As students in Grade Six begin the bodily changes of puberty, there is often a loss of the harmony and grace of Grade Five. The skeletal changes in this age bring shifts in the very structure of the body. It is at this stage that physics and geology are first introduced. Special events in Grade Six may include a camping trip to study geology and mineralogy. Study of the “physical body” of the earth matches the students’ experiences of changes in their bodies.
For the Grade Six student, the world is delineated in absolutes, with more inclusive thinking still in the future. In bringing education for this developmental stage, the curriculum focuses on Roman law, black and white drawing, and specific gym exercises involving overcoming obstacles and teaching through the method of “compare and contrast.” Where geometric shapes have been drawn freehand in earlier grades, the Grade Six student learns exact construction with compass and straightedge as well as the mathematical properties of these shapes. Business math and perimeter and area are also introduced.
Concepts of physics are explored through phenomenological observation of acoustics, beginning with music, and they expand into the study areas of heat, cold, light, sound, and electricity. Astronomy is approached from a geocentric perspective, providing the concept of orientation between earth and sky.
History offers a view of the Romans and their control over the physical world with aqueducts, roads, and cities. The students are led to understand how the strength and excesses of the Romans led to destruction (native cultures, and eventually the Roman Empire itself). This lays a basis for an understanding of the order of Medieval societies (feudal society, monasteries, etc.).