Our Capt Nathan Hale Middle School Curriculum Guides provide an overview of our comprehensive academic program for our students in Grades 6, 7, and 8. Our curriculum is standards based, aligning with the Connecticut Core Standards which indicate what a student should know and be able to do at each grade level, and state and national standards in the content areas. Taken together, the standards, our high quality curriculum, and outstanding instruction will prepare every student for life, learning, and work in the 21st century and allow us to develop empowered learners who have the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind to thrive as members of a complex society.
- English & Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Art Program
- Music Program
- Physical Education Program
- Health Program
- Library Media Program
- Technology Education Program
- STEM Program
- World Language Program
- Family and Consumer Sciences
- Social Emotional Learning
Our Grade 6 program offers an integrated model of literacy in which reading, writing, and speaking and listening skills are closely connected. Students comprehend and evaluate complex texts across a range of types and disciplines and adapt their communications in relation to audience, task, purpose, and discipline. Students develop the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and report on information and ideas and to conduct original research in order to answer questions or solve problems.
- Students read a variety of stories and investigate how an author utilizes elements of the story such as setting characters and narrative perspective to create an effect.
- Students describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves forward to a resolution.
- Students determine the themes of stories and analyze their development through particular story details.
- Students analyze famous speeches to gain an understanding of author’s purpose and identify rhetorical strategies.
- Students conduct research on a topic of choice and write and deliver a speech in which they present claims and findings with a line of reasoning and speech development appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
In Grade 6, student learning focuses on four critical areas:
- solving ratio and rate problems about quantities, connecting them to multiplication, division, and fractions;
- solving problems with positive rational numbers using all four operations; extending those understandings all rational numbers where they reason about order, absolute value, and location in all four quadrants;
- writing and evaluating expressions, equations, and formulas, and using equations to describe relationships between quantities;
- developing the ability to think statistically using measures of center and measures of variability to summarize data.
- Operations with Decimals
- Operations with Fractions
- Ratios and Percents
- Understanding Positive and Negative Numbers
- Numerical and Algebraic Expressions
- Algebraic Reasoning
- Statistics and Distribution
- Students find the least common multiple of two whole numbers.
- Students interpret and compute quotients of fractions and solve word problems involving division of fractions by fractions, e.g., by using visual fraction models and equations to represent the problem.
- Students learn to fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions using the standard algorithm for each operation.
- Students find the area of right triangles, other triangles, special quadrilaterals, and polygons by composing into rectangles or decomposing into triangles and other shapes, and they apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
- Students find the volume of rectangular prisms with fractional edge lengths.
- Students use nets to find the surface area of three-dimensional figures.
- Students explore how absolute values and integers are used in real world situations as they find and position integers and other rational numbers on a horizontal or vertical number line diagram and find and position pairs of integers and other rational numbers on a coordinate plane.
- Students solve real-world and math problems by graphing points in all four quadrants of the coordinate plane.
- Students draw polygons and find side lengths given coordinates.
- Students write and evaluate numerical expressions involving whole-number exponents.
- Students write, read, and evaluate algebraic expressions in which letters stand for numbers and apply the properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions.
- Students find the greatest common factor of two whole numbers.
- Students apply properties of operations, including distribution, to generate equivalent expressions or identify when two expressions are equivalent.
- Students solve real-world and mathematical problems by writing and solving one-step equations.
- Students write and solve inequalities to represent a constraint in a real-world or mathematical problem.
- Students represent and analyze quantitative relationships between dependent and independent variables.
- Students learn to collect, organize, and display data to help them analyze information and make reasonable and informed decisions.
- Students display data on dot plots, histograms, and box plots.
- Students summarize numerical data sets by reporting the number of observations, the shape of the data, using the measures of center (median and/or mean), and/or using the measure of variability (range and/or interquartile range).
Students in Grades 6-8 demonstrate greater capacity for connecting knowledge across, and between, the physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space sciences, and engineering design. Students form deeper connections between concepts such as collecting evidence and drawing conclusions, understanding relationships between objects, and critical thinking that leads to designing effective solutions for problems. In their middle school science program students learn about
- Physical and chemical interactions that affect the world around us.
- Factors that affect organism survival and reproduction.
- Factors that influence our earth and our solar system.
- How to optimize design solutions.
- Sixth grade students explore the question “How do body systems work together to obtain matter and energy?”
- In the Exercise Effects Investigation performance task, students design an investigation to collect and analyze data about factors affecting different types of exercise.
- Building on these observations, students examine how cells make up tissues, organs and organ systems that work together in the human body to perform tasks like running the mile.
- Students first determine “How changing climate patterns are affecting Penguin habitats?”
- They explore “How energy can be transferred from one object or system to another?” before investigating.
