Prerequisite: Language Arts 5.
In this course, students will:

  • Read and analyze a variety of works, both fiction and nonfiction, including poetry, essays, short stories, and novels.
  • Explore and create various forms of writing, including informational/expository, reader response, short stories, poetry, arguments, and research.
  • Expand and improve vocabulary and grammar usage skills.

Students will be expected to complete all class assignments and to have a solid understanding of the course material. Students will work on writing and reading skills through lessons and assignments that target specific aspects of the writing and reading process.
Digital Textbook:
Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 6
Books/Novels:

  • S.O.R. Losers, Avi
  • Hatchet, Gary Paulsen
  • Maniac Magee, Jerry Spinelli
Prerequisite: Language Arts 5.
In this course, students will:

  • Read and analyze a variety of works, both fiction and nonfiction, including poetry, essays, short stories, and novels.
  • Explore and create various forms of writing, including informational/expository, reader response, short stories, poetry, arguments, and research.
  • Expand and improve vocabulary and grammar usage skills.

The course moves at an accelerated pace with a focus on independent reading and writing skills.
Students will be expected to complete all class assignments and to have a solid understanding of the course material. Students will work on writing and reading skills through lessons and assignments that target specific aspects of the writing and reading process.
Digital Textbook:
Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 6
Books/Novels:

  • S.O.R. Losers, Avi
  • Hatchet, Gary Paulsen
  • Maniac Magee, Jerry Spinelli
The 6th Grade Math curriculum utilizes an integrated approach to math which focuses on six modules aligned to the Pennsylvania state standards; Ratios and Unit Rates, Arithmetic Operations, Rational Numbers, Expressions and Equations, Area, Surface Area and Volume, Statistics. Following this design, the course will prepare students to achieve success as well as develop skills for the next level of mathematics. Throughout the year, students will develop proficiency in problem solving strategies and acquire an understanding as to how mathematics applies to everyday life.
In this course, students will:

  • Solve problems in basic computation and estimation involving fractions, decimals and whole numbers, geometry, measurement and analysis and probability.
  • Participate in hands-on and interactive activities that reinforce grade-level math concepts.
  • Develop proficiency with problem solving strategies.
  • Work towards meeting 6th grade standards in the area of numbers and operations, measurement, geometry, algebraic concepts and data analysis and probability.
  • Use pictures and manipulatives to show mathematical processes involving all areas of the course, especially fractions, algebraic concepts, integers and graphing.

Digital Textbook: McGraw-Hill: Math Course 1

In this course, students will:

  • Widen their understanding of location, place, human-environment interactions, movement and regions.
  • Examine the similarities and differences between many societies and cultures.
  • Use this knowledge to analyze the geography of world regions and the part it played historically.
  • Apply their knowledge of world history and geography to better understand modern life and global interactions.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: World Geography

The 6th Grade General Science curriculum utilizes an integrated approach to science which focuses on the three main branches of science: Earth & Space Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. This design allows students to encounter each of the main areas of science and cover a wide scope of interests. The course exposes students to scientific inquiry through student discovery, problem solving, computer usage, interdisciplinary studies and teacher led discussions. Students will be introduced to the scientific process, the use of scientific tools, and methods of investigation.
In this course, students will:

  • Explore topics in Earth & Space Science, Life Science, and Physical Science.
  • Apply scientific method, explore scientific theories and laws, and analyze test experiments.
  • Analyze the sun, the effects of the movements of the Earth and moon, and understand the Earth’s place in the universe.
  • Discuss the theory of plate tectonics, explore earthquakes and volcanoes, and discuss how the Earth’s landforms have changed over time.
  • Explain types of natural resources found on the planet Earth, and analyze their usage.
  • Explore diversity among plants and animals.
  • Classify plants and animals into smaller groups and identify their basic structures.
  • Identify cell parts and the cell cycle.
  • Explore inheritance of traits and how adaptations occur within species.
  • Explain the different processes associated with photosynthesis.
  • Analyze atoms, elements, compounds, and mixtures.
  • Identify the properties of matter and how matter can change form.
  • Discuss how energy can change from one form to another and how light and thermal energy are transferred.
  • Investigate waves, light, and sound and how waves transfer energy through matter and space.
  • Explore electricity and magnetism and explain how electric current and magnetism are related.

Digital Textbook: McGraw Hill: Integrated iScience 1

Middle School Electives
Prerequisite: Language Arts 6.

In this course, students will:

  • Read, analyze and evaluate a variety of works, both fiction and nonfiction, including poetry, essays, short stories, and novels.
  • Explore and create various forms of writing, including informational/expository, literary analysis, short stories, poetry, arguments, and research.
  • Develop and improve communication and critical thinking skills.
  • Expand and improve vocabulary and grammar usage skills.

