6-8: Middle School

Middle School

The concept-based curriculum builds into the Middle School years when the students learn how to understand the world.

Grade 6

Grade 6 Concept: Cultures in Contact

In their first year of Middle School, students examine how inter-cultural contact affects individuals, families, and societies. In English classes, students read Journey to America, Journey to Topaz, and Where the Red Fern Grows, novels which explore cultural contact through the lenses of war, persecution, and poverty. Students read a variety of short stories, including The Circuit and All-American Slurp, which examine cultural contact in relation to inter-generational conflict and cooperation. Students also learn about the traditional values and belief systems of other cultures through traditional fables and folk tales.

Social Studies lessons highlight the social structures, cultural conflicts and societal developments associated with the Reconstruction, the Frontier West, the rise of industry and immigration, World War I, the Jazz Age and World War II. In Science, students see the results of inter-cultural cooperation in the scientific community, focusing on the many theories, discoveries, and developments which fall under the realm of Life Science. Bible classes explore the message of the Gospel, prophecies of Jesus’ birth, His ministry, and His ultimate triumphal entry through ascension, emphasizing that while faith and belief systems may be challenged by inter-cultural contact, Biblical beliefs remain unchanged at their foundation.

Cultures in Contact

Concept Statements

1. Cultures come into contact for various reasons: war, persecution, poverty, commerce, exploration, technology and opportunity.

2. When cultures come into contact, inevitable change occurs in language, cultural expression, and social structure.

3. Intercultural contact causes tension which affects individuals and families when: a. people are forced to work together to survive and to thrive both within and between cultures, b. new leaders emerge, c. children often adopt different value systems than their parents and d. people’s faith and belief system are often challenged.

4. People’s faith and belief systems may be challenged with intercultural contact however Biblical foundational beliefs remain unchanged

Grade 7

Grade 7 Concept: People in Changing Environments

In the seventh grade, students focus on the larger world community and begin to explore different worldviews. In Social Studies, they analyze and discuss the interactions among cultures, technologies, governments and economies in global societies. In English, lessons examine how people adapt to changing social environments through texts such as To Kill a Mockingbird.  In Earth Science, the focus is on how humans have sought to understand Earth’s various processes, and how this understanding has adapted and changed through the exchange of technology and ideas.

West Bay nurtures students’ development of a worldview that reflects an understanding of Christian values.

Survey of People and Cultures Around the World

Essential Questions

  1. Why is the world the way it is today?
  2. What are the consequences of war?
  3. How can language be powerful and persuasive?
  4. How do different cultures reflect various worldviews?
  5. How do the Prophets explain the consequences of beliefs in action?

Grade 8

Grade 8 Concept: The Development of World Views

In the eighth grade, students explore the development of worldviews. English classes investigate how societies can be understood in terms of their structures, functions, and philosophies through works of literature such as Animal FarmJulius Caesar, and The Scarlet Pimpernel. In Social Studies lessons, students examine the formation of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman societies, and discover the important societal changes which occurred during the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation, and French Revolution. In Science, students discover those scientific principles and developments which fall under the field of Physical Science. In this year, students enroll in either the Algebra or Algebra Readiness math course. In Bible, students work to uncover and develop their own worldviews, examining topics such as general revelation, absolute truths, core beliefs, the uniqueness of Christ’s claims, and the importance of being a witness. Students also participate in weekly community service projects and activities. Eighth graders’ final year at West Bay culminates in the completion of the interdisciplinary Renaissance Project.

The Development of Worldviews

Essential Questions

  1. What are the factors that define a civilization through its rise and fall?
  2. What are the factors that drive civilizations to produce great contributions?
  3. What economic factors drive change in civilizations?
  4. How does an expanding worldview bring changes in civilization?
  5. What is the worldview reflected in the Kingdom of God?