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6th Grade Arts

6th Grade Arts

Drama: The cornerstone of our drama program is building ensemble based on trust, empathy, humor, respect and recognition of each actor’s unique qualities. That foundation supports the camaraderie and courage necessary for true collaborative storytelling on stage. Sixth grade drama students undertake scene study and dramatic text analysis on a more intentional and technical level: Why is a particular character’s speech peppered with hard consonants? How can an actor lean on the text to give both a more nuanced and more specific character portrayal? What is an “arc” in a script, in a particular character, in a monologue? Why is it important? What opportunities are offered to the actors by those arcs? We spend time further developing and honing the vocal skills required to deliver an emotionally engaging and clear solo speech or monologue. All 4th-8th graders are eligible for participation in our annual fall play and spring musical productions. Students emerge from the Mark Day Drama Program bolstered by life-enriching skills, whether they choose to employ them on or off stage in their futures. 

Art: Art allows for divergent thinking, a way of looking at the visual world and responding with one’s own thoughts and visual ideas. Students learn to make sense of the world, explore their identity, and connect to their humanity. Students are guided to trust their imagination and inventiveness and develop confidence and skill. We teach technical skills while focusing on painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, and printmaking. A wide range of art media is presented and applied. The arts integrate with other subject area curricula when appropriate, and each year we highlight a featured famous artist to provide the students with a connection to real-world history and stories about how artists work and relate to their time. In 6th grade, a highlight is students working to create forms in both paint and pencil. Students observe various forms with a light shone to produce an exaggerated shadow. Next, students graduate to creating a drawing using Leonardo’s Mona Lisa as a posed figure. Shapes are shaded to create forms and Madam Lisa Giacondo is brought into the 21st century by changing the setting, fashion and other details. Finally, students work in tempera paint to create various tones of the same hue to create forms. Students receive individualized feedback about their process and their products, and students maintain and keep an online, digital portfolio of their work to share with family members. The portfolio also provides a platform for feedback and student self-reflection about their work. Mark Day School hosts a schoolwide Art Show each April, and students proudly display their favorite works for the full community. 

Music: 6th graders continue to experience broad exposure to music, particularly as active participants in creating and performing music appropriate to their age. Students learn music from different cultures and experience varied teaching methods and instruments to ensure that each child grows to appreciate music and gain confidence in their own ability and creativity. We strongly believe in the value of making music as a community, whether it is through all school singing, class performances, or instrumental ensembles. In 6th grade, students learn to compose original music using technology as well as live instruments and singing. They learn to use their skill with ukuleles to accompany their singing, and they learn ensemble drumming and advanced xylophone work while performing modern songs they know and love. Students explore the world of music through active listening to a diverse range of musical genres and participate in various group activities and interactive games, fostering teamwork and creativity. Students continue to hone their skills on familiar classroom instruments like the ukulele and xylophone, allowing them to express their musical talents.

A highlight of 6th grade music is the culminating class ensemble performances at our community-wide music assemblies. Students choose their role from their music learning to date, including singing, percussion, guitar, ukulele, and xylophone. Students who learn music outside of school can also choose to contribute on their instruments of choice. The result is a grade-level wide performance with as many as 15 different instruments involved, often performing a classic hit such as “So Lonely” by the Police, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” by Stevie Wonder, or the Beatles’ “Help!”

  • 6th Grade