Middle School Curriculum » Curriculum

Curriculum

Northland Christian School is committed to preparing all students for the world of tomorrow and to offering each student directed academic planning, giving them the best opportunities for the future. In our continued pursuit of these goals, NCS continues to deliver “Excellence in Academics”.

Excellence in Academics is a culture. It is our strategic plan for immersing students in a culture of excellence – in a culture where achievement is valued and excellence is encouraged; or even better, where excellence is required. It is designed to move students to an understanding of their God-given gifts. We are intentional about our claim to be a college preparatory school. Excellence in Academics is our action plan to vault our graduates into their college choices, excited to embrace all that each university can offer them.

Bible Overview
The Northland Secondary Bible Program is designed to teach the Bible with the goal of life transformation through faith in Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Through our curriculum and enrichment, students will learn Biblical truths and have the opportunity to experience the power of God’s word through community outreach, real world applications, and through an interactive and challenging classroom environment. Our Bible curriculum is intentionally designed to fulfill our mission that students grow spiritually, intellectually, physically, and socially for the glory of God.

6th Grade
The Birth and Early History of the Church - The books of Luke and Acts
2 Semesters
The purpose and goal is to study and understand the connections of the work of Christ to the birth, early growth, and persecution of the Church. The spreading of the gospel from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth will be examined. The life of Paul and his impact on the early church will also be discussed, including his arrest, trial, and journey to Rome.

7th Grade
Route 66: Old Testament and New Testament Survey
2 Semesters
This study provides a basic introduction to the structure and themes of the Word of God. “Route 66” is a survey course with an emphasis on understanding God’s relationship with man throughout history. As students’ journey through this fast-moving survey of the entire Bible, they will discover truths and applications that God placed in each book of the Bible. God’s gracious work is clear—from creation to the cross to the consummation of time.

8th Grade
The Life of Christ
2 Semesters
Students will journey through the Gospel of John, and develop not only a stronger knowledge of Christ, but also a deeper relationship with Him. This study explores the identity and purpose of God’s Son, as revealed through His earthly ministry. Featuring an interactive study of biblical landmarks, the “Life of Christ” examines the ministry and work of God’s Son within Israel’s historical and geographical context. By exploring Christ’s work from His preexistence to His ascension, students will learn how to apply spiritual truths to their own lives as they choose to allow God to shape them into the image of His Son, Jesus.

English 6th Grade - Academic
This course is designed to develop, strengthen, and broaden a student’s understanding and the use of language in its various forms—with a particular focus on grammar rules and constructs. Reading, writing, speaking, listening, and collaborative strategies are used purposefully to build knowledge and skills and to help students become independent readers, writers, and thinkers as they continue to progressively build the skills necessary for academic success in middle school. The primary goals of the course are to foster independent learning, encourage in-depth exploration of the content, practice close reading strategies and develop academic habits of mind. Outside and summer reading are required.

English 7th Grade - Academic
This course is designed to develop, strengthen, and broaden a student’s understanding and the use of language in its various forms. Reading, writing, speaking, listening, and collaborative strategies are used purposefully to build knowledge and skills and to help students become independent readers, writers, and thinkers as they continue to progressively build the skills necessary for academic success in middle school and high school. The primary goals of the course are to foster independent learning, encourage in-depth exploration of the content, explore various genres, and develop academic habits of mind. Outside and summer reading are required.

English 7th Grade - Advanced
Prerequisite and Limitations: Previous levels of English and selection criteria.
This course is designed with all the fundamentals of the Academic level class following the same scope and sequence. Through increased rigor, deeper thinking, and the development of more advanced products, students will further refine their reading and writing skills. Outside and summer reading are required.

English 8th Grade - Academic
This course is designed to develop, strengthen, and broaden a student’s understanding and the use of language in its various forms. Reading, writing, speaking, listening, and collaborative strategies are used purposefully to build knowledge and skills and to help students become independent readers, writers, and thinkers as they continue to progressively build the skills necessary for academic success in middle school and high school. The primary goals of the course are to foster independent learning, encourage in-depth exploration of the content, explore various genres, and develop academic habits of mind. Outside and summer reading are required.

