Ninth Grade Curriculum

When they reach the Sixth Form, boys have scaled a mountain—and not just the Pocumtuck range behind campus.
They’re at the pinnacle of their Eaglebrook education, and the view is grand. This year is about leading, as mentors to their younger classmates and ambassadors of the school, Sixth Formers shape the community around them. Now leaders of the school and the culture, they embody our values of resiliency, honesty, determination, and teamwork. Each boy emerges from Eaglebrook prepared to tackle the challenges in secondary school and in every phase of life, planting a flag as he goes.

Select a Department

Sixth Form Core Courses

List of 7 items.

  • English - Sixth Form

    Sixth Form English focuses on literature, through the reading and analysis of novels, plays, poetry, and short stories. Through class discussions, individual and peer work, and written expression, students make connections to common themes, perspectives of the writing, ties to the world around them, as well as learn to use criticism and analysis through textual evidence. Through literature based words, Sadlier program, or Wordly Wise program, students develop vocabulary through contextual use and practice. The development of students’ writing focuses on expository paragraphs and fully supported essays, as well as some creative writing. There is a focus on conventions, grammar, mechanics, and sentence variation through writing and book exercises. An honors section accommodates those students who have demonstrated exceptional ability in English and above average academic motivation as seen by the English department.
    Sample of texts used in the Sixth Form
    1984 by George Orwell
    A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest J. Gaines
    And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
    Fences by August Wilson
    Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    Loot by Joe Orton
    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
    The Laramie Project by Moisés Kaufman
    The Lord of The Flies by William Golding
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  • History - Sixth Form

    In the Sixth Form, history becomes a global experience. Each class offered is a world history based course. Students are able to choose a topic or time period in history that interests them from a number of options. This progression of courses offers returning students an opportunity to examine exciting topics of world history in relation to the development of the United States. Furthermore, the courses are designed to engage students in topics that interest them, helping to develop a strong foundation in history.
    Age of Exploration
    The end of the 15th century saw a major shift in the Atlantic World after the voyage of Christopher Columbus. This class examines the development of the Atlantic World through an “Age of Exploration.” With an emphasis on new relationships, trade, communication, and eventually the institution of slavery students will study how Europe, Africa, and the Americas became one region that revolved around the ocean. Students discover how Europeans shaped the Atlantic World through a variety of writing assignments. Ultimately, students will be able to engage this unique time period and begin to understand how changes during that time shaped the Atlantic world that exists today by looking at both the European as well as the Native perspective.
    Ancient Civilizations
    This course investigates the first great civilizations of the world and the impact they had on humanity. The fall and winter terms focus on Egypt and the Fertile Crescent, as the study the region’s geography, religion, and government. In the spring, the class will focus on the rise of Greece and the beginnings of classical history.

    Government is a class that sets out to understand the origins, maintenance, and role of politics in world societies. The class will begin with a study of political philosophy including Plato, Machiavelli, and Thomas Paine. Special attention will be paid to modern governments, including the rise of extremist governments in the Twentieth Century, specifically communism and fascism, and the establishment of modern theocracies in the Middle East. Particular attention will be devoted to studying the relationship between the constitutions of various world governments and the populations and political systems they represent.

    Greek and Roman History
    The Greek and Roman history class is a study of the founding of Western civilization. Beginning with the Minoan people, the class examines all aspects of Greek culture, including religion, philosophy, warfare, architecture, and government. The class then moves onto a survey of Roman history, following the development of Rome from the Republic to the Empire, finishing with a brief examination of the forces behind the fall of Rome.

    Japanese History
    Japanese History studies the history of Japan from prehistoric times to the present day, with a strong emphasis on early modern and modern developments. The class focuses on several key themes including change vs. tradition, the idea of a Japanese identity, and interactions with the rest of world. Much of the work in class is based on short writing assignments, which foster critical thought and careful analysis and allow the students to find what interests them. Additionally, the class is composed of a combination of discussions, lectures, and assessments based on class work, quizzes, and class participation.
    Medieval History
    Medieval History is a course that covers European history from 400 to 1500 C.E. All students write a research paper on heraldry and produce a coat-of-arms of their own design, using elements of heraldry they learned during the research to complete these projects. There is an emphasis on note-taking and discussion as we tie themes from the medieval era to events in our own time.

