Middle School is a critical time for students as they grow academically, socially and spiritually. Immanuel Christian School is dedicated to supporting and encouraging students every step of the way as they progress through middle school. Teachers in fifth to eighth grades prepare students for life beyond Immanuel Christian School with challenging academics and a curriculum designed to foster collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. Curricular, extracurricular and community service activities provide every student with opportunities for personal, social, academic, and spiritual growth. Students are offered activities which include athletics, clubs, and service opportunities.

FIFTH GRADE: Inspiring Independence

Students in fifth grade are on the launch pad of their upper school experience. Development of a strong work ethic, organizational skills, critical thinking, collaborative proficiency, and the growth of consideration and empathy are essential benchmarks for this age group. Students are seeking more privacy and independence, but they still need their parents and teachers to be involved and to set boundaries and define expectations. Our teachers are uniquely qualified to encourage and assist their students through these important challenges. Curricular, extra-curricular and school-wide activities are all specifically designed to help our young people move toward personal, social, academic, and spiritual maturity.

  • Class Activities
    • Greek Myth Puppet Play
    • Egyptian Artifact Museum
    • Julius Caesar Play
  • Field Trips
    • Theatreworks USA
    • Shakespeare workshop
    • National Art Gallery
    • National History Museum
  • Reading List
    • The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
    • The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L Konigsburg
    • The Runaway by Patricia St. John
    • The Iiad excerpts and assorted Greek myths
    • The Pushcart Wars by Jean Merrill
    • Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
  • Bible memory verses

SIXTH GRADE: Embracing Transition

Students in sixth grade continue to develop their independence and it is a time filled with great changes as they enter adolescence. Students will be using more sophisticated thinking skills, interpreting and synthesizing the information they are learning. Social dynamics begin to play a more significant role as students learn how to balance their social, emotional and intellectual demands. Our teachers are uniquely qualified to encourage and assist their students through these important challenges. Curricular, extra-curricular and school-wide activities are all specifically designed to help our young people move toward personal, social, academic, and spiritual maturity.

  • Special Activities
    • Medieval Banquet
    • Star Party
    • Renaissance Fair
    • Science Fair
  • Field Trips
    • Camp Highroad
    • Theatreworks USA
  • Reading List
    • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’brien.
    • The Captive by Joyce Hansen
    • The Master Puppeteer by Katherine Paterson
    • The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
    • The King’s Shadow by Elizabeth Alden
  • Bible memory verses

SEVENTH GRADE: Cultivating Confidence

Seventh grade is a critical year for students as they seek to define themselves socially and evaluate themselves academically. As early adolescents, seventh graders begin to make their faith their own, and discover their individual strengths and preferences. In seeking to “find themselves” they are intrinsically in search of truth, a pursuit that is directly in line with the core values of Immanuel – to equip young people to influence our society with knowledge of the truth that is both purposeful and practical. As they are supplied with the intellectual and spiritual tools to assist them in the development of a distinctly Christian worldview, seventh graders are able to apply themselves to their studies, relationships and accomplishments with confidence and a sense of purpose for their lives.

  • Special Activities
    • Tavern Day Luncheon
  • Field Trips
    • Jamestown and Williamsburg
    • Gettysburg Battlefield or Manassas Battlefield
    • Potomac River Boat Trip
    • Amusement Park
  • Reading List
    • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
    • The Giver by Lois Lowry
    • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
    • Give Me Liberty by Laura Elliot
    • Short story selections
    • Poetry selections
  • Bible memory verses 

EIGHTH GRADE: Learning for Life

The eighth grade teaching faculty cherishes the privilege of preparing their students for life beyond the walls of Immanuel Christian School.  Knowing that their faith and intellectual life will be tested in high school and college, we endeavor to make our school’s mission a reality for our eighth graders…to inspire them for purposeful lives of learning, service, and godliness. Real world scenarios in classroom discussions and activities, opportunities in every content area for creative collaborations, and integration of biblical concepts and values light the way to a bright future for our graduates.

