Academics and Arts
Each student transitions to the challenges of the middle school years with the support of a highly trained team of teachers who continue the personalized learning experience that is the foundation of the Corbett Prep education. Master teachers support and facilitate the transformations of children into first class young men and women, academically prepared and confident to transition to high school.
Corbett Prep Middle School teachers use the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) curriculum framework to challenge our students to make real-world connections through an ambitious curriculum designed to broaden their perspectives. Instruction is aligned with National Subject Area Benchmarks, State Standards, and C.C.S.S. standards for each subject. A variety of resources and strategies designed to integrate learning and behavioral styles are used to master these standards and concepts.
"MYP aims to develop active learners and internationally minded young people who can empathize with others and pursue lives of purpose and meaning. The programme empowers students to inquire into a wide range of issues and ideas of significance locally, nationally and globally. The result is young people who are creative, critical and reflective thinkers."
Art, music, drama are part of the core curriculum at Corbett Prep, and these courses are part of a rotation that changes each trimester of the Middle School student's schedule. To further pursue interests and develop their talents in art, music, and drama, students may choose from arts-related Electives and Clubs .
All middle school mathematics classes are taught at the same time of the day, allowing for students to excel in the most challenging and appropriate level.
Sixth, seventh and eighth grade math courses include Pre-Algebra, Algebra I and Algebra I Honors. All math teachers offer differentiation and extension opportunities.
Sixth grade science is divided into three units of study, which last for approximately one trimester each: Unit 1- Water and Environmental Factors (LAKEWATCH environmental program with the University of Florida), ecology, aquifers and Florida's aquifer system, global responsibility, etc.) Unit 2- Environmental Changes (ecosystems and energy flow, biomes, symbiosis, natural selection, etc.) Unit 3- Humans on Earth (climate change, resources, pollution, energy, etc.)
Seventh grade science is divided into the following units of study: 1. History of the Cell Theory and the Microscope (discovery,contributors, types of cells) 2. Cells and Heredity (organelles, processes, division and reproduction, DNA) 3. Human Reproduction and Egg Drop (includes engineering cycle)
IPS Honors (Introductory Physical Science Honors) is offered to all eighth-grade students. Eighth grade science is a lab-based course, and students reach objectives by collecting, sharing, and discussing data to reach conclusions. The course is divided into seven units of study: 1. Volume and Mass 2. Mass Changes in Closed Systems 3. Characteristic Properties 4. Solubility 5. The Separation of Mixtures 6. Egg Drop 7. Scientific Inquiry
Foreign language is presented as a core subject with high school Spanish I credit opportunity at the eighth-grade level.The purpose of the Middle School Spanish program is to enable students to continue to acquire proficiency in Spanish through a communicative and cultural approach to language learning. Emphasis is placed on developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills as well as acquiring the fundamentals of applied grammar.
The Middle School Language and Literature program is designed for students to utilize the tools of language. Reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, listening, and speaking are all examples of skills that combine to help develop students into effective communicators. Students accomplish this by constructing, comprehending, and negotiating meaning through a wide variety of sources and experiences.
A. Reading - Outside novels as well as novels, novellas, or short stories assigned in class will be used as a springboard to a myriad of English topics.
B. Writing - Creative and authentic writing situations in both the classroom and Writers’ Workshop classes will be used throughout the year to improve writing skills.
C. Vocabulary and Spelling - Words from student reading, SSAT preparation, and grade level appropriate vobaulary lists to improve student vocabulary and spelling
D. Grammar - Grammar will be addressed in a cumulative way as to build upon prior knowledge through writing instruction.
E. Speaking - Students present class projects and selected works to improve public speaking skills.
6th Grade: Literature
- Finding Your Place: Standing Tall by Joan Bauer
- Creativity: Poetic Form
- Author’s Technique to Create Interesting Characters: Short Story Unit
- Change, Legacy, Societies, Power, Context Identity: People Fair
- Choice: How do our choices define us? The Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings
7th grade: Literature
- “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
- Global Challenges Inspire Action
- Spine Tinglers: A Study of Gothic Literature
- Points of View
- Identity: The Individual and the Group
- Social class, Group Affiliation, Differences Affect the Way People Are Treated
- Poetry Coffee House Performance - Setting, Style, Purpose, Effective Delivery
- Harlem Renaissance
- Artists (Verbal and Visual) of Various Genres, Styles Express Cultural Identity.To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
8th grade: Literature
- Perspective and Identity: The Misfits by James Howe, The Fan Club by Irving Wallace
- Focus on Argumentative Writing: C-SPAN Videography
- Poetry Coffee House
- Literature Can Stand the Test of Time: Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
- From Adversity Comes Knowledge: Night by Elie Wiesel
- Through Oral Expression, Culture Transmitted to Citizens:The Odyssey, Homer
The goal of the Middle School Social Studies curriculum Individuals and Societies is to help students better understand themselves and their country and how their country fits into the world arena. Developing the skills necessary to understand and interpret history is the primary objective.