Students will be expected to complete all class assignments and to have a solid understanding of the course material. Students will work on writing and reading skills through lessons and assignments that target specific aspects of the writing and reading process.

Digital Textbook:

Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 7

Books/Novels:

Holes, Louis Sachar

Prerequisite: Language Arts 6.

In this course, students will:

  • Read, analyze and evaluate a variety of works, both fiction and nonfiction, including poetry, essays, short stories, plays, and novels with a close examination of elements of fiction and the craft of writing.
  • Explore and create various forms of writing, including informational/expository, literary analysis, short stories, poetry, arguments, and research.
  • Develop and improve communication and critical thinking skills.
  • Expand and improve vocabulary and grammar usage skills.
  • Refine student understanding of rhetoric as used in formal and informal settings.

The course moves at an accelerated pace with a focus on independent reading and writing skills.
Students will be expected to complete all class assignments and to have a solid understanding of the course material. Students will work on writing and reading skills through lessons and assignments that target specific aspects of the writing and reading process.

Digital Textbook:

Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 7

Books/Novels:

Holes, Louis Sachar

The 7th Grade Math curriculum utilizes an integrated approach to math which focuses on six modules aligned to the Pennsylvania state standards: ratios and proportional relationships, rational numbers, expressions and equations, percent and proportional relationships, statistics and probability, and geometry.
Following this design, the course will prepare students to achieve success as well as develop skills for the next level of mathematics: Math 8. Throughout the year, students will develop proficiency in problem solving strategies and acquire an understanding as to how mathematics applies to everyday life.

Topics covered in Math 7:

  • Ratios, fractions, proportions
  • Rational numbers including: decimal, fraction, and integer operations
  • Algebraic expression, solving one-step equations, solving and graphing inequalities
  • Percents, simple interest, real-world application of percents
  • Data analysis, probability
  • Properties of geometric figures, area, surface area, and volume

This course will develop concepts aligned to the Pennsylvania Mathematics Anchors and eligible content for seventh grade as well as 7th grade Standards.

Digital Textbook:

McGraw-Hill: Math Course 2

Prerequisite: Math 6 score average of a 90% or higher, recommendation of teacher, and strong PSSA Math score.

This course condenses Math 7 and Math 8 content into one year. It is designed for the academically talented middle school student who has demonstrated an aptitude for the study of mathematics.

Topics covered in Accelerated Math 7:

  • Ratios, Percents and Proportional Relationships
  • Rational Numbers
  • Expressions and Equations
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Number system and properties of exponents
  • Similarity
  • Linear Equations
  • Linear Functions
  • Irrational Numbers using Geometry

Content includes variables, expressions, integers, equations, multi-step equations, inequalities, fractions, exponents, rational numbers and equations, ratio, proportion, probability, percents, linear functions, real numbers, measurement, area, volume and surface area, data analysis, and angle relationships and transformations.

Digital Textbook:

McGraw-Hill: Math Course 2

In World Studies 7, students will learn about the foundational themes and methods associated with the social studies, the formation and documentation of the historical accounts of ancient civilizations, a comprehensive overview of the Middle Ages and the Modern Period, and a survey of the 20th century and more recent history. In the discussion of ancient civilization students will explore the human story by examining the respective histories of a variety of empires and civilizations that evolved around the world. Moving forward, students will discuss the Medieval and Modern periods of history by examining the impact of change upon civilization in terms of trade, culture, religious influences, politics, military, and technology. Finally, the course concludes with an exploration of contemporary history, themes, and issues. In the midst of his or her study, the student will practice and master the appropriate PA academic standards in relation to the following subjects: Geography, Civics & Government, History, and Economics.
Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: A History of the World
In Advanced World Studies 7, students will learn about the foundational themes and methods associated with the social studies, the formation and documentation of the historical accounts of ancient civilizations, a comprehensive overview of the Middle Ages and the Modern Period, and a survey of the 20th century and more recent history. In the discussion of ancient civilization, students will explore the human story by examining the respective histories of a variety of empires and civilizations that evolved around the world. Moving forward,
students will discuss the Medieval and Modern periods of history by examining the impact of change upon civilization in terms of trade, culture, religious influences, politics, military, and technology. Finally, the course concludes with an exploration of contemporary history, themes, and issues. In the midst of his or her study, the student will practice and master the appropriate PA academic standards in relation to the following subjects: Geography, Civics & Government, History, and Economics. The advanced section offers a more rigorous and writing based course.

Digital Textbook:

McGraw Hill: A History of the World

The 7th grade general science curriculum utilizes an integrated approach to science which focuses on the three main branches of science; Earth & Space Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. This design allows students to encounter each of the main areas of science and cover a wide scope of studies. The course exposes students to scientific inquiry through student discovery, problem solving, computer usage, interdisciplinary studies and teacher led discussions. Students will be introduced to the scientific process, the use of scientific tools, and methods of investigation.