  • Special Activities
    • Western Day
    • Graduation Dessert, An Evening to Remember
  • Field Trips
    • Newseum
    • Wilderness Retreat
    • Shakespeare Library
    • Holocaust Museum
    • Monuments of Washington D.C.
    • Amusement Park
  • Reading List
    • Chronicles of Mansoul by Ethel Barrett
    • The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
    • The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
    • Animal Farm by George Orwell
    • Short Story selections
    • Poetry selections
  • Bible memory verses

ELECTIVES

Seventh and eighth grade students participate in electives classes each semester. These classes, taught by upper school faculty and content-area specialists, provide students with the opportunity to explore fine arts and enrichment classes not included in the regular curriculum. In the past, class offerings have included Sculpture, Introduction to Photography, Beginning Drama, Book Discussion Group, Political Science, Introduction to Foreign Languages, and Current Events. Participation in Electives prepares students for choosing high school electives and exposes them to content and experiences that complement their regular classes.

OUR MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM

FIFTH GRADE

Language Arts

Students in fifth grade make connections between literature and their lives through discussions and activities associated with their grade-level novels. After reading The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, students collaborate to construct their own museum related to the museum of the novel. Experience in acting, creating costumes and set design follow the reading of Julius Caesar, as students present Shakespeare’s famous drama to parents and ICS students. The writer’s craft is explored as students identify foreshadowing, simile, metaphor, hyperbole, and other techniques used by accomplished writers. English language instruction in parts of speech and the analysis of sentence structure continues in fifth grade in addition to lessons and applications for writing rules and conventions.

Social Studies

The Ancient World is the subject of study for fifth grade history and social studies as students investigate the ancient cultures of Egypt, Israel, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome. The world of early Egypt comes to life at the Egyptian Museum in which each student dresses in a period costume and presents “artifacts” and information on an aspect of life in the Nile River civilization. Through biblical and extra-biblical sources, Judaism and Christianity are compared, and students learn fundamental skills in writing the Hebrew language. Map reading and the importance of geography to the inhabitants of the region are featured in each area unit.

Math

Beginning in fifth grade, students are placed in either Math 5 or 5th Grade Challenge Math based on demonstrated math ability. While both math classes cover the same basic material, Challenge Math works at a faster pace. More complex problems using fractions, decimals and mixed numbers, as well as word problems that use patterning and logical thinking are emphasized. Teachers use math manipulatives, the interactive board, and “Math Mastery” videos from United Streaming to engage students in the study of math. Math 5 Challenge explores the Egyptian multiplication system in conjunction with the Social Studies Egyptian unit.

Science

Hands-on science instruction in fifth grade includes units on magnetism, mixtures and solutions, simple machines, and the nature of energy. The hands-on methodology used throughout the year connects the content to students with diverse learning styles. For example, in the Simple Machines unit, students work with engines, gears, pulleys, and levers to build their own simple machine, which is especially engaging for kinesthetic learners. Students are posed with problems that require a mechanical or physics-based solution, engaging them in real-world science applications.

Music/Art

In addition to preparing for performance in the Christmas musical, students in fifth grade music classes expand their knowledge of musical notation, choral dynamics, and the characteristics of various musical instruments. Students learn about correct singing posture, stage decorum, and how to rehearse effectively as they prepare their Christmas song. In the spring semesters, students learn about musical eras and focus on masters such as Handel and Bach.

As in the lower grades, students in fifth grade art classes study the works of the masters and create their own works based on the techniques of those artists. Students create “Op Art” based on the work of Vasarely and use various shapes of colored paper to make a decoupage work based on Matisse’s The Purple Robe. Using Georgia O’Keefe’s flowers as a model, students use pastels to make their own flower works in the O’Keefe style. Emphasis is placed on the variety of techniques and media and the ability to see artistic value in simple scenes and objects.

Bible

Building on a strong foundation of Old Testament promises and examples of God’s work and faithfulness, fifth grade Bible students focus on Jesus as the King of Kings. The Gospel of Matthew provides the basis for the in-depth study of Jesus’ life and ministry. Using research skills, students gain an understanding of the details of Jesus’ life, his impact on the culture of Israel, and the power of his message, compassion, servanthood, suffering and resurrection. Students memorize and recite verses from Psalm 139, the gospels of John and Matthew and review the books of the Bible. Participation in bi-weekly elementary chapel emphasizes corporate worship and teaching from the Bible as it relates to individual character.

