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Middle School

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Middle school is made up of students in the 5th-8th grades who attend 45-minute classes. 

As students transition into middle school, teachers work with them to build organization and study skills as a foundation for academic success. Students may begin to participate in Student Council and more extracurricular activities. Fifth graders also build teamwork skills and character through field trips and special activities. They also can deepen their participation at Mass by becoming altar servers. Students begin to use their own personal Bibles in religion class and experience different ways of praying to grow in their friendship with Christ. Each year during Lent, the fifth grade class presents the Living Stations of the Cross, working hard to perform each station in a “freeze frame” while other students read the prayers and reflections.

In sixth grade, the students serve as Safety Patrol for the school. The Safety Patrol, working in groups of 4-5, helps  maintain order in the parking lot during drop-off time. Each year in the spring, the sixth grade attends Camp Lakewood for two nights and three days. While at camp, the students participate in both team-building activities where they work with others, and individual activities where they learn to improve social skills as well as their self esteem.

By seventh grade, students are becoming more familiar with the comings and goings in the middle school. The use of Chromebooks, student planners, and study skill strategies become a normal part of their routine. Students are given more project-based work in order to build independent work skills. Students attend a Weather Bash field trip at Busch Stadium each year which includes both curriculum work and a Cardinals game!

The eighth graders, in their final year at Saint Joseph, are the leaders of the whole school. They are members of SERT (Student Emergency Response Team) where they learn basic life saving techniques and skills including triage, putting out fires, and what to do in case of a mass casualty incident. It is a year-long program where students meet once a month with a member of the Rock Community Fire Department. The eighth graders step up to help in several ways throughout the year, assisting younger students and teachers or participating in activities like recycling. Each year the eighth grade attends a regional mass celebrated by the Archbishop. The students also serve as Ambassadors for Saint Joseph School during functions such as Open House and Meet the Teacher Night. In history class, the eighth grade get the privilege of having speakers come into the classroom and talk; one year the speaker was an actual Holocaust survivor. The eighth grade also takes field trips to the Civil War Museum and the Holocaust Museum.
 
Please refer to the High School page for a list of secondary schools our students typically attend.

Detailed_Curriculum_by_Grade Card IconDetailed Curriculum by GradeTop of Page

Grade 5

English

  • Determine the correct usage of punctuation through written language, using punctuation mechanics
  • Determine all forms of nouns; common, proper, singular, plural, and possessive
  • Identify all forms of verbs; action, helping, and linking
  • Implement the correct form of adjectives; including comparative/ superlative
  • Identify and know the difference between an adjective and adverb
  • Be able to identify a preposition and phrase in which is connected
  • Construct a complete sentence using all forms of grammar and the seven parts of speech correctly
  • Continue to improve basic written expression skills, which include proper punctuation, accurate spelling, word choice, fluency, and organization
  • Be re-introduced to a five paragraph essay model
  • Focus on three paragraph essays – Introduction- Body – Conclusion – ensuring student ideas are implemented appropriately
  • Review how to organize paragraphs in an essay response, using 3-5 or 5-7 sentences in length
  • Be introduced to the idea of self- editing any and all written expression assignments
  • Develop the necessary skills and experience in reading a variety of age appropriate, grade level novels
  • Use literary evidence when reading appropriate grade level novels
  • Identify and explain the author’s purpose
  • Use context clues
  • Identify, describe, and use literary skills and story elements correctly; identifying characters, setting, theme, main event(s), climax, resolution, foreshadowing, making predictions, inferring, and listing differences and similarities

 

Social Studies

  • Types of maps and learning to read a map
  • Citizenship
  • Exploration
  • Colonization
  • American Revolution
  • The Constitution
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • The Civil War
  • Reconstruction
  • Industrialization
  • World War 1
  • World War 2

 

Math

  • Students continue to investigate multiplication and division, expanding beyond single-digit math facts into more complex problems
  • Students review and deepen their understanding of fractions, including adding and subtracting fractions with like and unlike denominators
  • Students receive an introduction to statistics in the form of data interpretation from histograms, line graphs, bar graphs, and circle graphs
  • Students learn how to add and subtract decimals
  • Students reinforce measurement concepts, including an introduction to area and volume geometry

 

