Middle School

Middle School (5th-8th Grades)
The second phase of classical education, the logic stage, is a time when students begin to think more analytically. The Middle School builds on the basics learned in Lower School, allowing students to develop independence of thought and critical analysis through a rigorous academic program. At Veritas, we are interested not only in students' academic success, but in their spiritual formation.

FIFTH GRADE

Biblical Studies
This course emphasizes the Old Testament writings from Genesis to Judges. As a class, we will explore major themes and characters of the Old Testament as well as pertinent geographical historical, and cultural matters. Using the Bible as the primary source, students will learn about Creation, The Fall, God’s covenant with Noah, Abraham, and the development of the nation of Israel. Students will learn how God’s redemptive plan of salvation was evident even from the beginning of the world. A priority will be placed on the practical application of biblical knowledge through illustrations, class discussions, and scripture memorization.

Computer
Students begin with a review of computer basics including software, operating systems, hardware, storage devices, and peripherals. The fifth grade students sharpen their keyboarding skills using TypingMaster Pro software and build upon their word processing skills by creating tables, multi-page documents with headers and footers, and advanced graphics. Safety and ethics is emphasized as students examine and compare a variety of advanced search tools and techniques to acquire information electronically, and are taught to evaluate and cite web sites. Major milestones in the history of computers will be tracked, enabling students to view an abacus, typewriter, punched card, and a 5” floppy disk. Students will collect and organize data into spreadsheets, create and enhance charts, insert their chart into Word, and write a paragraph interpreting their findings. Students will also plan, design, create and present a slide show using Microsoft PowerPoint, learn to manipulate pictures using Microsoft Picture Manager and Microsoft Paint, and create a video using Photo Story 3. Finally, students will be introduced to desktop publishing and will create a simple flyer using Microsoft Publisher. Throughout the school year, students will utilize productivity tools on projects which emphasize research and evaluation, analysis, problem solving, writing, presentation skills, and creativity. Projects will also integrate with other curriculum areas such as Bible, history, or art.

Geography
This course will require you to think critically as you learn about people, culture, economy, government, and the physical aspects of the regions of the world. We will learn about both ancient and modern civilizations as we cover both physical and human geography.

English
This daily course develops students’ reading skills and vocabulary through a traditional exploration of genres: novel, short story, drama, and poetry. Our solid Mosdos anthology textbook will be supplemented by outside works and supplementary handouts, particularly Pre-AP materials from Laying the Foundation, Inc. In addition to literary study, we will incorporate an ongoing spelling and vocabulary study words by phonetic pattern. Students will read one or two outside works of their choice per quarter in the Accelerated Reader program.

Our main focus is learning more guidelines of English grammar in order to read, write, and speak more effectively. We will start with parts of speech and move on to phrases, parts of the sentence, clauses, kinds of sentences, and punctuation rules, moving as far as we can without leaving anyone behind. We will work through a grammar workbook but enhance it with creative writing, syntax analysis, and editing competitions. We will also organize, revise, and edit paragraphs and poems.

Latin
In Latin, students will discover that it is very easy to retain the vocabulary and grammar formation. Preparation for future studies will be accomplished through conversational text, memorization of vocabulary through chanting and singing, and translations of Latin prose, poetry, and Scripture. Students will experience that Latin is relevant, beneficial, and fun. They will contribute to keeping this modern day language from the past alive.

Mathematics
The focus of this course will be to develop an understanding of mathematical reasoning and to connect mathematical concepts to real-world application. The topics include integers, decimals, fractions, measurement, ratio, geometry, patterns, and algebraic thinking.
 
Science
This course is an introduction to many of the advanced sciences including chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, and geology. Units consist of hands-on activities and labs reinforced with the science textbook, handouts, technology, and United Streaming. Topics introduced consist of cell structure, photosynthesis, Newton’s Laws, forces, motion and energy, electricity, magnetism, physical and chemical changes, periodic table, bodies in space, and scientific measurement.