English 8th Grade - Advanced
Prerequisite and Limitations: Previous levels of English and selection criteria.
This course is designed with all the fundamentals of the Academic level class following the same scope and sequence. Through increased rigor, deeper thinking, alternate readings and assignments, and the development of more advanced products, students will further refine their reading and writing skills in preparation for their high school courses. Outside and summer reading are required.

Creative Writing - 7th & 8th grade
1 Semester
The goals of this course include gaining a greater understanding of the components of various types of creative writing, fostering an understanding of and development of a personal writing process, and producing multiple types of creative writing to include essays, short stories, and poetry. Among the methods we’ll use to achieve this will be the study of the diction, the imagery, and the tone of published writers. Having a better understanding of the choices writers make will help students understand how to communicate their own ideas of fiction. This course is for the student who wants to understand how writing happens, how to turn interesting thoughts into compelling words, and wants to create worlds with characters and dialog. Students will not be required to but will be strongly encouraged to share their work with the other students in the class.

Communication Applications
8th - 12th Grade
.5 Credit ~ 1 Semester
Communication Applications is designed to teach the skills and strategies needed to become an effective communicator in a variety of “real life” situations. Students will build self-confidence while speaking in both formal and informal settings. Students are expected to identify, analyze, develop, and evaluate communication skills needed for professional and social success in interpersonal situations, interviews, group interactions, and professional or personal presentations. Assignments will focus on verbal and nonverbal messages, listening skills, and critical thinking. At the end of the semester, students will be able to communicate effectively and appropriately, which will allow them greater ease in expressing their thoughts and feelings.

Art 6 Fundamentals of Art
1 Semester
This course introduces 6th grade students to the Elements of art-line, shape, color, value, form, texture, space. Students will create unique two and three-dimensional works of art using a variety of media and art styles. They will be exposed to artists and art history, and will critique their own work and the work of others. A field trip to the art museum is an important part of the course.

Middle School Art Exploration
1 Semester
In this semester course, 7th and 8th grade students have the opportunity for creative expression in two and three-dimensions. While exploring the Principles of Design -- balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, rhythm, and unity students will experiment with a variety of media as they create unique works of art in many different styles. Students will be exposed to famous and not so famous artists, art history, and critiquing skills. A trip to the art museum is an important part of the course.

6th Grade Drama
1 Semester
This course serves as an introduction to the theater and develops an ability to perform and speak in front of others. The course focuses on performance through improvisation exercises, communicating through movement, persuasive speaking, and a class play production. The skills gained in this course help the student develop a stage presence, vocal and physical techniques, ensemble skills and character development skills. A class fee of $30 will be assessed to each student.

7th & 8th Grade Theatre Arts
1 Semester
This course serves as an introduction to the theater and develops an ability to perform and speak in front of others. The course focuses on performance through improvisation exercises, communicating through movement, persuasive speaking, and a class play production. The skills gained in this course help the student develop a stage presence, vocal and physical techniques, ensemble skills and character development skills. A class fee of $30 will be assessed to each student.

Orchestra - Middle School
2 Semesters
Incoming students may be required to pass a proficiency test for admittance into the class. This class is designed to emphasize the art of ensemble playing for stringed instruments and expand on the student’s previous learning experience. Emphasis will be placed on musicality, the ensemble setting, and performance practice. Example performance venues might include chapel, a Christmas concert, spring concert, etc. Qualified students may be invited to participate in quartets or small ensembles outside the overall group.

Choir - 6th Grade
1 or 2 Semesters
Students participating in 6th Grade Choir must display a positive attitude toward music and performing. Since the choir travels several times per year, students signing up for choir should be in good academic standing. Students will learn to read music and be instructed in group vocal technique. Students will be required to purchase and wear the required uniform for performances.

Choir - 7th & 8th Grade
2 Semesters
Students participating in the Middle School Choir are 7th and 8th graders who must display a positive attitude toward music and performing. Since the choir travels several times per year, students signing up for choir should be in good academic standing. Students will learn to read music and be instructed in group vocal technique. Students will be required to pay a rental fee and wear the required uniform for performances.

