Each year of middle school, students take the following courses.
BOSQUE MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM
All middle school students take the following courses: Social Studies, English, Math, Science, Spanish, Fine Arts, Performing Arts, and Physical Education. During their Performing Arts block, students enroll in Choir, Drama, Band, or String Ensemble. Eighth graders also have the option of enrolling in Drama Tech. All middle school students are also involved in Service Learning, which meets as a class once every two weeks. In order to complete middle school successfully, all students must meet the academic requirements of each of these courses.
MIDDLE SCHOOL FINE ARTS
Fine arts courses are an integral part of the middle school curriculum. Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders all take fine arts for the entire academic year. The classes meet regularly, for the same amount of time that other courses meet. The middle school fine arts curriculum sets goals and standards for skills, techniques, and knowledge. The goals in every art class include both objective skills and innovative design and creation. Group and individual projects are designed to foster delight, serious observation, introspection, and growth in design and skill. Students complete a variety of projects including mosaics, paper crafts, batik, printmaking, color work, painting, ceramics, pastel drawings, mural making, and sculpture. Basic drawing lessons teach value, contrast, whole-page composition, contour, perspective, and observation. All students learn how to participate in constructive critiques and are introduced to historical and contemporary art and artists. Throughout the three years of middle school art, students are encouraged to think in innovative and creative ways, and the importance of play and experimentation is never forgotten.
MIDDLE SCHOOL PERFORMING ARTS
Performing arts play an essential role in shaping the learning experience of all students at Bosque School. As part of the core curriculum, participation in the performing arts will engage students in content and skills that will provide meaningful and successful life experiences. Bosque School offers a rich variety of performing art disciplines which include drama, technical theatre, choir, string ensemble, wind ensemble, dance, and guitar. All Performing Arts activities at Bosque lead to performance opportunities where students build self-confidence and a sense of pride in their accomplishment.
6th, 7th, and 8th GRADE BAND
Instrumental ensembles in the middle school teach the students the subject of music through performance. Each level of ensemble provides a unique learning experience to strive for musical excellence and challenge the individual to grow as a confident musician. Ensemble classes cover a wide var
iety of subjects, including music theory, music history, form and analysis, improvisation, and composition. The goal for all ensembles is to develop a lifelong appreciation for music, beginning with performance.
MIDDLE SCHOOL STRING ENSEMBLE
Middle School String Ensemble teaches the students the subject of music through performance. Each level of ensemble provides a unique learning experience to strive for musical excellence and challenge the individual to grow as a confident musician. Ensemble classes cover a wide variety of subjects, including string technique, music theory, music history, form and analysis, improvisation, and composition. The goal for all ensembles is to develop a lifelong appreciation for music, beginning with performance.
MIDDLE SCHOOL CHOIR
Middle School Choir focuses on teaching music through performance, movement, singing games, sight-reading, basic music history, and music theory. There are three choirs in the middle school and each increase in grade level increases the degree of difficulty of the music and music theory involved. Students in middle school will learn what it takes to become part of a group that fosters a sense of community and how to be self-evaluators. The choral program encourages students to take creative risks, develop independent thought and creative problem-solving, develop tolerance and sensitivity toward others, and respect the work of their fellow students while developing an acceptable, productive voice.
MIDDLE SCHOOL DRAMA
Students in this course develop acting skills through a study of technique, improvisation, theater games, mime, camera work, and scene study. In addition, theater history is introduced in a general survey, exposing the students to the themes, styles, and the development of dramatic arts. Each grade has a different area of concentration: 6th—improvisation; 7th—mask and contemporary drama; 8th—Shakespeare. All courses culminate in a performance at the end of the year.
EIGHTH GRADE DRAMA TECH
This class is intended to give students a broad experience in stage design, scenery, props, lighting, sound and stage management. Students will learn the components of stage production including safety, history, lore, etiquette, and protocol. Every student will learn the proper use and care of tools and equipment in each discipline. During the course of the year, production needs will be supported by the work done during class. Students will increase the depth of experience as a working member of the stage crew on at least four Bosque productions.