Visual Arts
Students will produce two and three dimensional artwork in a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, fiber arts, clay, printmaking and sculpture. We will explore both traditional art making techniques and principles as well as contemporary modes of visual communication. In addition to hands-on art making, students will learn about art history as it relates to their history curriculum. We will use our critical thinking skills to assess and appreciate art from many different disciples and genres. Elements of technology, math, science, and music will also be infused into the learning environment.
 
Curriculum Enrichment
  • Accelerated Math
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Band
  • Cultural Expeditions Program: Texas History Trip - San Antonio, Austin, and Fredericksburg
  • Competitions: Art, Creative Writing, Math, Speech, Spelling and Science
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
  • International Thespian Society (ITS)
  • iPad Mobile Learning Lab
  • Local Field Trips: Theatre Productions, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Menil Collection, etc.
  • National Elementary Honor Society (NHS)
  • Physical Education
  • Science Fair
  • Student Council
 

SIXTH GRADE

Biblical Studies
This course covers the Old Testament books and stories from Kings to Malachi. In the study of the Old Testament, the students will learn that God has revealed himself through His Word, and that His desire is to have a relationship with every person. This can only be possible through the sacrificial blood of His Son Jesus, who bridged the gap between God and man.

Computer
The sixth grade students sharpen their keyboarding skills using TypingMaster Pro software and build upon their word processing skills by creating tables, multi-page documents with headers , footers, footnotes, and objects. Safety and ethics is emphasized as students examine and compare a variety of advanced search tools and techniques to acquire information electronically, and are taught to evaluate and cite web sites. Students will create a greeting card using Microsoft Publisher templates and a timeline from a blank publication. An introduction to Microsoft Picture Manager will expose students to digital graphics while learning to adjust brightness and contrast, remove red eye, crop, and compress images. Also, students will utilize Windows Media Player, Windows Movie Maker, and Audacity to become familiar with digital audio and video file types and sizes, learn how to edit audio, create video and cite sources. Audio and Video files will be inserted into Microsoft PowerPoint. Finally, students will collect and organize data into spreadsheets, calculate using statistical measures, create and enhance charts, insert their chart into Word, and write a paragraph interpreting their findings.

English
This daily course develops students’ reading skills and vocabulary through a traditional exploration of genres: novel, short story, drama, and poetry. Our solid Mosdos anthology textbook will be supplemented by outside works and supplementary handouts, particularly Pre-AP materials from Laying the Foundation, Inc. In addition to literary study, we will incorporate a structured SAT-level vocabulary program based on Latin roots. Students will read one or two outside works of their choice per quarter in the Accelerated Reader program.

6th grade grammar builds upon knowledge previously learned and emphasizes applying the skills necessary to understand the nine parts of speech, constructs of a sentence, careful placement of words in a sentence as they pertain to meaning, and new and varied roles of the parts of speech in a sentence. Students write paragraphs, journal entries, essays, and complete research in the class. Vocabulary is also included in this course. Students will learn vocabulary words that derive from classical roots. Students will study definitions, derivatives, origins, and analogous relationships of words as well as begin to use these words in their own speech and writing. 


History
This course will investigate the history of Europe and the Near East from the breakup of the Roman Empire to the dawn of the Renaissance. Students will study the political, economic, social, and cultural development of the three successor civilizations of classical Greece and Rome--Byzantium Islam and Western Christendom, with particular emphasis on the latter. It will look at how these civilizations arose and interacted in both peace and war. Among the topics covered in the course will be: the end of the ancient world; the Rise of Christianity; the era of migrations; the Germanic successor kingdoms; the Catholic Church in the West, the Carolingian Empire, the Vikings, Feudalism and Manorialsim, Holy Roman Empire Versus the Papacy, Byzantium and its civilization, the rise of Islam and its civilization, the advent of the Turks; the Crusades; the Medieval Kingdoms; the aristocracy and middle class in the Middle Ages; church and culture in the High Middle Ages; later Islam and the Byzantine Commonwealth; the Mongols; and the crises of the 14th Century and the beginnings of the Renaissance.