Science

Engineering and Technology
  • Design Process
  • Technology Effect on Society
Matter
  • What is Matter
  • Properties of Matter
  • How matter changes
Energy and Matter in Organisms
  • How Energy Transfers in Plants
  • How Organisms use Matter and Energy
  • How Organisms Interact
Energy and Matter in Ecosystems
  • How Energy and Matter Moves through Ecosystems
  • How Organisms Change Their Ecosystems
Systems in Space
  • Gravity
  • Daily Patterns
  • Yearly Cycles
  • Sun
Earth’s Systems
  • Earth’s Major Systems
  • How Earth’s Systems interact
  • Resource use and Earth
  • How People Transform Earth

 

Theology

The 5th grade curriculum focuses on the Apostles' Creed, salvation history, and the Bible. First semester includes major events of the Old Testament, and second semester focuses on the life of Jesus. Students also have two weeks of Family Life instruction. Students learn using a variety of methods, including skits and projects. They learn to use and pray with the Bible, including the Sunday Gospels. They visit the adoration chapel regularly and observe the liturgical seasons. Students continue to work on developing Christian virtues, character and their personal prayer life.

Grade 6

English

  • Continue to improve basic written expression skills, which include proper punctuation, accurate spelling, word choice, fluency, and organization
  • Be re-introduced to the outline of a five paragraph essay – Introduction – Body (3 Paragraphs) – Conclusion
  • Focus on each paragraph included in an essay response using 5-7 sentences in length
  • Be introduced to the idea of poetry reading and writing
  • Continue to self-edit any and all written expression assignments
  • Begin to peer edit writing pieces
  • Determine the correct usage of punctuation through written language
  • Determine all forms of nouns; common, proper, singular, plural,and possessives
  • Identify all forms of verbs; action, helping, linking, transitive, intransitive, and all tenses
  • Determine and identify the differences between adjectives and adverbs
  • Be able to identify a preposition and phrase in which is connected
  • Construct a complete sentence using all forms of grammar and the seven parts of speech correctly
  • Recognize and put into practice the process of paragraph formations
  • Gain an understanding and implement the six writing traits
  • Develop necessary skills and experience reading a variety of age appropriate and grade level novels
  • Use literary evidence when reading appropriate grade level novels
  • Identifyand explain the author’s purpose; persuasive, informative, and entertainment
  • Identify, describe, and use literary skills and story elements correctly; identifying characters, setting, theme, main event(s), climax, resolution, foreshadowing, making predictions, inferring, and listing differences and similarities
  • Read and evaluate nonfiction compositions and materials
  • Use various forms of graphic organizers to evaluate written material; Venn diagrams, compare and contrast charts, and T-Charts
  • Continue to build on grade level appropriate vocabulary and implement their knowledge throughout language arts

 

History (World)

  • Historical Sources
  • Citizenship and economics
  • Culture
  • World Religions
  • Origins of Early Man
  • Ancient Near East
  • Ancient India and China
  • Ancient Greece
  • Ancient Rome
  • The Byzantine Empire
  • Islamic Civilization
  • African and Asian Civilizations
  • The Middle Ages
  • The Renaissance

 

Math

  • Students begin with a review of number properties and operations
  • Students are introduced to algebra using one-step equations
  • Review of addition and subtraction of decimals is followed by multiplication and division of decimals, including solving one-step equations with decimals
  • Students review and deepen their understanding of fractions, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, and exploring the relationship between fractions, decimals, and percents
  • Students continue to be exposed to statistics, including mean, median, mode, range, and data collection and representation
  • Students use proportions to solve problems, including graphing proportional relationships
  • Students investigate the area, surface area, and volume of more complex figures
  • Students learn to graph points and lines on the coordinate plane, represent functions and equations in the plane, and investigate the relationship between equations and inequalities

 

