Online Middle School: Grades 6-8
The middle school years are an important time for the development of critical thinking and problem-solving strategies.
The online middle school program at Virtual Preparatory Academy of West Virginia is a tuition-free program. Our West Virginia state-approved online middle school program is designed with your child’s success in mind. We offer education for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade in our online middle school curriculum.
We strive to provide a relevant, engaging, and challenging online public-school curriculum that is developmentally appropriate, meets their individual needs, and prepares them for high school.
* Course offerings are subject to change and may vary based on school staffing.
Curriculum, Grades 6-8
In this course, students will read and analyze informational texts. These texts take many different forms, including biographies, personal accounts of events, instructional documents, film reviews, and persuasive letters. The course’s reading selections demonstrate ways to understand explicit and implicit information, central ideas, and key details, and claims and arguments, among other ideas and concepts. Over the course, students will read the novel The Road by Jack London. They will also examine informational texts to better their understanding of the science behind sunsets, the lives of several important historical figures, the history of the Olympics, and the process of flotation used by archaeologists, among other topics.
In this course, students will focus on learning reading skills based on literary texts. The texts come from several genres and include a novel, excerpts from novels, short stories, poems, and plays. The course’s reading selections demonstrate ways to understand explicit and implicit information, theme, characters, plot, poetic techniques, and figurative language, among other ideas and concepts. Students will read the entire novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, and read a portion of it in almost every lesson throughout the course. They will read excerpts from the novels Little Women and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and stories and plays about challenging situations, getting caught doing something wrong, finding something unexpected, and why the crocodile has a wide mouth. Additionally, students will read poems from famous poets, such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Frost, and Carl Sandburg, to name a few. Students will also watch several videos of famous poems being read aloud.
In this course, students will build on previously learned concepts like adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. They will deepen their knowledge of arithmetic with fractions and work with decimals and negative numbers. They will apply these new skills to help solve real-world problems using statistics, ratios, unit conversions, and geometry, as well as expand their ability to write and evaluate expressions, including ones involving new concepts like variables and exponents. Students will also begin working with equations and learn what it means to solve them.
In this course, students will build on previously learned concepts, like positive and negative integers and fractions, to learn about rational numbers and how to compare them. They will find the distance between points, both on the number line and in the coordinate plane, and then solve geometry problems involving these concepts. They will study the relationships between variables and how to represent them in different ways. They will learn about ratios and unit rates, and then use them to solve real-world problems. Students will also work with data and discover different ways to display data and how to describe data mathematically.
This course focuses mainly on plants and animals. The course begins with an introduction to cells. The course then continues with the hierarchy of organization through a discussion of tissues, organs, and organ systems. Once students have learned what makes up organisms, they will look at the interactions between them. The course will also cover the growth of plants and animals and what factors affect their growth. Students will then track the life cycles of plants and animals and find out how they reproduce.
Second Semester: This semester begins with an introduction to energy and matter, as well as different types of energy and energy transformations. Students focus on natural cycles, the effect of the sun on ocean and air currents, and different types of pollution and the effects of greenhouse gases on the Earth’s climate. This semester uses many creative and interactive assets, including virtual labs and review games, to immerse students in a 21st-century online learning environment.
SOCIAL STUDIES 6A
Sixth grade students will study the beginning of early civilizations through the Gupta dynasty. Students will study the geographical, social, economic, and political foundations for early civilizations progressing through the Gupta dynasty. They will analyze the shift from nomadic societies to agricultural societies. Students will study the development of civilizations, including the areas of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Ancient Israel, and India. The study of these civilizations will include the impact of geography, early history, cultural development, and economic change. The geographic focus will include the study of physical and political features, economic development and resources, and migration patterns. This class will conclude with the Gupta dynasty.
SOCIAL STUDIES 6B
Second Semester: Students explore the geographic, political, economic, and cultural development of ancient Greece, Rome, and China. The course examines the birth and spread of Judaism, Christianity, Taoism, and Confucianism. Students apply historical thinking skills to understand implications of ancient literature, art, and philosophy on later Western culture.