Mathematics (normal mathematics track)
Emphasis in this class is upon teaching students how to think and how to learn while equipping them with skills and tools find the best solutions. The focus is on rational numbers and their operations followed by equations and functions, geometry, square roots, and probability.
 
Pre-Algebra (advanced mathematics track)
The course maintains a balance between mathematical concepts and procedures. Students will learn to identify and use geometrical shapes and equations.  The textbook provides a variety of exercises ranging from basic exercises that will help students develop and practice skills to challenging exercises that involve logical reasoning and problem solving.  In 7th grade, students are taught how to think mathematically and work with variables to solve problems and our students soon realize that success in mathematics is not simply learning, rehearsing, and memorizing procedures that somehow lead to the "right answer", but they see that the math they learn in school is highly correlated with the math they encounter in everyday life.  With Bible integration, the aim is to help students see mathematics as part of the truth and order that God has built into reality.
 
Science
Students study Earth Science in 6th Grade. Content includes: Geology, The Dynamic Earth, Water and Water Systems, Meteorology, The Environment, and Astronomy. Students will develop science process skills, critical thinking skills, and scientific reasoning skills. Science process skills, such as observing, classifying, inferring, and experimenting provide a framework in which ideas can be conceptualized, tested, and evaluated.

Spanish*
Students will be engaged in learning the Spanish language through theatre. We will be using Avancemos! 1A. A magnificent textbook that teaches the language by immersing students in various Spanish speaking cultures. Students will develop more fluency and comprehension of the language by performing and creating their own genre-specific pieces using material covered during class. This will help them expand their vocabulary. Students will learn as they listen, collaborate in groups, do independent research, and present their findings to their peers.
 
During this first year of Spanish students will be learning about the present tense of regular, irregular, and stem-changing verbs.  Students will learn 320 vocabulary words throughout the year in addition to the grammar lessons.

Visual Arts
Students will produce two and three dimensional artwork in a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, fiber arts, clay, printmaking and sculpture. We will explore both traditional art making techniques and principles as well as contemporary modes of visual communication. In addition to hands-on art making, students will learn about art history as it relates to their history curriculum. We will use our critical thinking skills to assess and appreciate art from many different disciples and genres. Elements of technology, math, science, and music will also be infused into the learning environment.
 
Curriculum Enrichment
  • Accelerated Math
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Band
  • Cultural Expeditions Program: Washington, D.C. Trip or New York/Boston Trip (alternating with 7th grade)
  • Competitions: Art, Creative Writing, Math, Speech, Spelling and Science
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
  • History Fair
  • International Thespian Society (ITS)
  • iPad Mobile Learning Lab
  • Local Field Trips: Theatre Productions, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Menil Collection, etc.
  • National Junior Honor Society (NHS)
  • Physical Education
  • Student Council
 

SEVENTH GRADE

Biblical Studies
This Bible course will take us on a journey thru the life of Christ thru the Gospel of Matthew. Our 7th graders will understand how all four Gospels revolve around the story of redemption through Jesus Christ. Throughout this course, our 7th grade students will recognize that Jesus’s love for them has no limit and he seeks to have a personal relationship with each one of us.The students will also study the Acts of the Apostles and the life of the disciples and will conclude that the influence Jesus has on the lives of people, throughout the ages, has never been surpassed; no other great leader has inspired so many positive changes in the lives of his followers and those who allow him to transform their lives will experience fulfillment and joy as they follow His teachings.

