Grades 6 to 8

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 Logic Stage

Each of the core disciplines has its role to play in the building up of the whole and each has its own more specific set of objectives for the different stages at which it is being taught. Quite simply, at each stage there are things we want children to know, things they ought to be able to do, and habits, dispositions or aptitudes they ought to have acquired or be acquiring. Considering these in detail and in light of the general objectives of each subject, and considering each subject in light of the overall end, teachers in specific subjects and at specific stages can see how each stage builds upon the previous stage, how their work contributes to the ‘finished product’ and how they can tailor specific classes and methods to serve these ideals more effectively.
Sixth Grade: The Ancients Redux
Seventh Grade:  The Christendom Year
Eighth Grade:  The New World Year


Every week students and teachers in grades three to eight will engage in a Touchstones discussion. The readings will occasionally integrate nicely with the time period being studied, though the primary purpose of Touchstones is to develop the habits of Socratic inquiry. Teachers and students will engage in close study of philosophical and literary texts, and will learn, over time, to speak clearly and listen attentively. The skills acquired in Touchstones will be carried over into all aspects of school and home life.



  • Deepen the habits of attending and noticing
  • Sit still and observe carefully works of art and subjects to be rendered
  • Deepen love and appreciation of beauty
  • Deepen reflection on the experience of beauty and its effect on the soul
  • Begin to look at art contemplatively as revealing objective beauty and truth
  • Deepen appreciation of art and beauty in the life of faith
  • Be able to question artworks for their meaning​​


  • ​Begin to understand how truth is expressed​ in the beauty of art
  • Understand the significance of the Christian contribution to art and how art reveals the depth of the Christian mystery
  • Compare and contrast pagan and Christian art, and how Christians incorporate or transform pagan themes in their art
  • Appreciate the development of art in its historical, philosophical and stylistic dimensions
  • Give more complex explanations and interpretations of works of art
  • Understand how art is the expression of a culture's desire for truth, goodness and beauty
  • Continue rendering
  • Deepen understanding of the principles that constitute a work of art


  • Continue to learn how to look at, examine and see a painting and other works of art
  • Give more complex explanations of artworks
  • Learn how to justify why something is beautiful or not
  • Reflect on the experience of beauty and its relation to longing
  • Develop drawing, painting and sculpting skills
  • ​Develop creativity on the basis of imitation, tradition and discipline, not in opposition to them​


  • ​Deepen appreciation of history as an expression of man's desire for God and his pursuit of goodness, truth and beauty
  • Evaluate world events and historical characters from a Catholic perspective
  • Draw on past ideas to evaluate present assumptions and deepen self-knowledge
  • Appreciate the beauty of saints and the integrity and courage of heroes
  • Develop a desire to be both a good citizen and a faithful Catholic
  • Develop a sense of inquiry
  • Develop a comprehensive and ordered sense of the world
  • Cultivate a desire for wisdom


  • ​​Understand the Incarnation as the decisive act of God in history
  • Appreciate how the coming of Christ transforms history. Understand history and culture as the human desire for goodness, truth and God Himself
  • Understand students as part of the Israel, Egypt, Greek, Roman, Catholic story
  • Understand how the differences between these time periods and cultures are reflected in their civilizations: religion, philosophy, government, economics, art, architecture, music, technology and culture
  • Understand key figures and events of Ancient history
  • Understand Ancient political forms
  • Understand how the lives of the saints shaped the respective historical periods within which they lived
  • Understand how people in the Ancient period differ in their concept of God and man
  • Understand how the respective time period pursues and expresses truth, goodness and beauty
  • Know how Christianity has shaped the world, and how the expansion of Christianity has brought increasing liberty, reason and culture
  • Understand key technological developments of the Ancient historical period
  • Recognize basic geography
  • Recognize major periods of history by using timelines
  • Acquire familiarity with primary sources characteristic of the period


  • Acquire facility in reading primary sources of various kinds. Discuss philosophical and theological questions that arise from history
  • Recognize correlation between "secular" history and Biblical/Church history
  • Explain the cause a​nd effect of historical events
  • Compare, contrast and explain the essential characteristics of cultures, governments and figures in different historical periods
  • Think and write imaginatively from within the mindset of different historical periods
  • Analyze the importance of significant new ideas as they emerge in history
  • Memorize significant dates and be able to build timelines from them​

