The 6th grade year at University School of Milwaukee is one that is filled with personal growth and learning through challenge. We create a safe place for students to explore problem solving with a growth mindset. From our annual Empty Bowls service project—in which students create clay bowls in art classes to help raise awareness and money for food insecurity issues—to our overnight winter retreat at Camp Timber-lee in East Troy, we work toward building community.
In addition, there is a strong emphasis on the cultivation of ethical leadership skills in 6th grade. In English Language Arts classes and advising groups, students participate in activities and readings that prompt them to think about the kind of leaders they are and want to become. In our core academic classes, we use instructional styles that meet the needs of all learners. We encourage self-advocacy so that students are able to develop personal responsibility.
The 6th grade curriculum in USM’s Middle School focuses heavily on inquiry-based learning, direct instruction, workshops, gamification, and simulations.
Subject-area outcomes are an important part of how our curriculum is developed and how our students are evaluated. The following list of courses provides an overview of each academic area of study. An asterisk (*) indicates a performance elective. All 6th grade students choose one performance elective for the school year.
One of the signature projects in 6th grade is the annual Comic Con event, a major disciplinary project that combines art, theatre, and creative writing. Students write and perform original monologues and skits dressed as the imaginary superheroes they have created as drawings and as part of graphic novel pages that focus on body proportion, costume design, and composition. Another highlight for 6th graders is the two-day, overnight retreat at Camp Timber-lee in East Troy, which offers students a unique bonding and community-building experience. Along with 5th graders, 6th grade students also enjoy an annual WinterFest, where they take time away from the regular class schedule to play board games, skate in the school's Uihlein Ice Arena, sled, build snow forts, and more.