In sixth grade, Norwood Students continue to be part of an advisory. Sixth graders take a leadership role, providing guidance and assistance for their younger peers just joining the Middle School, and serving as the more experienced players on their interscholastic athletic teams. In all of their classes, sixth graders continue to be challenged by new concepts and skills. Their social studies journey takes them from where they left off in the Middle Ages to the European Renaissance, the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, and the Age of Exploration. Toward the middle of the second quarter, they return to local waters, studying early American history with a focus on the colonies, the Revolutionary Period, and the Civil War. In the process, students take advantage of numerous local sites that add important context to their studies, for example, Mount Vernon, the National Archives, and the battlefields at Gettysburg. They continue to hone their critical reading and note-taking skills, and add to their research repertoire as they complete a more sophisticated research project at the end of the Civil War unit. In math and language arts, sixth graders master many of the skills introduced in fifth grade and take on new challenges. In math, for example, they start writing and solving equations in preparation for pre-algebra. In language arts, they write longer essays, face increased expectations for revision and editing, and have the opportunity to memorize and recite a poem as part of Poetry Day. Our sixth grade scientists enjoy a year focused primarily on biology, with extensive exploration and lab work connected to the human body, genetics, and evolution, and an independent science fair project for our annual Sixth Grade Experiment Expo. Students continue with their world language studies. They enjoy practicing and performing with their music ensembles and may also elect to perform in the Sixth Grade Variety Show. As in fifth grade, sixth graders celebrate the end of the year with an overnight camping trip that includes a number of outdoor challenge elements and group activities.