• Dear Sixth Grade Families;

    Welcome to the Ann Arbor Public Schools Family Pages. We hope the information you find here assists you in supporting your child while s/he is learning important skills and concepts throughout the sixth grade year.     

    Ann Arbor Public Schools is in the process of implementing the new Michigan Science Standards adopted in 2015, with an anticipated completion date of spring 2020. At that time, the Science program will align with new state assessments based on the Michigan Science Standards. As we are transitioning each year, shifts will be made in the curriculum. Units below are planned for the 2018-19 school years. 




    Structure and Properties of Matter - Particles
























    Space Systems: Sun, Earth, Moon System







    Earth’s Systems - Geoscience









    Weather and Climate – Earth Systems






    Earth Systems/Human Impact: Land and Water/Fruitvale







    Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems



    Amy Deller-Antieau

    District Science Department Chair
  • 2018-19 Sixth Grade Science Units

    This unit is an introduction to the particulate nature of matter. Students will use the context of how smells travel to investigate the role of particles and their motion in explaining how matter behaves. Students are introduced to the idea that matter is composed of particles (atoms and molecules) that are attracted to each other and in constant motion. Students develop models to represent the particles and motions within solids, liquids, and gases. Initially, students can have different types of models, and should gradually acknowledge the particle-based model as the one that accounts for all of the phenomena they study in class. The main features of this model are: 1) substances are made of particles; 2) there is empty space between the particles in a gaseous state, (particles are not attached to each other); 3) particles are moving constantly. Students will use their models to explain phase change. Because energy is required for phase change, students will investigate the role of average kinetic energy as it impacts phase change. By the end of this unit, students will understand that “state of matter” characterizes a bulk of particles in terms of distances between particles, movement and speed, and arrangement. Explaining state of matter and phase changes by using the developed model also demonstrates to the students how scientists use models to explain phenomena. By doing so, the model itself is revised and refined—including aspects that were not part of the original model. Learn more on Atlas: Structure and Properties of Matter - Particles     

    The Sun-Earth-Moon system has patterns of motion that can explain what we see in our sky (moon phases & eclipses) and what we experience as seasons. Students will generate and examine several models to refine their understanding of scale and patterns.                         Learn more on Atlas: Space Systems: Sun, Earth, Moon System

    Students will examine geoscience processes and their effects on Earth's surface at varying times and spatial scales. Large scale changes in the Earth's crust require large scale energy transformations. Skill development includes identifying appropriate evidence to document and describe these changes. Students will develop and use models to explain these phenomena.    Learn more on Atlas: Earth's Systems: Geoscience 

    Students will use storms as the context for exploring the effects of uneven heating and energy distribution in the atmosphere. They will examine the role of ocean currents, the water cycle, and convection currents in redistributing energy throughout the earth systems.                      Learn more on Atlas: Weather and Climate - Earth Systems 

    Using a stream table, students will explore different interactions between land and water. They will learn how water shapes the land and, in turn, how land directs the flow of water. Students will use these ideas to help them determine the extent of a groundwater contaminant and select an environmental clean up plan. Learn more on Atlas: Earth's Systems/Human Impact: Land and Water/Fruitvale 

    Students will consider what happens when a new species is introduced into an ecosystem as they model ecological relationships within an ecosystem, simulate the effect of competition, predation and other factors on population size, and investigate local ecosystems.               Learn more on Atlas: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems