ES Curriculum Guide - International School of Brussels

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ES Curriculum Guide - International School of Brussels

Welcome to the Elementary School

A brief curriculum guide for parents


An Introduction to learning at ISB

Our Mission

Everyone included, Everyone challenged, Everyone successful.

The International School of Brussels (ISB) offers a challenging, inclusive international education designed

to give every student opportunities for success within and beyond our school. This education is provided

by teams of outstanding, well-resourced teachers, working in world-class learning environments in a safe,

secure campus.

The ISB experience is shaped by a spirit of community, characterized by students, parents, faculty and staff

working together to achieve our goal of developing independent learners and international citizens.

One of the strongest, externally recognized, features of ISB is the quality of teaching and learning that

takes place across the Campus. Today, we have a coherent, comprehensive curriculum designed to achieve

our mission, as well as prepare our students for the next stages of their education This may be ‘higher

education’ for those students who graduate from ISB. For others it may be another international school, or

a return to a former school system ‘back home’.

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An overview of the

ISB Curriculum

In order to ensure that we achieve our goals, we have spent many years developing a curriculum that synthesizes

the best of innovative thinking with the best of traditional thinking. Briefly, this works out as follows:

Innovation

The curriculum recognizes our remarkably diverse student

community by developing a content base that is relevant

across cultures. This approach has given the curriculum

its official name, The Common Ground Curriculum. Units

of Learning are organized by means of a set of universally

relevant themes (see figure 1) that ensure a connected flow

of subject matter, without major omissions or unnecessary

repetition. These powerful units explore a set of challenging

standards that form the ‘backbone’ of the curriculum,

providing both continuity and rigour.

These standards include those that define Independent

Learner and International Citizen. For example, we believe

that the concept of ‘strategic learning’ is important for

Learners, so we have standards to ensure that we teach

students how to plan their learning. Equally, we believe

that the concept of ‘perspective’ is critical for responsible

Citizens, so we directly bring the notion of perspective into

the classroom.

In summary, we have designed an innovative curriculum, The

Common Ground Curriculum, that prepares students for

the ‘real ’world, of fast-paced change, unlimited access to

information, shifting technologies and serious, shared, global

concerns. Our curriculum develops Independent Learners

and International Citizens, equipped with the ‘new basics’

that they will need to be happy, successful, ethical people.

Tradition

So, what about the ‘old basics’? Do we still focus on teaching

students how to read, write, speak and spell? Do we still

teach them how to count, measure and estimate? Our

answer is straightforward: more than ever.

As the sheer quantity of information expands exponentially,

our need to decipher, comprehend, interpret, and

communicate also increases. The ‘old basics’ of literacy

and numeracy are critical to success. They are the building

blocks of learning, the keys that give access to the kinds of

powerful, conceptual learning that our students need.

So, we dedicate substantial blocks of uninterrupted time,

and a great deal of energy and expertise to developing the

basic tools of literacy and numeracy. We assess our progress

using a range of different ‘tests’, including the International

Schools’ Assessment (ISA) conducted annually. Results

show that we consistently outscore other international

schools is all aspects of reading, writing and mathematics as

tested by the ISA.

Figure 1: The 8 curricular themes of The Common Ground Curriculum

Understanding our need

for Personal Meaning

Understanding our need

for Wellbeing

Understanding our need

for Pattern/Order

Understanding our need

for Sustainability

Understanding our need

for Group Membership

Understanding our need

for Communication

Understanding our need

for Creativity and Design

Understanding our need for

Innovation and Production

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How to read this guide

You will see this approach reflected in the pages overleaf, in which standards and benchmarks for literacy and numeracy

are set out in ‘list’ form, so that you get a clear picture of expectations of our students. You will then see, for each grade

level, the main integrated learning units through which we develop key understandings, knowledge and skills, relevant to

all our learners. Specialist subjects (French, Art, Music and PE) are also described in broader bands in the final section

of this guide.

Important note: Of course, within any grade, students will be working at a variety of levels and our

curriculum is specifically designed to support the continuous development of learners, building upon their

prior knowledge. In some cases, this means that your child may be working at a level above or below what

is outlined in this document as relevant to a particular grade level.

We trust that this layout makes clear how we address our twin curricular goals of preparing Independent Learners and

International Citizens, and also preparing them for successful ‘next steps’, whether those steps take them through ISB,

further afield, or back home.

If, however, you have further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We look forward to your comments

and feedback.

Kevin Bartlett

ISB Director

Anna Zeiders

Head of Elementary School

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Learning in Grade 3

1. Literacy

In the Elementary School we believe that:

• learners should see reading, writing, listening, speaking and viewing as enjoyable and meaningful parts of everyday

life.

• learners develop proficiency through a balance of explicit instruction, guided practice and independent

application.

• learners should have regular opportunities to apply skills in purposeful and authentic contexts.

• learners use a range of strategies to construct meaning effectively when listening, reading and viewing and to

communicate meaning effectively when speaking and writing.

• learners should work at an appropriate level of challenge and receive instruction based on a common continuum

of development and associated individual goals.

• learners should have opportunities to read, write and view materials of high quality and across a variety of

genres.

• learners should see the connection between reading, writing, speaking, viewing and thinking.

• learners should develop and practice literacy skills in all areas of the curriculum – all teachers are language

teachers.

• learners should participate in an environment in which they feel valued, respected and able to take risks.

Grade Level Expectations

Grade level expectations are written to the following 7 school wide literacy standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as authors, speakers, and viewers.

STANDARD: Learners understand how linguistic and literary elements contribute to written expression.

STANDARD: Learners understand that context and genre influence writing and interpretations.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to create powerful written expression for a range of purposes.

STANDARD: Learners understand how the elements of oral, dramatic and visual communication contribute

to expression.

STANDARD: Learners understand that context influences how we speak, view and interpret.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to use verbal and visual language for a range of purposes.

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Strand 1: Reading

• Read chapter books.

• Begin to read aloud with fluency and expression.

• Read silently for increasingly longer periods (15 – 20 minutes).

• Choose, read and finish a variety of materials at appropriate level with guidance.

• Use a range of decoding skills.

• Use reading strategies appropriately, depending on the text and the purpose.

• Self-correct for meaning.

• Identify and sequence main plot points in the story.

• Identify character development in the course of a novel.

• Infer through both text and image with guidance.

• Make connections between the text and self, other texts or events in the world.

• Participate in literature discussions.

• Compare different texts from the same author.

• Distinguish between purposes of fiction and non-fiction texts.

• Practice non-fiction reading strategies with print and on-line resources.

• Identify common features of non-fiction text (headings, captions, glossary, pictures, maps).

Strand 2: Writing

• Write with a central idea.

• Add description and detail with guidance.

• Write in complete sentences.

• Begin to recognize and use interesting language.

• Include topic sentence, supporting sentences and closing sentence with guidance.

• Write procedures for simple, personal contexts.

• Introduce the use of detail to make writing more clear.

• Write organized non-fiction pieces with guidance.

• Use capitals and end punctuation consistently.

• Experiment with a variety of simple and compound sentences.

• Spell most high frequency words correctly.

• Move beyond phonetic spelling towards conventional spelling.

• Begin to revise based on suggestions from others.

• Use pre-writing strategies with guidance.

2. Mathematics

In the Elementary School we believe that:

• mathematical proficiency requires a balance and connection between problem solving, conceptual understanding

and computational fluency.

• learners should have regular opportunities to apply skills in purposeful, authentic contexts.

• learners should develop a range of strategies and be able to select the most appropriate ones for different

situations.

• learners should be able to demonstrate that there are many ways to solve a problem.

• learners should be able to think mathematically and explain their thinking.

• learners should have access to mathematical tools and determine how and when to use them.

• learners should work at an appropriate level of challenge and receive instruction based on a common continuum

of development and associated individual goals.

• learners should see the relevance of mathematics in everyday life.

6 Grade 3


Grade Level Expectations

Strand 1: Number

STANDARD: Learners understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers,

and operations.

• Read and write whole numbers to at least 10,000 in figures and words and know what each digit represents.

• Recognize equivalent representations for the same number and generate them by decomposing and composing

numbers.

• Round whole numbers to 10s, 100s and 1000s.

• Sequence 5 digit numbers from smallest to largest and largest to smallest.

• Use symbols correctly, including greater than (>), less than (


• Use, read and write metric units.

• Measure and calculate the perimeter of rectangles and other simple shapes.

• Measure and calculate the area of rectangles.

• Use the eight compass directions (N, S, E, W, NE, NW, SE, SW).

• Read and write analogue and digital time.

• Estimate time using seconds, minutes and hours.

Strand 3: Geometry

STANDARD: Learners analyze characteristics and properties of geometric figures and develop mathematical

arguments about geometric relationships.

• Identify 2D shapes and describe their properties (sides, angles, corners, lines of symmetry).

• Identify 3D shapes and describe their properties (faces, edges, vertices).

• Recognize nets and shape them into solids.

• Identify right angles and angles greater and smaller than right angles.

• Create symmetrical designs and identify the lines of symmetry on a shape.

• Specify locations and describe spatial relationship using coordinate geometry.

• Slide, turn and flip figures and identify these movements.

• Identify and use congruent shapes.

Strand 4: Algebra

STANDARD: Learners understand patterns, relations and functions.

• Recognize, describe and extend geometric and numeric patterns.

• Represent and analyze patterns and functions, using words and tables.

STANDARD: Learners represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic

symbols.

• Understand the relationship between addition and subtraction.

• Understand the relationship between multiplication and division.

• Recognize patterns in multiplication.

• Understand that the multiplicands in multiplication sentence are interchangeable.

STANDARD: Learners use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships

• Model problem situations with objects and use representations such as graphs and tables to draw conclusions.

Strand 5: Probability and Statistics

STANDARD: Learners formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize and display

relevant data to answer them.

• Collect data using observations, surveys and experiments.

• Represent data using tables and graphs such as bar charts, tally charts and pictograms.

• Construct line graphs to represent frequencies and change over time.

• Draw and interpret Venn diagrams.

8 Grade 3


STANDARD: Learners Understand basic concepts of probability.

• Carry out simple probability experiments and predict what outcomes are likely to occur given specific information

or a particular scenario.

3. Units of Learning

The traditional academic disciplines, such as reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies are integrated into

the total curriculum through the use of themes and units of learning. We believe that an integrated curriculum is more

likely to promote enduring understanding. We want our students to be able to appropriately apply learned knowledge

and skills when presented with new and challenging contexts.

Units of Learning in Grade 3 are:

Social Studies

Understanding the World Around Us

Theme: Understanding our need for Group Membership

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand how to study the environment and how it changes.

• Identify organisms in the local environment using simple pictorial keys; is able to draw and use simple pictorial

maps.

STANDARD: Learners understand the processes of geographical method and inquiry.

• Recognize and use geographical terminology. Improvise dialogue to tell stories during dramatic play.

• Use and interpret geographical tools, i.e. maps, globes, charts, graphs, photographs and atlases.

Cross Disciplinary Skills, Information Literacy

STANDARD: Learners evaluate and select information.

• Listen, read, view to identify information related to the task.

Essential Questions:

• How do we represent our physical world?

• How do people communicate location?

• How do we know where we are in the world?

Capturing the Essence:

People need to create systems to understand their surroundings and the world. One way we communicate about the

world is by constructing and using maps.

This unit opens the year and introduces students to the geography of the Elementary School, which is a new building for

our 3rd graders, as well as the broader world. Students come from a range of countries, and they are proud to share

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information about where they’ve lived and what they know about those countries. Geographical features are profiled,

and atlases, globes and Google Earth become familiar resources.

Map making and interpreting are at the heart of the unit. Students investigate different historical and contemporary

maps to identify key features. They then evaluate which maps are best for which purpose. Typical tasks include using

an ISB map to find their way to important landmarks around the broader campus and drawing a birds-eye view of a

classroom or other campus facility. By drawing maps of a space like the library, students create a valuable resource that

can be used by other students.

By the end of the unit, students are expected to be able to label a world map with the name of continents and

major oceans. They are also assessed on their ability to write and follow cardinal directions. Throughout the

unit, real life applications are emphasized so that students can transfer what they’re learning to situations they’ll

find themselves in as they plan trips, take public transport or seek to discover more about new destinations.

Science

Bridges - Designed for Strength

Theme: Understanding our need for Pattern / Order

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand the nature of scientific knowledge and inquiry.

• Design simple experiments and develop hypotheses.

• Record information accurately as it is an essential part of the process of any experiment.

• Consider clear communication as an essential part of science that enables scientists to inform others about their

work, expose their ideas to criticism by other scientists and stay informed about scientific discoveries around the

world.

STANDARD: Learners understand the nature of technological design.

• Learners can critique several designs and justify why one may be the most feasible.

Cross Disciplinary Skills, Information Literacy

STANDARD: Learners recognize the need for information.

• Brainstorm and explore ideas.

• Develop guiding questions.

STANDARD: Learners locate and access information.

• Identify appropriate information resources for the task.

• Use pre-selected search engines, subject directories and online databases with guidance.

Essential Questions:

• What are some of the most common shapes used in structures?

• How does the function of a structure affect the shapes used in construction?

• Which forces affect the strength and stability of structures?

• How do we test and record our ideas using the scientific method?

10 Grade 3


Capturing the Essence:

Structures are all around us in natural and human made forms. The design of these structures affects their stability

and strength.

This unit provides students with opportunities to investigate structures through research as well as hands-on activities

and experimentation. Students focus particularly on bridges. Using background knowledge and images, they identify

different kinds of bridges and hypothesize about the features that make them strong. They then test those ideas using

Lego construction sets as well as a range of other materials. The final assessment task requires them to apply their

learning by building a bridge that will hold as much weight as possible and that meets designated requirements in terms

of height and span. Students provide a written record of their observations and thinking throughout the process.

In addition to learning through direct experimentation, students gather information through non-fiction texts. They

learn about features of non-fiction and use a range of text and online sources to gather facts for an expert piece about

one of the world’s famous bridges. Students share this information both orally and in writing so that others can learn

from the research.

Social Studies

Early Communities

Theme: Understanding our need for Group Membership

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand the organization of people in groups and the rights, roles and responsibilities

of people as they interact within groups.

• Investigate the different ways in which societies have been organized.

STANDARD: Learners understand the need for the sustainable use and development of the environment.

• Describe and explain how different peoples (regional and through time) have used a range of natural resources in

their communities.

• Investigate the interaction between people, places and environments.

• Describe historical examples of human / environment interaction.

Cross Disciplinary Skills, Technology

Creates presentations that effectively incorporate some multimedia features to enhance a message.

Essential Questions:

• How did early communities use their available resources to survive?

• How did geographic region affect their use of resources?

• How did the available resources affect art, entertainment and cultural practices?

Capturing the Essence:

Communities use, adapt to and change their environments.

Students bring to the unit a breadth of experience from living in different parts of the world. They explore basic human

needs and the connections between how people live and what resources are available to them.

They then take an historical perspective on the concept as they investigate how early Native American Communities lived

in several different geographical regions. Through video clips, texts and online resources, students gather information

about the resources that were available and the way different early communities used these resources for shelter, food,

transportation, tools and culture.

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The final assessment task requires students to present their findings in PowerPoint format, showcasing how their tribe

made use of local resources to meet their needs. As students share their presentations, they compare and contrast

different tribes to demonstrate understanding of how the way people live is influenced by the resources available to

them.

When possible, students study another early culture from a different continent as a way to purse the idea from multiple

perspectives. They also look at contemporary societies to explore how we continue to use local resources while

having access to more global supplies.

Science

Exploring Habitats

Theme: Understanding our need for Sustainability

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand the nature of scientific knowledge and inquiry.

• Record information accurately as it is an essential part of the process of any experiment.

STANDARD: Learners understand the nature of interdependence between human beings and the

environment.

• Describe and explain how different peoples (regional and through time) have adapted to, used and changed their

environment.

Cross Disciplinary Skills, Information Literacy

STANDARD: Learners recognize the need for information.

• Brainstorm and explore ideas.

• Develop guiding questions.

STANDARD: Learners evaluate and select information.

• Listen, read, view to identify information related to the task.

Essential Questions:

• What is a habitat?

• What features do we see in each habitat?

• How do we affect our habitats?

• How do habitats function and sustain themselves?

Capturing the Essence:

We as humans are intimately connected to and dependent on our environment. Our actions or lack thereof can have

profound effects on our fragile resources.

This unit provides learners with opportunities to explore habitats in our local environment. Students conduct site

visits to study pond life and fresh water sources within walking distance of our school. They maintain lab notebooks to

document their scientific observations and thinking.

12 Grade 3


Learning is then extended during the trip to the Belgian Coast where they can compare and contrast a different aquatic

habitats. During the four day visit, students explore dunes, beaches and estuaries. They learn through experimentation

as well as guided visits to museums and nature centers.

Water, as a resource upon which all living things are dependent, is a driving focus of the unit. Students investigate how

their own actions affect this resource and the broader environment, and they promote ways of conserving water and

taking care of our local habitats. An overarching goal of the unit is contributing to the development of international

citizens who act responsibly and in ways that make a positive difference in the world.

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Learning in Grade 4

1. Literacy

In the Elementary School we believe that:

• learners should see reading, writing, listening, speaking and viewing as enjoyable and meaningful parts of everyday

life.

• learners develop proficiency through a balance of explicit instruction, guided practice and independent

application.

• learners should have regular opportunities to apply skills in purposeful and authentic contexts.

• learners use a range of strategies to construct meaning effectively when listening, reading and viewing and to

communicate meaning effectively when speaking and writing.

• learners should work at an appropriate level of challenge and receive instruction based on a common continuum

of development and associated individual goals.

• learners should have opportunities to read, write and view materials of high quality and across a variety of

genres.

• learners should see the connection between reading, writing, speaking, viewing and thinking.

• learners should develop and practice literacy skills in all areas of the curriculum – all teachers are language

teachers.

• learners should participate in an environment in which they feel valued, respected and able to take risks.

Grade Level Expectations

Grade level expectations are written to the following 7 school wide literacy standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as authors, speakers, and viewers.

STANDARD: Learners understand how linguistic and literary elements contribute to written expression.

STANDARD: Learners understand that context and genre influence writing and interpretations.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to create powerful written expression for a range of purposes.

STANDARD: Learners understand how the elements of oral, dramatic and visual communication contribute

to expression.

STANDARD: Learners understand that context influences how we speak, view and interpret.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to use verbal and visual language for a range of purposes.

Strand 1: Reading

• Read medium level chapter books.

• Read skillfully, using appropriate comprehension and vocabulary strategies.

• Respond with guidance to a variety of literary genres and informational texts, using evidence from text.

• Read for pleasure and choose books based on personal preference, topic, theme, or author.

14 Grade 4


• Read silently for 20-30 minutes.

• Trace character development throughout a novel.

• Respond to the situations/issues/characters in novels by making connections to themselves and other texts.

• Practice reading strategies to improve fluency and comprehension.

• Identify major plot points in the novel (including complication and resolution) and identify how the plot moves

forward though dialogue and action.

• Listen for the cadence, rhythm, or rhyme distinctive to some poetic forms.

• Identify literary devices, such as simile, metaphor, and personification used in poetry.

• Explore how an author ‘hooks’ the reader.

• Identify common parts of non-fiction text (table of contents, acknowledgements to experts, bibliography, index).

• Identify non-fiction text structures (cause/effect, compare/contrast, problem/solution).

Strand 2: Writing

• Write fiction with a strong central idea.

• Use strong verbs, interesting language, and dialogue with guidance.

• Create stories with a clear beginning, middle and end.

• Recognize the purpose of narrative writing is to engage & entertain the reader.

• Include the orientation in stories (who, when, where).

• Use and resolve a complication in stories.

• Begin to use paragraphs to organize ideas.

• Introduce the use of dialogue to add characterization and reader interest.

• Use the common structure of persuasive writing: thesis, argument, conclusion.

• Begin to use technical language in non-fiction writing.

• Use conventional spelling of common words.

• Edit for punctuation, spelling and grammar with guidance.

• Begin to use strategies to plan writing.

• Revise writing for clarity, content and impact with guidance.

2. Mathematics

In the Elementary School we believe that:

• mathematical proficiency requires a balance and connection between problem solving, conceptual understanding

and computational fluency.

• learners should have regular opportunities to apply skills in purposeful, authentic contexts.

• learners should develop a range of strategies and be able to select the most appropriate ones for different

situations.

• learners should be able to demonstrate that there are many ways to solve a problem.

• learners should be able to think mathematically and explain their thinking.

• learners should have access to mathematical tools and determine how and when to use them.

• learners should work at an appropriate level of challenge and receive instruction based on a common continuum

of development and associated individual goals.

• learners should see the relevance of mathematics in everyday life.

Grade Level Expectations

Strand 1: Number

STANDARD: Learners understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers,

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and operations.

• Read and write whole numbers to a million in figures and words and know what each digit represents.

• Round whole numbers to a given place, up to millions.

• Sequence numbers and use related vocabulary and symbols including greater than (>), less than (


Strand 3: Geometry

STANDARD: Learners analyze characteristics and properties of geometric figures and develop mathematical

arguments about geometric relationships.

• Describe and compare properties of polygons and solids using geometric vocabulary.

• Classify two- and three-dimensional shapes according to their properties and develop definitions of classes of

shapes such as triangles and pyramids.

• Classify triangles (isosceles, equilateral, scalene).

• Estimate, draw and measure acute and obtuse angles.

• Make and use coordinate systems to describe location.

• Identify symmetry in two- and three-dimensional shapes and designs.

Strand 4: Algebra

STANDARD: Learners understand patterns, relations and functions.

• Recognize, describe and extend geometric and numeric patterns.

• Represent and analyze patterns and functions, using words, tables and graphs.

• Solve logic problems.

STANDARD: Learners represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic

symbols.

• Understand and use multiplication and division as inverse functions.

• Express mathematical relationships using equations.

• Apply commutative and distributive properties to compute with whole numbers.

• Make rectangular arrays for given numbers and be able to write multiplication factor pairs.

STANDARD: Learners use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships

• Model problem situations with objects and use representations such as graphs and tables to draw conclusions.

• Use models to show relationship between fractions and decimals.

Strand 5: Probability and Statistics

STANDARD: Learners formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize and display

relevant data to answer them.

• Collect data using observations, surveys and experiments.

• Represent data using tables and graphs such as line graphs, bar graphs and pie charts.

• Use a spreadsheet to display data.

• Find and interpret the mode of a set of data.

• Compare different representations of the same data and evaluate how well each representation shows important

aspects of the data.

STANDARD: Learners Understand Basic concepts of probability.

• Describe events as likely or unlikely and discuss the degree of likelihood using such words as certain, equally likely

and impossible.

• Predict the probability of outcomes of simple experiments and test the predictions.

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3. Units of Learning

The traditional academic disciplines, such as reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies are integrated into

the total curriculum through the use of themes and units of learning. We believe that an integrated curriculum is more

likely to promote enduring understanding. We want our students to be able to appropriately apply learned knowledge

and skills when presented with new and challenging contexts.

Units of Learning in Grade 4 are:

Science

Electricity and the Environment

Theme: Understanding our need for Innovation and Design

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand the nature of scientific knowledge and inquiry.

• Design simple experiments and develop hypotheses.

STANDARD: Learners understand the concept of energy.

• Compare forms of energy and are aware of energy transformation.

• Begin to be aware of energy as a limited resource and begin to take responsibility for energy conservation.

Dispositional Standards

STANDARD: Learners actively look beyond the expected and seek a range of alternative options, explanations

and perspectives.

Essential Questions:

• What role do electrical circuits play in our modern world?

• What is our responsibility in ensuring that electricity is used safely and efficiently?

Capturing the Essence:

Electricity is generated through the transformation of energy and plays a crucial part in many people’s lives today. We

have a responsibility to use electricity in a safe and energy efficient way.

Kicking off the year, this unit provides extensive opportunities for students to experiment, research, work collaboratively,

and get instant feedback about whether their design strategies are effective. The unit opens with a brainstorming about

how they use electricity in their daily lives, which begins to reveal how much we’ve come to rely on electricity for

everyday survival and comfort. From there, students consider where electricity comes from and how we harness that

power.

In hands-on situations, students investigate simple circuits, switches, conductors , insulators, series circuits and parallel

circuits. They work as scientists and engineers as they formulate hypotheses, design solutions to problems, record their

findings and pursue further applications through real-world connections. In all cases, students are encouraged to try

out ideas and revise in light of experience. If at first they don’t succeed, they learn to think about how they can modify

their design and seek out support from peers.

18 Grade 4


The summative assessment task requires students to apply their knowledge as they construct a model house and wire

it according to specifications, drawing the relevant circuits and responding to questions such as how and why wires are

insulated.

An extension component of the unit takes students into the generation of electricity and the various options available

throughout the world. Through background knowledge and further research, they reflect on a preferred source of

energy and the environmental implications, especially in light of sustainability.

Social Studies

Digging Up the Past

Theme: Understanding our need for Group Membership / Understanding our need for Innovation &

Productivity

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand how culture and heritage shape human organizations.

• Describe needs that are common across cultures and the ways cultural groups meet these common needs.

• Recognize the impact of new technology and ideas on culture and heritage.

STANDARD: Learners understand the relationship between chronology and themes.

Sequence historical events and time periods in chronological order.

STANDARD: Learners understand the concepts of continuity and change in shaping the present and the

past.

• Illustration how history is dynamic and composed of key turning points.

Cross Disciplinary Skills, Technology

• The learner understands the efficient and effective use of technology productivity tools.

Essential Questions:

• How did adaptations help hominids to survive and progress?

• How do we continue to refine and develop these leaps forward?

Capturing the Essence:

Human beings are constantly adapting to the changing world. We are continually searching for new improvements.

This unit takes students back in time to the prehistoric era where they discover a world that can seem very different

but that also highlights some features about what makes us human in terms of needs, desires and emotions.

The early hominids studied range from the Australopithecines to the Cro-Magnons. Students acquire knowledge of

these peoples through classroom experiences, text resources and video clips. They also have the opportunity to make

a site visit to local caves where an experienced archaeologist shares information about what it would have been like to

live in prehistoric times in Belgium.

Throughout the unit, students focus on the big leaps forward that humankind made in critical developments such as

the manufacturing of tools and the ability to control fire. They look at causes and effects of different turning points and

present these findings using technology like Stop Action Animation.

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The unit takes a contemporary perspective as students explore how we continue to make technological advances; as

well as the impact of these advances (e.g. mobile phones and the Internet) upon our lives. They leave the unit with

an appreciation not only of how things have changed historically but how the world continues to evolve through

innovation and new technologies.

Environmental Science

Young Botanists

Theme: Understanding our need for Sustainability

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand the nature of scientific knowledge and inquiry.

• Record information accurately as it is an essential part of the process of any experiment.

• Consider clear communication as an essential part of science that enables scientists to inform others about their

work, expose their ideas to criticism by other scientists and stay informed about scientific discoveries around the

world.

STANDARD: Learners understand the interrelationship between organisms and their environment.

• Illustrate interrelationship between organisms and their environment.

• Acknowledge the impact on the environment and recognize the need to modify behavior to improve the

environment.

Essential Questions:

• How are plants structured to survive and thrive?

• How does the environment impact the types of plants found?

• How do plants adapt to their environments?

Capturing the Essence:

Organisms such as plants have highly effective structures that allow them to flourish in particular environments.

Our local surroundings form an ideal backdrop for a unit on plants and the environment. Students launch the unit with

observations in the forest and at the pond, noting the flora and fauna as well as precise information about factors such

as soil temperature, air humidity and light intensity. Using field data, students then begin to generate ideas about the

different plants they see in the two ecosystems and what might account for those differences.

In order to formulate strong conclusions, students develop content knowledge about plant parts and their functions.

They also conduct experiments to test one key structure or condition that they think is crucial for survival, learning

about variables as well as experimental evidence that sometimes runs counter to what they might have expected.

As an assessment task, students are given a plant and asked to identify what ecosystem it would be best suited to. They

must support their answer with strong evidence, pulling together their learning from observation, experimentation,

research and instruction.

Students also have the opportunity to make connections to their own experiences as they share information about the

places they’ve lived or visited and probe more deeply into some of the unique plants they’ve seen and what’s behind

those special adaptations.

20 Grade 4


Social Studies

Ancient Egypt

Theme: Understanding Our Need for Group Membership.

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand the organization of people in group and the rights, roles and responsibilities

of people as they interact within groups.

• Explore the importance of societies working together in order to meet human needs.

• Investigate the different ways in which societies have been organized.

STANDARD: Learners understand how culture and heritage shape human organizations.

• Describe needs that are common across cultures and the ways cultural groups meet these common needs.

Cross Disciplinary Skills, Information Literacy

STANDARD: Learners locate and access information.

• Identify appropriate information resources for the task.

• Use specialist reference books (dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, directory, encyclopedia, etc.).

STANDARD: Learners develop and communicate new information.

• Present information in a form that suits the purpose and audience.

Essential Questions:

• Was Ancient Egypt a great civilization?

• What were the contributions of different people within Ancient Egypt?

• What insights about our lives can we gain from studying the Ancient Egyptians?

Capturing the Essence:

Where we live affects how we live. In many ways, the Ancient Egyptians’ way of life was shaped by the River Nile. This

help us better understand why people live the way they do and how great civilizations develop.

This unit builds on previous units about geography, water and human organizations, as well as prior knowledge that

students bring about this well known civilization. A tour on Google Earth highlights the importance of the Nile and

allows students to think about how this river might have influenced the lives of people living near it.

Content knowledge is built through instruction, computer simulations, independent research and video clips. Students

develop a timeline as well as a graphic representation of how Ancient Egyptian society was organized. Each student

takes on the role of someone in that society and is responsible for investigating what that person would have done

and how that contributed to the success of the Ancient Egyptian Empire. Students then share their findings in a Living

Museum that requires them to dramatize, present orally and have visuals to enhance the communication.

Information literacy is a key component of the unit. Students are guided through the research process that is essential

across the curriculum. In conjunction with the teacher librarian, students formulate guiding questions, locate appropriate

resources, select relevant information and present their findings to an authentic audience. Their final presentations

always generate excitement for younger visitors who are coming up to 4th grade the following year!

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21


Water for Life

Theme: Understanding our need for sustainability.

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand the nature of interdependence between human beings and the

environment.

• Investigate ways in which human activities are constrained by environmental factors.

STANDARD: Learners understand the need for the sustainable use and development of the environment.

• Describe and explain how different peoples (regional and through time) have used a range of natural resources in

their communities.

• Examine and evaluate the current use of a range of resources in our community.

• Examine ways in which the environment is stressed by human activities (pollution, habitat destruction, endangered

species, etc.

Cross Disciplinary Skills Information Literacy

STANDARD: Learners recognize the need for information.

• Develop guiding questions.

STANDARD: Learners locate and access information.

• Identify appropriate information resources for the task.

• Use pre-selected search engines, subject directories and online databases with guidance.

Cross Disciplinary Skills Information Literacy

STANDARD: Learners process information.

• Record relevant information using modeled examples: predetermined topic headings, questions, categories.

Dispositional Standards

STANDARD: Learners actively display sensitivity towards the situations of others, demonstrating an ability

and willingness to ‘walk in the shoes of others’ and modifying their views and actions accordingly.

Essential Questions:

• Is water a right or a commodity?

• How are countries around the world coping with scarcity and abundance?

Capturing the Essence

Clean Water - a right for all!

This unit is an inquiry into water as a basic, human resource; the distribution and availability of water around the

world; how people use water in different parts of the world; as well as what happens to the water we use. Students

demonstrate their learning by presenting a case study that investigates how a country is currently coping with the

issues and problems related to water scarcity or abundance. Students present the case study using the P.O.O.CH

(problem, options, outcomes, choice) problem solving approach to step into the shoes of the environmental scientist

or social worker to recommend possible steps forward.

Students also develop a family action water management plan or an ISB Action Water management plan, presenting

finding to key ‘figures’ in the ISB organization via a persuasive letter and supporting details.

22 Grade 4


Learning in Grade 5

1. Literacy

In the Elementary School we believe that:

• learners should see reading, writing, listening, speaking and viewing as enjoyable and meaningful parts of everyday

life.

• learners develop proficiency through a balance of explicit instruction, guided practice and independent

application.

• learners should have regular opportunities to apply skills in purposeful and authentic contexts.

• learners use a range of strategies to construct meaning effectively when listening, reading and viewing and to

communicate meaning effectively when speaking and writing.

• learners should work at an appropriate level of challenge and receive instruction based on a common continuum

of development and associated individual goals.

• learners should have opportunities to read, write and view materials of high quality and across a variety of

genres.

• learners should see the connection between reading, writing, speaking, viewing and thinking.

• learners should develop and practice literacy skills in all areas of the curriculum – all teachers are language

teachers.

• learners should participate in an environment in which they feel valued, respected and able to take risks.

Grade Level Expectations

Grade level expectations are written to the following 7 school wide literacy standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as authors, speakers, and viewers.

STANDARD: Learners understand how linguistic and literary elements contribute to written expression.

STANDARD: Learners understand that context and genre influence writing and interpretations.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to create powerful written expression for a range of purposes.

STANDARD: Learners understand how the elements of oral, dramatic and visual communication contribute

to expression.

STANDARD: Learners understand that context influences how we speak, view and interpret.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to use verbal and visual language for a range of purposes.

Strand 1: Reading

• Read challenging children’s literature.

• Broaden and deepen understanding of literary text through inference.

• Adjust comprehension and vocabulary strategies to become a better reader.

• Discuss and respond thoughtfully to a wide variety of genres, using evidence from text.

• Read silently for extended periods (30-40mins).

• Self-select books to read for pleasure based on personal preference, topic, genre, theme, or author.

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23


• Define the concept of protagonist and identifies examples from a text.

• Identify common themes with guidance.

• Practice known reading strategies & learns additional strategies.

• Respond to situations/issues/characters in a text making connections to themselves, other texts & the world.

• Compare narrative non-fiction to historical fiction.

• Examine author biographical information for influences on the author.

• Review non-fiction text features and examines new features (charts, graphs, surveys etc.).

• Use resources (encyclopedias, articles, internet, non-fiction texts) to locate information.

• Read aloud with fluency, expression and confidence.

Strand 2: Writing

• Develop stories with plots that include problems and solutions with guidance.

• Use strong, varied details and description throughout.

• Write description with carefully chosen language.

• Create characters in stories with guidance.

• Experiment with sentence length and complex sentence structure.

• Vary leads to capture reader interest.

• Write for audience and purpose with guidance.

• Purposefully use dialogue to enhance writing.

• Organize paragraphs in a logical sequence.

• Edit for punctuation, spelling and grammar with greater precision.

• Use a range of pre-writing strategies to organize writing.

• Spell complex, descriptive and technical words with support from dictionaries and thesauri.

• Revise for specific writing traits (e.g. ideas, organization, word choice, sentence fluency, voice, conventions) with

guidance.

• Incorporate suggestions from others about own writing.

• Use criteria for effective writing to set own writing goals with guidance.

2. Mathematics

In the Elementary School we believe that:

• mathematical proficiency requires a balance and connection between problem solving, conceptual understanding

and computational fluency.

• learners should have regular opportunities to apply skills in purposeful, authentic contexts.

• learners should develop a range of strategies and be able to select the most appropriate ones for different

situations.

• learners should be able to demonstrate that there are many ways to solve a problem.

• learners should be able to think mathematically and explain their thinking.

• learners should have access to mathematical tools and determine how and when to use them.

• learners should work at an appropriate level of challenge and receive instruction based on a common continuum

of development and associated individual goals.

• learners should see the relevance of mathematics in everyday life.

Grade Level Expectations

Strand 1: Number

STANDARD: Learners understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers,

and operations.

• Read and write whole numbers to billions in figures and words and know what each digit represents.

• Use decimal notation for tenths, hundredths and thousands.

• Round whole numbers and decimals to a given place.

• Compare and order whole numbers, decimals and fractions.

24 Grade 5


• Explore numbers less than zero by extending the number line and through familiar applications.

• Use models, benchmarks and equivalent forms of fractions, decimals and percents.

• Develop multiplication and division rules to find equivalent fractions.

• Convert between fractions, decimals and percents.

STANDARD: Learners understand the meaning of operations and how they relate to one another.

• Identify and use inverse operations to solve and check results.

• Understand and use properties of operations, such as the distributive property of multiplication over addition.

• Understand number theory to include square, composite and prime numbers.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to compute fluently and make reasonable estimates.

• Accurately select and use different algorithms to add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers.

• Add and subtract decimals to the thousandths.

• Add and subtract fractions (including mixed numbers and improper fractions) with like and unlike denominators.

• Know timetables up to 12, along with related division facts (quick recall of all facts).

• Use mental mathematics strategies for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems (287 + ___ =

900, 2000 ÷ 50, 24 x 4).

• Calculate fractions and percentages of numbers (5/8 of 72, 60% of 200).

• Develop and use strategies to estimate the results of computations and judge the reasonableness of such results.

• Select appropriate methods and tools for computing with whole numbers (mental computation, estimation,

calculator, pencil and paper), according to the context and nature of the computation.

Strand 2: Measurement

STANDARD: Learners understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of

measurement.

• Estimate and measure accurately area, perimeter, volume, mass and capacity using metric units of measure.

• Develop, understand and use formulae for to find the area of rectangle and related triangles and parallelograms.

• Explore what happens to measurements of a two-dimensional shape such as its perimeter and area when the

shape is changed in some way.

• Read and interpret scales on a range of measuring instruments with an appropriate degree of accuracy.

• Select and use standard metric units and convert between them using decimal notation

(2.75m = ___ mm).

• Select and use benchmarks to estimate measures and to solve time and distance problems.

• Estimate and measure size of angle using a protractor.

Strand 3: Geometry

STANDARD: Learners analyze characteristics and properties of geometric figures and develop mathematical

arguments about geometric relationships.

• Describe, identify and categorize geometric shapes using geometric vocabulary.

• Make and draw shapes with increasing accuracy and apply knowledge of their properties.

• Estimate angles and use a protractor to measure and draw them, on their own and in shapes.

• Rotate, reflect and slide polygons.

• Explore and draw tessellations.

• Make and use coordinate systems to specify locations and to describe paths.

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Strand 4: Algebra

STANDARD: Learners understand patterns, relations and functions.



Recognize, describe and extend geometric and numeric patterns.

Represent and analyze patterns and functions, using words, tables and graphs.

STANDARD: Learners represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic

symbols.

• Express mathematical relationships using equations.

• Represent the idea of a variable in an unknown quantity using a letter or a symbol.

• Apply commutative, associative and distributive properties to compute with whole numbers.

STANDARD: Learners use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships.

• Model problem situations with objects and use representations such as graphs and tables to draw conclusions.

• Use models to show relationship between fractions, decimals and percentages.

• Use models to show the relationship between ratio and fractions.

Strand 5: Probability and Statistics

STANDARD: Learners formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize and display

relevant data to answer them.

• Collect data using observations, surveys and experiments.

• Represent and interpret data using tables, line graphs, bar graphs and pie charts.

• Use a spreadsheet to display data.

• Determine the mean, median, range and mode of a set of data.

• Compare different representations of the same data and evaluate how well each representation shows important

aspects of the data.

STANDARD: Learners understand basic concepts of probability.

• Predict the probability of experiments and test the predictions.

• Understand that different outcomes may result from repeating an experiment.

• Express probability using ratios and percent.

3. Units of Learning

The traditional academic disciplines, such as reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies are integrated into

the total curriculum through the use of themes and units of learning. We believe that an integrated curriculum is more

likely to promote enduring understanding. We want our students to be able to appropriately apply learned knowledge

and skills when presented with new and challenging contexts.

Units of Learning in Grade 5 are:

26 Grade 5


Social Studies

Culture

Theme: Understanding our need for Personal Meaning

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand the context in which theatre, film, television and electronic media are

performed today as well as in the past.

• Identify and compare similar characters and situations in stories/dramas from and about various cultures.

STANDARD: Learners understand how culture and heritage shape human organizations.

• Identify how practices of cultural groups vary but reflect similar purposes.

• Describe needs that are common across cultures and the ways cultural groups meet these common needs.

• Identify the purposes and activities of cultural practices and the role of tradition across a range of groups.

• Discuss why and how individuals and groups pass on and sustain their culture and heritage.

Cross Disciplinary Skills, Information Literacy

STANDARD: Learners evaluate process and product.

• Make judgments on the process and product based on predefined criteria.

Essential Questions:

• What is culture?

• How do individuals and groups acquire and sustain their culture?

• What are the cultural universals and how do different cultures express those universals?

Capturing the Essence:

All people have the need to belong and feel safe. Although ways to meet these needs may appear different, at the

heart of it, we as people are more alike than different.

This unit sets the tone for the year as students share their varied backgrounds, explore different aspects of their culture

and consider ways in which we’re similar and different. Our international community provides a wealth of information,

and the unit promotes pride for one’s own culture as well as awareness of and appreciation for the culture of others.

One way students share about themselves is through a Culture Box. Each individual collects artifacts to show what’s

important about who they are, and these boxes, once presented, stay on display to provide a backdrop for the unit.

Students also consider different branches of cultural identity as they create Inspiration Mindmaps.

Given the population in our school, students will often have been in new situations and unfamiliar places. Those

experiences allow the group to process what they noticed, how that made them feel and how they responded.

Throughout the unit, students are encouraged to understand how these experiences have helped inform who they

are.

As a literary extension, students explore folktales from around the world, analyzing how cultural elements are woven

into stories and what similarities and differences exist. They then write their own folktale pulling on a cultural heritage

that they know well.

The final assessment task requires students to produce a multimedia presentation that showcases a cultural universal

while also providing information about how that might look when expressed in different cultures. The understandings

and sense of community that come out of this unit underpin the experiences for the remainder of the year.

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27


Science

Our Changing Earth

Theme: Understanding our need for Pattern and Order

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand the nature of interdependence between human beings and the

environment.

• Investigate ways in which human activities are constrained by environmental factors (topographical, weather,

etc.).

STANDARD: Learners understand the processes of geographical method and inquiry.

• Compare and contrast human and physical features of places, landscapes and regions.

• Recognize and use geographical terminology.

STANDARD: Learners understand the dynamic and interactive natural forces that shape the world.

• Describe the changing forces that shape the earth’s environment.

• Identify the internal and external forces that shape the earth.

• Be aware of the causes and consequences of natural forces, i.e. earthquakes, volcanoes, etc.

STANDARD: Learners understand interactions between people and their environment.

• Analyze how the earth’s changing forces affect how people live.

Essential Questions:

• How and why does the Earth change?

• How do we know the Earth is changing?

• How does or geological environment affect our lives?

Capturing the Essence:

The earth is in a constant state of change. These changes are important ways of renewing the earth’s surface, but the

effects can sometimes be catastrophic for living beings.

This unit provides the children with the opportunity to work as geologists as they learn about earthquakes, volcanoes

and ways the earth changes. One on-going assignment involves collecting real-time data about the occurrence of

earthquakes across the globe. As students plot the location and magnitude, they begin to draw generalizations about

where those events are most likely to occur, which leads them to the natural investigation of why.

Once students have built up knowledge of earthquakes and volcanoes as well as the relevant scientific vocabulary, they

compare earthquakes and volcanoes to understand how the phenomena are similar and different. They also investigate

historical and contemporary incidents when these natural disasters have impacted communities to better understand

how people can prepare for and respond to situations that may appear out of their control.

As an assessment task, students research a volcano, earthquake or tsunami of their choice and present historical and

geological information in flip book format. Students are evaluated on depth of content, specificity of language and

clarity of message as enhanced through illustrations and diagrams.

Current events provide a backdrop for the unit. Depending on events, students sometimes include a service element as

they reach out to support members of our international community in need. The elementary school has a longstanding

relationship with UNICEF, and we regularly raise money to support their on-going work across the globe.

28 Grade 5


Science and Health

You Are What You Eat

Theme: Understanding our need for Physical Wellbeing

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand the importance of healthy behavior and reducing health risks.

• Compare behaviours that are healthy to those that could be risky or harmful.

• Describe strategies to improve or maintain personal health.

STANDARD: Learners understand and demonstrate how health knowledge, responsibility and decisionmaking

impact upon wellbeing.

• Make health-related decisions and set health goals.

• Predict outcomes of health-related decisions and set health goals.

Cross Disciplinary Skills, Information Literacy

STANDARD: Learners recognize the need for information.

• Brainstorm and explore ideas.

• Develop guiding questions.

Essential Questions:

• What is food for?

• How does my body change based on nutrients and exercise?

• How do sugar and fat in the foods I eat affect me?

• Why is exercise an important part of a healthy lifestyle?

Capturing the Essence:

We depend on food to nourish us. Healthy, informed choices promote our physical wellbeing.

We all have lots of experience with eating, and this unit allows students to explore what food is, where it comes from

and how it affects our bodies and minds. The ultimate goal is understanding what healthy choices are and then making

them in daily life.

To create a strong personal connection to the unit, students maintain a food journal and track what they eat over a

period of time. They then access information about the nutritional value of those foods through an interactive site

that analyzes their diet and provides personalized data in different categories. Over the course of the unit, students

consider what modifications they might need to make and why.

Knowledge and understanding are developed through lab experiments and a computer-based simulation. Food pyramids

from different cultures and diets are available as resources. Students also participate in a Rice Day to help raise

awareness of the choices available to them and to children who are not able to meet basic nutritional requirements.

Assessment tasks are kept practical since the ultimate test is how well students apply their learning through the choices

they make. Examples of assessment tasks can include explaining how they could improve their diet or preparing and

presenting a healthy (and appetizing!) lunch.

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29


Social Studies

Citizenship

Theme: Understanding our need for Group Membership

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand the organization of people in groups and the rights, roles and responsibilities

of people as they interact within groups.

• Describe how and why people govern and the differing forms this can take.

• Recognize how and why people exercise their rights and meet their responsibilities.

STANDARD: Learners understand the skills and processes of historical inquiry and the role of historical

perspective in interpreting the past.

• Recognize that historical events and issues can be viewed from a variety of perspectives.

Cross Disciplinary Skills, Information Literacy

STANDARD: Learners process information.

• Record relevant information using modeled examples (predetermined topic headings, questions, categories).

• Organize selected information to connect similar ideas and begin to draw conclusions and make judgments with

guidance.

STANDARD: Learners develop and communicate new understanding.

• Present information in a form that suits the purpose and audience.

Essential Questions:

• What are common rights and responsibilities of citizens in Athens and Sparta?

• How did the life of citizens compare in the city-states of Athens and Sparta?

• How do citizens today compare to those of Ancient Greece?

Capturing the Essence:

Citizenship involves both rights and responsibilities. What that looks like across cultures and history can vary.

This unit explores the role we all play as citizens in a range of communities, starting with familiar contexts like family

and school and then branching out to the broader community with national and even international affiliations.

Ancient Greece serves as a case study for this unit. Through instruction, textbook reading and independent research,

students gain in-depth knowledge of Athens and Sparta. They compare and contrast these city states and evaluate

which one they think was preferable from the perspective of citizenship. Students then form debate teams to present

arguments about why their city state was superior. Strong evidence and rebuttals that take into account other

perspectives are essential. Ideas are further elaborated in a persuasive essay.

This unit provides ideal opportunities for cross-disciplinary work as students read Greek myths and take to the stage to

perform these classic legends. We have a long established relationship with the Theatre in Education group, so students

are professionally guided to develop the myths dramatically, often with a contemporary twist that helps students

appreciate how these stories still speak to us today.

Throughout the unit, students explore historical and contemporary citizens who have made a difference in the world.

The ultimate goal is to become positive contributing citizens of the many communities in which they play a role.

30 Grade 5


Social Studies

Cities

Theme: Understanding our need for Group Membership

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand the organization of people in groups and the rights, roles and responsibilities

of people as they interact within groups.

• Explore the importance of societies working together in order to meet human needs.

• Investigate the different ways in which societies have been organized.

STANDARD: Learners understand how culture and heritage shape human organizations.

• Describe needs that are common across cultures and the ways cultural groups meet these common needs.

STANDARD: Learners understand the processes of geographical method and inquiry.

• Compare and contrast human and physical features of places, landscapes and regions.

STANDARD: Learners understand interactions between people and their environment.

• Investigate the interaction between people, places and environments.

Cross Disciplinary Skills, Information Literacy

STANDARD: Learners locate and access information.

• Identify appropriate information resources for the task.

• Develop appropriate search place and strategies using key terms/key words.

• Gather data from a range of primary sources (interviews, surveys, questionnaires).

STANDARD: Learners develop and communicate new understanding.

• Present information in a form that suits the purpose and audience.

Essential Questions:

• How do cities meet the needs of their citizens?

• How have cities changed and stayed the same over time?

• What are the commonalities between contemporary cities and ancient Trier?

• How is Trier a good example of a typical Roman city?

Capturing the Essence:

Cities have been formed and developed over time based on the needs of people and the societies in which they live,

along with the geographical layout of the land.

This unit opens with an exploration of city maps and a brainstorming about components of all cities. Throughout the

inquiry, students consider the needs of citizens and the way urban centers are designed to meet those needs across

time and in different regions of the world.

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The historical reference point is the ancient Roman Empire, known for its thriving metropolises. Through textbooks,

virtual tours, maps and other resources, students learn how cities were laid out and what important features supported

the survival, comfort and wellbeing of their inhabitants. Students look especially at Trier, Germany and use it as an

example of a typical Roman city that is well preserved and still available for visitation during their extended field trip.

In advance of this trip, students research the city and prepare a presentation about one important person, place or

topic. They then share this information on site to enhance what they learn from teachers and local tour guides. As they

visit the baths, the amphitheater, the Basilica, the Porta Nigra and other pertinent sites, they deepen their understanding

of what it was like to live in an ancient Roman city and how each component contributed to meeting the needs of

citizens.

As a culminating project, students present a detailed comparison of an aspect of an ancient Roman city and a modern

day equivalent. Topics are varied and based on personal interest. One example would be comparing an amphitheater

to a contemporary theater. A detailed response would include discussion not only of the venue but the entertainment

taking place there, the ways it would still be the same, the ways things have changed and the reasons behind the change.

Students leave the unit with an appreciation of how studying the past can help us better understand the present.

32 Grade 5


Learning in Grade 6

1. Literacy

In the Elementary School we believe that:

• learners should see reading, writing, listening, speaking and viewing as enjoyable and meaningful parts of everyday

life.

• learners develop proficiency through a balance of explicit instruction, guided practice and independent

application.

• learners should have regular opportunities to apply skills in purposeful and authentic contexts.

• learners use a range of strategies to construct meaning effectively when listening, reading and viewing and to

communicate meaning effectively when speaking and writing.

• learners should work at an appropriate level of challenge and receive instruction based on a common continuum

of development and associated individual goals.

• learners should have opportunities to read, write and view materials of high quality and across a variety of

genres.

• learners should see the connection between reading, writing, speaking, viewing and thinking.

• learners should develop and practice literacy skills in all areas of the curriculum – all teachers are language

teachers.

• learners should participate in an environment in which they feel valued, respected and able to take risks.

Grade Level Expectations

Grade level expectations are written to the following 7 school wide literacy standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as authors, speakers, and viewers.

STANDARD: Learners understand how linguistic and literary elements contribute to written expression.

STANDARD: Learners understand that context and genre influence writing and interpretations.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to create powerful written expression for a range of purposes.

STANDARD: Learners understand how the elements of oral, dramatic and visual communication contribute

to expression.

STANDARD: Learners understand that context influences how we speak, view and interpret.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to use verbal and visual language for a range of purposes.

Strand 1: Reading

• Read complex children’s literature.

• Develop strategies and criteria for selecting reading materials independently.

• Adjust reading strategies based on text purpose, pace and difficulty and/or type of text.

• Integrate information, with guidance, from a variety of sources to deepen understanding of a topic.

• Generate in-depth responses in small group literature discussions.

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• Discuss literature with reference to author’s purpose, style and literary elements (plot, setting, character, voice,

point of view).

• Examine how plot is brought forward by dialogue & by action.

• Identify literary devices (similes, metaphors, personification, foreshadowing).

• Explore author’s use of symbols and/or imagery.

• Practice reading strategies of inferring, predicting and questioning.

• Examine how authors convey theme via character action/ appearance, conflict, setting, illustrations and dialogue.

• Use reasons and examples from texts to support ideas and conclusions.

• Probe for deeper meaning by ‘reading between the lines’ in response to literature.

• Seek recommendations and opinions about literature from others.

Strand 2: Writing

• Write persuasively about ideas, feelings and opinions.

• Begin to develop main characters and describe detailed settings.

• Use dialogue to enhance character development.

• Begin to write organized and fluent nonfiction with references.

• Write cohesive paragraphs including reasons and examples with guidance.

• Vary sentence structure, leads and endings.

• Use transitional sentences to connect paragraphs.

• Adapt writing based on audience and purpose with guidance.

• Use rich, effective vocabulary throughout writing.

• Use voice to evoke emotional response.

• Integrate information on a topic from a variety of sources.

• Use complex punctuation (e.g. colons, semi-colons, quotation marks) appropriately.

• Use pre-writing strategies to strengthen and organize writing.

• Begin to revise independently for specific writing traits (e.g. ideas, organization, word choice, sentence fluency,

voice, conventions).

• Revise through multiple drafts.

• Begin to set goals and identify strategies to improve writing in different genres.

2. Mathematics

In the Elementary School we believe that:

• mathematical proficiency requires a balance and connection between problem solving, conceptual understanding

and computational fluency.

• learners should have regular opportunities to apply skills in purposeful, authentic contexts.

• learners should develop a range of strategies and be able to select the most appropriate ones for different

situations.

• learners should be able to demonstrate that there are many ways to solve a problem.

• learners should be able to think mathematically and explain their thinking.

• learners should have access to mathematical tools and determine how and when to use them.

• learners should work at an appropriate level of challenge and receive instruction based on a common continuum

of development and associated individual goals.

• learners should see the relevance of mathematics in everyday life.

Grade Level Expectations

Strand 1: Number

34 Grade 6


STANDARD: Learners understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers,

and operations.

• Work flexibly with fractions, decimals and percents to solve problems.

• Compare and order fractions, decimals and percents and find their approximate locations on a number line.

• Develop an understanding of large numbers and use exponential and scientific notation.

• Use factors, multiples and prime factorization to solve problems.

• Develop meaning for negative numbers and be able to represent and compare them.

STANDARD: Learners understand the meaning of operations and how they relate to one another.

• Understand the meaning and effects of arithmetic operations with fractions, decimals and integers.

• Use the associative and commutative properties of addition and multiplication and the distributive property of

multiplication over addition to simplify computations with integers, fractions and decimals.

• Understand and use inverse relationships to simplify computations and solve problems.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to compute fluently and make reasonable estimates.

• Accurately select and use different algorithms to add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers.

• Add, subtract, multiply and divide with fractions and decimals (including mixed numbers and improper fractions).

• Know timetables up to 12, along with related division facts (quick recall of all facts).

• Consolidate and extend mental methods of calculation to include decimals, fractions and percentages.

• Compute accurately using order of operations, including parentheses and brackets.

• Develop methods for solving problems involving proportions.

• Make and justify estimates to approximate and check reasonableness of answers.

• Select appropriate methods and tools for computing with whole numbers (mental computation, estimation,

calculator, pencil and paper), according to the context and nature of the computation.

Strand 2: Measurement

STANDARD: Learners understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of

measurement.

• Convert between related metric units.

• Understand, select and use units of appropriate size and type to measure angles, perimeter, area, surface and

volume.

• Apply appropriate methods for estimating measure.

• Apply formulae to determine the area of triangles and trapezoids and develop strategies to find the area of more

complex shapes.

• Calculate volume and surface area of cubes and other selected prisms.

• Solve simple problems involving rates.

Strand 3: Geometry

STANDARD: Learners analyze characteristics and properties of geometric figures and develop mathematical

arguments about geometric relationships.

• Recognize similarity in two- and three-dimensional objects, including relationships between angles, side lengths,

perimeters, areas and volumes.

• Draw geometric objects with specified properties such as side lengths or angle measures.

• Find congruence in two- and three-dimensional objects.

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• Know the sum of angles on a straight line, in a triangle and at a point.

• Graph using Cartesian coordinates and recognize the coordinate of points on a Cartesian graph.

• Solve problems involving surface area and volume.

• Recognize and apply geometric ideas in art, science and everyday life.

Strand 4: Algebra

STANDARD: Learners understand patterns, relations and functions.

• Recognize, analyze and generalize a variety of patterns with tables, graphs, words and diagrams.

• Relate and compare different forms of representation for a relationship.

STANDARD: Learners represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic

symbols.

• Develop an initial conceptual understanding of different uses of variables.

• Use symbolic algebra to represent situations.

STANDARD: Learners use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships.

• Model and solve problems using various representations such as graphs, tables and equations.

Strand 5: Probability and Statistics

STANDARD: Learners formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize and display

relevant data to answer them.

• Formulate questions, design studies and collect data about a characteristic shared by two populations or different

characteristics within one population.

• Select, create and use appropriate graphical representations of data, including scatterplots.

STANDARD: Learners select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data.

• Discuss and understand the correspondence between data sets and their graphical representations.

• Write a short report of a statistical inquiry.

STANDARD: Learners Understand Basic concepts of probability.

• Express probability using ratios and percent.

• Use proportionality to make and test conjectures about the results of experiments.

• Compute probabilities using methods such as organized lists and tree diagrams.

3. Units of Learning

The traditional academic disciplines, such as reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies are integrated into

the total curriculum through the use of themes and units of learning. We believe that an integrated curriculum is more

likely to promote enduring understanding. We want our students to be able to appropriately apply learned knowledge

and skills when presented with new and challenging contexts.

Units of Learning in Grade 6 are:

36 Grade 6


Design Technology

Action Reaction – Robots at Work

Theme: Understanding our need for Innovation and Productivity

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand the nature of technological design.

• Learners take into account needs and constraints in developing designs.

• Learners implement a proposed design and evaluate its efficacy.

STANDARD: Learners understand the nature and operation of systems.

• Learners are aware that systems include processes as well as components, are usually linked to other systems and

may contain subsystems.

• Learners assemble and disassemble systems to manage, control and improve their performance.

STANDARD: Learners understand the relationship among science, technology, society and the individual.

• Learners can express ways in which technology and society can influence each other and can argue technology is

affected by social needs, attitudes and values.

Dispositional Standards

STANDARD: Learners actively participate in team efforts, effectively adapting to different roles, taking on

board the needs and contributions of others, modifying their own approaches in the interests of achieving a

common goal and sharing responsibility for the outcome.

Essential Questions:

• Why are robots used?

• Are all robots dependent on humans?

• Why are planning, teamwork and division of labor necessary to robotic design?

Capturing the Essence:

We are surrounded by robots that help us in our daily lives. Robots have processing power and are able to perform

many tasks but only if we have correctly programmed and constructed them to do so.

This unit provides students opportunities to explore the changing technology of the world in which we live. Students

become aware of the range of robots they come in contact with on a daily basis, as well as specialized robots such as

those used in the fields of space exploration and medicine.

Much of this unit is devoted to hands-on programming using Lego robotics materials. Students learn the basics of

Robolab software and then have a series of assignments that require them to programme their robot to perform

prescribed tasks. Level of complexity increases over the course of the unit, and it is through trial, error and revision

that students ultimately reach success. Planning, collaboration, higher order thinking and perseverance all play critical

roles.

To complement the hands-on aspect of the unit, students conduct research into robots that are changing the way we

do things and extending human capabilities. They also get creative in coming up with ideas for new robots they would

like to design to improve their lives. Discussions about how robots are different from other machines and whether

there are limits to what we should be programming robots to do complete the unit.

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Science and Health

Organizations for Life

Theme: Understanding our need for Pattern and Order

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand how humans function and develop.

• Identify the physical, interpersonal and emotional changes appropriate to adolescence.

• Describe age-appropriate matters related to sexuality.

• Identify the systems of the human body and their functions.

STANDARD: Learners understand the importance of healthy behaviors and reducing health risks.

• Recognize the relationship between positive health behaviors and the prevention of injury, illness, disease and

premature death.

STANDARD: Learners understand the interrelationship between organisms and their environment.

• Make the connection between structure and function in living things.

Essential Questions:

• How do the fundamental life processes depend on the cell?

• How do cells function as single and multi-cellular organisms?

• How do the different body systems interact to keep us working?

• How do the choices we make affect our bodies, their development and health?

Capturing the Essence:

Our bodies are made of complex, organized and interconnected systems. We are able to make healthy choices to keep

those systems functioning optimally.

This unit provides an in-depth look at the cell, the body systems and the changes of puberty. The unit starts with the

basic building block of life – the cell. Students learn about the history of the microscope and how to use it, and they

then prepare slides that allow them to observe both plant and animal cells. They look for similarities and differences,

confirming their observations through information available in textbooks and other sources. A project entitled Cell

City allows them to extend what they know about cell parts and functions.

To further deepen understanding of interdependent systems, the unit then shifts to looking at how the human body is

organized and which organs work together for different purposes. Students work in teams to study one of the systems

in depth, and they then share this knowledge with classmates to acquire a complete overview. By the end of the unit,

students are expected to be able to label different organs and describe the ways they are interconnected.

Several lessons are devoted to puberty and the physical, social and emotional changes adolescents experience at this

time of their lives. Students understand that these changes are a normal part of development and that there are people

they can go to for further information. Throughout the unit, students have opportunities to explore healthy choices

and the impact our decisions have on our bodies and wellbeing.

38 Grade 6


Science

Keeping Work Simple

Theme: Understanding our need for Innovation and Productivity

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand the nature of scientific knowledge and inquiry.

• Recognize that an essential part of experimental design is the identification and control of variables.

• Realize that scientific knowledge is subject to modification as new information challenges prevailing theories.

• New ideas in science sometimes come from unexpected findings.

• Believe that science has a role to play in addressing industrial, ethical and environmental issues.

STANDARD: Learners understand the physical environment.

• Analyze the effects of various factors on physical and chemical changes.

Essential Questions:

• How do developments of the past have things in common with what’s being developed in the world today?

• What relationships exist between forces and motion in simple machines?

• How do the six simple machines change the work we do?

Capturing the Essence:

Need is the mother of invention, which prompts creation of new tools and machines. Simple machines form the

foundation of larger, more complex machines. Forces and energy interact to make these machines work.

This unit starts with a review of the six simple machines and the history behind them. Students then explore where they

see these machines in operation in today’s world and how simple machines combine to form more complex machines.

Students are required to put this knowledge in practice as they design and construct a model that incorporates

elements from at least two simple machines. They also identify situations where new machine ideas came from existing

knowledge coupled with need.

Students learn about forces and motion through video clips, text sources and experimentation. They find examples of

these principles in their daily lives and see regular demonstrations that help them understand complex ideas. Students

come to realize that what they think is true sometimes run counter to what can be proven scientifically.

This unit links to the extended field trip where students will see how pulleys, levers and other simple machines were

used during construction in Florence. They will also have opportunities to learn more about scientists like Da Vinci and

Newton who extended our understanding of these principles through their experimentation and inventions.

Social Studies

Finding Balance in Our Uneven World

Theme: Understanding our need for Sustainability

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand that resources and economic activities impact the nature of human

organizations.

• Identify the factors that influence people’s access to resources, goods and services.

• Explain the effects of resource distribution on individuals and societies.

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STANDARD: Learners understand the nature of interdependence between human beings and the

environment.

• Describe and explain how settlement patterns are influenced by the weather, topography and availability of

resources (fuels, water, fertile soil).

• Explain, with examples, how the characteristics of places are shaped by human activities (agriculture, roads, land

forms).

• Explain, with examples, how human induced changes in the physical environment in one place can cause changes

in other places.

Cross Disciplinary Skills, Information Literacy

STANDARD: Learners use information responsibly.

• Understand plagiarism and do not present others’ work or ideas as their own.

Dispositional Standards

STANDARD: Learners actively display sensitivity towards the situations of others, demonstrating an ability

and willingness to ‘walk in the shoes of others’ and modifying their views and actions accordingly.

Essential Questions:

• What links exist between money, power and development?

• How are changes in nature and human behavior connected?

• How does development impact the lives of children around the world?

• How can we encourage people to take responsibility for those less fortunate?

Capturing the Essence:

We live in a world of limited resources and interdependence. We need to understand the environmental and social

impact of the decisions we make and act responsibly.

This unit starts with a focus on geography, exploring different geographical features and the way they influence human

life in those regions. Students are also introduced to a range of maps that provide them with physical, political and

socio-economic information.

Students then use the information and skills to investigate what it means to be a developed and a developing country.

They analyze factors that influence development and consider what life is like for people in different parts of the

world. They also explore inequities and why not everyone has their basic needs met, even in the most developed of

countries.

A particular focus for the unit is how development impacts the lives of children across the globe. Classes choose a

topic such as child labor, AIDS orphans or refugee camp children to better understand the realities of peers in other

parts of the world. They review the UN Rights of the Child and Millennium Goals. As a final project, they propose ways

of helping improve the lives of children whose basic needs and rights are not currently being met.

Social Studies

A New World?

Theme: Understanding our need for Group Membership

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand the organization of people in groups and the rights, roles and responsibilities

of people as they interact within groups.

40 Grade 6


• Recognize how historical developments have had an impact on social, political and religious organizations.

• Identify ways in which social and cultural characteristics may be transmitted from one society to another.

STANDARD: Learners understand how culture and heritage shape human organizations.

• Analyze the effects of cultural interaction.

• Analyze relationships that can exist between cultural groups and the impact of these relationships.

STANDARD: Learners understand that resources and economic activities impact on the nature of human

organizations.

• Identify the factors that influence people’s access to resources, good and services.

Cross Disciplinary Skills, Information Literacy

STANDARD: Learners evaluate and select information.

• Listen, read, view to identify information related to the task.

• Review initial information to clarify, revise or refine questions.

• Determine accuracy and relevance of information.

Essential Questions:

• What compels people to explore?

• What are common characteristics of explorers?

• What are positive and negative effects of exploration?

• Who sponsors exploration and for what motives?

Capturing the Essence:

Throughout history, humans have pushed back the frontiers in terms of land, space and ideas.

This unit opens with a chance for students to step into the shoes of an explorer as they are put in expedition teams

and given the responsibility of getting to and then visiting a site in Brussels without any adult assistance (just a ‘guardian

angel’ presence!). Once they’ve returned safely, they reflect on the experience and record their feelings as well as their

thoughts on team dynamics, the role they personally took and the challenges and successes they faced along the way.

Using this simulation as a springboard, students delve into the Age of Exploration. They look at the people who

explored and the motivation behind their ventures. They also consider the effects on people who lived in the regions

being explored. Students conduct in-depth research on a famous explorer or expedition and present their findings in

an original format. Examples may include journal entries written from the first person perspective of the explorer or

a proposal the explorer might have presented to obtain funding and permission for the trip.

Students broaden their perspective on the topic by looking at examples reflecting diversity of gender, time period and

geography. They also consider the question of whether there continue to be things to explore today.

Social Studies

The Past Molds the Future

Theme: Understanding our need for Creativity and Design.

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand the organization of people in groups and the rights, roles and responsibilities

of people as they interact within groups.

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• Recognize how historical developments have had an impact on social, political and religious organizations.

• Identify ways in which social and cultural characteristics may be transmitted from one society to another.

STANDARD: Learners understand the skills and processes of historical inquiry and the role of historical

perspective in interpreting the past.

• Demonstrate the skills of the historian, such as analyzing, summarizing and evaluating in order to make sense of

history.

STANDARD: Learners understand the concepts of continuity and change in shaping the present and the

past.

• Analyze how beliefs and ideas have changed society and continue to change it.

• Understand and analyze the concepts of cause and effect between historical elements.

STANDARD: Learners understand the importance of making historical connections between people, places

and events.

• Describe how key events and people are connected to one another in time.

• Investigate how cultural elements such as language, literature, the arts, customs and belief systems reflect the ideas

of an historical period.

Cross Disciplinary Skills, Information Literacy

STANDARD: Learners develop and communicate new understanding.

• Communicate information in appropriate formats.

• Communicate clearly to various audiences

Essential Questions:

• How do exploration and developments during the Renaissance impact our lives today?

• How did beliefs, knowledge and experiences change during the Renaissance?

• What makes someone a ‘Renaissance Person’?

Capturing the Essence:

There are times in history when many factors come together to allow society to flourish.

This unit explores the Italian Renaissance and the dramatic ways society changed and developed over a relatively short

period of time. Students come to the unit with background knowledge from their Grade 5 studies of Ancient Greece

and Rome. They briefly touch on the Middle Ages and then turn their attention to how and why things changed around

the 14th century.

The highlight of the unit is the extended field trip to Florence, Italy where students can witness firsthand the art,

architecture, history and science of the Renaissance. Students prepare for the trip at school, investigating important

people, places, events and ideas. They then spend a week deepening their knowledge and understanding as they walk

the streets of Florence, visit museums and experience what the city has to offer.

Upon return, students choose a person who lived during this time period and conduct further research to prove how

this person exemplified the qualities of a ‘Renaissance Person’. Their findings are presented in a Living Museum as well

as a persuasive essay.

Another important assignment is the field trip scrapbook which documents their experiences and serves as a lasting

souvenir of a very special journey.

42 Grade 6


Specialist Subjects in the

Visual Arts

Elementary School

The elementary art programme is an exciting place for children to develop their skills as young visual artists. Lessons

are tailored to ensure that each student is encouraged as not just an ‘art maker’, but also as an art historian and art

critic. This holistic approach to art education allows for each student’s passions, strengths, and personality to shine

through and further develop.

The young artists are trained in a wide variety of media, including both traditional and new media materials. Students

are introduced to artists and art making traditions from around the world. Visiting artists complement the programme

by introducing specialized projects and sharing their experiences in the field.

Art classes meet once a week for 60 minutes.

Standards (Grades 3 to 5):

STANDARD: Learners understand and apply media, techniques, and processes related to the visual arts.

• Differentiate between art materials (e.g. paint, clay, wood, videotape), techniques (e.g. overlapping, shading, varying

size or color), and processes (e.g. addition and subtraction in sculpture, casting and constructing in making

jewelry).

• Describe different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses from the viewer.

• Communicate ideas, experiences, and stories using different media (e.g. oil, watercolor, stone, metal, etc.), techniques,

and processes.

• Use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner.

STANDARD: Learners understand that they know how to use structures (e.g. sensory qualities, organizational

principles, expressive features) and functions of art. Learners understand that there is a wide range of

potential ideas that can be expressed in the visual arts, including subject matter choices and the particular

symbols selected for use.

• Differentiate among visual characteristics (e.g. color, texture, etc. and purposes of art) to convey ideas.

• Organize different compositional, expressive features (e.g. evoking joy, sadness, anger), and organizational principles

(e.g. repetition, balance, emphasis, contrast, unity) to illicit different responses.

• Use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas.

STANDARD: Learners understand a range of subject matter, symbols, and potential ideas in the visual arts.

• Select prospective ideas (e.g. formulated thoughts, opinions, concepts) for works of art.

• Knows how subject matter, symbols, and ideas are used to communicate meaning.

STANDARD: Learners understand the visual arts in relation to history and cultures.

• Know that the visual arts have both a history and a specific relationship to various cultures.

• Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.

• Know how history, culture, and the visual arts can influence each other.

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43


STANDARD: Learners understand the characteristics and merits of one’s own artwork and the artwork of

others.

• Know various purposes for creating works of visual art.

• Know how people’s experiences (e.g. cultural background, human needs) can influence the development of specific

artworks.

• Understand that specific artworks can elicit different responses.

Standards (Grade 6):

STANDARD: Learners understand and apply media, techniques, and processes related to the visual arts.

• Determine what makes different art media, techniques, and processes effective (or ineffective) in communicating

various ideas.

• Communicate experiences and ideas in an enhanced manner aware of the qualities and characteristics of art

media, techniques, and processes.

STANDARD: Learners understand that they know how to use structures (e.g. sensory qualities, organizational

principles, expressive features) and functions of art. Learners understand that there is a wide range of potential

ideas that can be expressed in the visual arts, including subject matter choices and the particular symbols

selected for use.

• Recognize some of the effects of various visual structures (e.g. design elements, such as line, color, shape; and

principles, such as repetition, rhythm, balance) and functions of art.

• Assess what makes various organizational structures effective (or ineffective) in the communication of ideas.

• Analyze the qualities of structures and functions of art are used to improve communication of one’s ideas.

STANDARD: Learners understand a range of subject matter, symbols, and potential ideas in the visual arts.

• Recognize how visual, spatial, and temporal concepts integrate with content to communicate intended meaning

in one’s artworks.

• Analyze intended meaning in artworks is conveyed through different subjects, themes and symbols (through

context, value and aesthetics).

STANDARD: Learners understand the visual arts in relation to history and cultures.

• Recognize similarities and differences among the characteristics of artworks from various eras and cultures (e.g.

materials; visual, spatial and temporal structures).

• Understand the historical and cultural contexts of a variety of art objects.

• Understand how factors of time and place (e.g. climate, resources, ideas, technology) influence visual, spatial or

temporal characteristics that give meaning or function to a work of art.

STANDARD: Learners understand the characteristics and merits of one’s own artwork and the artwork of

others.

• Distinguish among multiple purposes for creating works of art.

• Understand possible contemporary and historic meanings in specific artworks.

• Understand how one’s own artworks, as well as artworks from various eras and cultures, may elicit a variety of

responses.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to make connections between visual arts and other disciplines in the

curriculum.

44 Grade 6


• Compare the characteristics of works in two or more art forms that share similar subject matter, historical

periods or cultural contexts.

• Describe ways in which the principles and subject matter of other disciplines taught in the school are interrelated

with the visual arts.

French

School wide Language Learning Standards and Benchmarks

Standards:

Level A1

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as listeners.

• Can follow speech which is very slow and carefully articulated, with long pauses for him/her to assimilate.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as readers.

• Can understand very short, simple texts of single phrase at a time, picking up familiar names, words and basic

phrases and rereading as required.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as communicators.

• Can interact in a simple way but communication is totally dependent on repetition at a slower rate of speech,

rephrasing and repair.

• Can ask and answer simple questions, initiate and respond to simple statements in areas of immediate need or on

very familiar topics.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as speakers.

• Can produce simple mainly isolated phrases about people, places and things.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as writers.

• Can write simple isolated phrases and sentences.

Level A2

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as listeners.

• Can understand phrases and expressions related to areas of most immediate priority (e.g. very basic personal and

family information, shopping, local geography, …) provided speech is clearly and slowly articulated.

• Can understand enough to be able to meet needs of a concrete type provided speech is clearly and slowly

articulated.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as readers.

• Can understand short, simple texts containing the highest frequency vocabulary, including a proportion of shared

international vocabulary items.

• Can understand short, simple texts on familiar matters of a concrete type which consist of high frequency everyday

(…).

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as communicators.

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45


• Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar

and routine matters to do with free time.

• Can handle very short social exchanges but is rarely able to understand enough to keep conversation going of his/

her own accord.

• Can interact with reasonable ease in structured situations and short conversations, provided the other person

helps if necessary.

• Can manage simple, routine exchanges without undue effort.

• Can ask and answer question and exchange ideas and information on familiar topics in predictable everyday

situations

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as speakers.

• Can give a simple description or presentation of people, living, daily routines, likes/dislikes, etc. as a short series of

simple phrases and sentences linked into a list.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as writers.

• Can write a series of simple phrases and sentences linked with simple connectors like ‘and’,‘but’ and ‘because’.

Level B1

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as listeners.

• Can understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters regularly encountered in school,

leisure, etc. including short narratives.

• Can understand straightforward factual information about common everyday, identifying both general messages

and specific details, provided speech is clearly articulated in a generally familiar accent.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as readers.

• Can read straightforward factual texts on subjects related to his/her field and interest with a satisfactory level of

comprehension.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as communicators.

• Can exploit a wide range of simple language to deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling.

• Can enter unprepared into conversation on familiar topics, express personal opinions and exchange information

on topics that are familiar, of personal interest or pertinent to everyday life (e.g. family, hobbies, work, travel and

current events).

• Can communicate with some confidence on familiar routine and non-routine matters related to his/her interests

(…).

• Can exchange, check and confirm information, deal with less routine situations and explain why something is a

problem.

• Can express thoughts on more abstract, cultural topics such as films, books, music etc.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as speakers.

• Can reasonably fluently sustain a straightforward description of one of a variety of subjects within his/her field of

interest, presenting it as a linear sequence of points.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as writers.

• Can write straightforward connected texts on a range of familiar subjects within his field of interest, by linking a

series of shorter discrete elements into a linear sequence.

46 Specialist Subjects


Level B2

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as listeners.

• Can understand the main ideas of propositionally and linguistically complex speech on both concrete and abstract

topics delivered in a standard dialect, including technical discussions (…).

• Can follow extended speech and complex lines of argument provided the topic is reasonably familiar, and the

direction of the talk is sign-posted by explicit makers.

• Can understand standard spoken language, live or broadcast, on both familiar and unfamiliar topics normally

encountered in personal, social, academic or vocational life. Only extreme background noise, inadequate discourse

structure and/or idiomatic usage influences the ability to understand.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as readers.

• Can read with a large degree of independence, adapting style and speed of reading to different texts and purposes,

and using appropriate reference sources selectively. Has a broad active reading vocabulary, but may experience

some difficulty with low frequency idioms.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as communicators.

• Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction, and sustained relationships

with native speakers quite possible without imposing strain on either party.

• Can highlight the personal significance of events and experiences, account for and sustain views clearly by providing

relevant explanation and arguments.

• Can use the language fluently, accurately and effectively on a wide range of general, academic, vocational or leisure

topics, marking clearly the relationships between ideas.

• Can communicate spontaneously with good grammatical control without much sign of having to restrict what he/

she wants to say, adopting a level of formality appropriate to the circumstances.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as speakers.

• Can give clear, detailed descriptions and presentations on a wide range of subjects related to his/her field of

interest, expanding and supporting ideas with subsidiary points and relevant examples.

• Can give clear, systematically developed descriptions and presentations, with appropriate highlighting of significant

points, and relevant supporting detail.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as writers.

• Can write clear, detailed texts on a variety of subjects related to his/her field of interest, synthesizing and evaluating

information and arguments from a number of sources.

Level C1

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as listeners.

• Can understand enough to follow extended speech of abstract and complex topics beyond his/her own field,

though he/she may need to confirm occasional details, especially if the accent is unfamiliar.

• Can recognize a wide range of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms, appreciating register shifts.

• Can follow extended speech even when it is not clearly structured and when relationships are only implied and

not signaled explicitly.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as readers.

• Can understand in detail lengthy, complex texts, whether or not they relate to his/her own area of specialty,

provided he/she can reread difficult sections.

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47


STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as communicators.

• Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously, almost effortlessly. Has a good command of broad lexical

repertoire allowing gaps to be readily overcome with circumlocutions. There is little obvious searching for

expressions or avoidance strategies; only a conceptually difficult subject can hinder a natural, smooth flow of

language.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as speakers.

• Can give clear, detailed descriptions and presentations on complex subjects, integrating sub-themes, developing

particular points and rounding off with an appropriate conclusion.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as writers.

• Can write clear, well-structured texts of complex subjects, underlining the relevant salient issues, expanding and

supporting points of view at some length with subsidiary points, reasons and relevant examples, and rounding off

with an appropriate conclusion.

Level C2

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as listeners.

• Has no difficulty in understanding any kind of spoken language; whether live or broadcast, delivered at fast native

speed.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as readers.

• Can understand and interpret critically virtually all forms of the written language, including abstract, structurally

complex, or highly colloquial literary and non-literary writings.

• Can understand a wide range of long and complex texts, appreciating subtle distinctions of style and implicit as

well as explicit meaning.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as communicators

• Has a good command of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms with awareness of connotative levels of

meaning.

• Can convey finer shades of meaning precisely by using, with reasonable accuracy, a wide range of modification

devices.

• Can backtrack and restructure around a difficulty so smoothly the interlocutor is hardly aware of it.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as speakers.

• Can produce clear, smoothly flowing well-structured speech with an effective logical structure which helps the

recipient to notice and remember significant points.

STANDARD: Learners understand themselves as writers.

• Can write clear, smoothly flowing, complex texts in an appropriate and effective style and a logical structure which

helps the reader to find significant points.

48 Specialist Subjects


French Language in Grades Three – Six

The French programme in the ES provides opportunities to acquire and perfect language skills at a range of levels, from

complete beginner to native mother tongue. All classes are conducted in French, and the approach is active so that

students continually use the language and gain confidence in applying their skills to real life contexts.

The curriculum is based on the European Council standards and benchmarks. ES French students span a range of levels,

from A1 to C1 (see above information for details).

Throughout the year, students are regularly exposed to Belgian traditions, history and culture. Connections to

homeroom programme are integrated as appropriate. Starting in 6th grade, students who meet certain criteria are

able to take Social Studies in French.

ES French classes meet four times a week (3 x 45 minutes and 1 x 60 minutes).

Key Objectives:

Grade 3 & 4 Beginners

Speaking and listening

• Follow classroom directions.

• Respond to simple questions.

• Pronounce words & phrases clearly.

• Name & describe objects & actions.

• Identify basic grammar rules (genders, plural).

• Conjugate basic action verbs at the 3 singular forms in the present tense.

• Memorize phrases, rhymes & songs.

• Use short phrases to convey meaning.

Reading

• Use basic letter/sound cues and patterns.

• Follow written directions.

• Recognize core words and phrases.

• Read aloud clearly core words and phrases.

Writing

• Respond to simple questions with single words and/or phrases.

• Use phonetic spelling and/or write high frequency words correctly.

• Apply basic grammar rules (genders, plural).

Grade 3 & 4 Intermediate

Speaking and listening

• Follow classroom directions.

• Respond to questions with more than one-word answer, short phrases.

• Ask simple questions.

• Name & describe objects with adjectives.

• Memorize and clearly reproduce phrases, rhymes & songs.

• Use the’ I form’ to describe oneself.

• Use short phrases to convey meaning.

• Identify basic grammar rules (genders, plural).

• Use basic action verbs at the je tu il/elle forms.

The ES Curriculum

49


Reading

• Use basic letter/sound cues and patterns.

• Understand simple written sentences & instructions.

• Recognize core words and phrases.

• Read aloud clearly core words and phrases.

• Retell in mother tongue main ideas of a short text.

Writing

• Respond to simple questions with single words and/or phrases.

• Use phonetic spelling and/or write high frequency words correctly.

• Describe objects and simple actions.

Grade 3 & 4 Advanced

Speaking and listening

• Follow classroom directions.

• Respond to questions with structured sentences.

• Ask structured questions using appropriate form (formal / informal).

• Describe objects with agreed adjectives.

• Apply basic grammar rules (gender, plural)

• Use the 3rd person plural forms to describe oneself & others.

• Use precise phrases to convey meaning.

• Use basic action verb at the 3rd person plural forms.

• Tell personal future experiences (weekend, holidays).

• Retell personal past experiences (weekend, holidays).

• Retell a story with own words.

• Use negative and interrogative forms.

Reading

• Understand written sentences & instructions.

• Clearly read aloud phrases, idioms and expressions.

• Read and understand short chapter books.

• Be able to select appropriate reading material (magazines, books, comics, …).

Writing

• Respond to questions with phrases.

• Write high frequency words and sounds correctly.

Grade 3 & 4 Bilingual

Speaking and listening

• Understand the main points on familiar matters (school, leisure, …).

• Understand straightforward factual information about familiar topics, identifying both general messages and specific

details.

• Respond to questions with structured sentences.

• Ask structured questions using appropriate form (formal / informal).

• Describe objects with agreed adjectives.

• Apply basic grammar rules (gender, plural)

• Use the 3rd person plural forms to describe oneself & others.

• Use precise phrases to convey meaning.

• Use basic action verb at the 3rd person plural forms.

• Tell personal future experiences (weekend, holidays).

• Retell personal past experiences (weekend, holidays).

• Retell a story with own words.

• Use negative and interrogative forms.

50 Specialist Subjects


Reading

• Clearly read aloud phrases, idioms and expressions, respecting punctuation and reading with expression.

• Read and understand chapter books.

• Be able to select appropriate reading material (magazines, books, comics).

• Read straightforward factual texts on subjects related to his/her field and interest with a satisfactory level of

comprehension.

Writing

• Respond to questions with phrases.

• Write high frequency words and sounds correctly.

• Use phonetic spelling to write independently.

• Use dictionary for linguistic support (meaning, gender and spelling).

• Apply basic grammar rules agreements (genders, plural) nouns, adjectives, pronouns.

• Apply regular and main basic irregular verbs in 3rd person plural forms in present (-er verbs, être, avoir, … ).

• Write future and past events using the basics of past and future tenses.

• Write a short composition (letter / paragraph / fiction / research).

• Identify and explain the role and interaction of the main words of the sentence (nouns-verbs-adjectives).

• Correctly spell the main typical French sounds (oi-ou-en/em/an/em-…).

Grade 5 & 6 Beginners

Speaking and listening

• Follow classroom directions.

• Ask & respond to simple questions.

• Pronounce words & phrases clearly.

• Name & describe objects & actions.

• Apply basic grammar rules (genders, plural).

• Use regular and basic irregular verbs in all forms in present and future (futur proche) tenses.

• Retell personal past experiences (weekend, holidays).

• Use negative and interrogative forms.

• Memorize phrases, rhymes & songs.

• Use short phrases to convey meaning.

• Present a short paragraph on a prepared topic.

Reading

• Use basic letter/sound cues and patterns.

• Follow written directions.

• Recognize core words and phrases.

• Read aloud clearly core words and phrases.

• Retell and summarize in mother tongue a short authentic text (letter, article, menu, TV programme).

Writing

• Respond to simple questions with single words and/or phrases.

• Write high frequency words correctly.

Grade 5 & 6 Intermediate

Speaking and listening

• Follow classroom directions.

• Respond to questions with more than one-word answer, short phrases.

• Ask simple & respond to simple questions.

• Name & describe objects with adjectives.

The ES Curriculum

51


• Apply basic grammar rules (gender, plural).

• Memorize and clearly reproduce phrases, rhymes & songs.

• Use the 3rd person plural forms to describe oneself & others.

• Use simple but precise phrases to convey meaning.

• Identify basic grammar rules (genders, plural).

• Use basic action verbs at the 3rd person plural forms.

• Use regular and basic irregular verbs in all forms in present and future (futur proche)tenses.

• Retell personal past experiences (weekend, holidays).

• Use negative and interrogative forms.

Reading

• Use basic letter/sound cues and patterns.

• Understand simple written sentences & instructions.

• Recognize core words and phrases.

• Read aloud clearly core words and phrases.

• Retell in simple French main ideas of a short text.

Writing

• Respond to simple questions with single words and/or phrases.

• Write high frequency words correctly.

• Apply basic grammar rules agreements (genders, plural) nouns, adjectives, pronouns.

• Apply regular and basic irregular verbs in all forms in present and future tenses.

• Recall past events in simple sentences.

• Write a short paragraph on a prepared topic.

5 & 6 Advanced

Speaking and listening

• Understand the main points on familiar matters (school, leisure, etc).

• Understand straightforward factual information about familiar topics, identifying both general messages and specific

details.

• Respond to questions with structured sentences.

• Ask structured questions using appropriate form (formal / informal).

• Describe objects with agreed adjectives.

• Apply basic grammar rules (gender, plural).

• Use the 3rd person plural forms to describe oneself & others.

• Use precise phrases to convey meaning.

• Use basic action verb at the 3rd person plural forms.

• Tell personal future experiences (weekend, holidays).

• Retell personal past experiences (weekend, holidays).

• Retell a story with own words.

• Use negative and interrogative forms.

Reading

• Clearly read aloud phrases, idioms and expressions, respecting punctuation and reading with expression.

• Read and understand short chapter books.

• Be able to select appropriate reading material (magazines, books, comics).

• Read straightforward factual texts on subjects related to his/her field and interest with a satisfactory level of

comprehension.

Writing

• Respond to questions with phrases.

• Write high frequency words and sounds correctly.

• Use phonetic spelling to write independently.

52 Specialist Subjects


• Use dictionary for linguistic support (meaning, gender and spelling).

• Apply basic grammar rules agreements (genders, plural) nouns, adjectives, pronouns.

• Apply regular and basic irregular verbs in 3rd person plural forms in present (être, avoir, faire, aller, aimer).

• Write future and past events using the basics of past and future tenses.

• Write a short composition (letter / paragraph / fiction / research).

Grade 5 & 6 Bilingual

Speaking and listening

• Understand the main ideas of complex and extended speech on both abstract and concrete topics.

• Understand standard spoken language, live or broadcast.

• Recognize a wide range of idiomatic expressions.

• Communicate with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that allows sustained relationship with native speakers

possible.

• Communicate spontaneously with good grammatical control and appropriate level of formality.

• Express him/herself fluently and spontaneously almost effortlessly; with a good command of broad lexical

repertoire.

• Give clear detailed descriptions and presentations on a wide range of subjects related to his/her field of interest.

• Give clear detailed descriptions and presentations on complex subjects.

Reading

• Read independently, adapting style and speed of reading to different texts and purposes.

• Understand in detail long complex texts, whether or not they relate to his/her own area.

Writing

• Write high frequency words and sounds correctly.

• Use dictionary for linguistic support (meaning and spelling).

• Apply basic grammar rules agreements (genders, plural) nouns, adjectives, pronouns.

• Apply regular and all irregular verbs in 3rd person plural forms in present (être, avoir, faire, aller, vouloir, savoir,

devoir, dire, mettre …).

• Correctly write future and past events using past and future tenses (passé composé-imparfaitpassé simple- futur

proche-futur simple).

• Write clear detailed texts on a variety of subjects related to his/her field of interest.

• Synthesize and evaluate information and arguments.

• Write clear detailed descriptions and presentations on complex subjects.

• Identify and explain the role and interaction of every word of a sentence (nouns-verbs-adjectives-adverbspronouns-articles-…).

• Identify and explain the role of the different parts of the sentence (subject-verb-complements-propositions-…).

• Correctly spell all typical French sounds (oi-ou-en/em/an/em-eille-eu-…).

Music

Music in Grades 3 and 4

The general music classes provide opportunities for students to work as musicians. Singing, moving, playing and

reading music, as well as improvising are all important components of the experience. There are also opportunities

for dramatic activities. Students work extensively with Orff instruments and recorders. There is a steady progression

of skills as they take on increasingly complex rhythms and harmonies, especially in ensemble situations. The ability to

work as an ensemble is another major focus of any music class. Music students at ISB therefore learn both in teacherdirected

situations, as well as self-directed, small groups. Students are exposed to a diverse body of music from across

cultures and historical periods.

As students near the end of Grade 4, they explore a range of band and orchestra instruments in preparation for Grade

5 music electives. A goal of the programme is to develop a lifelong enjoyment of music, as listened to, critiqued and

performed.

The ES Curriculum

53


General music classes meet twice a week for 45 minutes each.

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand how to sing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

• Sing on pitch and in rhythm, with appropriate timbre, diction, and posture, and maintain a steady tempo.

• Sing expressively, with appropriate dynamics, phrasing, and interpretation.

• Blend vocal timbres, matches dynamic levels, and respond to the cues of a conductor when singing as part of a

group.

• Know songs representing different genres (e.g. marches, work songs, lullabies, Dixieland) and styles (e.g. of various

composers, nations) from diverse cultures.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to perform a varied repertoire of music on instruments, alone and

with others.

• Perform on pitch, in rhythm, with appropriate dynamics and timbre, and maintain a steady tempo.

• Perform simple rhythmic, melodic, and chordal patterns accurately and independently on rhythmic, melodic, and

harmonic classroom instruments (e.g. recorder-type instruments, percussion instruments, keyboard instruments,

electronic instruments, fretted instruments such as a guitar or ukulele).

• Know a varied repertoire of music representing diverse genres and styles.

• Perform in groups (e.g. blend instrumental timbres, match dynamic levels, respond to the cues of a conductor).

• Perform independent instrumental parts (e.g. simple rhythmic or melodic ostinatos, contrasting rhythmic lines,

harmonic progressions and chords) while others sing or play contrasting parts.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to improvise melodies, variations and accompaniments.

• Improvise rhythmic and melodic motifs and/or spheres.

• Improvise simple rhythmic variations and simple melodic embellishments on familiar melodies.

• Improvise short songs and instrumental pieces using a variety of sound sources, including traditional sounds (e.g.

voices, instruments), nontraditional sounds (e.g. paper tearing, pencil tapping), body sounds (e.g. hands clapping,

fingers snapping).

STANDARD: Learners understand how to compose and arrange music within specified guidelines.

• Create and arrange music to accompany readings or dramatizations (e.g. manipulate dimensions such as the

variety of sounds, tempo, loudness, mood).

• Create and arrange short songs and instrumental pieces within specified guidelines (e.g. a particular style, form,

instrumentation, compositional technique).

STANDARD: Learners understand how to read and notate music.

• Know standard symbols used to notate meter (e.g. 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 time signatures), rhythm (e.g. whole, half, dotted

half, quarter, eighth notes), pitch (e.g. notes in treble clef), and dynamics (e.g. p, f, ) in simple patterns.

• Know symbols and traditional terms referring to dynamics (e.g. piano, forte, crescendo, diminuendo), tempo (e.g.

presto, ritard, accelerando), and articulation (e.g. staccato, legato, marcato, accent).

STANDARD: Learners understand how to apply appropriate criteria to music and musical performances.

• Know music of various styles representing diverse cultures.

• Know appropriate terminology used to explain music, music notation, music instruments and voices, and music

performances.

• Identify the sounds of a variety of instruments (e.g. orchestral, band, instruments from various cultures) and voices

(e.g. male, female, child voices).

54 Specialist Subjects


STANDARD: Learners understand the relationships between music and history and culture.

• Identify (by genre or style) music from various historical periods and cultures.

• Know how basic elements of music are used in music from various cultures of the world.

• Understand the roles of musicians (e.g. orchestra conductor, folk singer, church organist, etc.) in various music

settings and cultures.

Music in Grades 5 and 6

Students in Grades 5 and 6 participate in one of our ensemble groups – strings, band or choir. They learn the skills

required for their instrument of choice (including the voice), and they also learn how to participate effectively as part

of the larger group. Through daily practice and continual opportunities to practice skills in context, students progress

steadily and recognize the connection between the effort they invest and the success they achieve.

Students showcase their learning during informances, formal concerts and other community events for which they

perform. After-school activities are available for students who want additional opportunities to play with a group, and

there are yearly auditions for students who are interested in participating in honor ensembles that bring together

musicians from other schools.

Music classes meet twice a week for 60 minutes each. In addition, students have fortnightly sectionals that allow them

to get targeted instruction in a smaller group setting.

Standards:

STANDARD: Learners understand how to sing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

• Sing with good breath control, expression, and technical accuracy (e.g. appropriate timbre, intonation, and diction;

correct pitches and rhythms) at a level that includes modest ranges and changes of tempo, key, and meter.

• Sing music written in two and three parts.

• Know music that represents diverse genres (e.g. cantata, madrigal, jazz, barbershop) and cultures.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to perform a varied repertoire of music on instruments, alone and

with others.

• Perform on an instrument (e.g. band or orchestra instrument, keyboard instrument, fretted instrument such as

guitar, electronic instrument) accurately and independently, alone and in small and large ensembles, with good

posture, good playing position, and good breath, bow, or stick control.

• Perform with expression and technical accuracy on a string, wind, percussion, or other classroom instrument a

repertoire of instrumental literature that may include modest ranges and changes of tempo, key, and meter.

• Perform music representing diverse genres and cultures, with expression appropriate for the work being

performed.

• Play by ear simple melodies (e.g. folk songs) on a melodic instrument and simple accompaniments (e.g. strummed,

I, IV, V, vi, ii chords) on a harmonic instrument.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to improvise melodies, variations and accompaniments.

• Improvise simple harmonic accompaniments.

• Improvise melodic embellishments and simple rhythmic and melodic variations on given pentatonic melodies and

melodies in major keys.

• Improvise short melodies, unaccompanied and over given rhythmic accompaniments, in a consistent style (e.g.

classical, blues, folk, gospel), meter (e.g. duple, triple), and tonality (e.g. major, pentatonic).

STANDARD: Learners understand how to compose and arrange music within specified guidelines.

The ES Curriculum

55


• Know how the elements of music are used to achieve unity and variety, tension and release, and balance in musical

compositions.

• Compose short pieces within specified guidelines (e.g. ABA form, limited range, simple rhythms).

• Arrange simple pieces for voices or instruments other than those for which the pieces originally were written (e.g.

a guitar accompaniment for a folk song).

• Use a variety of traditional and nontraditional sound sources and electronic media (e.g. synthesizer, sequencer)

when composing and arranging.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to read and notate music.

• Read sixteenth and dotted notes and rests in 6/8, 3/8, and alla breve (2/2) meter signatures.

• Read at sight simple melodies in both the treble and bass clefs 3. Knows standard notation symbols for pitch,

rhythm, dynamics (e.g. piano, forte, crescendo, diminuendo), tempo, articulation (e.g. accents, legato, staccato,

marcato), and expression (e.g. phrasing).

• Use standard notation to record musical ideas.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to apply appropriate criteria to music and musical performances.

• Identify specific music events (e.g. entry of oboe, change of meter, return of refrain) when listening to music.

• Understand how the elements of music are used in various genres and cultures.

• Understand the basic principles of meter, rhythm, tonality, intervals, chords, and harmonic progressions.

STANDARD: Learners understand the relationships between music and history and culture.

• Understand distinguishing characteristics (e.g. relating to instrumentation, texture, rhythmic qualities, melodic

lines, form) of representative music genres and styles from a variety of cultures.

• Understand characteristics that cause various musical works (e.g. from different genres, styles, historical periods,

composers) to be considered exemplary.

• Understand the functions music services, roles of musicians (e.g. lead guitarist in a rock band, composer of jingles

for commercials, singer in Peking opera), and conditions under which music is typically performed in various

cultures of the world.

Physical Education

Physical Education in Grades 3 to 6

The physical education programme is designed with both physical and cognitive development in mind. It focuses on the

development of motor skills, strength, cardiovascular fitness, aerobic and anaerobic energy systems and flexibility. It

also provides students with opportunities for co-operating with others and developing positive personal qualities such

as perseverance, a willingness to problem solve and self-confidence.

We want children to develop their desire to be physically active and to understand how they can maintain a healthy

body and lifestyle. Personal hygiene is encouraged through the use of the PE uniform.

Recreational as well interscholastic matches are organized for different sporting events over the course of the year.

Major units include cross country, indoor hockey, basketball, softball, gymnastics and track and field.

PE classes meet twice a week for 60 minutes each.

Standards (Grade 3 to 5):

STANDARD: Learners understand how to develop a variety of motor competencies.

56 Specialist Subjects


• Exhibit basic movement forms, coordination, balance, agility and body awareness.

• Demonstrate smooth transitions between basic and complex sequential motor skills, with or without the use of

equipment.

• Demonstrate knowledge of body, time and space awareness.

• Demonstrate knowledge of sport specific vocabulary to describe basic body movements.

• Exhibit basic sport-specific skills for a variety of physical activities.

• Demonstrate basic movement during sport and game situations.

• Demonstrate simple problem solving in physical activities.

• Demonstrate efficient use of dominant hand, foot and side.

• Demonstrate control to sensory integration.

• Demonstrate integration of small motor skills in various physical activities.

• Apply principles of practice and conditioning to improve physical performance.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to develop a healthy and safe lifestyle.

• Apply knowledge of basic rules and equipment to perform safely during basic movement activities.

• Apply and demonstrate basic rules of hygiene.

• Demonstrate control of muscles and respiratory system while resting.

• Develop a positive movement attitude.

• Develop and maintain the necessary endurance, strength, flexibility and speed to meet the motor competencies.

• Recognize the characteristics of a healthy lifestyle.

• Recognize how to monitor intensity of exercise.

• Recognize activities that provide personal challenge.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to develop social skills and their self concept.

• Demonstrate the will to complete an assignment.

• Recognize, respect and value personal and group achievements.

• Recognize and respect rules, procedures, and etiquette in specific activity situations.

• Demonstrate teamwork to accomplish a set goal in both cooperative and competitive activities.

• Recognize the role of physical activities in learning more about others.

• Recognize the importance of sportsmanship and fair play.

Standards (Grade 6):

STANDARD: Learners understand how to develop a variety of motor competencies.

• Recognize principles of training and conditioning for specific physical activities.

• Recognize the critical elements of advanced movement skills.

• Apply basic offensive and defensive strategies in modified versions of team and individual sports.

• Apply movement forms in highly skilled physical activities and sport.

STANDARD: Learners understand how to develop a healthy and safe lifestyle.

• Recognizes long term physiological benefits of regular participation in physical activity.

• Perform advanced activities that develop and maintain cardio-respiratory endurance.

• Perform advanced activities that develop and maintain muscular strength and endurance.

• Perform advanced levels of activity that develop and maintain flexibility.

• Recognize the role of exercise and other factors in body weight and composition.

• Recognize basic principles of training that improve physical fitness.

• Apply health-related fitness standards to test appropriate level of a physical fitness test.

• Recognize how to interpret physical fitness assessments.

• Recognize how to identify the body’s response to various intensities (of effort/of exertion?)

STANDARD: Learners understand how to develop social skills and their self concept.

• Recognize and respect the importance of rules, procedures and safe practice in physical activity.

• Exhibit proper attitudes toward both winning and losing.

• Recognize the difference between inclusive and exclusionary behaviors in physical activities.

• Recognize physical activity as a vehicle for self-expression.

The ES Curriculum

57


We live in a world of limited resources and increasing demand. Becoming an international citizen

is about understanding the environmental impact of decisions we make, and the responsibility

this understanding brings. It is for this reason that all school publications are printed using

vegetal ink on products from controlled sources, managed forests, recycled wood or fibre, or

100% recycled paper.

The International School of Brussels a.s.b.l.

Kattenberg 19, 1170 - Brussels - Tel. +32 (0)2 661 42 11 - Fax +32 (0)2 661 42 00 - Email: admissions@isb.be

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