Middle School Yearbook: 7th or 8th Grade
1 or 2 Semesters
Prerequisite and Limitations: Application required.
This semester or year long course will introduce students to the complete process of creating the Middle School Yearbook. Students will incorporate the principles of design, basic photography skills, writing, editing, and time management skills while working collaboratively to capture and creatively display our NCS memories.

Introduction to Spanish - Middle School 
1 Semester
Introduction to Spanish has been prepared as a Middle School elective course. Grammar, vocabulary, and basic conversational skills are covered in a wide variety of ways to reach each learning style. The language itself, as well as culture, foods, music, and other areas of interest, are discussed and experienced through games, activities, video clips, and written work. The goal of this class is not only to give information and beginning speaking skills to the student, but also to create an excitement and anticipation towards his/her high school Spanish coursework.

Spanish I
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters
This course is an introduction to the Spanish language and assumes no previous knowledge or limited knowledge. The class will use Spanish in speaking, writing, reading and listening skills. The students will be given opportunities to use the language through games, drama, celebrations, and special projects.  

 

Social Studies/Ancient World - 6th Grade
Students are led through a survey that begins with the rise of civilization and ends with a study of Ancient Rome. The approach consists of a series of instructional practices that allow students of all abilities to experience key social studies concepts. The lessons incorporate the six types of multiple intelligence activities (verbal, logical, visual, kinesthetic, rhythmic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal) igniting each student’s passion for learning. The use of cooperative group work promotes higher student achievement and increased student interaction. With this curriculum, what was once a dusty, dry area of learning is now fresh, exciting, and engaging.

Texas History - 7th Grade
Texas History covers the history of the land and the peoples of Texas from the prehistoric era to the present. Major emphasis is on periods prior to the twentieth century. The contributions of various cultures and the interaction of these cultures are presented early and are major themes throughout the course. Map reading skills are a vital element of this course. The study of Texas history will incorporate lecture, reading skills, note-taking, map-making, videos, and a large variety of hands-on projects for most units covered. Multicultural heritage, geographical influences, technological advancement, democracy and civil rights, individual and family life, intellectual and religious development, free enterprise and economic development, conflict and cooperation are topics included in this study.   

U.S. History - 8th Grade
This course is an introductory study of United States history. The adventure will begin with Native Americans and will discuss the social and cultural development of the United States through the Civil War. The course attempts to create in students a spirit of love and appreciation for the people and events that shaped the United States. There is an optional field trip in the spring.

Math - 6th Grade
The mathematics course for grade six is designed to not only teach mathematical concepts, but to also provide students with real-life situations in which their math skills can be utilized. Number patterns, decimals, fractions, ratios, proportions, percent, geometric concepts, and measurement are some of the topics covered. Algebra is also introduced through integers and solving equations. An Algebra readiness test will be given in the 6th grade.

Math - 7th Grade
Focus will be on adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents, and integers in problem solving. Using numbers in geometry, measurement, statistics, and probability will be emphasized in applying proportional relationships. Describing and interpreting data will be included. Algebraic concepts are also explored through solving one-step equations and inequalities.

PreAlgebra - 7th Grade 
Prerequisite and Limitations: Selection criteria.
In PreAlgebra, topics including numerical operations, estimation, algebraic functions, statistics, probability, geometry, measurement, problem solving, algebraic operations, solving basic equations, and graphing will be covered. Preparation for Algebra I is the main emphasis.  Either a scientific calculator or a TI-84 graphing calculator is required.

PreAlgebra - 8th Grade 
In PreAlgebra, topics including numerical operations, estimation, algebraic functions, statistics, probability, geometry, measurement, problem solving, algebraic operations, solving basic equations, and graphing will be covered. Preparation for Algebra I is the main emphasis.  TI-84 graphing calculator is required.