Spanish

Fifth graders have weekly classes that focus on acquiring vocabulary, developing listening and inference skills, and speaking basic conversational phrases. The classes combine music, games, and hands-on activities to encourage long-term retention.

Physical Education

Physical fitness and outdoor exercise are a priority for Immanuel students. In fifth grade, students enjoy cooperative play in periodic recess times. The skills of simple organized sports and the exercise, agility, and endurance necessary for good health are emphasized in twice-weekly PE classes. Sportsmanship, teamwork, respect, and safety are all taught as essential to the enjoyment of sports activities.

SIXTH GRADE

English

Students in sixth grade read four novels, each one chosen to integrate with the history curriculum. Reading responses include a variety of written, oral, and technology-based assignments that allow students to demonstrate mastery in vocabulary and comprehension. Written assignments include the Level One Research and Persuasion activity that gives students basic skills in conducting independent research and using research results to prove a thesis. Practice in correct grammar and usage and an introduction to sentence diagramming are also part of the curriculum.

History

Beginning with world civilizations (Japan, China, the Middle East) and encompassing the Middle Ages and Enlightenment, the history curriculum encourages students to appreciate the differences of other people groups and recognize their role in world history. Each student explores a specific element of Middle East culture and presents their findings at the Middle Eastern Bazaar, an oral presentation activity that is open to the entire ICS community.

Math

The math curriculum for sixth grade students is presented in two formats: General Math 6 and General Math 7. Both courses focus on student mastery of basic operations used with whole numbers, decimals, fractions and integers. Statistics, percent, ratio, and proportion are also part of the years’ studies.

Since many of these concepts are introduced and practiced in the lower grades, emphasis is placed on retention, speed, and minimization of careless errors. Word problems allow students to apply these concepts in math reasoning and problem-solving situations. General Math 7 is a faster-paced course, resulting in the acquisition of new math skills such as plane and solid Geometry, graphing in the coordinate plane, identification of linear equations, solution of multi-step linear equations, and probability.

Science

In sixth grade, students are taught earth science which includes rocks, minerals, the earth’s interior, space exploration, stars, and weather. Students complete labs that permit hands-on learning and model scientific concepts in order to better understand a theory or system. During the astronomy unit, students build telescopes, investigate galaxies with the computer program Starry Night, and participate in the Star Party during which they observe the constellations through a high-powered telescope.

Music/Art

Sixth graders are the featured singers and actors in the annual Grandparents Day Christmas musical. Music theory and performance skills enhance first semester instruction.

Art projects integrate with the social studies and reading curriculum and feature representational images of characters and scenes from books, and cultural images from social studies.

Bible

As sixth graders approach the adolescent years, Bible classes emphasize the importance of individual accountability in Christian faith. The Bible curriculum and memory verses offer students the opportunity to articulate concepts such as God’s grace and mercy (Titus 2:11-3:7) the greatness of God’s creation and love (Psalm 103:1-14) and the supremacy of God’s eternal plan (Isaiah 55:4-12)and apply those truths to their own lives. The question “What is mankind’s primary purpose?” is considered through study of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Students in sixth grade participate in Middle School chapel, which focuses on corporate worship, testimony and teaching from guest speakers, and joining in prayer for missionaries and members of the American armed forces.

Spanish

Sixth graders focus on acquiring vocabulary, learning how to conjugate verbs and work on acquiring speaking and writing skills that develop fluency. Over the course of three years, students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades will cover the curriculum of Spanish 1.

Physical Education

Participation in interscholastic sports, including cross country, soccer, basketball, softball and lacrosse is encouraged for middle school students. PE classes support seasonal sports and teach the fundamentals of each individual sport. Students are also taught basic nutrition and fitness concepts in health classes.

SEVENTH GRADE

English

Reading books are chosen to integrate with social studies curriculum and include classic and young adult novels, including many Newbery Award selections. A combination of classroom strategies encourages and supports reading fluency; for example, students write response journals, collaborate for discussion, apply appropriate technology, and complete vocabulary exercises. Students gain a solid foundation for literary analysis of plot, character, and theme across a variety of genres. Further, they are encouraged to consistently read a book of their own choice outside the classroom. The writing curriculum includes the Level Two Research and Persuasion activity, which builds on sixth grade skills and prepares students for the eighth grade formal research paper assignment. Students also explore the world of poetry by studying the work of traditional and contemporary poets and through the composition of original poetry and basic explications.

