The period from fifth to eighth grade is one of the most transformative times in a young person’s life. At Lipscomb Academy, we will walk alongside your child to help them grow into themselves, discover their gifts and expand their perspectives.
One of the most important components of fifth through eighth grades is developing critical thinking skills. By learning to ask tough questions, convey their ideas incisively, and consider how they can impact the world at large, students begin maturing into thoughtful, responsible adults.
Equally important to helping our middle school students grapple with critical thinking is helping them to examine and embrace their own beliefs. Throughout our middle school, you will find woven into our academic and extracurricular activities an emphasis on shaping students spiritually.
Our faith and belief in God is an important part of our school and the way we teach. As young learners, that belief is an important part of how they learn. As students get older they are guided to develop their own faith and relationship with God. Children actively participate in daily Bible activities, prayer, praise and service learning. In the fifth through eighth grades young learners develop roots as spiritual and character formation is the essence of our mission.
Middle Grades Resources
As our students begin in the middle school experience, our faculty strives to provide them a rich experience in both academics and related arts. Students are given opportunities to explore their interests and talents as they are asked to dig into a variety of topics and concepts in all subject areas. The class schedule allows students to move as a group for academic subjects and mic with students from other classes during other times of the day, creating a safe and stimulating learning environment.
Fifth grade Bible classes study Genesis, Psalms, and the Gospel of Mark. Lessons are taught from the scripture as well as projects, written responses, and other materials. Bible verses are memorized to help instill a love of God's word.
The fifth grade choral curriculum is based on learning to sing 2-part and 3-part treble music in a variety of styles and languages. The Curriculum includes reviewing and learning the Music Basics and music symbols, following choral music, being introduced to harmony, cross-curricular study with 5th grade social studies in American patriotic Music and Music in 20th Century American Music. This chorus performs at MTVA Mass Choral Festival for 4-6th grade, “Lighting of the Green,” Chapel, Christmas, “Evening with the Arts,” and the 5th Grade American Play.
Fifth grade drama is a combination of Creative Dramatics, Storytelling, and Children’s Theatre. Creative Dramatics focuses on a child’s imagination and creativity in a positive way, allowing 5th graders to use their natural ability to “pretend” where there are No wrong answers! The students will engage in movement, expression, body language, and critical thinking exercises individually and as a team. Listening to selected children’s literature, analyzing the morals to the story, then re-enacting or re-inventing the story will enable the students to create stories of their own.
The students will continue to build their imaginative skills by using technology to create animations and write their own simple stories. The students will explore characterization using puppets and their own voice. The students will also experience a Children’s Theatre production that consists of simple costumes, props, and set, while memorizing lines, and then performing in front of a small audience. All in all, this class is designed to enhance the powerful, imaginative mind of these young middle schoolers, while giving them confidence to continue in Theatre, and using their imaginations to dream and become amazing servants of God!
Fifth grade students participate in a 90-minute literacy block each day. Reading, English, Writing, and Spelling are integrated with other subjects. The program utilizes several online components including Accelerated Reader and the Writing Practice Program along with online discussions.
In Reading, students enjoy solving puzzles from The Reader as Detective, follow current events using Scholastic News, and make curriculum connections through a number of classroom novels including Wonder, A Wrinkle in Time, and Belle Teal. Grammar is taught using The Shurley Method which features oral practice along with jingles to teach definitions. In addition to the Writing Practice Program, students write in a number of formats and are assessed each year using the WrAP from the Educational Research Bureau. Spelling lists are pulled from a variety of subject areas throughout the year.
Fifth grade math covers a wide variety of concepts. We use a textbook, worksheets and online programs to guide our studies. Concepts that we study are basic operations of whole numbers, adding and subtracting fractions, reducing fractions, adding and subtracting decimals, basic geometry, problem solving, and critical thinking.
The fifth Grade General Music curriculum is based on a cross-curricular, hands-on approach to learning the elements of music and the National Music Standards. Resources include McGraw-Hill’s “Spotlight on Music” texts and CD’s, keyboard lab, frequent use of iPads with appropriate music Apps, recorders, Orff-Shulwerk instruments, world percussion instruments, and much more. All LAMS 5th graders get to experience acting and singing in a cross-curricular Musical Production about 20th Century History and Music, while they are studying about America’s history in their Social Studies classes.
For the younger middle school grades, Physical Education at Lipscomb Academy focuses on a variety of team sports. We stress the concepts of teamwork and sportsmanship as the students compete with each other.