In this course, students will read and analyze informational texts. These texts take many different forms, including biographies, personal accounts of events, presidential speeches, and persuasive letters. The course’s reading selections demonstrate ways to understand explicit and implicit information, central ideas and key details, and claims and arguments, among other ideas and concepts. In the course, students will read the biography The Story of My Life by Helen Keller. They will also examine informational texts to better their understanding of the lives of several important historical figures, including Jane Goodall and Zora Neale Hurston; places as far away as Dubai, the Galapagos Islands, and the Hoover Dam; and the similarities between country music and hip-hop, among other topics.
In this course, students will focus on learning reading skills based on literary texts. The texts come from various genres and include a novel and excerpts from novels, short stories, poems, and plays. The course’s reading selections demonstrate ways to understand explicit and implicit information, theme, characters, plot, poetic and dramatic techniques, and figurative language, among other ideas and concepts. Students will read the entire novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and read a portion of it in almost every lesson throughout the course. They will read excerpts from the novel Black Beauty and a passage from Grimm’s “The Golden Bird” fairy tale. Students will also read stories and plays about challenging situations, discovering alternate realities, and robot rebellions. They will witness powerful historical events and people and compare how written texts are portrayed in film or audio. Additionally, students will read poems from famous poets, such as Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and William Wordsworth, to name a few.
In this course, students begin with adding and multiplying rational numbers by using number lines, rules, and properties. Then, they move their focus to proportional relationships given in tables, diagrams, graphs, equations, and verbal descriptions. They also learn how to solve problems by finding and comparing unit rates. Next, they rewrite expressions using properties, as well as write and solve simple linear equations by using different methods. The next area of study is probability and statistics, where they will interpret and calculate simple probabilities, as well as learn about populations and samples. Finally, they move on to geometry and learn how to solve problems about scale drawing, circles, and angle relationships, and draw some geometric shapes.
In this course, students will subtract and divide rational numbers by using number lines, rules, and properties, and apply strategies to perform four operations. They will study and interpret proportional relationships, write equivalent expressions and explain their relationships, and write and solve linear equations and inequalities to solve real-world problems that involve rational numbers. Next, they’ll compare two data sets of random samples by using their center values and variability measures, and make conclusions about their populations. Finally, students will progress into geometry topics and work on problems that involve the area, surface area, volume, and cross sections of two- or three-dimensional objects.
Science 7 (1 of 2) focuses on science concepts from the fields of chemistry, biology, and ecology. Science 7 (1 of 2) begins by exploring the relationship between matter and energy. Next, the course examines chemical reactions. Students will then use their knowledge of matter, energy, and chemical reactions to build on their understanding of cellular respiration and photosynthesis. Finally, students will uncover the world of synthetic materials to see how they are made and how they impact society.
Science 7 (2 of 2) focuses on science concepts from the fields of ecology and geology. Science 7 (2 of 2) begins by exploring the interactions between and among organisms in an ecosystem. Next, the course examines different types of rocks, the rock cycle, and Earth’s resources. Students can then use their knowledge of Earth’s processes to better understand how natural hazard events and severe weather events occur. Students will then learn how technology can assist in natural hazard events and discover other benefits of technology. Finally, students will track some of Earth’s changes through time.
SOCIAL STUDIES 7A
This seventh-grade course explores the social, cultural, and technological changes that occurred in Europe, Africa, and Asia in the years AD 500–1789. After reviewing the ancient world and the ways in which archaeologists and historians uncover the past, students study the history and geography of great civilizations that were developing concurrently throughout the world during medieval and early modern times. These include the Roman Empire, the early Muslim empires, and empires in Africa, the Americas, and east Asia.
SOCIAL STUDIES 7B
In this second segment of the course, students study the Renaissance, Reformation, and the Age of Exploration, examining the growing economic interaction among civilizations. Students learn about the exchange of ideas, beliefs, technologies, and commodities. They learn about the resulting growth of Enlightenment philosophy and the new examination of the concepts of reason and authority, the natural rights of human beings and the divine right of kings, experimentalism in science, and the dogma of belief. Finally, students assess the political forces let loose by the Enlightenment, particularly the rise of democratic ideas, and they learn about the continuing influence of these ideas in the world today.