History

The focus of historical study begins with the exploration and foundation of the American colonies. Using many primary documents and resources from the Library of Congress, students also explore the people and events surrounding the Revolutionary War, westward expansion, and the Civil War. A field trip to Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg brings the colonial period alive for students and builds their appreciation for the daily lives and stirring patriotism of the colonists. Classroom projects, collaborations, and role playing enhance textbook information and appeal to various learning styles. In May, classes travel to nearby Manassas Battlefield to gain first-hand knowledge of this key Civil War battle site.

Math

General Math 7, Pre-Algebra and Algebra are the three math sections available in seventh grade. Students are placed in the appropriate level based on previous class work and/or placement testing.

General Math 7 allows students to continue in-depth study of decimals, fractions, integers, statistics, percent, ratio and proportion. Word problems that related to daily life and apply these math concepts are emphasized. Inverse operations are used to solve one-step and two-step linear equations and students learn to plot points and lines in the coordinate plane. Geometry presents the opportunity for students to gain proficiency in the use of the calculator as they investigate and calculate measurements of geometric figures.

Pre-Algebra is a fast-paced course that builds a strong foundation for success in Algebra I. Students solve multi-step equations and inequalities, graph and solve systems of equations, perform operations with polynomials and exponents, and solve a variety of classic algebraic word problems.

Algebra I is a full high school course that is taught at the honors level, complimenting NCTM, Virginia state, and Common Core standards. Students identify, solve, and graph linear functions, absolute value functions, rational functions, exponential functions, quadratic functions and radical functions. Simple and compound interest and growth/decay models provide real-life problem-solving situations. The course also includes an introduction to matrices, algebraic proofs and trig ratios.

Science

Seventh grade science begins with microbiology and expands to instruction on more complex life forms. Cells are viewed under microscopes before learning about tissues, organ systems, and finally ecosystems. During the earth science unit, students take a field trip to the Chesapeake Bay to learn about the delicate ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Fine Arts

Electives, including a spectrum of Fine Arts choices, meet weekly throughout the year. Students may choose to explore Photography, Drawing, Film Studies, Drama, Creative Writing and a range of other enrichment opportunities during the fall and spring semesters.

Bible

Seventh grade Bible instruction focuses on the elements of a Christian worldview. Using scripture, students consider the claims of humanism as it relates to philosophy, history, and sociology. The purpose of missions is addressed as students study the Great Awakening and relate their studies to their own attitudes, actions, and beliefs. Students memorize and recite passages from Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John, rewriting the verses in their own words and drawing a personal application for each verse. Students in seventh grade participate in Middle School chapel, which focuses on corporate worship, testimony and teaching from guest speakers, and joining in prayer for missionaries and members of the American armed forces.

Spanish

Seventh graders focus on acquiring vocabulary, learning how to conjugate verbs and work on acquiring speaking and writing skills that develop fluency. Over the course of three years, students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades will cover the curriculum of Spanish 1.

Physical Education

Participation in interscholastic sports, including cross country, soccer, basketball, softball and lacrosse is encouraged for middle school students. PE classes support seasonal sports and teach the fundamentals of each individual sport. Students are also taught basic nutrition and fitness concepts in Health classes.

EIGHTH GRADE

English

Students in eighth grade English explore a variety of literary genres in preparation for high school English, and learn to identify archetypes, allegory, and other literary devices. The work of William Shakespeare and other classic literature, as well as short stories, poetry, and non-fiction, comprise the reading list. The sixth and seventh grade persuasive writing and research skills have prepared students for the formal research paper in eighth grade. Students choose from a selection of history topics as the focus of their paper. In addition to the formal research paper, students practice interview skills and use their interviews in an informative writing piece. Grammar skills include the identification and diagramming of simple to compound/complex sentences and practice in correct grammar and usage conventions.

History

The analysis of people and events that shaped our country continues in eighth grade. Beginning with Reconstruction and continuing to modern times, the History curriculum allows students to understand the role of individuals in the flow of history and challenges them in their role as citizens of a free country. Study of the World Wars focuses on individual acts of courage and infamy as well as the global and technological aspects of modern warfare. A field trip to Washington D.C. monuments connects American history to our region and to the patriots who contributed to the success of the American Experiment.