Computer
In the seventh grade technology class, students utilize productivity tools throughout the school year such as Word, Excel, Publisher, and PowerPoint on projects which emphasize research and evaluation, analysis, problem solving, writing, presentation skills, and creativity. Periodically, student projects will integrate with other curriculum areas such as Bible, history, or art. Students will have several opportunities for self-teaching and collaboration on new software and web tools, with the emphasis on solving problems on their own. The use of software Help features is encouraged to obtain assistance in using software. The seventh grade students will strive for keyboarding speed and accuracy using TypingMaster Pro software. Safety and ethics is emphasized as students examine and compare a variety of advanced search tools and techniques to acquire information electronically, and become proficient at evaluating and citing web sites. Web 2.0 tools will also be reviewed and utilized on projects. The students will be introduced to digital graphics, audio, and video using tools such as Picture Manager, Movie Maker, GIMP, and Windows Media Player. The students will also have the opportunity to replace parts on a CPU and will use the basic computer skills which they have learned to trouble-shoot workstation problems on campus.

English
The seventh grade literature program is an intense study that focuses on the elements of literature and how they apply to creating a short story, poetry, fantasy, and non-fiction. It also introduces them to all genres and how to write for those genres. The student will see and experience how the elements of literature come together to form the stories, poems, and novels they read. 
 
The seventh grade grammar and composition program is an intense study that not only focuses on a more in depth study and understanding of the rules of grammar, but gives opportunities for beginning application and analysis of the constructs of a sentence in order to discover meaning. This study incorporates five minute drills to stimulate, exercise and build upon thought processing skills taught on the elementary level and reviewed in sixth grade. The student will build on knowledge previously learned and apply and analyze the skills necessary in understanding the nine parts of speech, constructs of a sentence, careful placement of words in a sentence as they pertain to meaning, and new and varied roles of the parts of speech in a sentence.

History
This course focuses on the political, economic, and social events and issues related to the Reconstruction following the Civil War, Spanish-American War, WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Era, and Vietnam. This course is designed to inform students about who they are as citizens of the United States and how past events have shaped the America we live in today.

Pre-Algebra (normal mathematics track)
The course maintains a balance between mathematical concepts and procedures. Students will learn to identify and use geometrical shapes and equations.  The textbook provides a variety of exercises ranging from basic exercises that will help students develop and practice skills to challenging exercises that involve logical reasoning and problem solving.  In 7th grade, students are taught how to think mathematically and work with variables to solve problems and students soon realize that success in mathematics is not simply learning, rehearsing, and memorizing procedures that somehow lead to the "right answer", but they see that the math they learn in school is highly correlated with the math they encounter in everyday life.  With Bible integration, the aim is to help students see mathematics as part of the truth and order that God has built into reality.

Algebra (advanced mathematics track)*
In Algebra 1, students begin by reviewing basic algebraic concepts and properties of integers. This is followed by units on graphing equations, polynomials, radical and rational expressions, quadratic equations, and probability and data analysis.

Science
Students study Biology in 7th Grade. Content includes: Life, Viruses, Bacteria, Protoctists, and Fungi, Plants, Animals, The Human Body, Genetics and Heredity, and Ecology. Students will develop science process skills, critical thinking skills, and scientific reasoning skills. Science process skills, such as observing, classifying, inferring, and experimenting provide a framework in which ideas can be conceptualized, tested, and evaluated.

Spanish*
Students will be engaged in learning the Spanish language through theatre. We will be using Avancemos! 1B. A magnificent textbook that teaches the language by immersing students in various Spanish speaking cultures. Students will develop more fluency and comprehension of the language by performing and creating their own genre-specific pieces using material covered during class. This will help them expand their vocabulary. Students will learn as they listen, collaborate in groups, do independent research, and present their findings to their peers.
 
During the second year of Spanish students will be learning about the preterite tense of regular, irregular, and stem-changing verbs. Students will also be introduced to affirmative and negative words, pronouns after prepositions, present progressive and demonstrative adjectives. Students will learn an additional 320 vocabulary words.

Visual Arts
Students will produce two and three dimensional artwork in a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, fiber arts, clay, printmaking and sculpture. We will explore both traditional art making techniques and principles as well as contemporary modes of visual communication. In addition to hands-on art making, students will learn about art history as it relates to their history curriculum. We will use our critical thinking skills to assess and appreciate art from many different disciples and genres. Elements of technology, math, science, and music will also be infused into the learning environment.
 