- “How does thermal energy affect particles?”
- In the Penguin Shelter Engineering performance tasks they use science ideas about heat transfer to design a shelter to keep an ice cube “penguin” cool.
- Students first explore “What factors interact and influence weather?
- Building on earlier studies of light, learn how sunlight travels as waves that can be reflected, transmitted or absorbed as heat.
- This heat energy powers the movements of the atmosphere, in turn influencing the weather factors (temperature, humidity, pressure and wind).
- In the Water Molecule Journey modeling performance task, students trace a single water molecule through earth’s systems for different weather events.
World Regional Studies is a two-year course for Grades 6 and 7. Students study at least eight world regions, and, through the lens of geography, they explore and learn about economies, history, and civics throughout the world. Relevant global issues provide opportunities for addressing multiple standards through focused inquiry, inviting students to generate and research compelling questions. The case study model is one approach that supports in-depth inquiry and allows students to explore regional themes through localized topics or issues. The study of the world’s regions and cultures requires that students generate and research compelling questions such as:
- How does where we live affect how we live?
- How and why do places change over time?
- What are the benefits and challenges that result from globalization?
- How has competition for resources and land affected the development of various regions and/or cultures?
- How do the natural resources in a particular place affect the culture and affect that region’s ability to be a part of the global community?
- What characteristics make groups of people unique?
- How does population density affect the availability of resources?
- Why are certain places more populated than others?
- How does technology influence connections among human settlements and the diffusion of culture?
- What are human rights?
- Introduction to History
- Middle East and North Africa
- Middle America and the Caribbean
- Western Europe
- Russia and Central Asia
- Students explore problems related to climate, water, and soil as well as solutions to these problems and how they affect development of jobs and trade in Mesopotamia.
- Students explore the relationship between geography and the development of cities and the impact of climate and natural resources on the Middle East and North Africa.
- Students investigate the oil sectors in North African countries and the challenges of an oil-based economy.
- Students engage in study of Mayan civilization, the origins of its agriculture, systems of writing, art and architecture, and calendar systems.
- Through document based study, students examine the rise of the powerful Aztec Empire.
- Students study the importance of water resources and the impact of natural disasters on Latin American countries.
- Students identify the unique geographic elements in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Siberia, and the Kamchatka Peninsula and describe the climate, vegetation, physical features, and human geography of the regions through analysis of primary source documents.
- Students study the traditional nomadic way of life for Siberians and the advantages and disadvantages of rapid industrialization on the Siberian regions.
- Students study the fall of the Soviet Union and its impact on nationalism and religion.
Focused on visual arts including traditional fine arts such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and ceramics, our Grade 6 program involves our students in four artistic processes: creating art, presenting art, responding to art, and connecting to art.
- Through reproductions and research students learn about the historical origins of one and two point perspectives.
- They respond, analyze, and evaluate the art of famous artists credited for the invention of linear perspective.
- Students will apply techniques for drawing various shapes in one and two point perspective.
- Students view examples of craft/folk art from select countries of the South American region representing various cultures and historical periods, analyzing how factors of time and place influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to the works.
- Students practice a variety of craft processes and create works of art that may include wood, paper mache, fiber, printmaking or textiles.
The Grade 6 program provides students the opportunity to create, perform, and respond to music through a variety of experiences and activities. Music offers unique learning opportunities to explore individual creativity, artistic expression, and a more in-depth understanding of past and present cultures in our diverse world community. Music electives include band, choir, and general music.
- Throughout the school year students discover that musicians evaluate and refine their work through openness to new ideas, and persistence.
- Students discern musical creators' and performers’ expressive intent through their use of elements and structures of music.
- Students learn to inform their personal evaluation of musical works and performances by analysis, interpretation, and established criteria.
- Students explore how other arts, disciplines, contexts, and daily life inform creating, performing and responding to music.
- Students experience how creating and performing music differs from listening to music.
- Students develop skill in score reading, and they explore a variety of vocal techniques to change the quality of sound and express ideas and feelings.
- Through the application of a variety of ensemble techniques, students experience how an individual’s participation benefits the whole ensemble.
- Students practice reading and notating music to develop skills as musicians.
- Students learn to play the keyboard, developing music skills through performing, creating, responding to, and making connections outside of music.
- Students practice creating dialogue within a musical composition and using the elements of music to convey ideas and feelings.
- Through their study of jazz, blues, and rock and roll, students discover that each historical period of music has a unique set of characteristics with historical and social contexts.
Our Physical Education Program helps our students obtain the knowledge and skills they need to become physically educated. Our Grade 6 programming focuses on motor skills, concepts, and strategies related to physical activity, physical fitness, respectful social behavior during physical activity, and promoting the understanding of the benefits of physical activity.