 Language Arts: Literature, Grammar, Composition, Logic, Latin and Drama

  • ​​Develop a love of reading and of language
  • Appreciate the beauty, playfulness and logical possibilities of language
  • Explore students own ideas through writing
  • Draw on literature for deeper self-knowledge
  • Habitually look to poetry and literature as vehicles of truth
  • Deepen love for listening to stories
  • Deepen habits of concentration, stillness and memory
  • Develop ability to penetrate literature and plumb the depth of its meaning
  • Nurture the habit of listening
  • Foster sustained concentration


  • Understand literature as a reflection of history and culture
  • Understand literature and poetry as vehicles for the revelation of truth
  • Understand literature as culture's way of seeking and manifesting truth, goodness and beauty
  • Learn to think poetically
  • Know the elements of good speaking in order to speak truthfully, persuasively, beautifully and well
  • Possess a command of English grammar
  • Recognize a variety of writing styles and how to employ them
  • Understand the elements of argument
  • Acquire a basic facility in reading, praying and translating Latin
  • Ponder the relationship among the Word of God (Christ), the Word of God (scripture) and the words we use​
​Skills​​ for Analytical/Expository Writing 
  • ​​Develop interpretations exhibiting careful reading, understanding and insight
  • Organize interpretations around several clear ideas, premises or images
  • Develop a thesis that makes a disputable claim
  • Make an argument for the thesis providing reasons, details and examples
  • Write a response to literature demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of the text and justifying the interpretation through use of examples and textual evidence
  • Begin to explore the connections among characters, incident, setting, symbol and conflict
  • Write a character analysis
​Skills for Descriptive Writing 
  • ​​Write descriptive passages focusing on one of the following: person, place, object, event, works of art, or plants and animals
  • Use evocative imagery (vivid words, active voice verbs and colorful modifiers)
  • Use figurative language (e.g., simile, metaphor, personification or allusion)
​Skills for Drama
  • ​Perform a play, preferably Shakespeare or a Greek tragedy
  • Analyze and discuss characters and their motivations
  • Design costumes, props and set

​Skills for Grammar and Composition 

  • ​​Master all facets of English grammar, demonstrable through the ability to diagram sentences
  • Properly express the relationship of ideas in a sentence, paragraph and essay
  • Recognize and correct stylistic errors, such as sentence fragments and run-on sentences
​Skills for Latin 
  • Master basic declensions, conjugations and simple grammar
  • Possess a solid vocabulary
  • Memorize Latin prayers, hymns and liturgical responses
  • Know how to translate complex sentences and short stories from Latin to English
  • Compose sentences in Latin​

​Skills for Literature

  • Make connections to related topics, especially history and religion
  • Identify and evaluate the effectiveness of tone, style and use of language
  • Analyze the effects of elements such as plot, theme, characterization, style, mood and tone
  • Discuss the effects of such literary devices as figurative language, dialogue, flashback, allusion, irony and symbolism
  • Analyze and evaluate themes and central ideas in literature
  • Recognize relevance of literary themes to contemporary problems and one's own life
  • Analyze relationships between characters, ideas and experiences
  • Discern an implied main idea, draw an inference and recognize how different texts address the same fundamental human questions
  • Deepen the ability to question the text and characters
  • Develop ability to discuss literature intelligently and insightfully with proper grammar and diction
​Skills for Logic
  • Learn the basics of logical reasoning
  • Learn and identify logical structures, logical fallacies and biases in speeches and various non-fiction texts
  • Express own arguments logically and clearly through speech and the written word

​Skills for Narrative Writing 

  • Write original narrative and descriptive passages
  • Write coherent and logical prologues, epilogues, sequels, dialogues or alternative endings for fiction and nonfiction
  • Incorporate effective narrative techniques into a short story focusing on the following:
    • Point of view (first person, third person)
    • Setting, including time and place
    • Development of plot structure
​Skills for Persuasive Writing 
  • Develop a rhetorically persuasive, logical writing style
  • Develop a thesis that makes a disputable claim
  • Support a thesis with logically organized and relevant evidence
  • Develop and logically support a position addressing reader concerns and counterarguments​



  • ​Appreciate mathematics as one way humans give an account of reality
  • Appreciate relevance of math to music, art, science and architecture
  • Enhance logical reasoning
  • Acquire a foundation for logical reasoning through math
  • Be attuned to the relevance and significance of number and shape
  • Begin to appreciate the "aesthetics" of number through recognition of patterns