    Modern European History
    For much of the past 500 years, European nations and their western allies have been the dominating forces in world history. From the intellectual strength of the scientific revolution to the high tension of world wars, the rest of the world has either been interested in or controlled by European nations, their ideas, and their economies. The course will pay close attention to the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, industrialization, imperialism, new political ideologies, and the turmoil of the Twentieth Century from the Great War to the Cold War.

    World History and Geography: This is a social studies course that will increase one's familiarity with all regions of the world.  Students will examine the world one region at a time, focusing on important historical developments as well as physical and human geography.  Current political, economic, and cultural developments will also be explored.  Units will include North America, Central America, and the Caribbean, South America, Western Europe, Central, and Eastern Europe, Northern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Central, and South Asia, East and Southeast Asia, and Australia and the Pacific. 
  • Mathematics by Level

    Middle School Mathematics
    This course has a focus on arithmetic skills and how they support algebraic and geometric concepts. There is also exploration of basic statistics and probability. The goal is to prepare students for the rigors of Algebra.  

    The emphasis in this course is on developing a firm foundation in the building blocks for Algebra I. Students are introduced to abstract concepts by using variable expressions and equations. Major topics studied include the coordinate planes, graphing linear functions, writing linear functions, and linear systems. While teaching the skills of mathematics, teachers also focus on organization and time management.
    Algebra I
    This course completes the Algebra I curriculum. Solving linear systems is the starting point before the class continues with studying quadratic functions, exponents, polynomials, and rational and radical expressions and equations. Basic geometric concepts are integrated into this course: the Pythagorean theorem, parallel lines, surface area and volume, and some geometric formulas. Successful completion of this course prepares students to take Geometry.

    Algebra Applications
    Algebra Applications is designed for ninth graders who have not completed a full year of Algebra I content. The course begins with a review of the first half of a typical Algebra I course and then proceeds to complete the year of content for Algebra I. After successful completion, students would move onto a geometry course in 10th grade.

    This course covers plane geometry and includes constructions, proofs, congruence, area, volume, similarity, circles, special triangles, and right triangle trigonometry. Technology is integrated into the curriculum and used primarily as a tool for exploration.
    Algebra 2
    This course covers the fundamentals of Algebra 2. Emphasis is placed on the manipulation of systems of equations, quadratics, polynomials: logarithmic, exponential, rational and radical expressions, and solving equations and inequalities involving these expressions. Trigonometry is explored and studied on the spring term. The prerequisite for this course is the completion of Algebra 1 and geometry,with approval from the department.

    Functions, Statistics, and Pre-Calculus
    Functions, Statistics and Pre‐Calculus (FSP) is a course designed for middle school students who have successfully completed both geometry and Algebra 2 with Trigonometry at a high level. This course covers the fundamentals of trigonometry, conic sections, statistical distributions and summaries, and the unit circle. Technology is integrated into the curriculum and used primarily as a tool for exploration. FSP is to serve as a bridge between these prerequisites and higher level high school mathematics. In no way is this course used to replace a course in pre‐calculus. FSP exposes advanced students to topics that they will study in more depth in high school.
  • Science - Sixth Form

    Biology introduces students to the underlying structures and processes of living organisms.  The course begins at the atomic level where students gain an understanding of organic building blocks, chemical bonding, and the functions of the major organic compounds. Building from this foundation, students evaluate characteristics of living organisms, analyzing cell structure, function, and metabolism. Connections are developed between genetics, heredity, and evolution. Modern lab techniques are introduced including DNA electrophoresis and genetics transformation. The ecology unit uncovers the connections between organisms and their environment, as students and teachers explore the pond, woods, and streams on campus. The year concludes with an exploration of complex organisms through dissection, analyzing body systems, and observing adaptations.