Curriculum Enrichment
  • Accelerated Math
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Band
  • Cultural Expeditions Program: Washington, D.C. Trip or New York/Boston Trip (alternating with 6th grade)
  • Competitions: Art, Creative Writing, Math, Speech, Spelling and Science
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
  • International Thespian Society (ITS)
  • iPad Mobile Learning Lab
  • Local Field Trips: Theatre Productions, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Menil Collection, etc.
  • National Junior Honor Society (NHS)
  • Physical Education
  • Science Fair
  • Student Council
 

EIGHTH GRADE

Algebra 1 (normal mathematics track)*
In Algebra 1, the students will begin by reviewing basic algebraic concepts and properties of integers. This is followed by units on graphing equations, polynomials, radical and rational expressions, quadratic equations, and probability and data analysis.

Geometry (advanced mathematics track)*
In Geometry students will have a chance to develop their reasoning skills and problem solving strategies. The students will learn to analyze geometric relationships in two and three dimensions and to make connections to algebra, probability, trigonometry, and discrete math.

Biblical Studies
As many belief systems are competing for the attention of teens, we believe it is vital to incorporate Apologetics and worldview content into the 8th grade Bible curriculum. This Bible course helps provide our students with a strong Christian worldview foundation, based on the infallible Word of God. Apologetics helps demonstrate to our students that our Christianity is credible, reasonable and relevant. The Bible says that we're to always be ready to give a "defense" (an apologia) to people who ask us about the hope we have as Christians. Thus, our students will be equipped to answer questions as to why and what they believe in and will be able to defend their faith. They will also learn through the lessons, in this course, that Jesus cannot be equated with any person or power, for He is the supreme ruler of time and eternity, heaven and earth, humans and angels and will come to realize that this King of Kings is to be given His rightful place as King of their lives.

Computer
In the eighth grade technology class, students will utilize productivity tools throughout the school year such as Word, Excel, Access, Publisher, and PowerPoint on projects which emphasize research and evaluation, analysis, problem solving, writing, presentation skills, and creativity. Periodically, student projects will integrate with other curriculum areas such as Bible, history, or art. Given a project, students will usually be required to choose the appropriate software for that project. Students will compare their choices and ascertain the ease of each application, listing pros and cons. Students will have several opportunities for self-teaching and collaboration on new software and web tools, with the emphasis on solving problems on their own. The use of software Help features is encouraged to obtain assistance in using software. Web 2.0 tools will be utilized on several projects. The students will be create projects involving digital audio, digital graphics and video, and animation using tools such as Picture Manager, Movie Maker, Photo Story 3, GIMP, Windows Media Player, and MonkeyJam. The students will also have the opportunity to replace parts on a CPU and to create their own virtual laptop. Students will use the basic computer skills which they have learned to trouble-shoot workstation problems on campus. The eighth grade students will also strive for keyboarding speed and accuracy using TypingMaster Pro software.

Drama
William Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, "Though this be madness, yet there is method in't." The eighth grade theater arts program is an intense study of necessary skills needed to understand the theater and what is expected of actors. This study incorporates five minute brainstorming drills to stimulate thought about setting the stage. Students will engage in acting exercises from warming up their voice to determining the appropriate lighting for a production. A study of theater history will tie in their years of elementary study in history and literature to help understand the theater. Students will keep a drama spiral for stage notes and character sketches. Students will use their biblical knowledge to present skits during chapel with a final message for each.

English
In 8th grade Literature, the students will receive instruction in developing plot, analyzing major and minor characters, and examining how the setting and theme relates to these elements across literary genres. Students will learn about the relationship between writer and the writer’s point of view, as well as, comparing and contrasting characters and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person points of view. Students will examine sensory language and how it is used to apply the literary elements in various genres. Using discussion circles, students will be applying biblical principle across the various genres of literature.
 
