Middle Academics

Middle Academics

In the Middle School, students take courses in Mathematics, Sciences, Humanities, English, Design Technology, Physical Education, World Languages, and the Arts.

Students in the Middle School are enrolled in a full year of Mathematics, Science, Humanities, English, Physical Education, and Design Technology.

Every year in Middle School, students take one trimester of visual arts, performing arts, and music.

At IPA, students in Grade 6 experience a trimester of Japanese, Hawaiian, and Spanish language. In Grades 7 and 8, after students have had exposure to all three languages, as well as corresponding cultures and traditions, students select which of the three languages they would like to pursue as a full year class.

For more information about specific course offerings and descriptions at each grade level, see below. You can also download the Grade 6–8 Course Guide.

Middle Curriculum

Arts

Music

The Middle School Music program at IPA focuses the development of music fundamentals, as well as the exploration of basic music theory. Students learn to explore these concepts through learning to play the ukulele. By the end of the middle school, students will be able to read and perform music proficiently on the ukulele, and compose and perform a 12 bar blues.

Drama

The Middle School Theatre Arts program emphasizes artistic perception and creative expression. Students will be trained in the fundamental skills of theatre arts, including improvisation techniques, creative drama, body control, voice, diction, pantomime, learning of lines, creation of character, projection of ideas and emotions, and acting of scenes from plays. It will include dramatic play, story enactment, imagination journeys, theatre games, puppeteering, story-telling, role playing, music and dance.

Visual Arts

The Middle School Visual Arts program emphasizes an exploration into a variety of art and studio techniques. Ceramics gives students experiences in making functional as well as sculptural pieces. Well thought out forms, designs and functional uses along with good craftsmanship are also emphasized. The class is an introduction to basic techniques in both hand building and wheel- working. Various methods of glazing and firing are addressed as they relate to student work on specific projects.

Design Technology

Grade 6

The Grade 6 design course, Introduction to Design, provides an introduction to design thinking processes and technologies. Emphasis is on conceptual and technical skills that empower students to design solutions that address real world problems. Through design thinking and technology, this project-based learning course will guide students to carefully consider context, audience and purpose. Students will be challenged to craft a variety of solutions for given problems and to evaluate the impact of those solutions on the world around them. Students will begin building competencies in a variety of software and hardware design technologies.

Grade 7

The Grade 7 design course, Design Through Art, provides opportunities for students to develop problem solving skill through investigations in art and community development. Topics covered in this course will include art and technology as a tool for collaboration, building empathy towards our communities, modeling design ideas, creating solutions, and evaluating their process and product. The students will develop practical application of the design cycle by demonstrating their understanding through presentations, documentations, and end products produced. Art and technology are an integral component of the course, and students are encouraged to experiment with a range of different media during the year.

Grade 8

The Grade 8 design course, Entrepreneurship and Design, provides an introduction to professional level design software through an entrepreneurial lens. Students will gain the technical and conceptual skills to design, plan, produce and present solutions to real world problems. Students will use a variety of design tools, software, and design strategies to demonstrate their innovative solutions. The goal of this course is to leave students with a design thinking mindset that is necessary for 21st century citizenry.

English

Grade 6

Grade 6 English provides students the opportunity to build on their current knowledge and skills as well as develop and practice new concepts. Grammar and vocabulary skills will be introduced in mini lessons and woven into reading and writing. Students will learn how to read closely and think beyond the literal meaning of texts. As readers, they will learn strategies for approaching both fiction and nonfiction texts, including the use of reading “signposts” to help them notice and take note of important moments in their books and across texts. As writers, they will learn how to make claims and inferences and support each with text-based evidence, writing essays about characters and themes in different texts. Throughout our work in this class, students will be able to explore their self-identity and to discover what shapes their own values and beliefs.

Grade 7

Grade 7 English provides students the opportunity to build on their current knowledge and skills as well as gain knowledge of new ideas and concepts. Students will use reading and writing to help them make sense of themselves and the world around them. Grammar and vocabulary skills will be introduced in mini lessons and reinforced in the context of both reading and writing. In addition, seventh graders will critically read and analyze a variety of books, all of which are dealing with the ideas of identity, relationships, and communication. Students will gain insight into their role in the world while striving to create an appreciation for themselves as readers and writers.

Grade 8

Grade 8 English immerses students in the art of narrative, or storytelling, within the texts we read and within the larger realm of how narrative creates and is created by reality. Narrative, or storytelling, is powerful. Native American author, Leslie Marmon Silko, once wrote, “as I tell the story/it will begin to happen,” which suggests that narrative creates reality. Together, we will explore how narrative forms individual, cultural, community, and even national identity. Along the way, we will also explore the concept of lifelong learning and what it means to be functioning and active members of both local and global communities.

Humanities

Grade 6

Grade 6 Humanities focuses on cultural geography. Students will be learning about the world around them by gaining cultural awareness. Through the study of continents and cultures across the globe, students will gain a unique understanding of why culture and ideals are important to people everywhere. Students will also learn about how various social and cultural systems function. More importantly, students will be able to explore their own self-identity to discover what shapes their own values and beliefs. This class will be supplemented with a variety of relevant books, films, and current events.

Grade 7

The focus of Grade 7 Humanities pertains to the study of Ancient Civilizations. Through various projects, students will explore the emergence of cultures across the globe. Units of study will touch upon the importance of understanding ancient cultures, as well as pondering their origins and eventual demise; thus helping students to recognize continuity and change over time. Students will also learn about various governmental structures. The class will be supplemented with a variety of relevant books, films, and current events.