Math

Math classes available to eighth grade students include Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and Geometry. Students are placed in the appropriate class based on previous performance and/or placement testing.

Pre-Algebra offers further exploration of General Math skills as necessary and builds upon these skills to ensure a solid foundation for Algebra I. Students solve multi-step equations and inequalities, graph and solve systems of equations, perform operations with polynomials and exponents, and solve a variety of classic algebraic word problems.

Algebra I is a full high school course that is taught at the honors level, complimenting NCTM, Virginia state, and Common Core standards. Students identify, solve, and graph linear functions, absolute value functions, rational functions, exponential functions, quadratic functions and radical functions. Simple and compound interest and growth/decay models provide real-life problem-solving situations. The course also includes an introduction to matrices, algebraic proofs and trig ratios.

Geometry is a complete high school course that is taught at the honors level, adhering to NCTM, Virginia state, and Common Core standards. Students use visual and symbolic logic, as well as inductive and deductive reasoning to determine the truth value of statements. Proofs and geometric constructions are an integral part of this accelerated course. Geometric relationships between one, two and three-dimensional figures are studied in depth, while trig ratios are applied to elevation, depression, and vectors. Students who successfully master Geometry will be prepared to take Algebra II in ninth grade.

Science

Eighth grade students explore basic concepts of physics and chemistry, learning the Periodic Table of Elements and how the basic elements combine and recombine to form the natural world. Motion is brought to life from the stationary pages of the textbook as students race toy cars to learn about speed, launch rockets, and calculate mathematical formulas.

Fine Arts

Electives, including a spectrum of Fine Arts choices, meet weekly throughout the year. Students may choose to explore Photography, Drawing, Film Studies, Drama, Creative Writing and a range of other enrichment opportunities during the Fall and Spring semesters. Students who apply and are selected for the yearbook staff meet during Electives period to assemble the ICS Yearbook. Members of the yearbook staff, with the assistance of the yearbook coordinator, select the theme and cover, take and edit pictures, format pages, and write all copy for the yearbook. Every ICS student receives a copy of the yearbook in June as a momento of their academic year.

Bible

Eighth graders continue their development of a Christian worldview as they consider scriptural applications to subjects such as politics, ethics, psychology and law. As they prepare to face high school situations and challenges to their faith, students develop the tools that allow them to live faithfully and to bring glory to God through the witness of their lives. The literature emphasis in Bible classes is a biography of an individual who faced conflict and moral crisis and remained faithful to God.

Memorization and recitation of verses includes selections from Proverbs, Colossians, and James. Students rewrite verses in their own words and make a personal application for each verse. Their memory verses form the basis of conversation in accountability groups that meet twice a month and are led by a middle school faculty member or an Immanuel Student Ministry leader. Students in eighth grade participate in Middle School chapel, which focuses on corporate worship, testimony and teaching from guest speakers, and joining in prayer for missionaries and members of the American armed forces.

Physical Education

Participation in interscholastic sports, including cross country, soccer, basketball, softball and lacrosse is encouraged for middle school students. PE classes support seasonal sports and teach the fundamentals of each individual sport. Students are also taught basic nutrition and fitness concepts in Health classes.

Spanish

Eighth graders focus on acquiring vocabulary, learning how to conjugate verbs and work on acquiring speaking and writing skills that develop fluency. Over the course of three years, students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades will cover the curriculum of Spanish 1.

Wilderness Retreat

A capstone event of the final year at Immanuel Christian School is the class retreat at White Sulphur Springs, Pennsylvania. Carrying their own tents, cooking and eating supplies, and personal effects, students and faculty advisors hike the trail to the camp site on a remote hilltop in the woods at which they will spend three days and two nights. Objectives of this annual fall trip are to teach survival skills, cooperation, and an appreciation for the natural world. Students complete a series of collaborative skills and encourage one another to step out of their “comfort zone” as they rappel the rock face of a cliff and maneuver a ropes course. Many Immanuel graduates remember Wilderness as the most enjoyable and meaningful event of their final year.

TEXTS & RESOURCES