The topics covered in fifth grade Science are cells, plant systems, traits of living things, ecosystems, matter and forms of energy. We use vocabulary and investigations to build upon scientific ideas and critical thinking. During investigations, we collect data, make graphs and draw conclusions. Critical thinking challenges are included in activities and learning games each day.
Fifth grade social studies is a study of United States geography and U.S. History from the Civil War to present. We begin the year with a short study of geography followed by several weeks preparing for a visit to Junior Achievement’s Biztown. Students learn to the basics of economics from check writing to paying bills to running their own businesses for a day. The historical study of our country begins where 4th grade ended with the Civil War and brings the students forward until present day. We wrap up our study of our country’s history with a grade-wide play, A Walk Through Time, that covers all the decades of the 1900s.
Students focus on a variety of artists to learn about each element of design in depth. They will use a variety of mediums, practice basic art techniques, and participate in projects that remain open ended to encourage creativity. The main goal is to expose student to art and inspire them to continue their love of art.
Sixth grade provides opportunities for developing new interests and friendships. Sixth graders are encouraged to think deeply and are challenged to question critically. Students begin to think like junior high students with an eye toward more independence.
Ancient Civilizations and World History
Sixth grade students will study the beginning of early civilizations through the fall of the Roman Empire. Students will study the geographical, religious, economic, and political foundations as well as the achievements and social structures of these civilizations. The students will analyze the shift from early nomadic societies to agricultural civilizations, including the areas of Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, Ancient Israel, Greece, and Rome. This course will be the first concentrated study of world history and geography and will utilize appropriate media, informational texts, and primary sources.
Sixth grade is the entry point for the beginning study of a brass or woodwind instrument at Lipscomb Academy. With the guidance of Mr. Hicks, students choose an instrument and learn fundamental skills in tone production, facility with the instrument, music literacy, rhythmic accuracy and expression. The 6th Grade Beginning Band performs each year in the Christmas concert and the end of the year Spring concert.
The sixth grade Bible course offers a survey of the Old Testament where major characters studied include God, primary ancestors, Israel, judges, kings, prophets, and non-Israelite influences during the exilic and postexilic periods. As time allows, students will also examine some of the wisdom literature including the book of Job and Psalms. Overarching themes throughout the year will include (but are not limited to) creation, covenant, purity, justice, mercy, hospitality, freedom, and God's faithfullness. In the broadest sense, students are encouraged to read the Old Testament as an ongoing narrative moving inevitably toward the arrival of Jesus as the messiah and culminating in the salvific event of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.
The sixth Grade Choral Curriculum is based on learning to sing 2 & 3-part music in a variety of styles and languages. These choruses are “Experiential” in nature so that each student has the opportunity to perform in a choral ensemble. Curriculum includes reviewing and learning the Music Basics and music symbols, sight-reading simple rhythms and melodies, solfege, being introduced to singing harmony, understanding how to follow choral music, and a cross-curricular study with Social Studies. They also use Orff instruments, recorders, and movement to enhance their knowledge of the Music Basics and Harmony. These choruses will perform at least once every 9 weeks; a lunchtime concert, at Christmas, at Grandparents Day, at “Evening with the Arts”, at the end of the year, as well as selected students will take part in the MTVA Honors Choral Festival for 4th-6th grade.
In sixth grade grammar we study sentences, capitalization, punctuation, eight parts of speech, phrases and clauses, complements, and subject/verb agreement. Grammar skills are practiced, reinforced, and improved in both oral and written activities. Sadlier-Oxford interactive online edition is used to help students expand their vocabularies, improve words acquisition skills, and prepare for standardized tests and academic success. It is an interactive web based curriculum that provides innovative ways to teach the students through highly interactive technology. The goal for the student in sixth grade English is to recognize and demonstrate effective communication skills.
The sixth grade math course is designed to prepare students for future success in all areas of mathematics. Students will spend time learning about algebra, including the order of operations. Sixth grade math includes adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals, fractions, and mixed numbers. Students learn to convert fractions to decimals and percents, decimals to fractions and percents, and percents to fractions and decimals. Sixth grade math also includes learning about ratios, rates, proportions, and probability. Geometry is a large unit sixth graders spend time exploring. Sixth grade math also includes statistics, graphs, integers, and measurement. Students are constantly challenged to brainstorm ways to apply math in everyday scenarios.
