Academics
Middle School

Curriculum

List of 6 items.

  • 6th Grade

    All sixth graders take a full year of Earth Science, English Grammar and Composition, Literature, World History, and Mathematics. In addition they take exploratory courses in Art, Computer, Drama, Music, and Health & Wellness.

    Science:
    The Earth Science curriculum in middle school allows students to embrace several aspects of Earth and Environmental Science. The students will begin the year with an in-depth study of the scientific method. This will lead to a single topic teacher-directed in-class Science Fair project that will be taught and evaluated. The purpose of this project is to strengthen each student’s investigative skills. Earthquakes, volcanoes, weather, atmosphere, oceans, rock and minerals are some of the areas to be studied in this survey course. These concepts will promote a strong foundation of scientific inquiry leading into the seventh grade curriculum of life science.

    Math:

    Sixth Grade Math:
    Sixth Grade Math extends operations with integers and rational numbers, using number properties, discovering patterns, simplifying variable expressions, problem solving using measurement, data analysis, probability, graphing, and introduction to multiple step equations. Performing computations, developing the ability to communicate thought processes, and using logical thinking to problem solve are integrated throughout the course.

    Sixth Grade Pre-Algebra:
    6th Grade Pre-Algebra is a fast-paced, demanding course based on previous mastery of arithmetic operations, strong organizational skills, intrinsic motivation, and readiness to think abstractly. The emphasis is on flexible thinking, multiple representations of data, problem solving, and clear communication of thought processes. Topics include solving multi-step algebraic equations and inequalities and graphing linear equations.

    Introduction to World Languages:
    Introduction to World Languages is both a survey course of major world languages and an introduction to disciplined study of a world language. The course is centered around engaging units on the four languages offered at Walker (French, Spanish, Latin, German) as well as their associated cultures. However, as time permits, we also incorporate briefer units on other languages that are widely spoken in the world. The course demonstrates the different ways languages can be taught and learned, and emphasizes the study skills necessary to be successful in language study at Walker.

    English:
    In Sixth Grade English, students read to build an understanding of texts, society, and themselves; to acquire information and explore solutions; to grow as writers; to add to their library of language; to think critically and engage in discourse with others; and to embark on journeys of imagination and expeditions of discovery through genre studies.

    Sixth graders will write daily. In addition to writing creatively and cultivating their talent and voice as writers, students will also develop the foundations for academic writing. They will learn how to generate and develop ideas for different modes of writing, practicing and experimenting with writing techniques in all genres. During writing workshops and conferences, teachers and students will work together to discover strengths, address concerns, and determine next steps with compositions. Students will maintain a writing portfolio, reflecting on their growth throughout the year.

    World History
    The sixth grade world history course begins with early humans and how they shaped our first civilizations. Our studies will include some of the most prolific ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, Greece, and Rome. We examine ideas surrounding early governments, religions, major achievements, geography, and economics. Our goal is to study common themes of these civilizations and the interconnectedness of the world.

    Emphasis is placed on note taking skills, reading comprehension, persuasive and analytical writing, cultural literacy, and historical inquiry with primary and secondary sources.
  • 7th Grade

    All seventh graders take full year courses in American History, English Grammar and Composition, English Literature, Mathematics, and Science. In addition they take exploratory courses in Art, Computer, Drama, Music, Pre-Languages, and Wellness.
    Seventh graders all take the same subjects, with the exception of math. Seventh graders take either Pre-Algebra or Algebra I, depending on developmental readiness as assessed through their performance on an algebra readiness test and the recommendations of their teachers.

    American History:
    Seventh grade history covers American history from the pre-Columbian era through Reconstruction. This course will use the text, History Alive!The United States through Modern Times, videos, maps, and primary sources. There will be heavy emphasis on notetaking, outlining, summarizing, writing, interpreting and filtering sources, reasoning, and debating. Through role-playing and reading primary sources, students will examine the processes of historical decision making with close study of the Constitution. In eighth grade, the students will resume American history beginning in 1877.

    English:
    In Seventh Grade English, we integrate the studies of literature, writing, grammar, and vocabulary. Students analyze books, plays, and poetry with a focus on diction, imagery, detail, and point-of-view. We teach grammar as a tool for close reading of complicated sentences, and as a tool for expressing complicated ideas. Students learn to develop essays using examples, quotations, other perspectives, and analogies. Students also apply what they learn from reading fiction and poetry to compose their own stories and poems. We balance frequent impromptu writing with long-term multi-drafted assignments.