In this course, students will:

  • Explore topics in Earth & Space Science, Life Science, and Physical Science.
  • Apply scientific method, explore scientific theories and laws, and analyze test experiments.
  • Analyze the sun, the effects of the movements of the Earth and moon, and understand the Earth’s place in the universe.
  • Discuss the theory of plate tectonics, explore earthquakes and volcanoes, and discuss how the Earth’s landforms have changed over time.
  • Discuss the characteristics of life and how organisms are classified.
  • Identify parts of the cell, the cell cycle, process of cell to organism and cell reproduction.
  • Explore genetics, inheritance of traits, and how organisms change over time.
  • Explore the processes associated with photosynthesis and cellular respiration.
  • Analyze the different terrestrial and aquatic biomes of the world and how organisms interact within these biomes.
  • Analyze atoms, elements, compounds, and mixtures.
  • Identify the properties of matter and how matter can change form.
  • Explore the periodic table of elements and how the elements are arranged.
  • Classify different types of energy and discuss how energy transfers and transforms.
  • Explain types of natural resources found on the planet Earth, and analyze their usage.
  • Describe the Earth’s atmosphere, weather patterns, and climate cycles.
  • Investigate forces and motion and apply Newton’s Three Laws of Motion.
  • Explore the Sun-Earth-Moon system and the greater solar system.

Digital Textbook:

McGraw Hill: Integrated iScience 2

The Advanced Science 7 covers all the material within the Science 7 course but at a more rigorous and in depth level. This integrated science course encourages students to address real-world science issues and work collaboratively with their peers. The instructional program incorporates technology, community resources, laboratory experimentation, and activities designed to foster critical thinking and problem solving skills. A major goal of this course is to encourage student-directed research, participate in group projects and interactive discussions regarding scientific concepts. The course is recommended for highly motivated students with exceptional work and study habits, a high interest in science, advanced math, reading, and writing skills.

Digital Textbook:

McGraw Hill: Integrated iScience 2

Middle School Electives
Prerequisite: Language Arts 7 (or equivalent).

In this course, students will:

  • Read, analyze, evaluate, and critique a variety of works, both fiction and nonfiction, including poetry, essays, short stories, and novels.
  • Explore and produce various forms of writing, including informational/expository essays, literary analysis, short stories, poetry, arguments, and research.
  • Develop and improve communication and critical thinking skills.
  • Expand and improve vocabulary and grammar usage skills.

Students will be expected to complete all class assignments and to have a solid understanding of the course material. Students will work on writing and reading skills through lessons and assignments that target specific aspects of the writing and reading process.

Digital Textbook:

Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 8

Books/Novels:

Wonder, Raquel J. Palacio
Materials may be tier-specific

Prerequisite: Language Arts 7 (or equivalent).

Advanced Language Arts 8 provides students with a challenging curriculum that is aligned to the Pennsylvania State Standards for Language Arts. At the advanced level, students will use a wide variety of text to increase their use of critical thinking skills. The curriculum moves at an accelerated pace with a more concentrated focus on independent reading, writing, analysis, and problem solving. Opportunities are provided for students to develop questioning and research strategies that assist them in organizing and presenting information in oral, visual, and written formats. The primary goals of the course are to foster independent learning, encourage in-depth exploration of the content, and build the skills necessary for the transition to high school.

Digital Textbook:

Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 8

Books/Novels:

Wonder, Raquel J. Palacio

Workbook: Vocabulary Workshop C Materials may be tier-specific

The 8th Grade Math curriculum utilizes an integrated approach to math which focuses on seven modules aligned to the Pennsylvania state standards; Number system and properties of exponents, Congruence, Similarity, Linear Equations, Functions from Geometry, Linear Functions, Irrational Numbers using Geometry. Following this design, the course will prepare students to achieve success as well as develop skills for the next level of mathematics in Algebra I. Throughout the year, students will develop proficiency in problem solving strategies and acquire an understanding as to how mathematics applies to everyday life. Content includes variables, expressions, integers, equations, multi-step equations, inequalities, fractions, exponents, rational numbers and equations, ratio, proportion, probability, percents, linear functions, real numbers, measurement, area, volume and surface area, data analysis, and angle relationships and transformations.

Topics covered in Math 8:

  • The number system, properties of exponents, and real numbers
  • Congruence, triangles, and the Pythagorean Theorem
  • Similarity and transformations
  • Linear Equations, equations in one and two variables
  • Functions from geometry, volume and surface area
  • Linear functions, scatter plots and data analysis
  • Irrational and real numbers using Geometry

Upon completion of this course students will be prepared for Algebra 1.