MIDDLE SCHOOL ENGLISH
SIXTH GRADE ENGLISH
Sixth grade is the beginning of a new journey for students. Therefore, it is fitting that they are introduced to the hero’s journey as it appears in literature, in their own lives, and in the world around them. Although we will read and discuss many different types of writing and create many varying pieces of our own writing, there is an idea at the heart of it all: how do I make a difference in the world? In exploring this idea, we will work at becoming more comfortable and more skilled at reading and writing. We will begin by securing the basic building blocks of writing—strong sentence structure and effective paragraph composition, cemented by regular grammar instruction and vocabulary—and leave room to explore the worlds without and within. A significant amount of time will be dedicated to writing, revising, and polishing our work. As we read various works, including poetry, non-fiction such as The Diary of Anne Frank, and novels such as The Hobbit, Ender's Game, and The House of the Scorpion, we will react to and discuss the stories of the journeys found therein. We will also be learning to view these works through the writer's lens, and looking for ways to apply those lessons to our own writing.
SEVENTH GRADE ENGLISH
The unifying theme for seventh grade English is Diversity in Community. Our exploration of literature will be framed by the essential question, “What is the role of an individual in a community?” We will build our literary repertoire by reading and writing in a variety of genres, including poetry, short stories, novels, essays, and speeches. Students will advance their reading and writing skills as they refine their thinking about themselves and the world around them. Class discussions and homework assignments are designed to stimulate the students' personal responses to both the literature and their world at large and to provoke independent thinking and analysis; the emphasis remains on developing each student's ability to construct meaning from the text. Throughout the year, students are introduced to more complex rhetorical strategies as they develop their skills at writing the expository essay and continue to work on articulating and supporting their ideas, maintaining the unity and coherence of their focus, and finding confidence in their voices. The core of our reading will be a thoughtful representation from traditional and young adult novels with strong adolescent protagonists and diverse perspectives within a historical setting. Seventh grade anchor readings include Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, Bull Run by Paul Fleishman, and The Glory Field by Walter Dean Myers. Students will also read independently from a complementary list of thematically appropriate novels.
EIGHTH GRADE ENGLISH
Eighth grade students explore a variety of genre and styles in English. As well, they are required to write extensively, honing their skills as critical readers and thoughtful, articulate writers. To this end, students read short stories, essays, poems, and novels, and study the essential elements of these various genres. Some of the works that we will consider this year are The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Anthem by Ayn Rand, To Kill a Mockingbird, a Harper Lee novel, and William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. In addition, we will immerse ourselves in a study of poetry and short fiction in preparation for Writers' Cafe. Throughout the year, students will navigate essay writing: shaping and refining thesis statements, embedding them in effective and engaging opening paragraphs, developing solid supporting paragraphs, and crafting satisfying, effective concluding paragraphs. Each student will also develop a corpus of original, creative work. Included in the writing process is the requirement to polish the written text. In this effort, we will review grammar usage and the mechanics of writing on a regular basis. And of course, we will be vigilant about expanding our cache of new vocabulary.
MIDDLE SCHOOL HISTORY/SOCIAL STUDIES
The middle school social studies curriculum is designed to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society. Through the exploration and study of historical events, as well as significant themes and ideas throughout history, students gain the information and tools necessary to become critical and informed thinkers about their world. Throughout the three courses, middle school students are taught basic research skills, mapping skills, essay writing, how to make a formal presentation, note-taking, and the art of meaningful discussion and debate.
SIXTH GRADE: WORLD STUDIES AND GEOGRAPHY
This course is a general exploration of contemporary history, people, and places of the world. Throughout the course, the students are actively involved in conversations, hands-on projects, and study skill-building activities that explore the facts and issues associated with community, gender, race, values, nationality, history, and geography. Through reading, research, discussion, and writing, students are encouraged to find meaningful answers to the following questions: Can the actions of an individual make a difference? Why should I seek to understand different cultures and perspectives? What are my roles and responsibilities to the wider community? This course does not use one specific text but draws information from a variety of sources such as primary documents, biographies, encyclopedias, atlases, field trips, short essays, and multimedia resources.