  • Master arithmetic necessary for algebra: order of operations, fractions, decimals and integer operations
  • Develop more advanced number sense (integers, irrational numbers, percentage, scientific notation, absolute value, exponents, roots and radicals)
  • Understand factors and multiples; find the greatest common factor and least common multiple/denominator
  • Understand measurement concepts
  • Master developmentally appropriate algebra and geometry
  • Read and use a coordinate plane
  • Recognize mathematical and geometrical patterns in nature and art
  • Begin to understand the philosophical and theological history of mathematical symbolism
  • ​​Think algebraically and geometrically
  • Use logic and hands-on experience to solve problems
  • Convert fractions, decimals and percent's
  • Rewrite fractions using factors and multiples
  • Solve problems using rate, proportion, common formulas and percentage applications
  • Use estimation techniques
  • Use mental arithmetic
  • Use and convert customary and metric measurements
  • Solve developmentally appropriate functions, equations and inequalities, and graph them on a coordinate plane
  • Calculate slope
  • Write and use formulas to solve problems
  • Combine like terms
  • Add, subtract, multiply, divide and factor polynomials
  • Represent simple quadratic functions
  • Identify properties of, and congruency between, angles, parallel lines, triangles, quadrilaterals, other polygons and common three-dimensional figures
  • Calculate area and perimeter or circumference of two-dimensional figures
  • Calculate surface area and volume of three-dimensional figures
  • Use the Pythagorean Theorem to solve problems
  • Use a coordinate plane to translate, rotate and reflect a given image
  • Calculate simple probability
  • Read and create bar graphs, line graphs, circle graphs and stem-and-leaf plots representing data; make predictions from statistical data
  • Analyze musical compositions for mathematical properties, particularly Baroque music (Bach, Vivaldi, Pachelbel, Albinoni, etc.)
  • Understand Christian iconography in relation to dimension
  • Analyze poetic meter
  • Recognize sacred number in writing and art​


  • ​Deepen love and appreciation of beautiful music and its power
  • Appreciate the profundity and playfulness of music
  • Understand the contemplative and mystical dimension of sacred music
  • Acquire the habit of patient, attentive listening and active participation


  • Understand the elements of music
  • Understand the essential differences between genres of music, especially within classical and sacred music
  • Appreciate the theological inherent in sacred music
  • Recognize the characteristic differences between different composers
  • Be able to recognize beautiful music and explain why it is beautiful
  • Be able to sing and, if possible, play an instrument
  • Be able to read music
  • Memorize lyrics and know how to sing liturgical music and traditional Catholic hymnody
  • Appreciate carols, ballads and authentic folk music from different historical periods and cultures
  • Sing plain chant in Latin and English
  • Deepen understanding of the mathematics of music​
  • ​​Acquire some musical skill singing and/or playing an instrument
  • Be able to concentrate on, listen to and discuss a piece of music
  • Sing or play various parts of a musical piece (applying an understanding of melody, harmony and rhythm)

 Nature Studies

  • ​​Appreciate the wholeness of animals and plants
  • Develop wonder and appreciation of the natural world, and the mystery of living things
  • Recognize beauty of creation
  • Develop enthusiasm for examining nature, and acquire the habit of curiosity regarding the physical world
  • Desire to inquire into the lived life of organisms and the world that sustains them
  • Acquire reverence for nature as God's creation