Grade 8

The Grade 8 Humanities course focuses on a thematic examination of early American history. It begins with the pre-Columbian era and a study of Native Americans and extends to the Civil War. Units will focus on different time periods, as well as the foundations of national identity and governmental structures of the United States. Issues of discrimination, community and belonging will also be addressed through the close reading of various novels and primary sources. The class will be supplemented with a variety of relevant books, films, and current events.

Mathematics

Grade 6

Integrated Mathematics 6 focuses on building skills in the areas of number, algebra, geometry, statistics and probability, and discrete mathematics. Computational work, problem-solving strategies, improving mathematical communication, and reflection upon the analysis of various situations are important components in this course. Mathematics plays an essential role in school and the world around us. Knowledge of that language will be facilitated by promoting critical thinking skills that lead to the development of logic and analytic reasoning abilities and the solving of real world applications.

Grade 7

Integrated Mathematics 7 provides students the opportunity to revisit the concepts of number, algebra, geometry, statistics and probability, and discrete mathematics with a focus on furthering, as well as developing greater depth of conceptual understanding and skill. Critical thinking skills that lead to the development of logic and analytic reasoning abilities and the solving of real world applications are also further developed throughout the 7th grade mathematics course.

Grade 8

Integrated Mathematics 8 builds on experiences in mathematics learning that students have gained in the previous mathematics courses. The use of structured inquiry is a precursor to the problem-solving and inquiry-based approach. Students will have developed not only an inquiring and reflective approach to mathematics learning, but also critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which they will be able to apply and extend in further mathematics courses.

Physical Education (PE)

Grades 6 – 8

Physical Education is intended to establish a lifelong interest in and enjoyment of physical activities. Special attention will be given to establishing relationships with classmates, and understanding different roles as part of a larger group. Students will participate in team and individual sports, as well as non-sport related physical activity to better understand the importance of a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Students will learn the basics of nutrition and begin to establish a balance of age appropriate diet and exercise to reach their optimal level of physical fitness and overall health. Overall, students will begin to build the groundwork for a healthy life, lessons that they can take with them well past their school age years.

Sciences

Grade 6

The Grade 6 science class explores the world of physical sciences. Each student will develop a Science Fair project of their choice throughout the first semester. Through Science Fair, the students will apply the scientific process to a topic of their interest and learn lab report writing skills that will be used in all subsequent science classes at IPA. The course content will focus on chemistry and physics, which constitute the physical sciences. 6th grade students will learn and investigate matter, chemical reactions, water solutions, and basic physics concepts.

Grade 7

The Grade 7 science class explores the world of life sciences. Each student will develop a Science Fair project of their choice throughout the first semester. Through Science Fair, the students will apply the scientific process to a topic of their interest and develop lab report writing skills that will be used in all subsequent science classes at IPA. The course content will focus on the biology of the human body. 7th grade students will learn about cells, genetics and the inheritance of traits, and how the human organ systems function.

Grade 8

The Grade 8 science class explores the world of environmental sciences with an emphasis on the exploring and discovering our home environment here in Hawaiʻi. Through hands-on, student-centered lab activities students will learn about the scientific method. Oceanography, atmosphere, global patterns and the Hawaiian environment are all topics that will be covered in this course.

World Languages

Grade 6

In the Grade 6 World Languages course, Language Explorations I, students will have the opportunity to learn basic language skills in Spanish, Japanese, and Hawaiian language (one trimester each). Language Explorations I will place an emphasis on the relationship between language and culture, providing students with the opportunity to learn about Japanese culture, Hispanic culture, and Hawaiian culture. Through the exploration of three different languages, students will be able to make connections across cultures and languages in an effort to develop greater global awareness and cultural understanding.

Grade 7

Spanish: In this course, students will develop their language skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing through different interactive activities and real life experiences. These experiences include pen pals, video conferences with Spanish speaking students in Latin America, and field trips to Hispanic businesses in Honolulu. Students will learn to express likes, dislikes, describe themselves and others, conjugate regular and irregular verbs, and write short narratives about places they go and activities they do.

Japanese: This course is designed to build upon the basics of the Japanese language and understanding of Japanese culture. The focus of oral communication and visual interpretation is building simple conversation skills and identification of everyday situations into interactive conversations and understanding of everyday situations. Reading comprehension and writing will focus on Hiragana and Katakana as a tool to express details or ideas about a situation. The learning of new vocabulary will be included as appropriate for each topic. In addition, we will take a closer look at online and offline tools as a reference. Students will be introduced to the integration of language and cultural knowledge to communicate information about familiar situations in their daily life.

Grade 8

Foundations in Spanish: This course will provide students with a strong foundation in Spanish language and understanding of Hispanic culture. This course will focus on vocabulary acquisition, correct grammar, exposure to Hispanic culture more in depth, and the development of the reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in the Spanish language. The students will be exposed to a broader variety of real life situations and will develop the language skills necessary to be able to communicate in Spanish in the various real-world contexts.

Foundations in Japanese: This course is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in Japanese language and understanding of Japanese culture. Oral communication will be developed through practice of unrehearsed situations combined with more familiar presentations and projects. The focus of visual interpretation skills will place students in a position where they must identify opinions and ideas related to the topic. Reading comprehension and writing skills will be tied closely to the mastery of Hiragana and Katakana and an exploration of kanji. Projects will be presented with the use of technology. Students will continue to build off their experiences in Language Explorations through the integration of language and cultural knowledge to communicate their personal perspectives on various topics applying their prior knowledge to unfamiliar situations.

Foundations in Papa ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i : In this ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian Language) course, students will develop foundations skills necessary to communicate in Hawaiian through an emphasis on speaking, listening, writing, reading, and cultural understanding. Students enrolled in this course will learn greetings, basic language structure, and vocabulary. With an emphasis on place-based learning, students will have the opportunity to learn about Hawaiian language and culture through learning trips to places around the island.