SEVENTH GRADE: There’s a “New” Mexico? a Survival Guide to the Land of Enchantment
The seventh grade social studies course focuses on New Mexican history and culture. The course is inquiry based and centered on student driven projects. The class begins with an examination of the geology and geography of the region with an emphasis on “sense of place” and the challenge of an increasing demand for a finite set of natural resources. Students are challenged to identify what makes New Mexico unique in history and culture. The second unit of study focuses on the first inhabitant of the Southwest and their developing cultures. Special attention is paid to the Anasazi, and the ancestral Navajo, Pueblo, and Apache tribes. Next, students examine the period of Spanish colonization, the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, and the Spanish return. The focus then shifts to the Americanization of the region with the Mexican-American War. This unit culminates with the students reading the novel Bass Reeves by Gary Paulsen. This outstanding book tells the story of a fugitive slave who hides out in Indian Territory before becoming the most successful Federal Marshall in the West. It addresses all the themes that emerge in the earlier units: cultural identity, relationship to the land, and the quest for personal freedom. The next unit of study focuses on New Mexico’s transition from a territory to statehood. The last historical unit focuses on New Mexico’s role in World War II, specifically the development of the Atomic Bomb and the role of the Navajo code talkers. Finally, the students finish with an individual research project in which they research an issue in contemporary life and make suggestions about how to improve our society or culture.
EIGHTH GRADE: ISSUES AND IDEAS IN WORLD HISTORY
Utilizing a thematic approach, the eighth grade social studies curriculum explores the major issues, ideas, patterns and social concepts in world history. Students investigate the themes of world religions, the individual and the state, war and conflict, and gender and ethical issues, all of which span the course of human existence and transcend all cultural and political boundaries. The course does not rely on a specific text, but rather utilizes a multitude of resources including primary and secondary sources, guest speakers, short essays, multimedia resources, and historical fiction, as well as group and individual projects. Strong emphasis is placed on strengthening the tools necessary for success in higher level social studies classes. These skills include writing, researching, debating, cooperative learning and note-taking skills. Students will also be expected to critically analyze and synthesize the information presented.
MIDDLE SCHOOL LANGUAGE
Spanish is required each year at the middle school level.
SPANISH FOR BILINGUAL STUDENTS
This course is made up of sixth, seventh and eighth grade bilingual, Spanish-speaking students. The course will focus on the specific language needs of bilingual speakers. Students will work to improve their reading, writing and speaking skills through reading a variety of literature from Latin America and Spain, and by studying Latin music and culture. In-class activities will include small group discussions, writing activities, art projects and music.
SIXTH GRADE SPANISH
Sixth grade Spanish is all about community. Students work on listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through studying the community in which they live. They learn to talk about themselves and their families and study the lives and traditions of people from different Spanish-speaking communities. The course is designed to inspire students to learn a second language by using music, food, dance and art in everyday classes. The class is taught primarily in Spanish, providing constant exposure to the sounds of the language and continual practice in listening and understanding. A large part of the curriculum integrates concepts and vocabulary from other subjects (science, English, and social studies) in thematic units.
SEVENTH GRADE SPANISHThe focus of seventh grade Spanish is “Everything New Mexican." We began by working with the seventh grade team to create meaningful activities surrounding the summer reading of Serafina’s Stories. We are focusing on the fusion of European and indigenous cultures in the Southwest. We will begin by looking at place names in New Mexico and discussing their origins. We will discuss local traditions, and we will also be learning several traditional stories. Students will learn how to talk about their own lives and experiences in structured contexts. They will also have the opportunity to compare traditional New Mexican food with the cuisine of other Spanish-speaking areas of the world.
EIGHTH GRADE SPANISHThe driving theme of eighth grade Spanish is “Art as Social Commentary”. We will be exploring the work of artists representing social issues throughout the Spanish-speaking world. We will journey to Spain and study the works of Velázquez, Goya, and Picasso. Students will also study the works of the great Mexican artists Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros, and Frida Kahlo. In addition to these artists, we will study popular and folk art as it represents the societal and political concerns and values of people in Spanish-speaking communities throughout Latin America and the United States. Students will have opportunities to investigate the artistic elements and styles, as well as the social contexts and historical events surrounding each artist and their pieces. Additionally, students will have ample opportunity to create art following the masters’ personal styles. As a result, they will also be using vocabulary pertinent to these studies.
MIDDLE SCHOOL MATHEMATICS
The courses in the Mathematics Department represent a rigorous curriculum that strives to challenge students while instilling an excitement for math. Ultimately, students are prepared for college-level mathematics. The department places an emphasis on exploring ideas from numerical, algebraic, graphical, and contextual perspectives. The variety and sequence of courses, as well as the multiple entry points for the advanced courses, support our department philosophy: "Every student in the right place at the right time."