Beginning in sixth grade, our classes are split by gender. The curriculum builds on the skills and strategies within team sports along with physical fitness activities. The concepts of teamwork, selflessness, and sportsmanship are emphasized as the students learn to compete as a part of a team.
In sixth grade we continue to develop a love for reading. Along with continued emphasis on reading skills, we read short stories, poetry, and four novels; one of which is a non-fiction novel. The novels read are: Titanic: Voices from the Disaster, The Wednesday Wars, The Wright 3, and Twain’s classic, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. We develop our writing skills through many different avenues. Letters and thank you notes, an original poem, paragraphs, five paragraph essays, creative writing, an advertising project, and development of a cross-curricular research project are all part of our writing emphasis.
We also use the WPP, a computer based Writing Practice Program which provides immediate feedback to the student on how to improve their writing. We create a year long personalized iBook which is a portfolio of the student’s sixth grade year. Our middle school has a school- wide read over the summer and participates in a school- wide writing contest every year.
Sixth grade science emphasizes science practices as well as science content. Earth science, astronomy, and weather are the primary areas of focus of our content. This content serves as the framework on which science practices are taught. Science practices include asking and defining problems, developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematics and computational thinking, and constructing explanations and designing solutions. Activities to teach these skills vary widely. Labs are based on the scientific method and recorded in an electronic lab notebook which students will continue to add to throughout their scholastic careers at Lipscomb Academy.
Student's projects will guide them through the principles of design, including: shape, form, balance, pattern, proportion and composition. Each project will highlight new "types" of art to the students. We will have specialized projects where we focus on an artist from art history and create our own visual work of art using the style and ideas of the artist.
We will learn how to connect and apply what is learned in other subjects and transfer them to art class; for example, we will use geometry to learn how to make patterns fits together perfectly, and we will use word association to create a visual representation of a passage or a poem in our poetry illustration project. We will also learn how to use the rules of 1 point perspective to create depth in a drawing. The main goal will be to provide an opportunity for students to create art that they can take pride in while using their own ideas and draw inspiration from their own lives.
In seventh grade, students move to a more junior high model and gain new responsibilities, learning how to take ownership of their studies. Students are encouraged to ask questions, communicate with their teachers and learn from mistakes that happen everyday in class. Throughout their seventh grade year, students learn to become more independent and solve problems on their own - a life skill that will serve them well in the future.
Students in seventh grade band continue to develop strong musical skills through resources such as method books and high quality music literature. The seventh grade and eighth grade band students have a combined class forming the Middle School Concert Band which performs multiple times each year, including the Christmas and Spring concerts, MTSBOA Concert Adjudication and Evening With The Arts. Eighth grade students also have the opportunity to participate in the High School Pep Band, MTSBOA All Mid-State Festival and various Solo and Ensemble events.
The 7th & 8th Grade Choral curriculum is based on the national Music Standards, and students singing SAB and SATB music in a variety of styles and languages. Performances include Middle Tennessee Vocal Association (MTVA) events, Choral Festivals, Christmas Programs, “Evening with the Arts” in the Spring, and several Chapel times throughout the year. The LA 7th & 8th Grade Chorus has received Superior Ratings at Adjudication in both performance and sight-reading for the past nine years.
Seventh grade language arts focuses on four areas throughout the year: writing, literature, grammar, and vocabulary. The Graveyard Book, The Crossover, 12 Angry Men, Terrible Typhoid Mary, Short Stories and outside reading with presentations encompass our literature studies. Grammar is taught in mini lessons using writing to help apply and practice grammar concepts. These grammar concepts are revisited throughout the year in various forms of writing. Writing in seventh grade focuses on the development of well-written paragraphs and multi-paragraph essays.
Research skills are taught and used in specific writing assignments across the seventh grade curriculum, as well as crafting a mini research paper. The Writing Practice Program (WPP) is used in each seventh grade class to prepare students for the writing assessment by practicing and reinforcing writing skills. In addition to writing skills, students develop an online writing portfolio and complete creative technology projects. Vocabulary is taught using Vocabulary Workshop. Class discussion and participation are also a vital part of the seventh grade language arts experience.
In the Beginning Guitar class, students will learn the basics of playing guitar as well as fundamental music theory. The 12-week class includes studies in music notation, key signatures, chord structuring and progression, all with practical application on the guitar. By the end of the course, students will understand chord relationships, how to notate music, how to play a variety of chords and melodies on the guitar, and will gain the experience of writing a song. Students do not need to have previous experience with the guitar.