Science

Cells
  • The Characteristics of Cells
  • Observing cells with a Microscope
  • Cell Structure and Function
  • Lab: Surface Area to Volume Ratio in a Cell
Organisms as Systems
  • Levels of Organization in Organisms
  • Plant Bodies as System
  • Animal Bodies as System
  • Information Processing in Animals
Reproduction, Heredity, and Growth
  • Inheritance
  • Asexual and Sexual Reproduction
  • Plant Reproduction and Growth
  • Animal Reproduction and Growth
Matter and Energy in the Living System
  • Matter and Energy in Organisms
  • Investigating Decomposers
  • Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration
  • Matter and Energy in Ecosystems
Relationship in Ecosystems
  • Parts of an Ecosystem
  • Resource Availability in Ecosystem
  • Patterns of interactions
Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Biodiversity in Ecosystems
  • Changes in the Ecosystem
  • Maintaining Biodiversity
The History of Life on Earth
  • The Fossil Record
  • Patterns of Change in Life on Earth
  • Evidence of Common Ancestry
Evolution
  • Genetic Change and Traits
  • Natural Selection
  • Speciation and Extinction
Human Influence on Inheritance
  • Artificial Selection
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Human Senses
Dissections
  • Sheep Brain
  • Frog

 

Theology

In 6th grade, the first semester focuses on morality according to the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes. The second semester focuses on an in-depth study of the Mass, the source and summit of our Catholic faith. Students also have two weeks of Family Life instruction. Students are introduced to a number of saints, visit the adoration chapel regularly, and observe the liturgical seasons. They continue to work on developing Christian virtues, character and their personal prayer life.

Grade 7

English

  • Apply correct usage of semicolons, colons, hyphens, dashes and parentheses
  • Differentiate and show understanding of compound and complex sentences and subordinating conjunctions
  • Recognize pronouns such as interrogative, demonstrative, reflexive and intensive
  • Identify and use correct verbs such as perfect tenses, progressive forms, active and passive voice, and inverted and interrupted order
  • Identify the indirect and direct object and its relation to the direct object
  • Recognize and use collective and compound nouns appropriately
  • Recognize adjective and adverb phrases and their placement in the sentence
  • Combine related simple sentences into complex sentences by using subordinating conjunctions to develop sentence fluency
  • Diagram sentences to show visual representation of the structure of a sentence
  • Apply the writing process in various types of writing such as persuasive, expository, and five paragraph essay
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative language and connotative meanings using context, affixes, or reference materials
  • Analyze how the setting, characters, and plot of a text affect each other and contribute to meaning
  • Analyze how an author develops his/her point of view or purpose and distinguishes it from those of others
  • Compare and contrast information presented in different mediums
  • Review, revise, and edit writing with consideration for the task, purpose and audience
  • Read and comprehend informational text independently
  • Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems 

 

Math

  • Exponents & Scientific Notation
  • Order of Operations
  • Operations with Integers, Decimals, & Fractions 
  • Proportional Relationships  
  • Introduction to Graphs & Slope
  • Percents 
  • Data Representation & Interpretation 
  • Geometric Classification & Calculations
Pre-Algebra
  • Operations with Integers & Rational Numbers
  • Graphing in a Coordinate Plane
  • Solving Algebraic Expressions, Equations, & Inequalities
  • Percents
  • Linear Functions & Slope
  • Ratios & Proportions
  • Properties of Right Triangles

 

Science

Circulation of Earth’s Air and Wind
  • Circulation in the Earth’s Atmosphere
  • Model of Formation of Wind
  • Circulation in the Earth’s Oceans
  • Lab: Exploring the Density of Water
Weather And Climate
  • Influences on Weather
  • Weather Prediction
  • Model of Air Mass Interaction
  • Influences on Climate
Geological Processes and History
  • The Dynamic Earth
  • Weathering, Erosion, and Deposition
  • Model Erosion and Deposition
  • The Rock Cycle
  • Model Crystal Formation
  • Earth’s Plates
  • Model the movement of Earth’s plates.
  • Earth’s Changing Surface
Earth Through Time
  • The Age of Earth’s Rocks
  • Modeling Rock Layers to Determine Relative Age
  • Earth’s History
Earth’s Natural History
  • Natural Hazards
  • Interpreting and analyzing Data
  • Natural Hazard Prediction
  • Reducing the Effects of Natural History
Resources on Earth
  • Natural Resources
  • The Distribution of Natural Resources
Using Resources
  • Human Population and Resource Use
  • Resource Use and Earth System
Human Impact on Earth System
  • Human Impacts
  • Reducing Human Impacts on the Environment
  • Climate Change
Design And Modeling Science and Computer
  • Design Process
  • 3D and Multiview Drawings
  • Computer Aided Design software
  • 3D printing

 

Theology

In 7th grade, the students study the relationship between faith and science during the first semester. This study gives way to the study and overview of salvation history in the Old and New Testaments. The second semester studies include the Church and the seven Sacraments as the foundation of our life with Jesus. Students also have two weeks of Family Life instruction. Students in 7th grade deepen their knowledge of the Bible and their prayer life. They complete more in-depth, creative projects. They begin to learn apologetics and can explain why basic Catholic Christian beliefs are reasonable. They visit the adoration chapel regularly and observe the liturgical seasons. Students continue to work on developing Christian virtues, character and their personal prayer life.