SIXTH GRADE MATH
This course is intended to reinforce basic arithmetic skills, to introduce algebraic concepts such as evaluating variable expressions, and to strengthen each student's problem solving skills. The curriculum covers such diverse topics as operations with fractions and decimals; statistics; probability; two- and three-dimensional geometry; dealing with negative numbers, ratios, and proportions; and solving an equation with a variable. Rather than merely being given a set of rules to memorize in a lecture format, students discover mathematical principles for themselves and are therefore encouraged to participate actively in class discussions. This process is supported by homework assignments and various individual and group activities and projects. Students work primarily from the textbook, McDougal Littell's Math: Course 2, but material is supplemented as needed.
ACCELERATED SIXTH GRADE MATH
This course is designed to accelerate mathematically talented sixth grade students. Participants are identified through a teacher-created, above-grad- level exam administered in the spring prior to entering sixth grade. The exam looks for advanced conceptual, arithmetic and problem-solving skills. Students will be pre-tested on each chapter and work only on topics on which they did not demonstrate mastery. Topics include operations with integers, fractions, decimals and exponents, solving equations and inequalities, rates and ratios, geometry of two- and three-dimensional objects, linear equations and probability. The text for this course is McDougal Littell’s Math Course 3. One day each week is spent on solving problems from the Math Counts and Math Olympiad competitions. Students are invited, but not required, to participate in these as well as other competitions sponsored by the school. All participating students are in the same section, but meet separately for math.
SEVENTH GRADE MATH
This course is designed to assist students as they make the transition between the concrete subject of arithmetic and more abstract subjects like algebra and geometry. This is accomplished by working with variables, variable expressions, equations, inequalities, and formulas. Subjects covered in earlier math courses such as fractions, ratios, percents, exponents, radicals, and probability are studied in greater depth for further mastery. The students also explore the geometry of polygons and similarity. The course is taught so that a wide range of abilities is challenged through riddles, puzzles, and more complex mathematical problems supplementing the daily coursework. In addition to the specific arithmetic, algebraic, and geometric skills and concepts mentioned above, this course begins to develop students’ ability to communicate mathematical knowledge through symbols. The text for this course is McDougal Littell’s Math: Course 3.
ACCELERATED SEVENTH GRADE MATH
This course is designed to accelerate mathematically talented seventh grade students. Participants have either completed the sixth grade accelerated math class or been identified in 6th grade through teacher recommendation and an above grade level exam administered in the spring of their 6th grade year. The exam looks for advanced conceptual, arithmetic and problem solving skills. Seventh grade students will, at a minimum, cover the eighth grade algebra curriculum. For the specific topics covered in the class, please see the eighth grade algebra course description. The text for this course is Glencoe’s Algebra I. One day each week is spent on solving problems from the Mathcounts and Math Olympiad competitions. Students are invited, but not required, to participate in these as well as other competitions sponsored by the school. Students are placed in one of two 7th grade sections that meet at the same time for math.
EIGHTH GRADE MATH
This course uses Connected Mathematics, a middle school series developed with funding from the National Science Foundation. This integrated curriculum helps students develop further understanding of important concepts, skills, procedures, and ways of thinking and reasoning in preparation for Algebra 1. Topics include linear, exponential, and quadratic functions; area, volume, and perimeter of polygons and solids; and writing and solving equations and inequalities. Conceptual learning is balanced with ongoing skills review. These include operations with whole numbers, integers, fractions, decimals, exponents, and percents.
This class covers the fundamental concepts of beginning algebra. Algebraic concepts are viewed from varied perspectives to help students develop their abilities with abstraction and generalization; application of knowledge is fundamental to each topic. This course includes real-world problems with relevant uses of elementary algebra, statistics, probability and geometry. The content of the course focuses on the concept of variables; the four basic arithmetic operations from an algebraic perspective; linear equations and inequalities; the geometry of lines in the plane; and the concepts of distance, square roots and absolute value. The course also studies the algebraic descriptions of lines in the plane, using slope-intercept, and linear combination forms of lines. Other topics include powers, compound interest, exponential growth and decay, operations with polynomials, linear systems and quadratics. The textbook for the course is either Glencoe’s Algebra 1 or Prentice Hall’s Algebra 1.