In this course, students will read and analyze literary and informational texts. These texts will come from a number of genres and a number of sources, including short stories, novels, myths, poems, magazine articles, and autobiographies. Through the presentation of these types of reading selections, the course demonstrates ways to understand explicit and implicit information, theme, central idea, and figurative language. They read the novel The Call of the Wild and short stories, such as “The Lottery,” “A Sound of Thunder,” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.” They examine informational texts to better their understanding of the Yukon, the Klondike Gold Rush, dog sledding, and wolves. They will learn about basics in grammar, usage, and punctuation, including phrases and clauses, sentence structures, ellipses, dashes, and commas. Students will learn the elements of a fictional narrative in order to plan, create, write, revise, and edit their own fictional narrative. In addition, they encounter numerous infographics and videos that build on the instruction.
In this course, students focus on learning reading skills based on both literary and informational texts. These texts come from several genres and from a number of sources, including short stories, novels, poems, Internet articles, and political speeches. The course’s reading selections demonstrate ways to understand explicit and implicit information, theme, central idea, and figurative language, among other ideas and concepts. parts of the novels Fahrenheit 451, Hatchet, and Black Beauty, as well as short stories such as “How the World Was Saved,” “Harrison Bergeron,” and “All Summer in a Day.” Students will examine informational texts to better their understanding of global warming and its effect on Earth, the role the fast-food industry plays in our lives, the widespread presence of corn in the food we eat, and the ways sleep affects the ability of students to learn, among other topics. In addition, they will learn about basics in grammar, usage, and punctuation, and informational and argument writing. Through the lessons provided in this course, students will master techniques that help them achieve a deeper appreciation of texts and writing. Numerous infographics and videos help build on the instruction.
In this course, students begin with the fundamentals of algebra. They compare, order, and perform operations on rational and irrational numbers; use inverse operations to solve for a variable in one- and two-step equations; write and solve two-step equations from contextual situations; and analyze properties of functions, focusing on linear functions. The next area of study is very large and very small numbers, where they will solve expressions involving powers of a common base, convert numbers to and from scientific notation, and perform operations on numbers in scientific notation. They will then move on to geometry, where they will perform rigid transformations on figures and prove congruence of figures through a series of rigid transformations.
In this course, students will build on and extend the knowledge they gained in Math 8A. After reviewing how to solve one- and two-step equations, they are introduced to multi-step equations and proportions. They will apply their knowledge of proportional relationships to geometry, where they perform transformations on figures and prove similarity of figures through a series of rigid transformations and dilations. Next, students will extend their knowledge of linear relationships by identifying and comparing properties of lines and their equations. Then, students will learn how to solve systems of linear equations using graphs, substitution, and elimination. After that, they build upon their algebraic skills by applying them to statistics, where they analyze and interpret patterns in bivariate data. Finally, students will explore and analyze three-dimensional shapes including cylinders, cones, and spheres.
Science 8 (1 of 2) focuses on life science concepts from biology, ecology, and environmental science. Students will explore the nature of science and has engineering and technology practices threaded throughout the course. Students begin with an introduction to scientific processes. Then, they explore cells, heredity, evolution, ecology, and genetic technology.
In Science 8 (2 of 2), students will focus on physical science concepts, including topics from physics and space science. They will begin by exploring the history of science and highlights influential scientists who laid the groundwork for the fields students are about to discover. Students will begin with physics—one of the more interactive sciences that can be seen in action in the world. Then they will explore concepts of velocity and acceleration, and dive into forces and Newton’s laws of motion. Students will also explore space, including the solar system, planets, and the Moon.
SOCIAL STUDIES 8A
Students will begin by exploring how American Indian societies lived in their environments. Next, they will examine reasons for European exploration and settlement in North America. From there, students will explore the development of the British colonies and the causes behind the American Revolution. They will learn how the Patriots were able to defeat Great Britain and achieve independence. They will be able to name the documents that define the democratic nature of our American republic. They will learn why the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are so revolutionary. Throughout much of the course, students study the growth of sectional divisions and conflict.
SOCIAL STUDIES 8B
This course will take students on a journey from early Spanish missions in western North America up to the end of the 19th century in the United States. Next, students will examine reasons for western westward exploration and expansion. From there, students explore the causes and effects of the Texas Revolution and the Mexican American War. They will also analyze the California gold rush and immigration to the West Coast. The course then explores the sectional causes and effects of the Civil War. After that, students will examine the changes to the lives of African Americans during Reconstruction, followed by the explosive economic growth of the Second Industrial Revolution. The Indian Wars of the 19th century are also a consistent topic of the course.
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