The Curriculum of the Steiner School - Class 6

Notes and Lesson Plans

Sixth Grade
updated September 10, 2020


Recorded here is my own personal collection of articles, resources, favorite links, teaching ideas, and lesson plans. It encompasses many years, from the very beginning of my experience studying and learning about Waldorf to the present time. People from all around the world visit my site and recommend it to others. Welcome!

This site records my journey. I hope my honesty is encouraging and helps break down some barriers that may prevent people from trying Waldorf methods. Because this is an ongoing site documenting my curriculum planning and ideas, some materials are more Waldorf-y than others. Please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.



Class Six in Waldorf Education

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Notes on Schedule of Main Lesson Blocks

Everyone does it differently, and you don't have to think of the main lesson topics as "subjects" because many of them are interdisciplinary. I labeled them to the left but it is a bit arbitrary.

However, I find it helpful to give them rough categories so that I can be sure we are balanced in the kinds of thinking we practice throughout the school year.

Each discipline has different habits of mind, and I like to rotate between them. Alan Whitehead suggests this, although he suggests using three-week long blocks. We do a nine month school year with month-long blocks: two blocks of each subject plus a class play each year.

Some people have the second half of Botany in 6th grade but I have it all in 5th grade, since there is so much Science (Physics, Astronomy, Geology) in the grade 6 curriculum already.

Astronomy is best in the Winter because it gets dark early. It could also be a Summer block.

From experience I think it is important to set aside an entire block for Geometric Drawing, so that your child has enough time to really use the tools and create the designs. The tools are introduced in String, Straight-Edge & Shadow, but there's a lot of history there to cover and so I don't think there's enough time for the drawing at that time.

To make room for the Geometric Drawing block, you may need to have the composition of Business Letters and learning Keyboarding as an ongoing theme. You can also combine Business Math and Business Letters.

Traditionally, Ancient Greece is begun in grade 5 and then concluded in grade 6, through a transition from Mythology into History, covering the decline of Greece and then the rise (and the fall) of Rome, then marching onward to the Dark Ages / Middle Ages.

BUT, if there are to be three Cultural blocks in Sixth Grade, I don't agree that one should be History of Ancient Greece, one should be History of Ancient Rome, and one should be the Middle Ages.

AND I like the idea of a block on the Israelites, Philistines & Phoenicians. Or a block on the First Nations peoples of North America (which Columbus will "discover" next year in the Seventh Grade Curriculum). Or a block on Ancient Asian cultures like China & Japan. Or a block on Ancient South American cultures like the Aztecs, Inca & Maya. Etc. I've left room for this as Cultural Block #1.

UPDATE: On July 5, 2020 I was in a homeschooling brainstorm call with Carrie, of The Parenting Passageway, and Amanda, of Coastal Waldorf, and they mentioned the possibility of putting Ancient China in with Astronomy. I love that idea, and will incorporate it next time I teach this block! It is always an option to spend more time on Ancient Civ this year, and do Roman History up to Constantine, then push the Middle/Dark Ages over into next year's study of the Renaissance.

Perhaps you might consider an order like this...
String, Straight-Edge & Shadow; Geology; Cultural Block #1; Business (Business Letters, Keyboarding, Business Math: Percents, Formulas, Graphs); Astronomy; Greek & Roman History; Geometric Drawing; Physics (Sound, Light, Heat, Magnetism, Electricity); Middle Ages


A Peek into the Classroom

Morning Verse for Upper Grades

Waldorf Today Gallery of Main Lesson Book Pages - Middle School
Beautiful and inspiring

Gallery of Chalkboard Drawings in the Waldorf Classroom grades 1 - 8

Waldorf/Steiner Main Lessons and Main Lesson Blocks VERY helpful article
from the Sophia Institute Online Waldorf Teacher Training program

  • The Main Lesson - Principles and Features
  • The Main Lesson - Structure
  • The Main Lesson - Rhythm
  • The Main Lesson - Planning a Main Lesson Block
  • Sample Template for Waldorf/Steiner Main Lesson Block


samples from the Sixth Grade Curriculum by Live Education!


General Waldorf Resources

The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy
article by Rudolf Steiner

How To Create, Tell, and Recall a Story

Four Ways to Connect with Storytelling
blog post - Simplicity Parenting

Overview of Childhood Characteristics - includes the four temperaments
article by David Mitchell

Blackboard Sketching book by Frederick Whitney (1908)
available online for free - with step by step directions and illustrations

How to Bind a Main Lesson Book

Main Lesson Book pages shared by Christopherus Homeschool Resources

browse through my collection of Pinterest Boards
with chalkboard drawings and main lesson book pages for many main lesson blocks

Movement for Childhood - wonderful site!

Waldorf Today Newsletter
very interesting & free weekly newsletter sent via email each Monday

Block Rotations Grades 1 - 8 (PDF)
by Jamie York

Summary of Math Skills for Grades 1 through 8 (PDF)
by Jamie York

A Grades 1 through 8 Math Curriculum Overview (PDF)
by Jamie York

Word Problems in Grades 1 through 8 (PDF)
by Jamie York

Jamie York has a BUNCH of free resources on his site including sample math MLB pages for grades 1-11, and lesson plans and assessments for grades 1-5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.

Waldorf Science Newsletter - issues available in PDF format
page 13 of Vol.1 has a Science Curriculum in the Waldorf School Grades 1-8 overview / one page handout, and page 14 has the same for the Waldorf High School Grades 9-12

When Should My Child Begin Music Lessons?
article by Sarah Baldwin

The Spiritual Gifts of Handwork
blog post - Knitting with Children

"Foundations of Waldorf Education" Series Notes
FREE links to all 25 volumes in this series of educational writings by Rudolf Steiner

DO NOT MISS The Online Waldorf Library's tremendous selection of Waldorf education books converted into PDFs and available for FREE download! You can literally save $1000's of dollars!


Curriculum Planning



Becca's 6th grade year
2016-2017

Becca came to Waldorf this year with a background of progressive school (5th and 4th grades), traditional public school (2nd grade), and Montessori school (PK, PK, K, K, and 3rd grades).

She skipped 1st grade because the public school wanted to put her back with her peers.
I, on the other hand, was happy with the second year of Kindergarten and wanted her to be 7 when she started first grade.

When we decided to homeschool for her first year of middle school, I picked


Leah's 6th grade year
2015-2016

Leah came to Waldorf this year with a background of progressive school (5th grade) and Montessori school (PK through 4th grades).

When we decided to homeschool for her first year of middle school, I picked



Resources & Recommendations Specific to Sixth Grade


Literature


Composition


Physics


Astronomy


Geology


Mathematics


Roman History


Middle Ages


World Geography / Foreign Language

    online resources:

  • One of my daughters is using Destinos to help her learn Spanish.
  • Another one of daughters is using Duolingo to help her learn German.


General Resouces

Literature & Composition

History


Handwork

    This year is an excellent time to introduce a new kind of embroidery, sashiko. It ties in beautifully with the geometrical designs your child is already studying, and it complements a block on Asian Cultures. Here is a Sashiko Tutorial from PurlSoho.


Drawing, Painting, Modeling


Class Plays


Is there a subject you're having a hard time finding resources for? Please contact the Yahoo Group for suggestions from our members or consider hiring a consultant.


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