Middle School - grades 6 to 8 - Curriculum at-a-glance

Greenwood’s integrated curriculum focuses on how children develop and learn as well as what they learn.  Art, music, movement, nature and environmental studies are interwoven directly into the more fundamental subjects of math, science, reading and writing. The curriculum grows as the child grows.

In the Middle School, the curriculum builds on the foundation of the Elementary Grades education, while expanding into more complex systems of learning. Waldorf teaching principles and subjects are augmented with programs such as the Big Ideas Algebra 1 math curriculum,  the Lucy Calkins’ writing method from Teachers’ College at Columbia University (https://readingandwritingproject.org); and our NEST (Nature and Environmental Studies) program.

Technology (laptops) is introduced in Middle School as part of the Digital Literacy & Citizenship curriculum. Laptops used throughout Seventh and Eighth Grades are a supplement to, or replacement for, the handwritten main lesson books.

We continue to have one homeroom teacher work with the same grade of children through middle school, along with a team of math, language arts, music, movement, and Spanish specialists; strengthening and deepening the bond that has begun to form in earlier years. Main lesson continues to be taught using the block format with student-created workbooks.

Electives - Middle school students additionally have the option of choosing an elective, such as fashion design, traditional Spanish cooking, music production, or eco-stewardship.

Class Plays continue in the Middle School and become more complex as the students’ abilities grow -  often encompassing multiple acts, scenery and costume changes, and weightier subjects. Middle school plays are three-week endeavors and have included: Twelfth Night, The Red Lamp, Harvey, The 100 Dresses, and The Diary of Anne Frank.

The emphasis in the upper grades is on high school preparedness. Many of our graduates go on to place into advanced level courses in their first high school years.

Middle School Curriculum grade-by-grade

sixth Grade

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Block curriculum: History of Rome and the Middle Ages; language arts, including literature, composition, grammar, spelling; MMR pre-algebra solving & simplifying equations, including calculations with fractions, decimals, compound and simple interest, percentages applied to business, discounts, graphing; geometry, with compass and straight-edge; geography of South and Central America; science, including astronomy, geology, and physics with acoustics, magnetism, optics, and heat; Environmental Studies, incorporating geology and physics.

Specialty subjects: Digital literacy, Spanish; handwork; woodworking; gardening; music, including orchestra—violin, cello, viola, bass, guitar or a wind instrument—and recorder; cooperative and competitive games/physical education.

Class Trip: Students spend four nights at Headwaters Outdoors School in Mt. Shasta, learning outdoor skills, teamwork, and self-reliance.


seventh grade

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Block curriculum: History, including voyages of exploration, the Renaissance, and the Reformation; language arts, including biographies, literature, critical analysis, composition, persuasive essays,  grammar; Big Ideas Algebra 1, including introduction to algebra and Euclidean geometry, perspective drawing (linked to history); geography of Africa; science, including physics (electricity and mechanics), physiology, human sexuality and reproduction, health and nutrition, inorganic chemistry; Environmental Studies, incorporating physics and inorganic chemistry.

Specialty subjects: Digital literacy; Spanish; handwork; woodworking; gardening; music, including orchestra—violin, cello, viola, bass, guitar or a wind instrument—singing, and recorder; cooperative and competitive games/physical education.

Class Trip: Students return to Headwaters Outdoor School at Mt. Shasta for a 5-night outdoors Rite of Passage ceremony, helping mark the transition to adolescence and young adulthood.


eighth grade

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Block curriculum: History of America and the modern world—Industrial Revolution to the present, including U.S. Government; current events;  language arts, including the novel, composition, essay and speech writing, narrative fiction, literary analysis, journalistic investigation, poetry; Big Ideas Algebra 1, including continuation of algebra, geometry; geography of Asia; science, including anatomy, physiology, health, and drug education; Environmental Studies, incorporating organic chemistry, physics, meteorology, life science, ecology, and conservation resources.

Specialty subjects:  Digital literacy; Spanish; handwork; woodworking; gardening; music, including orchestra—violin, cello, viola, bass, guitar or a wind instrument—singing, and recorder; cooperative and competitive games/physical education.

Class Trip: Students engage in a variety of fundraising initiatives, often beginning in seventh grade, to raise money for a weeklong class trip in the Spring. Previous classes trips include: whitewater rafting and Shakespearean plays in Southern Oregon, eco-stewardship on Big Island of Hawaii, a week in Washington DC to augment a study of American History & Politics.