Introduction to Languages
Introduction to Languages is designed to give seventh grade students an overview of necessary foreign language study skills, plus a basic introduction to the 3 languages offered at Lipscomb Academy, Latin, French and Spanish. These students have the opportunity to explore which languages they might like to pursue in high school.
The curriculum of seventh grade Life Science is designed to teach the basic principles of biology while challenging each student to think critically, apply concepts, and practice science processes through lab activities. Cross-curricular activities are incorporated to reinforce skills such as writing, math application and biblical concepts. Course content include the study of cells, cell processes, plants, animal diversity, ecology and human body systems.
The seventh grade math course is designed to prepare students for pre-algebra. A broad range of topics are covered throughout the year, including: whole number concepts, operations with fractions decimals and percents, place value, measurement, geometry, ratio and proportions and negative numbers. Some algebraic concepts are introduced: solving simple equations, graphing, and scientific notation.
Beginning in seventh grade, classes begin to dress out for physical education. Our physical fitness units are expanded at this level. The curriculum focuses on the skills and strategies within team sports. The concepts of teamwork, selflessness, and sportsmanship are emphasized as the students learn to compete as a part of a team.
Seventh Grade Pre-Algebra course is a study primarily designed to prepare students for Algebra 1. This class provides advanced pacing for those students who have a strong background in mathematics. A broad range of simple algebra topics are covered throughout the year, including: equations, graphing, integers, rational numbers, mathematical properties, one-step equations, two-step equations, factoring, negative exponents, inequalities, functions. Some geometry is covered with algebra concepts included. There is an entrance test to take to be considered for this class. An end of the year average must be 87 or above in order to be accepted into Algebra Honors.
Seventh grade visual art aims to increase students’ skills in at least three different mediums of art. Students will build upon the principles of design that they learned in the sixth grade, and will learn how to convey an illusion of space by drawing a cityscape using the rules of 2 point perspective.
We will also learn how to draw the human face in correct proportion while comparing it to the exaggerated features of animation used today in Pixar movies, anime and emojis. Students will learn how to create a mixed media sculpture using everyday objects, and how to create a relief print by carving an image into a block. This class also ties in some art history where we will learn about artists from the Impressionist era to the Surrealist era.
World History & Geography
The curriculum of Seventh Grade World History & Geography is designed to help students gain a more global perspective, enhancing their understanding of and appreciation for the physical world around us, as well as the various historical and cultural differences that have developed around the globe. At the heart of this pursuit is the challenge to see the world, and its history, from God’s perspective.
The year is divided between a study of “The Eastern World” during first semester, and “Western Civilization” during second semester. The period of history covered is from the decline and fall of the Roman Empire (400s) up through Age of Enlightenment in Europe (1600s). Students will engage in various interactive activities designed to help them compare and contrast the history and geography of civilizations that were developing concurrently around the globe during medieval times - specifically in China, Japan, Mesoamerica, the Middle East, and West Africa.
During the second half of the year, heavier emphasis will be placed upon developments in Europe following the Middle Ages, as they serve to move the “story” toward the discovery of the New World, as well as lay the ideological foundation for the birth of the United States of America. A major course objective is that by the end of the year, students will have a solid understanding of the backdrop of history which provides the context for the conflicts confronting our world today. And further, that they will be well equipped to evaluate these modern-day conflicts from a solid, informed, Christian worldview.
In eighth grade, we intentionally and lovingly push our students to advance intellectually and spiritually in pursuit of being productive and successful in high school. Students evolve into more independent thinkers that are eager to take on intellectual challenges. Students are also encouraged to be bold in their endeavors.
Algebra 1 Honors
This is a high school honors course offered to eighth grade students who completed seventh grade Advanced Pre Algebra with at least an 87 average and have been recommended by the seventh grade faculty. A traditional mathematics curriculum is used. Major topics include algebraic laws and properties, the real number system, linear equations and inequalities, systems of linear equations and inequalities, and an investigation of polynomials with a focus on quadratics. All topics include statistical and geometrical applications and contain an emphasis on problem solving. Use of a TI-83 calculator is taught and expected. Upon successful completion of this course the student will receive a high school honors math credit.
Students in eighth grade band continue to develop strong musical skills through resources such as method books and high quality music literature. The seventh grade and eighth grade band students have a combined class forming the Middle School Concert Band which performs multiple times each year, including the Christmas and Spring concerts, MTSBOA Concert Adjudication and Evening With The Arts. Eighth grade students also have the opportunity to participate in the High School Pep Band, MTSBOA All Mid-State Festival and various Solo and Ensemble events.
