Middle School Curriculum Overview

Last Updated: 8/10/2021 9:36 PM

Middle School

Middle school students in grades 6 - 8 continue to engage in the four core content areas of English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Socials Studies.  Each grade level also has additional course requirements required by the State of Idaho and district such as Health and Physical Education.  Students are also exposed to a variety of elective opportunities, depending on the student’s grade level. Electives are offered in the areas of Fine and Performing Arts, Career Technical Education, Technology, Humanities, and Leadership.

Middle school students in grades 7 and 8 are able to take advantage of the state’s Advance Opportunities Program.  Under this program, students are able to individualize their high school learning plan to get a jump start on their future.  These options include dual credit, workforce training, certification exams, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate Programs. Students interested in pursuing this program should visit with their middle school counselor. More information can also be found by going to:

  • Idaho State Department of Education:  Advanced Opportunities (webpage)
  • Idaho Advanced Opportunities YouTube video (link)
  • Idaho State Department of Education: Advanced Opportunities brochure (link)

English/Language Arts - Although the Idaho Content Standards are divided into Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, instruction at the middle level encompasses an integrated and connected approach. Middle school students read and analyze a wide range of texts to include the Language of Literature (publisher: McDougal Littell), Reading Reading (publisher: Curriculum & Associates) and board approved novel sets in genres such as poetry, novels, plays, biographies, nonfictional narratives, speeches and films.  They also learn to write in forms including essays, personal narratives, argumentative writing, and research writing. As middle school students progress through the curriculum, they also learn to demonstrate independence, comprehend and critique, value evidence, use technology and digital media strategically, understand other perspectives, and respond to varying demands of audience, task, purpose, and discipline.

Mathematics - Middle school math courses continue to develop problem solvers who seek to understand and can communicate effectively. Students have opportunities to make connections to real-world contexts throughout the materials. Ready Classroom Mathematics (publisher:  Curriculum Associates) along with iReady Instructional Licenses assist in personalizing instruction for students of varying needs and abilities. Specific areas of focus by grade level are listed below:

●     6th Grade - Connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems; completing understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers; writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations; and developing understanding of statistical thinking.

●     7th Grade - Developing understanding of and applying proportional relationships; developing understanding of operations with rational numbers and working with expressions and linear equations; solving problems involving scale drawings and informal geometric constructions, and  working with two- and three-dimensional shapes to solve problems involving area, surface area, and volume; and drawing inferences about populations based on samples.

●     8th Grade - Formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations; grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships; analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem.

Science - Middle school Science empowers students to become more self-directed, curious, and accountable by providing a student-centered experience. Using Elevate Science (publisher:  Pearson) students learn to synthesize ideas, ask questions, gather, analyze, and use data as evidence, and demonstrate their understanding of key concepts and skills through scenario-based tasks. Specific areas of focus by grade level are listed below:

●     6th Grade - Earth Science

●     7th Grade - Life Science

●     8th Grade - Physical Science

Social Studies - Middle school students develop reading, writing, analysis, and research skills within the context of state, national and world civilizations using myWorld Interactive (publisher:  Pearson). They gain a greater understanding of historical events and processes, and develop an enhanced ability to analyze primary source documents and use the skills of causation, comparison, and continuing and change over time. Students build enduring understandings of the core concepts and ideas in civics, economics, geography, and history. Specific areas of focus by grade level are listed below:
             ●    6th Grade - Western Hemisphere

●     7th Grade - Eastern Hemisphere

●     8th Grade - World History and Civilization