  • ​​Complete important questions, such as: What is life? What is nature? How does "world" differ from "environment"? What makes a human distinct from other animals?
  • Be familiar with different historical answers to these questions
  • Name and employ the Four Causes of Aristotle in the explanation of nature
  • Understand more deeply the relation between science and philosophy in the study of nature
  • Recognize the study of nature as part of the human endeavor to understand the world
  • Understand science as one aspect of the study of nature, which must be integrated into a more comprehensive vision of reality as God's creation
  • Acknowledge nature as God's creation and so behold nature in a different way
  • Recognize persons and animals not as historical accidents or the sum of their mechanical parts, but living wholes that transcend their parts and are irreducible to them
  • Understand how this wholeness is exhibited in the relation between the parts of an animal
  • Understand how this wholeness is visible in animal form and patterns, whose meaning in the animal's life is not reducible to utility or survival value
  • Understand that as living wholes, organisms possess an inexhaustible depth and are worthy of our awe, wonder and affection:
    • The human organism is always a person: an indivisible unity of body and soul
    • Human beings, because they are made in the image of God, possess a unique dignity among creatures
    • All organisms, including plants, exhibit some form of metabolism that relates them to the world through appetite
    • Animals exhibit metabolism as well, but also a capacity for self-movement and an awareness through the senses
    • Human beings, in addition to these, move and transcend themselves through reason and will, are able to contemplate God and the world, and can offer themselves in love
  • Successfully grow and tend to plants, recording the stages of development
  • Render detailed observations of different organisms
  • Distinguish between genera in the plant and animal kingdoms. Specify essential differences between species
  • Identify unique characteristics in different forms of animal life
  • Identify essential differences distinguishing human beings from other animals
  • Botany
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology and biological processes
  • Fetal development
  • Beginning organic chemistry
  • Heredity and genetics
  • Evolutionary development
  • Human anatomy: the correlation between the physical structure of the human body (e.g., upright form, opposable thumbs, etc.) and uniquely human characteristics associated with the soul (e.g., desire to know, longing for God, human craft, etc.)
  • Ecosystems
  • Natural processes which support life (e.g. weather, soil formation, water cycles and atmosphere)
  • Geological processes (e.g. plate tectonics, volcanoes, erosion)
  • Earth's place in the solar system: the finely-tuned astronomical factors necessary to support life
  • Astronomy

  • Ask philosophical and scientific questions of nature
  • Describe various creatures using Aristotle's Four Causes
  • Observe animals and plants in their natural habitats
  • Render animals and plants through art
  • Employ scientific method
  • Continue to develop the skill of observing, rendering and cataloguing this knowledge in a "nature notebook"
  • Relate different parts and systems of nature to comprehensive whole
  • Explain and defend the distinction between the animate and the inanimate​

 Physical Education

  • Practice teamwork and good sportsmanship
  • Aspire to physical gracefulness
  • Admire excellent athletic performances, especially their aesthetic qualities


  • Understand embodiment and physical excellence as a gift
  • Recognize unity of psychic and physical powers in playing well
  • Know and be able to regulate the rules of major sports and races
  • Recognize importance of discipline for achieving bodily excellence
  • Understand dynamics of competition
  • ​​Achieve facility in throwing, catching, hitting and kicking
  • Be able to transfer these skills to new sports and activities
  • Learn to work as a team in order to achieve a goal
  • Compete against others students of similar skill level
  • Learn basics of contra, square and ballroom dancing​


  • Cultivate and reflect on longing for God
  • Deepen the habit of contemplative prayer
  • Deepen the familiarity with and participation in the liturgical life of the Church
  • Deepen appreciation of silence
  • Examine conscience, go to Confession, "offer up" a sacrifice
  • Strengthening of the conscience to begin to love God's will and wish to avoid sin
  • Heed the double commandment to love God and neighbor
  • Cultivate friendships based on virtue


  • ​​Know that God made us for Himself and that our hearts are restless until they rest in Him
  • Understand history as oriented to Christ before his Incarnation and flowing from Christ after his Incarnation
  • Know the major moments of salvation history from creation to the modern day
  • Recognize the competing claims about God (or the gods) offered by pagans and philosophers and how the Christian understanding of God is radically different
  • Recognize how Christianity transforms the classical inheritance
  • Recognize relevance of Christian faith and teachings of Church to fundamental human questions and aspirations that have animated every culture
  • Begin to understand how the Trinity and Incarnation reveal both God and man
  • Know the teachings of selected books of the Bible
  • Begin to know the theological tradition
  • Begin to understand the art of apologetics and how the teachings of the Church flow from the truth about God and man
  • Begin to understand the Mass: its structure, its meaning and its place in God's plan for the world
  • Understand the basic teachings on sacraments, especially Confirmation
  • Begin to understand and appreciate that a person is a unity of body and soul, created in God's love and called to love and truth, and thus to understand the true personal meaning of their own bodies
  • ​​Give more advanced theological explanations of Church doctrine
  • Defend the tenets of the faith against heresy and atheism, as well as the major moral teachings against confusion
  • Begin to think theologically
  • Memorization of Scripture and spiritual arguments


  • ​​Acquire the habit of asking questions
  • Learn to seek understanding together through group discussion
  • Think more deeply about fundamental human matters
  • Learn to read a text carefully
  • Learn to respect and listen to students peers
  • Relate texts to issues in classroom and life
  • Be exposed to samples of good writings of literature, philosophy, art, math and science from many different cultures
  • Exhibit manners and respect for others​