Eighth graders at Lipscomb Academy have the unique experience of studying the Bible in a gender split environment. On the brink of high school and facing added pressures and expanding choices, students are positioned to engage the teachings of the Bible in new ways. These classes provide opportunities for students to identify themselves as actors in God’s story and learn to apply the truths of the Bible in the world that they face. Topics that are on the minds of adolescents are discussed candidly through the lens of faith. Through relationships with peers and teachers, students are supported as they struggle with navigating the difficult terrain of learning how to live a life that honors God.
The 7th & 8th Grade Choral curriculum is based on the national Music Standards and students singing SAB and SATB music in a variety of styles and languages. Performances include Middle School “Middle Tennessee Vocal Association” (MTVA) events, Choral Festivals, Christmas Programs, “Evening with the Arts” in the Spring, and several Chapel times throughout the year. The LA 7th & 8th Grade Chorus has received Superior Ratings at Adjudication in both performance and sight-reading for the past nine years.
Eighth grade language arts has four areas of focus: reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary. Literature analyzed includes “Flowers for Algernon,” Chains, an introduction to Greek mythology, Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Diary of Anne Frank. Grammar study focuses on grammar basics through a daily grammar practice sentence (DGP) and a variety of grammar activities on prepositional and appositive phrases as well as practice with dependent and independent clauses. Grammar study is focused on preparation for foreign language study and improving writing skills. Writing projects vary from a short letter of appreciation to a twenty page "letter to self" project, but the Hamburger Model of organization is stressed for both paragraphs and essays.
A research paper related to the Revolutionary War (a collaboration with social studies) is written in conjunction with the study of Chains. Eighth grade LAMS students write several multi-paragraph expository essays throughout the year in preparation for the ERB writing assessment in March. Vocabulary study is based on a study of Latin morphemes, and individual “logophile” collections of vivid writing vocabulary are created throughout the year.
For seventh and eighth grade, Physical Education at Lipscomb Academy builds on the ideas learned in early middle school. In addition to in-depth units on team sports, physical fitness is emphasized. Students learn the importance of a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise.
This course is an overview of middle grade mathematics with the purpose of transitioning the student from arithmetic to algebraic thinking. There is a focus on problem solving, including expressing word problems using algebraic language. The topics covered include the real number system, the geometry of shapes and solids, the relationship between percents, fractions and decimals, estimation, algebraic laws and principles, simplifying expressions, solving equations, and basic statistics.
Eighth grade physical science, which is the study of matter and energy, is a combination of two branches of science---Chemistry and Physics. Chemistry is the study of the properties, composition, structure, and interactions of matter. Physics is the study of the relationship between matter and energy. Overall, this lab-based course will focus on exploring and understanding the relationships between science, technology, engineering, and math. Students spend time problem solving and analyzing information on a daily basis.
In Exploratory Spanish we work to expand on the students’ prior knowledge about languages and culture. Using our curriculum, Exploring Spanish, we enable the students to communicate in the target language on a very basic level with a focus on building vocabulary. It is also important to demonstrate the importance of studying a foreign language and its uses in both our local and global communities and how that relates to our Christian walk. The students will explore these issues through classroom and at home activities and discussions and through cultural awareness projects.
Eighth grade speech is designed to improve the confidence and ability level to speak and perform in front of a group or an audience. In this special encore class, students will learn positive methods in writing and delivering speeches that tell stories, inspire, teach, demonstrate, persuade, and honor God. Topics of speeches will be chosen by the individual student, encouraging each child to have a voice and share his/her own hobbies and passions. Students will also use technology to explore on-camera delivery, broadcasting techniques using a teleprompter, as well as creating their own marketing and advertising commercial.
United States History
This course is an introduction to United States History from Beginnings through Reconstruction (sometimes referred to as U.S. History I). It is intended to be a transition into the study of history at the high school level, and uses the subject matter of U.S. history to learn reading, writing, analysis, critical thinking, research and other skills. The subject matter focuses on the origins of the United States including prominent personalities, cause and effect, conflict, technology, and the connections that this time period has to modern daily lives, as well as wrestling with the morality of decisions made by those who came before us.
Students in eighth grade make three main projects that include a two point perspective architectural drawing, an iMovie presentation using stop motion animation, and an artwork using mixed media after the artist Romero Bearden. Students will have more freedom and responsibility to work after given requirements for each large project. The goal is for students to take ownership of their own growth as an artist.