MIDDLE SCHOOL PHYSICAL EDUCATION
The middle school physical rducation curriculum focuses on each student's continuous development of physical fitness attributes and movement skills. Five themes are central to the program: fitness integrated (coordinated) movement, striking, throwing and catching, body management, and group initiatives. The actual activities used to address six physical education performance standards, which stress physical, social, and intellectual development, vary each year. Both formal and informal procedures are used regularly to assess the students' movement skill performances and knowledge. Students are given opportunities to develop leadership and to work in small groups to solve problems or accomplish tasks. Diverse capabilities and social needs of individual students are addressed in the physical education program. Through purposeful learning activities, students are guided to refine motor, social, and intellectual skills which promote a fit and active lifestyle for the future. Health-related fitness is also addressed through Fitness for Life and Current Teen Health as well as other resources that serve to enhance a student’s breadth and depth of knowledge in various areas.
MIDDLE SCHOOL SCIENCE
Bosque School’s middle school science program is a field- and community-based curriculum. It is designed to engage students in real, inquiry-based science. Students are given the opportunity to contribute to the larger world of science by participating in actual research and applied science projects. Whenever possible, students work and share their data with government, university, and other scientists. Students experience their local landscape in ways that allow them to build direct, personal, and visceral connections with it. These connections lay the foundation for students to construct scientific understanding from authentic experiences. The coursework is consistent with the middle school standards as stated in the National Research Council’s National Science Education Standards (1996). Roughly a third of the curriculum is covered in each grade; concepts, assignments, and working methods are designed to build upon previous work over the three middle school years. Sources for these courses are current scientific literature from both governmental and private entities.
SIXTH GRADE SCIENCE
In sixth grade, students work along the Rio Grande, in a riparian forest known locally by its Spanish name, bosque. The Rio Grande bosque is undergoing tremendous transformation, mostly brought on by human activity. Students study this change. In particular, they assist with the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Project (BEMP), a University of New Mexico-sponsored, National Science Foundation-funded research project related to long-term environmental monitoring of this forest ecosystem. Core research activities include measuring the biodiversity and ecosystem change through the survey of arthropods found on the forest floor; weather conditions including rainfall and temperature; and gross measures of forest production including the study of leaf litter on the forest floor, tree diameter and growth, and woody plant distribution and frequency. Students also participate in porcupine surveys, small mammal trapping, and beaver activity surveys. In the classroom, laboratory, and computer lab, students participate in a variety of other learning experiences. They conduct labs, prepare reports, and learn to use spreadsheets to manage and analyze their data. Students also reach out into the wider community by hosting and conducting various educational outreach projects.
SEVENTH GRADE SCIENCE
In seventh grade, students expand their studies outward from the Rio Grande and engage in a watershed-wide exploration. On a monthly basis, students monitor the biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of their home watershed. Research findings will be shared with other students, natural resource agencies, UNM, and other scientists. Students will be engaged in activities that facilitate the learning of science process skills and the scientific method. Students conduct their surface monitoring through participation in a New Mexico Department of Game and Fish-sponsored Watershed Watch program. In it, students are part of a state-wide network of student monitors. The surface water research sites include a high mountain stream northeast of Albuquerque, a small stream in Albuquerque’s eastern foothills, two merging streams in the Jemez Mountains, and the main channel of the Rio Grande. Seventh grade science students share their data with other researchers and the community at large. Students make formal presentations to other students from other schools. Student field work is supported by laboratory, classroom, and computer lab activities.
EIGHTH GRADE SCIENCE
In eighth grade, students expand their knowledge of the environment by exploring topics in earth science. Scientific principles are tied back to the students’ everyday experiences and ongoing fieldwork. Students probe more deeply into their scientific surroundings, participating in a variety of group projects, such as a volcano project, the complex machine project, and building solar ovens and cars. Students also complete several individual research projects. By the end of eighth grade science, students have a strong understanding of the relationship between technology and science. They improve upon the laboratory and research skills learned in seventh grade, while functioning in a more formal laboratory setting. Students also have the opportunity to see how their local experiences connect to the larger global context.
MIDDLE SCHOOL SERVICE LEARNING
The aim of the Service Learning program is to make students aware of social and environmental issues in our community and to participate in meaningful activities that relate to those issues. Bosque’s Service Learning program aims to inspire students and to give them skills to continue to make volunteering a part of their lives.
The Service Learning program’s middle school goals are threefold: to introduce students to the social and environmental problems and issues that are facing the bosque and the Albuquerque area today; to learn what organizations are available to help alleviate these problems or conditions; and to volunteer time to assist in being part of the solution. Students are exposed to a variety of projects with the hope that they encounter some issue that piques their interest. Through projects focusing on ways we can improve our own community at Bosque, emphasis will also be placed on enhancing the spirit of volunteering close to home before looking outward to a more global context.