The sixth grade humanities model is designed to integrate history, geography, and the study of literature. Change and Revolution is the overarching theme in sixth grade and serves to guide discussions and readings throughout the school year. Reading and writing are taught using the workshop model. The reading workshop includes explicit instruction and practice in reading comprehension strategies, such as making connections, questioning, visualizing, inferring, determining importance, and synthesizing information. The writing workshop includes practicing the writing process in a variety of genres and relies heavily on the analysis of mentor texts. Grammar is taught in the context of the writing workshop and supported by a workbook by Michael Clay Thompson. Students learn new vocabulary using the program Vocabulary for Success and new terms are also introduced in the context of history units. Students engage in literature study of both classical and contemporary works that may include Fahrenheit 451The Hound of the Baskervilles, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Reading, writing and analysis skills are further supported in the context of history units: English Renaissance, Enlightenment, French, and Latin American Revolutions. Students participate in a disciplined and interactive classroom where a variety of assessments meet the learning needs and styles of all students.


Sixth grade mathematics uses the Haese Mathematics (MYP Year 2) second edition textbook. In Math 6 students continue to build upon their number sense strategies learned in Math 5. Students study the following units: Number strategies and integers, rational numbers, algebraic thinking, coordinate geometry, and statistics and probability. This year emphasizes problem solving and critical thinking developed through written work and lively class discussion.

Discussions, activities, investigations, and research exercises are used throughout the units to develop conceptual understanding. Students are assessed on the following criterion: (A) Knowing and Understanding, (B) Investigating Patterns, (C) Communicating, and (D) Applying Mathematics in Real-life Contexts.


Students build on their understanding of matter and its properties by exploring how the properties and interactions of matter and energy explain physical and chemical changes. Students explore atomic structure so that they can understand basic chemical reactions. Students continue to build on their understanding of energy in systems by exploring the law of conservation of mass and energy as well as explore force and energy interactions in our electricity and magnetism unit. Sixth graders end the year with a study of reproduction, genetics, and evolution. Students will also be expected to participate in the Science Fair.

Science Core Goals

  • Develop science and engineering skills through hands-on investigations.
  • Gather, interpret, and synthesize data to make appropriate conclusions.
  • Construct and support arguments with accurate and relevant evidence.
  • Improve skills in scientific writing.
  • Work cooperatively with lab partners to successfully complete projects, apply concepts, and share arguments in an intellectually respectful manner.
  • Design, create, and/or use models to represent scientific ideas or concepts.
  • Communicate ideas effectively with others.


Students continue to develop the four basic language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing to achieve communicative competence by using the essential tools to communicate successfully in simple daily-life situations.

Students discover the richness of the Spanish-speaking world by studying culture and regions and making virtual visits to specific cities, such as Oaxaca in Mexico, Barcelona in Spain, and Quito in Ecuador. Topics include visiting a market, restaurants, daily routines, chores around the house, organizing a party, and the different aspects of living on a farm and in a city.


The Madison Country Day School Music Department strives to provide a comprehensive music education for each child, promoting a balance of discipline, creativity, and aesthetic understanding.

Throughout middle school, students continue to receive private or semi-private music lessons on their chosen instrument (piano, voice, violin, viola, cello, bass, trumpet, trombone, french horn, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, flute, or percussion). These lessons occur during the school day and are included in tuition. All sixth grade students participate in a combined fifth and sixth grade ensemble (band, choir, or orchestra) determined by their instrument. These young musicians perform in a Winter and Spring concert and can also participate in two recitals each year. Depending on their ensemble, students have other performance opportunities, both on and off campus. Fifth and sixth grade students receive designated instruction time in music theory during their ensembles. Units include major vs. minor tonality, rhythm/meter, and scale construction/key signatures. A major highlight is the annual composition unit. MCDS music students grades 5-12 are given an account with Noteflight, a web-based notation software, which they use for composition as well as music assessments. Sixth grade students also have the option to participate in WSMA Solo and Ensemble Festival.


This course consists primarily of studio work, creating 2D and 3D artworks. The history of art and how to discuss it plays a role in the class as students are encouraged to reflect on their own and others’ art practice. The class uses art from various cultures of the Americas as a framing device for students to work on assignments that focus on problem solving and open-ended creative thinking. Projects from this year include creating a ceramic alebrije figurine, a Maya codex, a drop-print design, a hand drawn and digitally created map, and a relief print.

Physical Education

Fitness activities and sport related skill practices build proficiency and teach strategy. Units include soccer, nitro ball (volleyball skills), paddling, tennis, kickball, badminton, basketball, rugby, golf, fitness, softball, bowling, track and field, running, gymnastics, dance, skiing, and disc golf. Students develop the confidence and motivation to participate in organized and individual physical activities where they learn leadership, teamwork, and good sportsmanship. Health education is integrated within the physical education curriculum. The program emphasizes lifelong fitness. School-sponsored sports include soccer, girls’ volleyball, basketball, spirit squad, track and field, cross country, tennis, ultimate frisbee, and crew.