- Investigating the impact exercise and movement have on health and wellness, students discover that positive decision making about fitness contributes to an individual’s improved muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and overall healthy lifestyle.
- Students practice and apply motor skills and movement patterns essential to a variety of sports including the following: frisbee, soccer, flag football, volleyball, basketball, weight training, tennis.
- Students discover that rules etiquette and strategy application in physical activity and sports can make the experience both enjoyable and successful.
Our Grade 6 health program emphasizes teaching functional health information and essential knowledge, shaping personal values and beliefs that support healthy behaviors, shaping group norms that value a healthy lifestyle, and developing the essential health skills necessary to adopt, practice, and maintain health-enhancing behaviors.
Alcohol, Nicotine, and Other Drugs:
- Distinguish between proper use and abuse of over-the-counter and prescription medicines.
- Summarize the negative consequences of using alcohol and other drugs.
- Explain why using alcohol or other drugs is an unhealthy way to manage stress.
- Describe short- and long-term physical, social and emotional effects of using ANOD’s (e.g., effects on organs, including brain, peer relationships, family relationships, self-esteem).
- Describe characteristics of healthy relationships (communication, respect, trust, and boundaries).
- Differentiate between healthy and unhealthy relationships.
- Explain why it is wrong to tease others based on personal characteristics (such as body type, gender, appearance, mannerisms, and the way one dresses or acts).
- Explore strategies to address unhealthy relationships.
- Explain how the use of social media can positively and negatively impact relationships.
- Describe how consent is a foundational principle in healthy relationships.
- Explain the role of bystanders in escalating, preventing or stopping bullying, fighting, and violence.
- Describe short- and long term consequences of violence to perpetrators, victims, and bystanders.
- Describe strategies to avoid physical fighting and violence.
- Describe how the presence of weapons increases the risk of serious violent injuries.
- Define prejudice, discrimination, and bias.
- Summarize the physical, mental, social, and academic benefits of healthful eating habits and physical activity.
- Describe how to make healthy food choices when given options.
- Explain the importance of a healthy relationship with food (i.e., intuitive eating, moderation, food as fuel).
- Understand how to read food labels for the purpose of limiting the consumption of fats, added sugar, and sodium.
- Describe reproductive body parts and their functions.
- Describe the menstrual cycle, the process of sperm production and the relationship to conception.
- Explain the significance of the physical changes in puberty.
- Identify resources, products, services related to supporting sexual health.
Optimal Wellness and Disease Prevention
- Describe the benefits of good hygiene practices.
- Describe the controllable factors that contribute to optimal wellness and chronic diseases (i.e., heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and osteoporosis).
- Summarize modes of transmission and health practices to prevent the spread of infectious diseases that are transmitted by food, air, indirect contact, and person-to-person contact.
Sexual Assault and Abuse Prevention
- Explain the term affirmative consent and what it looks like in words and/ or actions.
- Explain that no one has the right to touch anyone else in a sexual manner if they do not want to be touched.
- Demonstrate how to ask for help and to report mistreatment, harassment, abuse, and assault.
Mental and Emotional Health
- Recognize factors that lower self-worth (comparisons, perception vs. reality, social media, technology, internalizing negative external messages from media and peers).
- Recognize factors that increase self worth (recognizing strengths, growth mindset, confidence, competence).
- Explain the importance of telling an adult if there are people who are in danger of hurting themselves or others.
- Recognizing stressors, their impact on mind and body, and effective coping strategies.
- Describe characteristics of positive mental and emotional health.
- Identify trusted adults and resources for assistance.
Safety and Injury Prevention
- Identify the potential for injury in a variety of situations and environments.
- Describe ways to reduce risk of injuries while riding in or on a motor vehicle.
- Describe actions to change unsafe situations at home, in school and in the community.
- Describe ways to reduce risk of injuries from firearms.
Once every three years we provide a presentation to students in Grades 6-8 on firearm safety. Parents may choose to exempt their students from these presentations. Using developmentally age-appropriate instructional materials, our presentation focuses on the following key points:
- If you see an unattended firearm, leave it alone, do not touch it, and get an adult to put it away.
- Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
- Never point a firearm at another person.
- Never touch a firearm unless an adult you trust supervises and assists you and you have your parents’ or guardians’ permission.
- If your family has firearms in the house, your friends may find it an irresistible temptation. Never show a firearm to another adolescent or to a young child.
- Firearms may be used responsibly and legally by some people participating in organized outdoor sporting clubs such as shooting/gun clubs, fish and game clubs, and hunting.
- Some students in the classroom may have fired, received training in safe firearm use or joined family members in hunting or target shooting.