Digital Textbook:

McGraw-Hill: Math Course 3

Prerequisite: Accelerated Math 7 or equivalent, proficiency on PALCS placement test, recommendation of teacher and strong PSSA Math score.

Topics in Algebra 1 include real numbers, linear equations and inequalities, linear functions and their graphs, systems of linear equations and inequalities (limited to two variables) and an introduction to polynomials. Students will have the opportunity to explore functions with the TI-83 graphing calculator.
This course is aligned to the PA Core Standards.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will receive 1 high school credit in Mathematics and be ready for Geometry. Students taking Algebra I in 8th grade will need to complete both the 8th grade PSSA and the Algebra I Keystone exam.

Digital Textbook:

McGraw Hill: Algebra 1

In this introductory course, students will study the history of the United States from the inception of the Thirteen English Colonies to 1914. Students will travel back in time and place themselves in the early stages of American development through various written assignments that will rely on student creativity and leadership qualities. Students will study an era at the forefront of the early development of the laws and ideologies of American society.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Critically analyze information, documents and political cartoons.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills and creativity in completing written assignments.
  • Identify important occurrences such as Bacon’s Rebellion and Shay’s Rebellion and discuss the significance of these events in American history.
  • Learn the meaning of American citizenship and how factors such as immigration and slavery have impacted the United States.
  • Distinguish and demonstrate the qualities of leadership and evaluate (through textbook and outside readings) the qualities of American leaders.
  • Master the Pennsylvania mandated Standards in relation to Geography, History, Civics, Government and Economics for the respective grade level of this course.

Digital Textbook:

McGraw Hill: A History of the United States

Advanced American Nation covers United States History from 1630 to about 1914. It begins with the origins of the 13 colonies, through the birth of the Unites States and all important events, as well as people, up to the industrial growth of the early 1900’s. In the advanced course, students are held to higher standards, and can expect more content in the daily lessons as well as an emphasis on writing in the assessments. They will explore important events, the roles of women and ethnic groups, and the growth of democracy within the United States.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Critically analyze information, documents and political cartoons.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills and creativity in completing written assignments.
  • Identify important occurrences such as Bacon’s Rebellion and Shay’s Rebellion and discuss the significance of these events in American history.
  • Learn the meaning of American citizenship and how factors such as immigration and slavery have impacted the United States.
  • Distinguish and demonstrate the qualities of leadership and evaluate (through textbook and outside readings) the qualities of American leaders.
  • Master the Pennsylvania mandated Standards in relation to Geography, History, Civics, Government and Economics for the respective grade level of this course.

Digital Textbook:

McGraw Hill: A History of the United States

The 8th grade general science curriculum utilizes an integrated approach to science which focuses on the three main branches of science: Earth & Space Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. This design allows students to encounter each of the main areas of science and cover a wide scope of studies. The course exposes students to scientific inquiry through student discovery, problem solving, computer usage, interdisciplinary studies and teacher led discussions.

In this course, students will:

  • Explore topics in Earth & Space Science, Life Science, and Physical Science.
  • Apply scientific method, explore scientific theories and laws, and analyze test experiments.
  • Describe motion and explore speed and velocity.
  • Understand gravity, friction, and the laws of motion.
  • Investigate forces and motion and how machines help make work easier.
  • Investigate waves, light, and sound and how waves transfer energy through matter and space.
  • Explore thermal energy, thermal energy transfers, and uses of thermal energy.
  • Identify the properties of matter and how matter can change form.
  • Analyze atoms, elements, compounds, and mixtures.
  • Understand chemical bonds and chemical reactions/equations.
  • Discuss mixtures, solubility, and Acid/Base solutions.
  • Explore the Sun-Earth-Moon system and the greater solar system.
  • Explore minerals, rocks, and the rock cycle.
  • Discuss the theory of plate tectonics, explore earthquakes and volcanoes, and discuss how the Earth’s landforms have changed over time.
  • Discuss the Earth’s past through fossils, dating methods, and the geologic time scale.
  • Analyze the different terrestrial and aquatic biomes of the world and how organisms interact within these biomes.
  • Explain types of natural resources found on the planet Earth, and analyze their usage.
  • Explore genetics, inheritance of traits, and how organisms change over time.

Digital Textbook:

McGraw Hill: Integrated Life Science 3

Throughout the Advanced Integrated Science 8 course, students will be challenged to think critically, expand globally, and explore the study of core sciences through inquiry based labs, communication, design, and local projects. All objectives covered in the Science 8 course will be covered in this class but at a more rigorous, extensive manner.

Digital Textbook:

McGraw Hill: Integrated Life Science 3

PALCS Middle School Courses
Middle School Electives
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