Mater Dei Academy

Mater Dei Academy

Moral ValuesDiscoveryAchievement

Junior High

Junior High Religion: Worship, Message, Community, Service

6th Grade

The main focus of the 6th grade curriculum is learning about the roots of our faith through the study of the Old Testament. Students discover our heritage from the creation story to the coming of the kingdom, pondering its meaning for us today.

Jesus is seen as the fulfillment of the scriptures. The students will come to know Jesus through Worship, Message, Community, and Service as they participate in and actively plan liturgies, proclaim the Good News, share and listen to one another, and actively participate in community service.

7th Grade Religion Curriculum

  • Focuses on Jesus in New Testament; how the life, values and mission of Jesus guide students through an understanding of the sacraments and the seasons of the Church.
  • Acknowledges the challenges facing our students and focuses on coming to know who Jesus, Mary and the saints are and how they relate to us even today.
  • Students take what they learn through the life of Jesus to aid in good moral decision making.
  • The Spiritual Works of Mercy become the lens as to how the students view Jesus and their cause to ministry and service.
  • Explore the 4 strands through:
  1. Through Worship the students will be able to identify the liturgical seasons, colors and the meanings within the liturgical year.
  2. Through the Message of Jesus, the students will be able to relate to the coming of Jesus through parables, corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Through discussion students will learn how to become better decision makers.
  3. In Community the students will come to know Jesus, Mary, saints and Gospel values through the appreciation of the parish and diocese as a community of faith. (Service to one another, soup kitchens, St. Vincent De Paul.)
  4. Service– create, plan and carry out a service project. Reflect and journal about the works of God’s mercy.


 8th Grade Religion Curriculum

  • Core focus of the 8th grade curriculum is joining all major themes together: God-Jesus-Holy Spirit-Church-Sacred Scripture-Sacraments- Christian Living.
  • Explores the 4 strands in Religious Curriculum: Worship, Message, Community and Service.
  1. The students will be able to recall the Beatitudes, Cardinal virtues of the Church, the Ten Commandments, recall the 7 principal teachings of the Church all through the Message of the Church’s teaching.
  2. The students will participation in their recollection of the sacraments, liturgy planning, participate in prayer services all through Worship within the Church. (Living Stations)
  3. Student will become better moral decision makers, through listening and sharing of personal stories with one another as well as Journaling and reflection writing within their School (Christmas project presents and Operation Keepsake.)
  4. Service to one another; vocation seeking and life choices will be presented through our Service to one another, our community and our message of worship to Christ.


Junior High Math

As we begin to move toward the new common core standards, students are expected to develop critical thinking skills as well as work on collaboration with each other. In order to accomplish this, students are given word problems where they can apply skills learned in class. They are given opportunities to solve these problems individually and in groups. Students will be evaluated not only on the correct answer, but also on the ability to explain how they arrived at their answer.

All students are required to keep a notebook with math vocabulary and will be given quizzes on them.

Eighth grade students have the option of taking Pre-Algebra or 9th grade Algebra.


Junior High Language Arts

Language Arts in junior high includes Reading, Writing, Grammar, Vocabulary, and Presentations.
Each year students continue to build on previous years and in the 8th grade, students have the option of taking 9th Grade English.

Reading: Students improve reading comprehension as they explore worlds near, far, real and imaginary through the study of literature.

Writing: Students create works of fiction and nonfiction and work toward mastery of the expository essay.

Grammar: Students will learn correct punctuation and usage to maximize the clarity and strength of our oral and written communication.

Vocabulary: Students don’t just learn new words, they learn spelling, pronunciation, use, parts of speech, synonyms, and antonyms.

Presentations: Students research and present original multi-media works. They practice public speaking and have the chance to participate in dramatic productions.

Junior High Science

The Science curriculum focus on three major areas: Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth and Space Science. All junior high students participate in a Science Fair usually held in January.

6th Grade

Life Science
• Students learn about cell function, specialized cells, tissue, organs, and organ systems and the difference between animal cells and plant cells
• The study of genetics is introduced as students learn how traits are passed down from generation to generation

Physical Science
• Students focus on the properties of density as well as chemical and physical change of matter
• Renewable and non-renewable energy resources are investigated

Earth and Space Science
• Students study the interior structure of the Earth, major geological events, weather and erosion, folding, faulting, tectonic plates, plate boundaries, and the rock cycle

7th Grade

Life Science
• Students learn how to classify plants and animals
• The process of photosynthesis is investigated
• Adaptations of organisms are considered as well as how human activity and natural occurences affect the transfer of energy

Physical Science
• Areas of study include atomic structure, periodic table, particle movement, potential and kinetic energy as well as energy transformation and energy forms
Earth and Space Science
• Weather predictions are made based on clouds and fronts
• The cycles of the earth are investigated including how the Earth naturally recovers
• Students learn about climate and how climates shape and determine biomes

8th Grade

Life Science
• Genetics is investigated further with the study of heredity, DNA, and genes
• Evolution theory is studied through the success and survival of organisms in a particular environment due to their successful adaptations

Physical Science
• Newton’s Three Laws of Motion are investigated as well as the transfer of energy through waves

Earth and Space Science
• Students focus on the Solar System and objects found within it
• Students learn about tools used to study the universe

Junior High Social Studies

All students begin the academic year with an in depth introduction/review of geography and related terms. Students draw an initial world map from memory and use it as a baseline accomplishment marker to be compared to increasingly complex and accurate maps completed throughout the school year.

6th Grade

World History: Ancient Civilizations

Study begins with the earliest human societies and continues with Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, The Hebrew Kingdoms, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, The Birth of Christianity, and the fall of The Roman Empire.

7th Grade

World History: Foundations of Western Ideas through to the Twentieth Century

Students begin with an in-depth study of Greece and Rome and then move on to the Islamic World and Early African Civilizations followed by the Empires of Asia and the Americas.

The second part of the school year is spent studying the Middle Ages, the Early Modern World, and The Modern World with its revolutions, and global challenges.

8th Grade

American History: Beginnings to 1877

Unit 1: American Beginnings

The world before the opening of the Atlantic
The age of exploration

Unit 2: Colonies in the Americas

The English Colonies
New Empires in the Americas

Unit 3: The Colonies Break Free

Conflicts in the colonies
The American Revolution

followed by

Building a New Strong Nation
Westward Expansion
Civil War

In addition, students will read independently from a list of pre-approved books.