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JUNIOR HIGH GRADES 6TH - 8TH


NLR CATHOLIC ACADEMY CREATES AN ENVIRONMENT OF SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT FOR STUDENTS TO BECOME INDEPENDENT CRITICAL THINKERS AS WELL AS BECOMING SELF-DISCIPLINED, RESPECTFUL AND KNOWLEDGEABLE IN CHRISTIAN FAITH.

Language Arts

Students participate in a comprehensive curriculum including grammar, vocabulary, and literature. Students complete writing projects in English class, as well as social studies and science. Each grade includes appropriate full-length novel studies, and eighth grade also studies two full-length plays.

Seventh and eighth grade write level-appropriate term papers in conjunction with the social studies curriculum. Sixth grade writes a simplified version of a social studies themed term paper. Eighth grade also participates in the DAR essay contest annually. Students in seventh and eighth grade watch curricular films and write critical essays about them. Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders also complete a science fair project annually that includes a research paper.

Each class also uses discrete grammar, literature, and vocabulary textbooks that teachers use for units they present throughout the year.

Mathematics

The Mathematics curriculum is a three year program designed to prepare our students for their high school experience. Staying in touch with Mount St. Mary’s and Catholic High allows us to increase our students' readiness for future math classes. Our expectation is that every student is successful and equipped with not only the required math materials, but also problem solving and critical thinking skills.

At the beginning of the year in sixth grade, we strengthen all previous math skills, from multiplication through fractions and decimals. Moving quickly to graphing, charts, tables, and probability. Including Pre-Algebra skills where applicable. The 2nd semester we begin geometry, working with angles and shapes. These skills build the foundation for Pre-Algebra, as 7th graders.

Pre-Algebra is the 7th grade required math class. The basics taught in 6th grade give the 7th graders the confidence to advance through Pre-Algebra. The rules become a language we all share. Integrating all math skills and advancing critical thinking, brings our students to a whole new level of math. We complete this course as our final step toward Algebra I.

8th grade starts the year with previewing Algebra1. Looking forward to all that will be accomplished, the course itself starts quickly. This requires upper level thinking, is challenging in all aspects, and has the student ready for any direction high school takes them. The year is completed with a review of the entire course, leading each student toward a successful 9th grade year.

Social Studies

The social studies program at North Little Rock Catholic Academy follows Little Rock Diocesan guidelines in In Spirit and Truth. Sixth graders learn about World Civilizations from Mesopotamia through Tudor England, including Asian and African civilizations. During the fourth nine weeks, they choose a country from the regions they have studied and write a basic level term paper and complete a coordinated art project.

Seventh grade learns World Geography and also has an introduction to Arkansas History that includes economics, geography, civics, and the study of Native Arkansans. They watch several curricular films throughout the year and write critical essays about each of them. They complete group and individual projects for each unit in geography that include multimedia presentations on topics related to Southwest and Central Asia, a term paper on a country in Africa, and the choice of an edited video, a TED-style talk, or a podcast on a topic related to culture in East Asia.

Eighth graders take a survey of American history course based on a study of the Constitution. Units include the Civil War, foreign policy, which uses World Wars I and II as an anchor, and the Civil Rights Movement. Approximately half the year is devoted to these topics in the context of Arkansas history. In the Fall, they complete a specifically themed essay for the DAR annual contest. In the spring they research and write a term paper on a topic of their choice that relates to World War II. The eighth grade English curriculum corresponds with social studies so students read The Diary of Anne Frank while they are studying WWII and watch Gideon’s Army, a film about public defence attorneys, and write a critical essay on the film.

Science

All students in Junior High study life science, earth science, and the foundations of chemistry and physics. The 6th graders begin the year by learning the basics of the scientific method and scientific inquiry. They then focus on gaining a basic working knowledge of earth and life science, specifically plate tectonics, cell biology, and animal taxonomy. Students will also study the theory of evolution by natural selection, and how this theory exists in harmony with our Catholic faith.

In 7th grade, the main focus is developing proficiency in the foundations of chemistry. This includes a focus on the periodic table (especially the properties of the different families of elements and the interactions between elements), the structure of atoms and compounds, and a more detailed look at concepts from 6th grade, such as cell biology, and how these concepts overlap with their study of chemistry.

8th graders will shift to studying physical science. They will learn key concepts, such as velocity, momentum, mass, and weight. There will be a greater focus on basic applied mathematics, Newton’s Laws, and the laws of thermodynamics. They will also take a more in-depth look at concepts in chemistry by balancing chemical equations and studying the different subatomic particles that make up the natural world. They also apply their studies to the far-flung reaches of the universe by studying the Solar System, other galaxies, the life and death of stars, and how gravity affects the interactions of all objects that have mass.

Junior High students also apply the concepts they have learned in class to real world scientific questions by participating in the Science Fair in the spring. Each project includes a paper, poster that explains the student’s research, and presentation given in front of the class. Winners of the fair are chosen for each class, as well as three overall winners. 

RELIGION

NLRCA PROVIDES STUDENTS WITH RELIGIOUS BASED CURRICULUM ACROSS ALL SUBJECT AREAS. OUR STUDENTS GAIN FOUNDATIONAL FOOTSTEPS TO BECOMING LIfELONG STEWARDS OF THE CHURCH BY LEADING SCHOOL MASS TWICE A WEEK. RELIgION CLASSES TEACH STUDENTS ABOUT HE CATHOLIC FAITH, SCRIPTURE, IMITATING THE LIFE OF CHRIST, PRAYER, AND MASS. WEEKLY ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT ISTILLS A DEEP DEVOTION TO CHRIST. SPECIAL OpPORTUNITIES ARE OFFERED FOR STUDENTS TO EXPERIENCE THE CATHOLIC FAITH ACROSS CULTURES WITH THE FEAST DAY OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE AND THE LAS POSADAS.  Our students develop strong leadership within the church and community by doing varied service projects based on Catholic values of Mercy.

ALL STUDENTS ARE OFFERED MUSIC, ART, SPANISH, COMPUTER, AND PE