosphere

• explain the composition of Earth’s lakes, rivers, and oceans

• analyze the interaction between the Earth’s atmosphere and bodies of water

• describe ways scientists explore the Earth’s atmosphere and bodies of water

• explain the water cycle and distribution of water

• analyze the effect of bodies of water on the climate

• analyze factors affecting climate and the impact of large scale weather systems

• create a weather system model

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Students should know and be able to …


American History



• interpret historical data and construct timelines*

• describes difference between and determine credibility and bias of primary/secondary sources*

• discuss and identify connections between current & historical events/issues studied*

• formulate questions and analyze cause and effect relationships about historical events*

• describe how archaeological research helps us understand the past*

• describe early cultures of the Americans

* These skills are repeated in World History.


World History



• describe the development, government, religious traditions, cultural and scientific contributions/ advancements, and roles/contributions of identified people of ancient civilizations

• describe aspects of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

• describe Medieval kingdoms, Arab empire, role of the Catholic Church, and transition from feudalism to nationalism in regards to the Middle Ages

• describe how trade routes led to the exchange of ideas during the 15th and 16th centuries

• describe accomplishments/contributions made during the Renaissance and Reformation period

• describe how the Enlightenment period fostered changes in society and creation of U.S. government





• describe the impact of Laws of Hammurabi, Roman republic, and Greek democracy on past/current societies

• describe the responsibilities of citizenship

• describe structure of governments past and present





• identify purpose, interpret, construct, and locate physical/human features on maps, charts, globes, graphs, etc.

• identify regions of the world, describing interactions of people, change factors, and physical characteristics

• identify/describe human/environmental interactions and how they are interdependent upon one another

• describe ways geographic features and conditions influenced settlement





• identify how people are forced to make choices based on scarcity, opportunity costs, and trade-offs

• explain how trade promotes economic growth

• explore personal finance


Mrs. Williams and Mr. Valencia

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