Areas of focus in each course include geography, government, historical trends, history and other disciplines, the rich cultural diversity of history, the writing process to demonstrate knowledge of history.
“History (Comes) Alive” through a social studies program designed to make learning relevant, experiential, and rigorous.
6th Grade: World History and Geography I
The following concepts cover the existence of the Early Hominins through Ancient Rome:
1st Trimester: Civilization, Geography, Government
2nd Trimester: Religion, People Fair, Culture
3rd Trimester:Conflict, Social Structure
7th Grade: World History and Geography II
The following concepts cover the existence prior to the fall of Ancient Rome to present day:
1st Trimester: Europe during Medieval Times, Islam in Medieval Times, Cultures and Kingdoms of West Africa
2nd Trimester:Imperial China, Japan during Medieval Times, Civilizations of the Americas
3rd Trimester:Europe’s Renaissance and Reformation, Europe Enters the Modern Age
8th Grade: American History
The following concepts will be presented from prior to the existence of the United States, through to modern times:
1st Trimester: Exploration: Native Cultures, Europe, Lewis and Clark, Space. Revolution: Glorious Revolution, American War for Independence, French Revolution, Civil War, Industrial Revolution, Technology Revolution
2nd Trimester: Government: Absolute Monarchy, Constitutional Monarchy, Democratic Republic, American System, Communist System of the U.S.S.R. Economics: Colonial, Early America Rise of Capitalism, Great Depression
3rd Trimester: Foreign Relations: Early American Republic, Post Civil War, World War I, World War II, The Era of the United Nations. Society: Colonial Life, Pre-Industrial America, Post Industrial America. Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia Study Trip (live or virtual)
The technology curriculum in Middle School explores several units of study. Lessons are also integrated into the core content classes such as English, mathematics, science, social studies, and Spanish.
Sixth grade units include Organizing for Success, Digital Citizenship: Responsibility, and Computer Science: Game Design.
Seventh grade units include Digital Citizenshop: Identity, Computer Science: Coding, and Robotics and Automation.
Eighth grade units include Documentary Film Making, Digital Citizenship: Cyberbullying, Design and Prototyping, and Creating Resumes.
Middle School students take the visual arts course one trimester per grade level as part of the arts rotation of art, music, and drama. The art curriculum rotates on a three-year basis:
- Elements of Art and Principles of Design
- Art History Timeline
- Global Perspectives in Art
Hands-on, creative experiences give the students the opportunity for self-expression and the personal pleasure of working with art media in a relaxed and encouraging atmosphere. All instruction is developmentally appropriate and challenging at each learning level throughout the divisions from Primary to Middle School.
Art Elective & Art Club
In addition to the fine arts core classes, middle school students are given an opportunity to sign up for an art elective and/or Art Club. This year, Art Elective is a year long commitment for students who have a special talent and/or love for graphic design and wish to experience an in depth study of digital art. Areas of focus will include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Procreate drawing app and silk screening.
Art Club is a trimester long commitment with a focus on the craft of art and may include projects in jewelry making, ceramics, and paper arts.
Music in Middle School is part of the arts rotation in which each grade takes art, music, and drama for one trimester each year. The music curriculum is divided into three units of study:
UNIT 1- PIANO PERFORMANCE
- Public performance
- Note values, music reading, and musical terms
- Good practice habits
- Concert etiquette
UNIT 2- THE MUSICIAN AS CITIZEN
- Music in culture
- Music in history
- Music in our time and culture
UNIT 3- MUSIC COMPOSITION
- Music notation
- Music technology
- Musical form
Each grade level takes drama during one of their trimesters as part of the Middle School arts rotation.
The sixth grade drama curriculum is an introduction to theatre, which includes three main focal points: the actor, the space, and the art. The purpose of this course is to enable students to develop fundamental knowledge and appreciation for history of theatre in various cultures.
- Introduction to Theatre: the Actor, the Space, and the Art
- The Process & Art of Storytelling
- Theatre History, Architecture and Culture in Ancient Civilizations
- The Establishment and Role of Performing Artists
- Acting Techniques – Storytelling and Improvisation.
The seventh grade drama curriculum continues and expands on acting techniques and touches on technical theatre. Students continue to learn the actor’s craft as they analyze the play Our Town by Thornton Wilder and participate in developmental acting technique activities.
- Natural Behavior in Acting
- Theater Organization
- Introduction to Technical Theatre
- Acting Techniques – Natural Behavior and Pantomime.
The eighth grade drama curriculum is a performance-based unit which culminates in an eighth grade showcase performance, Theatre Through the Ages at Corbett Prep.
- Study of Playwrights Through Time
- Study the Relevance of Shakespeare to Modern Playwrights
- Diverse Scripts as a Celebration of Imagination, Choice, and Variety
- The Physicality of Acting with Diverse Playwrights
- Creating Dramatic Language
- Scene Analysis from a Feeling Approach for Understanding, Translation, Point of View, and Enactment.
- Rehearsal Techniques and Etiquette.
- Ensemble Skills
- Acting Techniques – Natural Behavior, Tactics, and Status in Time, Experiences, and Cultural Values.