    Life Science:
    In Life Science, the students are introduced to the basics of life on earth at a cellular level, moving up to explore the world of organisms of increasing complexity, encompassing bacteria, protists, plants and animals. They will explore the advent of new life and the way different living organisms relate to each other and their environments. Life characteristics, basic organic chemistry, genetics, development, and evolution are also studied.

    This course allows the students to discover how life on earth functions through an inquiry and investigative approach. They will be able to apply the knowledge and skills they have constructed to their own lives and indeed to the “real world." The course will include case studies, practical labs, and technology integration.

    Human reproduction, growth, and development are topics of particular relevance for students of this age. Parents are strongly encouraged to initiate and maintain on-going dialogue with their child throughout the year in order to discuss personal and family values, particularly those relating to the study of life science.

    Math:

    Seventh Grade Pre-Algebra:
    Problem-solving strategies learned through grade six are refined and reinforced in Pre-Algebra. Students develop their abilities to read, write, listen, and communicate about problems and their possible solutions as well as practice the strategies they develop. Numerous and varied experiences reinforce and extend logical reasoning skills and the continued study of arithmetic functions. Beginning algebraic concepts including writing and simplifying one and two step equations, complex equations, equalities, ratios, graphing, slope, polynomials, algebraic fractions, probability, and interpretation of data, are included in the Pre-Algebra course.

    Seventh and Eighth Grade Algebra I:
    Algebra 1 covers a full year of high school credited algebra. Therefore this course is taught at the high school level. Students make connections between traditional abstract concepts and their application to real world problem solving. Much time is spent on linear functions. Students also learn how to factor, solve and graph quadratics, solve multi-step equations, graph exponential functions and their applications. Graphing calculators are used extensively throughout the class. High school credit is earned for students who pass this course.

    World Languages:

    French I:
    In French I students are introduced to the French language as well as the cultures and traditions of many French-speaking countries around the world. The skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing are integrated by extensive use of visual aids, videos, games, activities, and frequent practice in the language laboratory. Strong emphasis is placed on speaking, which students practice daily with oral activities. Students are immersed in the language so that they learn new vocabulary each day as they master the basic structures of French grammar.

    German I:
    The four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are interwoven throughout the German I course. There is great emphasis on oral communication. Through classroom immersion in the language and an integrated video program, students are introduced to the language and culture of the German-speaking world. German grammar is largely learned in context and as German is based on a case system, it can often reinforce the understanding of English grammar also. Students use the language laboratory regularly and are encouraged to participate in State spoken language competitions. By the end of the German 1 course, students are able to communicate effectively in spoken and written German and have a firm foundation on which to base their continued study.

    Latin I:
    Latin I provides a general introduction to the nature of language and offers study of the Latin language, incorporating listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, Roman culture, word building and English derivatives. The text series, Cambridge Latin Course (Books 1 & 2), provides a reading-based approach to Latin language learning. At the heart of the course are graded readings and vocabularies. The story line follows the daily life and adventures of the Caecilii, a typical Roman family circa CE 79, and the readings familiarize students with Roman culture, mythology, and history. All Latin I students take the National Latin Exam, join the National Junior Classical League, and have the opportunity to attend two state meetings of the Georgia Junior Classical League.

    Spanish I:
    Spanish I is designed to introduce students to Hispanic culture and to allow them to begin speaking, writing, and understanding the language. Class time involves intense oral and written practice of expression in the classroom and in the language labs. Strong emphasis is given to basic vocabulary, grammatical structure, and nuances of the language. Students develop a firm foundation on which to build their continued study of Spanish.
  • 8th Grade

    All eighth graders take full year courses in Recent American History, Literature, Mathematics, Science, and a foreign language of their choice. In addition, they take a one semester culminating research project course, exploratory courses in Art, Computer, Drama, Music, and Wellness. Algebra I, Algebra II, and first year foreign languages are Upper School courses requiring final exams. Students may earn Upper School credit for these courses.

