Lower Middle School Curriculum

St. Francis Lower Middle School Curriculum


In the Lower Middle School, we continue our philosophy of meeting the unique needs of every student. Our research-based curriculum allows for differentiated teaching, which in turn gives students the opportunity to succeed in their own individual ways.

Language Arts:

Our Writing Workshop program is research based and offers students the opportunity to set their own goals and assess their own work. Students will become immersed in their writing, practice every kind of writing, and be given constructive one-on-one feedback.

Our program correlates reading and writing, and students will be given numerous opportunities to read a variety of books. This gives students examples from which to model their own writing. Fifth grade also incorporates The Daily 5, a student driven management structure that fully engages students in reading and writing.

Fifth Grade



A)    Grammar, Reading, Vocabulary, and Writing

  1. The Daily 5
  2. The Café Book
  3. Units of Study, Grade 5

B)    Spelling

  1. Words Their Way Word Sorts for Derivational Spellers
  2. Words Their Way Word Sorts for Syllables and Affixes Spellers
  3. Give it a Go!


Sixth Grade



A)    Grammar, Reading, Vocabulary, and Writing

  1. Mechanically Inclined: Building Grammar, Usage, and Style into Writer’s Workshop
  2. Penny Kittle: Write Beside Them
  3. A Writer’s Notebook by Ralph Fletcher




Fifth grade continues with the highly-acclaimed Singapore Math program that teaches “the whys” of math. The foundation of this program focuses on developing problem-solving strategies, an understanding of mathematical principles, and a strong number sense form. Mental math is greatly emphasized and concepts are reinforced using a variety of math manipulatives. Instruction moves from the concrete, to the pictorial, and then to the abstract.


In the sixth grade, students transition to a program that provides complete and comprehensive coverage of the common core state standards, thus fully preparing them for the transition to the Upper Middle School.


Fifth Grade



A)    Primary Mathematics Workbook 5A Std Ed

B)    Primary Mathematics Textbook 5A Std Ed

C)    Primary Mathematics Tests 5A Std Ed

D)    Primary Mathematics Workbook 5B Std Ed

E)     Primary Mathematics Textbook 5B Std Ed

F)     Primary Mathematics Tests 5B Std Ed

G)    Extra Practice for Primary Math Std Ed 5

H)    Intensive Practice 5A

I)       Intensive Practice 5B

J)       Challenging Word Problems 5

K)    Challenging Word Problems Primary 5

L)     Singapore Math Practice 5A

M)   Singapore Math Practice 5B


Sixth Grade



A)    Holt McDougal: Mathematics Grade 6



Social Studies:


St. Francis’s curriculum takes our students on a journey from learning about the seven continents and North American geography in kindergarten to the Vietnam War and the Modern Era in the eighth grade. The curriculum is designed to avoid continual repetition of materials. As a result, our students develop a greater understanding of where they stand in the world. They also learn that an understanding of the past provides greater understanding of our world today. Our curriculum is further enhanced by Project-Based Learning, which provides St. Francis students the opportunity to explore their individual interests.


Topics to be covered:


Fifth Grade

A)    America

  1. Geography of the US
  2. American Indians and Their Lans
  3. American Indian Cultural Regions
  4. How and Why Europeans Came to the New World
  5. Routes of Exploration to the New World
  6. Early English Settlements
  7. Comparing the Colonies
  8. Facing Slavery
  9. Life in Colonial Williamsburg
  10. Tensions Grow Between the Colonies and Britain
  11. To Declare Independence or Not
  12. Declaration of Independence
  13. American Revolution
  14. The Constitution
  15. Bill of Rights
  16. Manifest Destiny and Settling the West
  17. Diverse Peoples of the West
  18. Causes of the Civil War
  19. Civil War


Sixth Grade

A)    World

  1. Early Humans and the Rise of Civilization
  2. Ancient Egypt and the Middle East
  3. Ancient India
  4. Ancient China
  5. Ancient Greece
  6. Ancient Rome




The Lower Middle School curriculum is hands-on, because we firmly believe that students learn by doing. Labs are conducted on a regular basis and the students are given the opportunity to work in teams. These teams are structures to encourage individual contribution and equal participation, while engaging many students at one time.

The fifth grade curriculum is an integrated study of Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science. The fifth grade curriculum is further enhanced by our participation in the Starbase program which focuses on the STEM program and its integration of science, technology, engineering, and math.

St. Francis School Fifth Grade Science Scope and Sequence

Scientific Method
• Formulate hypotheses, observe, record and share findings in science notebook
• Using scientific equipment: magnifying lens, safety goggles, thermometer, balances, graduated cylinders, other standard measuring tools

Life Science
• Vertebrate and Invertebrate Sea Animals
• Plants

Earth Science
• Weather
• Solar System and Beyond

Physical Science
• Matter and Chemistry

The sixth grade curriculum focuses on Life Science. Students gain an understanding of how their bodies function and how individual cells contribute to their bodies’ many systems. They will also learn how all living things interact with their environments. Students ultimately will develop an appreciation of how all living things depend on Earth and its resources.


Social Emotional Learning:

Our St. Francis Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum consists of the five core competencies of Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision Making. We are engaging our students in school-wide programming such as grade-level chapel presentations, an anti-bullying campaign, compassion/outreach projects, and family involvement.  In addition, our students in grades K-4 will have regular visits from the counselor for specific guidance lessons on various SEL topics and mindfulness. Students in grades 5-8 participate in workshops on topics specific for middle school. As an educational community we have embraced both the Nurtured Heart (Howard Glasser) and Conscious Discipline models and draw from these models to inform our classroom management and teaching practices. These SEL models are embedded in our student learning standards and expectations.