Algebra I - 8th Grade
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters
Prerequisite and Limitations: Selection criteria.
Algebra I reinforces concepts learned in PreAlgebra (such as solving multi-step equations and linear graphing) and expands into solving systems of equations and inequalities, factoring and simplifying polynomials, solving quadratic equations and working with exponents and radicals. Students are given a foundation for concepts that will be learned in Geometry, Algebra II and PreCalculus. A TI-84 graphing calculator is required.

Physical Education/Athletics
2 Semesters Per Year
Year-long class focusing on conditioning and lifelong recreational sports and games. All middle school students are required to take P.E. each year. Approval for off-campus PE will only be given on a full semester basis and for category I participation (minimum of 15 hours per week). Academic counselor approval required prior to participation.

Middle School Athletics
(Try-out required)
Year long or semester class focusing on strength and conditioning with team emphasis for individuals participating in team sports. 

  • Boys: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, Track
  • Girls: Basketball, Cheerleading, Soccer, Softball, Track, Volleyball

Science - 6th Grade
Earth and Space Science focuses on the structure and development of the earth over time and concludes with an introduction to astronomy. This course includes units on mapping, plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes, the rock cycle, weathering and erosion, the water cycle, atmosphere and climate, the oceans, our solar system, and the universe. The focus of this course is to allow students to explore these concepts in a practical manner that challenges them to think about the Earth’s impact on them and their impact on it. Students will engage in an array of class activities that include weekly hands on labs, comprehensive tests, quizzes, class projects and watching video clips related to the material.

Life Science - 7th Grade
Life Science is the study of the functions and features of living things.  The course covers the classification system, cells, heredity, bacteria, protists and fungi, plants, animals, the human body and ecology. Students will use internet-based activities, relevant articles and appropriate labs to discover similarities and differences within groups and species. Students will conduct five or more dissection labs including squid, earthworms, grasshoppers, owl pellets, and frogs. Students will conduct both independent and collaborative research at least once each semester. They will present this research to the class using a variety of presentation methods.

IPC (Integrated Physics and Chemistry) 8th Grade
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters
The focus of IPC is to provide students with an introduction to Physics and Chemistry. The first semester will be focused on the basic concepts of chemistry, which include the structure of an atom, the periodic table, chemical bonds and reactions, mixtures, compounds and organic chemistry. In the second semester students will focus on introductory Physics. They will cover topics such as density, buoyancy, forces, motion, machines, energy, electricity, magnetism, sound and light. Students will participate in weekly hands on labs, group and individual projects and regular testing.

Technology 6th Grade 
1 Semester
This computer class is to help the students reinforce their current skills as well as allow them to begin exploring new technologies. Concepts will include keyboarding, presentations, animations, video, web pages, and basic office applications. Students will be able to work at their individual levels and be able to use their skills for work in other academic classes. Internet safety guidelines are reinforced.

Technology - Middle School 7th or 8th Grade 
1 Semester
This one semester technology course allows students to reinforce their current skills as well as to begin exploring new technologies. Concepts will include keyboarding, presentations, animations, video, web pages, and basic office applications. Students will be able to work at their individual levels and be able to use their skills for work in other academic classes. Internet safety guidelines are reinforced.

Introductory Robotics
6th Grade ~ 1 Semester
Prerequisite and Limitations: Application required.
Class size is limited to 10 students. This elective course is for 6th grade students wishing to learn how to program and build LEGO Mindstorms robots. Students will learn using open-ended problem-solving activities. This elective will also prepare students for participation in Middle School Competitive Robotics.

MS Robotics - 7th or 8th Grade
1 Semester
Prerequisite and Limitations: Class size is limited to 10 students.
This elective course is for 7th and 8th grade students wishing to learn how to program and build LEGO Mindstorms robots. This elective is also appropriate for students who enjoy robotics but do not wish to compete in the First LEGO League competition. Students will learn using open-ended problem-solving activities. This elective is a prerequisite for participation in Middle School Competitive Robotics.