Our main focus is learning more guidelines of English grammar in order to read, write, and speak more effectively. Students will become more accurate, effective speakers, readers, and writers by directly studying grammar concepts and patterns and practicing applying them to exercises and student writing. Students will memorize the 9 parts of speech, 5 of the 6 kinds of phrases, 4 kinds of sentences, and 10 comma rules. Students will be able to demonstrate how to find subjects and predicates, elaborate on sentences, combine choppy sentences, simplify wordy sentences, create and punctuate compound and complex sentences, and fix agreement issues, fragments and run-ons. Students will be able to not only correctly identify parts of speech, phrases and sentences, but to analyze the effect of an author’s grammar patterns (syntax) and to integrate some of these patterns into their own writing. They will gain confidence as writers who not only have something to say, but who can start to make choices about how they will say it for the greatest impact. Students will appreciate grammatical patterns in Biblical passages for their power and beauty.

History
Students in grade seven study major turning points that shaped the modern world, from the late eighteenth century through the present, including the cause and course of the two world wars. They trace the rise of democratic ideas and develop an understanding of the historical roots of current world issues, especially as they pertain to international relations. They extrapolate from the American experience that democratic ideals are often achieved at a high price, remain vulnerable, and are not practiced everywhere in the world. Students develop an understanding of current world issues and relate them to their historical, geographic, political, economic, and cultural contexts. Students consider multiple accounts of events in order to understand international relations from a variety of perspectives.

Logic
In Logic, students are introduced to formal elements of deductive logic. Students learn about statements and their relationships, syllogisms and validity, arguments in normal English, and informal fallacies. Students also work with truth tables and cover the translation and analysis of arguments into propositions. The primary concern of the student will be to determine the validity of those arguments and the importance of defining terms. Logic helps bridge the gap between simply memorizing or blindly accepting information and the greater challenge of critical analysis and clarity in oral presentation of one’s thoughts. Specifically, this course is about how to think critically by exploring the components of arguments--issues, conclusions, reasons, evidence, assumptions, language, and how to spot fallacies, manipulations, and obstacles to critical thinking and how to present those findings.

Science*
IPC is a laboratory course designed to give students hands-on practical experiences and background in the structure of matter, atoms, the periodic table, acids, bases, and solutions, and chemical reactions (basic chemistry principles). Applications related to everyday occurrences will assist students in becoming a more scientifically aware citizenry.

Spanish*
Students will be engaged in learning the Spanish language through theatre. We will be using Avancemos! 2. A magnificent textbook that teaches the language by immersing students in various Spanish speaking cultures. Students will develop more fluency and comprehension of the language by performing, writing and creating their own genre-specific pieces using material covered during class while expanding their vocabulary. Grammar will be a very important component in this class as students are expected to write and express themselves at a higher level. Students will learn as they listen, collaborate in groups, do independent research, and present their findings to their peers.
 
During the third year of Spanish students will be learning about the imperfect tense, more verbs with irregular preterite stems, pronoun placement with commands, the subjunctive, superlatives, and the future tense. Students will learn an additional 560 vocabulary words. By the time students graduate 8th grade they will have learned 1200 vocabulary words in addition to grammar.

Visual Arts
Students will produce two and three dimensional artwork in a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, fiber arts, clay, printmaking and sculpture. We will explore both traditional art making techniques and principles as well as contemporary modes of visual communication. In addition to hands-on art making, students will learn about art history as it relates to their history curriculum. We will use our critical thinking skills to assess and appreciate art from many different disciples and genres. Elements of technology, math, science, and music will also be infused into the learning environment.
 
Curriculum Enrichment
  • Accelerated Math
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Band
  • Cultural Expeditions Program: London/Oxford Trip
  • Competitions: Art, Creative Writing, Math, Speech, Spelling and Science
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
  • History Fair
  • International Thespian Society (ITS)
  • iPad Mobile Learning Lab
  • Local Field Trips: Theatre Productions, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Menil Collection, etc.
  • National Junior Honor Society (NHS)
  • Physical Education
  • Student Council
 
*High School Level Course - high school credits are given to students and are transferable upon graduation.