    Text: Miller and Levine Biology, On Level,  ISBN#: 0133669513
  • SSAT Prep

    SSAT Preparation is a fall elective class for Sixth Formers that provides students the opportunity to hone their quantitative, reading, verbal, and writing skills for the SSAT. The class also helps students strengthen their test taking strategies. Students participate in the online program TestInnovators, which offers practice tests for students and generates individual plans for students based on their test results.
  • World Languages

    French Beginning
    Topics introduced in this course are greetings, introductions, leave-taking, and getting acquainted. Students learn to describe possessions, express likes and dislikes, describe oneself and family members, ask and give directions, tell time, dates and seasons, explain sports, locations and to understand as well as use basic sentence structures. The concept of conjugating a verb is introduced with the presentation in French of the verbs to be and to have in the present tense. Then we move on to the regular “-er” verbs and eventually a few irregular verbs. The different francophone cultures are explored through food, habitations, and of course the language.

    French Novice
    In this course, students are asked to describe orally their daily routine, recount events in the past, make comparisons, give commands, ask questions, discuss travel options and leisure activities. Goals for students are to be able to write paragraphs and to develop the ability to read simple authentic texts. Various francophone cultures are introduced so students are exposed to the breadth of French influence in the world. There is also frequent practice in listening comprehension through various audio and video devices.
    French Intermediate
    Students are expected to increase detailed narrative proficiency in the past tenses and the future tense. They will expand their use of personal pronouns and sentence clauses, discuss longer reading selections and literature from the francophone world, and report on research. Subjects of discussion, composition, and research include the arts, medical concerns, food preparation, travel arrangements and driving on the roads of both France and North America.  

    French Seminar
    This course is designed for the accomplished level language learner. Students study advanced grammar, composition, history, and literature, including Camus, Saint-Exupéry, Jules Verne, and La Fontaine. Current issues in science, climate, and politics are also explored. Students discuss these and prepare more detailed research reports. French is used exclusively in the classroom and at times outside its environment.    
    Third Form Latin
    This course, required for all Third Form students, provides a structured introduction to grammar, vocabulary, and reading via the Latin language. Students are expected to read and translate sentences and simple stories in the language, using the first book of the Cambridge Latin Course as a basis. They are introduced to crucial grammatical concepts such as parts of speech, case, and tense. Students also learn about classical myths, deities, and the history and cultural practices of the Roman world.
    Latin Beginning
    Intended for students in the Fourth through Sixth Forms, Beginning Latin provides a strong foundation to the Latin language. Recognizing that learning styles vary and students seek different outcomes from classical language study, teaching methods are varied, from the traditional translating and grammar method, to active spoken input. By the end of the year, students are expected to comprehend simple sentences and conversational phrases, as well as read and translate stories of up to two pages in length (using the first book of the Cambridge Latin Course as a basis). In addition, students also complete periodic research projects on Roman culture and classical mythology.
    Latin Novice
    Students in Latin Novice continue to build upon the foundation developed in either Third Form Latin or Latin Beginning. More advanced grammatical topics are covered and longer stories, with more complex syntax, are read. The primary text is the second book of the Cambridge Latin Course, with occasional supplementation from other texts, such as Fabulae Faciles. Students are expected to respond in Latin to spoken prompts, do basic creative composition in the language, and comprehend more complex spoken input for longer durations of time (i.e. classes may be conducted primarily in the language, or students may take walks across campus, guided by the teacher entirely in Latin). Research projects require a deeper dive into cultural understanding of the Roman world, and may include topics related to architecture and lesser-known classical myths.