    Eighth graders follow the same curriculum with the exception of math and foreign language classes. Eighth graders may take Algebra I, Honors Algebra I, or Algebra II, depending on developmental readiness and preparation, and they also study the first year of French, German, Latin, or Spanish.

    English Seminar:
    Eighth Grade English Seminar focuses on the utilization of rhetoric. Students in this writing-intensive class analyze literature, strengthen grammar skills, and build knowledge of classical roots vocabulary.

    Math:

    Seventh and Eighth Grade Algebra I:
    Algebra 1 covers a full year of high school credited algebra. Therefore this course is taught at the high school level. Students make connections between traditional abstract concepts and their application to real world problem solving. Much time is spent on linear functions. Students also learn how to factor, solve and graph quadratics, solve multi-step equations, graph exponential functions and their applications. Graphing calculators are used extensively throughout the class. High school credit is earned for students who pass this course.
     
    Eighth Grade Geometry:
    8th Grade Geometry focuses on traditional topics of Euclidean geometry and introduces the formal study of logic and proof. Basic terminology, measurement, inductive and deductive reasoning, transformations of plane figures, 3-dimensional figures, and simple trigonometry are studied. A review of Algebra 1 skills is interwoven throughout the course.

    Recent American History:
    8th grade US History begins after Reconstruction and continues through to the present. After a brief review of how the Civil War & Reconstruction permanently changed our nation, students study the Gilded Age up until the eve of World War One during the first quarter. The second quarter covers World War One and the inter-war period. Third quarter begins with World War Two and proceeds into the Cold War up to the Vietnam War. The final quarter is devoted to post-Vietnam War history. Wars are not the center of the curriculum, but they serve as convenient markers by which to subdivide periods of 20th century history. Current events, economics, culture and simulations will be woven together during each period of time covered.

    In addition to the historical content, emphasis is placed on analytical writing, note-taking, editing, map skills, debating, critical thinking and communicating via a variety of media.

    World Languages:

    French I:
    In French I students are introduced to the French language as well as the cultures and traditions of many French-speaking countries around the world. The skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing are integrated by extensive use of visual aids, videos, games, activities, and frequent practice in the language laboratory. Strong emphasis is placed on speaking, which students practice daily with oral activities. Students are immersed in the language so that they learn new vocabulary each day as they master the basic structures of French grammar.

    German I:
    The four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are interwoven throughout the German I course. There is great emphasis on oral communication. Through classroom immersion in the language and an integrated video program, students are introduced to the language and culture of the German-speaking world. German grammar is largely learned in context and as German is based on a case system, it can often reinforce the understanding of English grammar also. Students use the language laboratory regularly and are encouraged to participate in State spoken language competitions. By the end of the German 1 course, students are able to communicate effectively in spoken and written German and have a firm foundation on which to base their continued study.

    Latin I:
    Latin I provides a general introduction to the nature of language and offers study of the Latin language, incorporating listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, Roman culture, word building and English derivatives. The text series, Cambridge Latin Course (Books 1 & 2), provides a reading-based approach to Latin language learning. At the heart of the course are graded readings and vocabularies. The story line follows the daily life and adventures of the Caecilii, a typical Roman family circa CE 79, and the readings familiarize students with Roman culture, mythology, and history. All Latin I students take the National Latin Exam, join the National Junior Classical League, and have the opportunity to attend two state meetings of the Georgia Junior Classical League.

    Spanish I:
    Spanish I is designed to introduce students to Hispanic culture and to allow them to begin speaking, writing, and understanding the language. Class time involves intense oral and written practice of expression in the classroom and in the language labs. Strong emphasis is given to basic vocabulary, grammatical structure, and nuances of the language. Students develop a firm foundation on which to build their continued study of Spanish.

    Physical Science, 2 versions:
    Physical Science is a survey course intended to be an introduction to two different science disciplines, physics and chemistry. In the physics section the students will continue their study of motion and forces with an emphasis on understanding how it relates to them. The concepts of speed, velocity, and acceleration are stressed. Motions of all types are studied. This leads into a discussion of forces. A study of work, power, and simple machines leads to a broader study of energy in all its various forms with a strong focus on mechanical energy.

    The second half of the year involves an introduction to chemistry where the student develops a clear understanding of matter and its composition that culminates in a study of the periodic table. The study of the periodic table leads naturally to a study of chemical reactions that relates back to the previous study of energy. Chemical reactions are studied with an emphasis on beginning to learn why they occur. The student’s knowledge of balancing chemical formulas and equations will be strengthened.