 

World Geography

  • Mapping (types of maps and reading a map)
  • Primary and Secondary Sources for Historical Research
  • Culture and Geography
  • Government and Citizenship
  • Human-Environmental Interaction
  • Africa
  • Europe and Russia (Medieval to Modern Times)
  • South America
  • Australia and the Pacific
  • United States and Canada
  • South and Central Asia

Grade 8

English

  • Apply correct usage of comma, semicolon, colon, and parentheses in appositives, complex and compound sentences, and essential and nonessential clauses
  • Distinguish between essential and nonessential clauses, using appropriate relative pronouns
  • Show correct usage of interrogative pronouns such as who and whom
  • Identify and demonstrate correct use of verbals and verbal phrases such as participles, infinitives,  and gerunds
  • Apply correct use of subject-verb agreement in written work
  • Combine related clauses into compound-complex sentences to vary sentence structure
  • Create and evaluate various types of writing such as persuasive, expository, research, and five paragraph essay
  • Diagram sentences to show visual representation of the structure of a sentence
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings using context, affixes, or reference materials
  • Analyze how literary devices are used to develop setting, reveal character, advance the plot, and contribute to meaning
  • Analyze how an author’s choice concerning a text’s organization or overall structure contributes to meaning
  • Compare and contrast information presented in different mediums
  • Read, revise, and edit writing with consideration for the task, purpose and audience
  • Read and comprehend informational text independently
  • Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems 

 

History (American) 

  • Primary and Secondary Sources for Historical Research
  • Current Events
  • Colonization
  • Revolutionary War
  • War of 1812
  • United States Constitution
  • The Civil War
  • Reconstruction Era
  • Industrial Revolution
  • World War I
  • World War II
  • The Holocaust
  • The Great Depression
  • The Cold War
  • Civil Rights Era
  • 9/11

 

Math

Pre-Algebra
  • Operations with Integers & Rational Numbers
  • Graphing in a Coordinate Plane
  • Solving Algebraic Expressions, Equations, & Inequalities
  • Percents
  • Linear Functions & Slope
  • Ratios & Proportions
  • Properties of Right Triangles
Algebra
  • Operations with Integers & Rational Numbers
  • Linear Equations & Functions
  • Ratios & Proportions
  • Rate of Change & Slope
  • Linear Inequalities
  • Systems of Linear Equations & Inequalities
  • Exponents & Exponential Functions
  • Scientific Notation
  • Quadratic Expression & Equations

 

Science

Energy
  • Kinetic and Potential Energy
  • Transformation and Transfer of Energy
  • project : Build a toy that teaches the transfer and transformation of energy.
Changes in Energy
  • Temperature and Heat
  • The Structure of Matter
  • Properties of Matter
  • Atoms and Elements
  • Molecules
  • Lab: Measuring Density
  • Investigation of Pressure Changes
  • Project: Build Models of Molecules
States of Matter and Changes of State
  • States of Matter
  • Changes of State
  • Investigation:  Observing Changes of State
Chemical Processes and Equations
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Chemical Equations
  • Investigation of Pressure Changes
  • Thermal Energy and Chemical Processes
Chemistry of Materials
  • Natural and Synthetic Materials
  • The Life Cycle of Synthetic Materials
  • Project Build a lunch container that keeps food cold.
Forces and Motion
  • Forces
  • Gravity and Friction
  • Newton's Law of Motion
  • Investigation Collision of Objects
Electric and Magnetic Forces
  • Magnetic Forces
  • Electric Forces
  • Fields
  • Electromagnetism

 

Theology

  • The Bible
  • Church History & Doctrine
  • Catholic Social Teaching
  • Lives of the Saints
  • Confirmation Preparation (Chosen Program)
  • Service Education
  • Morality & Virtue Education