    Latin Intermediate
    Advanced grammar topics are introduced at this level. Students are expected to be versed in passive verbs and dependent clauses and their uses, with the third book of the Cambridge Latin Course as a foundation. Other grammatical topics include the passive periphrastic construction, participles, and the subjunctive mood. Students develop their translating skills to an intermediate level, and classes are conducted more and more completely in the target language.
    Latin Seminar
    A Latin seminar is offered when there are students who are ready for advanced levels of study. Topics covered are based on student interest and ability, and may include Roman poetry, rhetoric, literature, history (including foundational myths such as Aeneas and Romulus), and anthropology. Latin readings are pulled from a wide variety of sources, including primary authors such as Martial, Vergil, and Caesar. By the end of the year, students will have largely completed their study of Latin grammar and will be ready for higher levels of secondary school study.
    Beginning Chinese
    In Beginning Chinese, students begin the process of studying Mandarin. Students first build a foundation in Chinese Pinyin, pronunciation and tones, as well as the basic structure of Chinese radicals and Simplified Characters. The topics at this level include self-introduction, family, likes and dislikes, numbers, animals, countries, and sports. We expect students to be able to respond to simple questions and list information about their lives when prompted. By the end of the year students can write a paragraph in Chinese characters, and give a short presentation on their lives.
    Novice Chinese
    In Novice Chinese students grow from an introductory level of proficiency to a solid beginner level. Students focus on the themes of interests and abilities, daily schedule and routines, and school life. Class time is spent utilizing and playing wit the language and vocabulary introduced in stories presented to, or created by students. By the end of the year, a goal of students in Novice Chinese is to be able to type a an essay in Chinese, write roughly 300 characters by hand, deliver a short presentation, and read a long passage and answer questions about it in written Chinese.
    Intermediate Chinese
    In Intermediate Chinese, students move to the advanced beginner or lower intermediate level while continuing to focus on communication. Themes in Intermediate Chinese include planning events and activities with friends, constructing the past, dining and shopping, as well as world travel. Students are able to read longer stories and readers, and converse at length and write in detail about their interests, daily life, and topics they research on their own.
    Chinese Seminar
    The course is designed for individual students who have gained basic communication skills in Chinese and are ready to study advanced grammar, literature, and composition. The class is conducted in Chinese and students are expected to work toward their individual goals through studying textbook materials, participating in class discussions, and presenting research projects on various topics.
    Basic Spanish
    Designed for students with documented language learning challenges, and offered as needed. Emphasis is on conversational competence in routine situations such as ordering in a restaurant, traveling by train, bus, and plane, making purchases, telling time, reading timetables, understanding directions, etc. Units of vocabulary include numbers, colors, prepositions, days, months, clothing, family members, food and other daily items. Cultural values are examined, and a presentation about a Hispanic fiesta is required.
    Beginning Spanish
    The topics we introduce at this level include: greetings, introductions, and leave-taking, getting acquainted, sports, the family, housing, clothes, the body, school, foods. Students engage in basic conversation using the present tense and immediate future. They are expected to describe needs and wants, describe possessions, express likes and dislikes, describe family members, ask and give directions, tell time, day, month, and season, make purchases, and order food in restaurants.
    Novice Spanish
    The topics we introduce at this level include: adjectives, family, house, school, daily activities, sports, shopping, health, free time, food, hobbies and the weather. Students are expected to learn indirect and direct object pronouns, affirmative and negative expressions, how to ask questions, comparisons, and reflexive verbs, and prepositions of place. The advanced novice class (honors) is introduced to the present, preterit, future, conditional and imperfect tenses, and the command form of verbs both in the affirmative and negative conjugations. Students read simple books to improve their reading comprehension and cultural understanding.
    Intermediate Spanish
    We introduce vocabulary of train travel, restaurant, telecommunications, shopping for clothing and food, pastimes, hotel, and air travel. New constructs include the imperfect, the preterit vs. imperfect use, formal commands, impersonal ‘se’, future, present perfect, conditional, future perfect, pluperfect, and present subjunctive. Cultural readings in Spanish provide exposure to Hispanic culture as well as progressive practice.
    Spanish Seminar
    This course offers students opportunities to study Spanish formally in an academic setting. Communication is entirely in the target language. Geography, history and culture, politics, art (music and literature) of Spanish-speaking countries are studied to provide context to the formal study of Spanish. Students are expected to make presentations, write expository essays, critiques, short stories and legends. Authentic materials, such as documentaries, novels, historical texts and newspaper editorials are used to further language and cultural understanding.
  • World Views - Sixth Form

    World Views is a required trimester course for Sixth Formers. The course examines the ethical questions behind many of the contentious issues in today’s world and provides students the opportunity to regularly engage in civil discourse and reflection. Topics are generated by faculty and students as well as current events. Each student gives a presentation to the class on a topic of his choice and then leads the class in a group discussion on that topic for a class period. The course provides a setting where students are encouraged to develop their own ethical and moral viewpoints about issues of importance to them in the world while also developing the skills needed to communicate effectively about difficult issues.
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