    Finally, at the end of the year we return to a study of electricity, magnetism, sound, and light. These topics are covered with the goal of giving the student the background needed to be successful in high school science. All of the above is accomplished with a strong emphasis on laboratory activities and investigations.
  • Fine Arts

    Middle School Visual Arts:
    Each year, students in Art I and Art II have the opportunity to draw, paint, sculpt, and explore artists, cultures and movements in art history. Focusing on the Elements and Principles of Art provides inspiration for both content and technique in various 2- dimensional and 3- dimensional projects. It is Walker's philosophy that everyone can "do art" and all it takes is an open mind and a willingness to look at something in a new or different way. The Middle School art studio is a colorful, inviting atmosphere where students explore a variety of medium and techniques as they cultivate their creativity and problem solving skills. In Art II students study the History of Western Art. Through images, lecture, and discussion, students become more aware of the art around them and the various issues that have influenced the development of art throughout the ages. They learn that art is not created "in a vacuum" and that world events serve to shape creativity. The Walker Gallery showcases artwork of Middle School students each fall.

    Drama:
    In Drama I, students learn through improvisational games to be aware of their bodies and voices as "instruments" of expression. Exercises of imagination add details of character and environment to their improvisations. Other exercises help the young actors to understand the give and take needed in ensemble performance. Students practice public speaking and they act from a published script. By the end of the course, students will have adapted characters from history or fiction in scenes of their own, to be performed before an invited audience. In Drama II, students apply all of these skills to co-write a play of their own, starring the whole class, with lights, costumes, and props.

    Music:

    Treblemakers
    This is the beginning Middle School choral group that focuses on music theory, vocal technique, and performance. The genres range from traditional choral literature to contemporary. This course focuses on scales, performing unison and two-part vocal pieces, and performing in an ensemble.

    Mixed Voices
    In this intermediate Middle School choral group, students learn to sing in two to three part harmony as well as discovering their changes voices. The genres range from traditional choral literature to contemporary. These ensembles perform in concerts throughout the school year.

    Bella Voce
    This is the advanced Middle School choral group that focuses on three to four part harmony, music theory, and performance. The genres range from traditional choral literature to contemporary. This ensemble performs in concerts throughout the year as well as competes in festival in the Spring.

    Beginning Band
    Beginning Band is an introductory music ensemble in which students choose traditional wind and percussion instruments and learn to play them together in class. Learning goals for the year include reading music notation, basic musical terminology and specific techniques for competent performance on their instrument. Teamwork, problem solving, and self-evaluation are stressed while exposing students to classical, jazz, and popular musical styles. Students perform at one band concert each quarter and additional performances at assemblies and school events.

    Intermediate Band
    Intermediate Band is open to students who have completed Beginning Band or by director recommendation. Students will develop greater facility on their instrument, increase skill reading music notation, and gain a deeper understanding of musical terminology. Students are presented with more challenging music and a wider variety of styles within classical, jazz, and popular music. Educational focus is on improving individual tone quality, blending with the ensemble, and group musical interpretation. The students perform at one band concert each quarter, at school events, and have the option to participate in the Middle School Jazz Band and small ensembles.

    Middle School Concert Band
    Middle School Concert Band is open to students who have completed Intermediate Band or by director recommendation. Students will continue to refine their instrumental technique and tone production while preparing them for the level of music they will encounter in Upper School ensembles. The students perform at one band concert each quarter, at several school events, and have the option to participate in the Upper School Pep Band, Middle School Jazz Band, and small ensembles.

    Beginning Orchestra
    Beginning Orchestra is comprised of students who have never studied a stringed orchestra instrument. Students choose their instruments and first learn to create and read music as a group. Focus is on instrumental training as well as the basics of musical literacy, including note reading, rhythm, and musical terms.

    Sinfonietta Orchestra
    Sinfonietta Orchestra is a group which is comprised of students who have played at least one year and is our intermediate orchestra. In this ensemble students will have the chance to further develop their musical skills and training which were introduced in beginning orchestra. Students continue to expand their knowledge of technical skills, note reading, rhythm and musical terminology.

