Sixth Grade


Sixth grade mathematicians will study the same skills from fifth grade but with more refinement. Topics include: fractions, decimals, percents, number relationships, solving equations with variables, basic operations and properties, positive and negative integers, data analysis, geometry, ratios, probability, and exponents.


Sixth grade scientists will study plate tectonics: earth’s interior, continental drift, subduction and sea-floor spreading, and plate interactions. They will learn about earthquakes and volcanoes/landforms, and oceans including waves and tides, chemistry and other physical factors, and ocean ecology. The class also organizes and runs an annual food drive to benefit those who are hungry in the East Bay.


Sixth grade English class will foster in students an awareness and appreciation of language and literature. Course readings plunge the students into poetry, Greek and Roman mythology, Shakespeare, and contemporary novels with a utopian/dystopian emphasis. The students write poems, myths, a long personal essay, and book reports. In tandem, students learn proper punctuation and grammar, and acquire lots of vocabulary words through weekly vocabulary tests.


Sixth grade historians study early hominids and end with a detailed exploration of the Roman Empire. A partial list of topics includes: Early Middle Eastern Civilizations, The Rise of the ancient empires, ancient Egypt and the rise of the pharaohs, ancient India and China, the Han Dynasty, ancient and classical Greece, Alexander the Great. Students will study texts, write research papers, give class presentations, and learn geography concurrently with each unit.

Music History

Sixth grade music historians learn about Beethoven and the transition from late classical to the early romantic period, with an observation of the style, harmony, and orchestration that lead to the shift in music ideology and idiom. Additionally students learn about American music including classical and alternative.


A pass/no pass class, students will learn French language as well as culture, history, life, music science, etc. Students will have conversation and reading practice, grammar practice, and discussion of cultural activities.


Ensemble/chamber music is at the core of a Crowden education, where each voice is vital to the group; so too, in P.E. is every player’s individual participation and teamwork crucial. A partial list of units includes: soccer, posture/breathing, swimming, tennis, basketball, track and field, dance, nutrition. Social and emotional learning includes: being engaged in the team environment, teamwork, and awareness of surroundings, increased confidence, sportsmanship, leadership development.


Art will focus on the fundamentals of art, giving students an expanded awareness and understanding of line, form, color, shape, texture, and space, and skills and tools to use that knowledge creatively. Drawing is a primary focus, which may become a larger drawing, painting, or sculptural project. Projects may include observational drawing, perspective, positive and negative space, self-portraits, conceptual drawings, and graphic comics.


In the course of the academic year, students are asked to learn and to interpret choral works, both a cappella and accompanied, in various styles including Renaissance, Baroque, Classical Romantic and Modern. To become familiar with different styles is important, as each style requires a special technical approach, which includes tone quality, sense of phrasing and, most importantly, the interpretation of the text. The ”Allegro” (fourth, fifth, and sixth grade) Chorus focuses on elements of singing technique through singing unison, two and three part treble chorus repertoire, and the fundamentals of the successful choral rehearsal.

The Crowden School

A coeducational day school for grades 4–8, the Crowden School provides a distinguished education with chamber music at its core.