The Sixth Graders lose some of the physical grace possessed in the fifth grade. Their limbs lengthen while coordination becomes challenging. Boys’ voices begin to change and some girls begin to enter puberty. Students become more self-conscious and critical, and the teachers experience the need to offer new boundaries, rules, and expectations.
As the students start to develop their own individuality, they are presented with the biographies of strong individuals in the Roman history block. From Caesar to Nero, this epoch is rife with historical figures who accomplish great deeds and also experience tragedy and failure. Roman history mirrors the students’ own personal struggles while also inspiring them to take action in their own lives. The laws of Rome become important as students seek order and reason. The fall of Rome gives way to the medieval era and the world of suffering in the feudal system.
Geometric Drawing, Roman History, and Physics are hallmark Main Lessons. In Geometric Drawing, precision is of the utmost importance and emphasized through the correct use of a compass. The student is able to see that exact and correct use of a tool gives rise to a precise geometric form that is also artistic. Their turbulent emotions and impulses can be channeled into these exact, beautiful forms.
The students study Geology, Astronomy and Physics in the sixth grade. Physics opens a new faculty of thinking and introduces the laws of cause and effect. Physics broadens their capacity of observation through careful documentation of what they have observed and expository writing.
Other Main Lesson Blocks are: Business Math, Geography, of either Europe or South America, and Drama, based on subject matter derived from either Roman or Medieval History. The Geography lessons emphasize the interconnectedness of the world. If there are students in the class from the cultures that are being studied, we invite these students to share their culture.
The Medieval Games compliment the study of Medieval History. This daylong event brings students together with other Waldorf 6th graders in the region for games of skill, and cooperation, in an off-campus medieval village setting. They engage the will through joyful movement in a socially supportive environment.
The students continue to have a variety of Subject Teachers. German, Spanish, Choral Singing, Instrumental Music, Handwork, Woodwork, Eurythmy, and Physical Education all work with developmental themes as described above.