    Chamber Orchestra
    Chamber Orchestra is an advanced orchestra for students who audition and demonstrate advanced level ability and musical knowledge. As students progress by year, we encourage them to develop more individuality in their roles in the orchestra. Over the course of study, music becomes more diversified which requires greater responsibility and preparation. Students of all orchestras develop critical analysis, effective communication and knowledge of musical masters to enhance their performance and knowledge.
  • World Languages

    World Languages:

    Middle School students will take one quarter each of French, German, Latin and Spanish. These exploratory language classes are not intended to give the students a strong grammatical background of the language, but rather to introduce them to the language and culture of the country in a fun and creative way. At the end of these language “tasting” sessions, students will choose which language they would like to study further. By the end of 8th grade, they will have completed their first full language credit for graduation in the High School. Walker requires 3 years of one language for graduation. Students will have the opportunity in high school to begin another world language also.

    At the end of 6th grade students will choose which language they wish to study in more depth and Level 1 will be studied over 2 years (7th and 8th grade), giving the students a really comprehensive study of the language and culture. By the end of 8th grade, students will have completed one required language credit.
  • Technology

    Computer:
    The Middle School Technology curriculum is designed to build on previously established foundation skills in order to support their learning and extracurricular objectives.

    Computer 6
    :
    Each of these 6th grade options is made up of two quarter long classes, alternating with PE.

    Digital Literacy:
    We begin in sixth grade by strengthening keyboarding skills, sound file management practices, the effective use of productivity applications including Microsoft Office as well as Google Apps tools. Digital citizenship and appropriate use of technology are consistently taught across all Middle School grade levels.

    CS Concepts:
    This course is designed for those students who have previous experience of programming or robotics. We will cover the fundamentals of Google apps as needed for Middle School. In addition, we will introduce students to computational thinking which will include programming and an introduction to robotics using the EV3 robots.

    Computer 7
    :
    Each of these 7th grade options is made up of two quarter long classes, alternating with PE. The 7th grade students have no selection as they will all take both classes in their 7th grade year.

    Introduction to Digital Media:
    In Digital Media students will be encouraged to examine their views on the role of technology in the classroom as well as in the modern world. Using a variety of web based platforms, they will explore the advantages and limitations of computers and mobile devices while learning to formulate their own assessments when making choices about which tools to use or not use for various academic objectives. Critical thinking will be modeled and practiced as we work on multidimensional projects that require the integration of a diverse set of skills.

    Introduction to Computer Science:
    In this course, students will learn about the history of computers, the basics of hardware and software configuration and understand the key elements of how computer systems work. They will be introduced to computational thinking, the concept of programming languages, as well as introductory programming concepts through the use of Processing, a Java-based language, and Lego Mindstorm robots.

    Computer 8
    :

    Digital Media 8:
    Digital Media redefines the traditional research project to include 21st century communications and life skills. The course teaches students how to synthesize and communicate information using a variety of media in order to effectively reach their target audiences. Students master tools such as the Adobe Multimedia tools, Adobe Premier, blogs, web page creation, electronic surveys as well as traditional research methods like interviewing, photography and filming. Students select meaningful individualized topics, study them, and contribute additional, relevant research. The information a student gathers is combined into a final research project which may include one or more different types of media: website, blog, or video, which they may publish online.

    VEX Robotics:
    VEX Robotics introduces students to the basics of robotic design, building, and the control of robotic systems. The course combines various topics in mechanics, electronic sensors, and programming in RobotC. Students will work with various sensors and build a robot to navigate obstacles, similar to those used in automated driving vehicles. This course is similar to the first semester of the Upper School robotics course, but covers fewer math and physics concepts.

    CS Design Lab:
    The Computer Science Design Lab will teach students the fundamentals of the design thinking and how it is applied to solve real-world problems. Students will implement and expand their programming concepts using Processing as well as the EV3 robotics and the Arduino platforms. Students will use these different platforms to further understand how computer programming can be used in a variety of applications.
  • Main Campus

    700 Cobb Parkway North
    Marietta, GA 30062
    770.427.2689
  • Primary School

    830 Damar Road
    Marietta, GA 30062
    770.427.2689
The Walker School is a private, co-ed day school offering opportunities in academics, arts, and athletics for preschool, elementary, middle, and high school students in Metro Atlanta.