Competitive Robotics 7th or 8th Grade
2 Semesters
Prerequisite and Limitations: Application and teacher recommendation required. Class size is limited to 10 students.
This course is for middle school students wishing to compete in the First LEGO League robotics competition. This elective is appropriate for students who have knowledge of robotics or programming and are strong math and science students. Students will have the opportunity to build and learn to program robots to solve challenges. Students will also be required to complete a research project that solves a real-world problem. This elective may require some weekend and after school practice. It will also require attendance at a minimum of two weekend robotics competitions.

Intro to Debate & Public Speaking 6th Grade 1 Semester
This course will be an introductory course to public speaking and debate. The course will focus on increasing confidence in public speaking and debate through activities, speech writing and presentations. Students will research, create and present speech outlines, participate in group presentations and debates throughout the semester. After participating in the course, students will have improved their critical thinking and communication skills.
 
Debate & Public Speaking 7th - 8th Grade
1 Semester
This course will provide a fun learning environment for students to develop verbal, organizational, research and critical thinking skills through public speaking and debate. Students will write and present several speeches over the course of the semester and participate in a variety of group and individual debates. Speeches given will include informative speeches, persuasive speeches, Impromptu, Extemporaneous Speaking and Lincoln Douglas Debates. Students may take this course in seventh and eighth grade if desired. Class size is limited.

All courses taught at Northland meet a high academic standard and prepare students for college. However, all students are gifted in different ways and it is important that they be placed in the classes that best meet their needs. For interested students who are ready for the challenge, advanced courses are offered in most subject areas. A parent/student signed contract will be required for all AP, Dual Credit, and online classes. Additional fees may apply.

Honors, Pre-AP®, Dual Credit or AP®
For placement in an honors, Pre-AP®, Dual Credit or AP® class, the selection committee will use the following criteria:

  • Standardized test scores (TerraNova, PSAT, TSI, SAT, or ACT) 
  • Teacher recommendations 
  • Grade in the previous class

The following guidelines will help you decide whether your child is ready for the challenge:

1. Did your child score in the 85th percentile or above on standardized tests in the subject area in which they wish to advance? 

  • Math – Math section 
  • English – Reading and Verbal skills 
  • Biology – Reading and Verbal skills 
  • Chemistry/Physics – Math section 
  • History – Reading and Verbal skills
 

2. If your child wishes to advance to a more difficult level, did he or she make a 90 or above in the previous course? 

3. If your high school child is currently taking an advanced class, did he or she maintain a grade of at least an 85? If your middle school child is currently taking an advanced class, did he or she maintain a grade of at least an 85? Middle school students who do not maintain an 85 may be rescheduled during the first semester or may be required to repeat the course the following year. Due to the importance of the foundation required to advance successfully in math and foreign language, 8th graders taking Algebra I and Spanish I must make an 85 to advance.

4. Has your child demonstrated that he or she possesses the discipline and work ethic necessary to succeed in an advanced class?

Dual Credit Classes
Dual Credit classes allow students to earn concurrent high school and college credit. Therefore, placement in these courses is based on the entrance requirements for Lone Star College and Abilene Christian University. Students must apply to Lone Star College before testing so that scores may be attached to the application. The application and testing procedures can be obtained from the Academic Counseling Center in Building Seven. Student scores must meet Lone Star College standards on the TSI Assessment test unless exempt based on their SAT or ACT score. Abilene Christian University does not require an application, but students must meet the standards for the courses based on their SAT or ACT score. Test scores must be approved and on file in the Counselor’s Office prior to May 25th of the application school year or the student will not be enrolled in the course when the school year begins in August. Additional fees are required by Lone Star College and Abilene Christian University and are the responsibility of the student and parents. 

Online Classes
Students requesting to take an online class must be approved by the selection committee. Students requesting to take honors or AP® level classes online must meet the same criteria as face-to-face classes. Students wishing to take online classes for enrichment or classes necessary for completion of required high school course work, must demonstrate a willingness to learn and the self-discipline to work independently. Teacher recommendations and the online skills survey will be used by the selection committee to determine a student’s readiness for online classes. An online class contract is required for each course. 

Online classes may require an additional fee. Please contact the Counselor’s office for more information on online course options.