- Firearms may be legally owned by individuals and families for purposes of self-protection.
- Firearm ownership and responsible use is a right that people should not be criticized for exercising; just as people who believe there should be more restrictions placed on firearm ownership should not be criticized for their views.
- Weapons of any type are not allowed in school. Understanding the importance of everyone’s role in maintaining the safety of the school community, always report any safety concerns to adults in the school building.
Skills for Healthy and Balanced Living
- Identify trusted adults and resources for assistance.
- Analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors.
- Access valid information and services to enhance health.
- Use decision making skills and goal setting skills to enhance health.
- Advocate for personal, family, and community health.
The CNH school library program provides resources, instruction, and services to empower learners to have the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind to thrive as members of a complex society. provides students access to information and technology, connecting learning to real-world events. In the library, learners engage with relevant information resources and digital learning opportunities. The Library Media Center promotes a culture of reading providing access to high-quality print and digital reading materials that encourage students to become lifelong learners and readers.
- As good digital citizens, students learn to communicate appropriately, protect privacy, behave honestly and safely online, research responsibly, and respect property.
- Students learn appropriate ways to incorporate ideas and information from research into their writing and develop skills in expressing their own original ideas and in citing sources correctly to attribute the ideas of others to the original source.
- The Library Media Programs strives to foster an appreciation of reading in students and provides real world opportunities for students to engage with reading including author in residence visits and participation in reading and celebrating the annual Nutmeg Books.
- Students explore how published book reviews and promotions, as well as their prior experiences with authors, genres, and series help them make decisions about what to read.
- Students apply best practices in research, learning how to access information critically, and link it to research questions.
- They identify and access tools and resources appropriate to the task and information available.
- Students practice evaluating the reliability of sources recognizing if they are relevant, authoritative, detailed, current, accurate, and unbiased.
- Students engage with a sequential research process applying a variety of strategies and inquiry based skills.
The Technology Education Program offers students opportunities to explore potential careers, explore and develop interests, and begin to develop the academic and technical skills needed for a variety of high-skill, high wage, and in-demand careers.
Automation and Robotics
- Automation and Robotics allow students to trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics as they learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems.
- Students use a robotics platform to design, build, and program real-world objects.
STEM Programming in Grades 6 and 7 involves students in engaging with the engineering and design process as they develop concepts and skills in working with a variety of tools, programs, and codes to support project-based learning in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science.
- CAD Design and 3D Printing
- 3D Printed Speakers
- Coding Skills and Digital Stories
- Robotic Arms
Our World Language Program strives to educate students who are equipped linguistically and culturally to communicate successfully in a pluralistic American society and abroad. Students may elect to study Spanish, French, or Chinese, learning to communicate effectively in a variety of situations and for multiple purposes and interacting with others with cultural competence and understanding.
- Interpersonal Communication
- Language and Culture Comparisons
- School and Global Communities
- Students participate in conversation on familiar topics using sentences and series of sentences.
- They develop skill in handling short social interactions in everyday situations by asking and answering a variety of questions.
- Students write briefly about most familiar topics and present information using a series of simple sentences.
- Students read, listen to, observe, and/or perform expressive products of the culture such as stories, poetry, music, painting and explain the origin and importance of these products in today’s culture.
- Students observe, analyze, and exchange information on patterns of behavior typical of their peer group in the culture, such as observing and analyzing how different ways of greeting and leave-taking reflect the relationships between people in the target culture.
- Learners participate in age-appropriate cultural practices such as games (e.g., role of leaders, taking turns), sports, and entertainment (e.g., muic, dance, drama).
The Family and Consumer Sciences related arts course prepares students for family life, work life, and careers in Family and Consumer Sciences by providing opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors needed for success, including the following:
- Becoming responsible citizens and leaders in family, community, and work settings.
- Promoting optimal nutrition and wellness across the life span.
- Managing resources to meet the material needs of individuals and families.
- Functioning effectively as providers and consumers of goods and services.
- Appreciating human worth and accepting responsibility for one's actions and success in family and work life.
Character Strong provides over 100 online lessons for middle school that assists in establishing a strong foundation of social and emotional skills among students by teaching healthy habit development, social awareness strategies, and empathy building techniques.
- Building Connections
- Building Community
- Middle School Mythbusting
- Community Agreements
- Understanding Character Dare
- Getting to Know Your School
- Exploring/Understanding/Practicing Values
- Building/Applying Listening Skills
- Understanding Others’ Perspectives
- Practicing Perspective Taking
- Understanding Emotions
- Regulating Emotions
- Conflict Resolution
- Developing/Strengthening Friendships
- Motivation and Emotions
- Making New Friends
- Becoming a Better Friend
- Reflecting on the Year