6th Grade

At Tatnall, each Middle School student will learn the importance of analysis, synthesis, problem-solving and evaluation. Eight teachers and specialists make up the first two years—part one of the Middle School program—to provide developmental guidance for each student. Classes integrate field trips, guest speakers and an overall equal balance of the arts, athletics and the following core subjects:
  • Humanities
  • Global Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • World Language
  • Technology
  • The Arts: Visual, Drama and Music
  • Physical Education, Health and Wellness
  • Athletics
Extra! As Middle School students, Tatnall's fifth and sixth graders have opportunities for outdoor recess every day, purchase lunch from the Buzz Bar and participate in clubs on a regular basis.
 

List of 9 items.

  • Humanities & Global Studies

    Global Studies help students learn about the past while understanding the present. Students learn not only the facts, but also the significance and interrelated nature of world events. Students develop crucial reading, writing, note-taking, research, presentation and study skills. Both subjects, Humanities and Global Studies, teach our students valuable concepts including events and sequencing, characterization, reading comprehension and point of view.

     
    6th Grade, Humanities
    In sixth grade, students are prompted to ask questions and develop ideas, which they support with facts and details from their research and reading. Split up into three integrated and thematic units: Asia, the Middle East, and Delaware, students read various novels and participate in global studies, hands-on research projects and field trips. A few samples of sixth grade assigned reading are as follows:

    • "Year of Impossible Goodbyes" by Sook Nyul Choi, set in Korea, and "Red Scarf Girl" by Ji-li Jiang, set in China
    • "1001 Arabian Nights" retold by Geraldine McCaughrean, set in Central Asia
    • "True North" by Kathryn Lasky, set in pre–Civil War United States
    6th Grade, Global Studies
    Sixth grade Global Studies opens with a brief review of World Geography and introduces the concept of culture and how it develops. It closes with the Delaware Unit, a unit designed by Tatnall to help prepare students for seventh grade U.S. history, where students visit many historical locations in the Delaware region, welcome guest speakers and write a research paper on a famous Delawarean. Throughout the year, students focus intensely on Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East. Lessons involve:
     
    China, Japan, and the Koreas:

    • Study of the subcontinent: Ancient civilizations, interactions with the rest of the world, culture study, modern issues and current events with individual country study

    The Middle East:

    • Research project, artistic component, and presentation about an assigned country. Study of the religions that developed in the region, as well as their historical and modern interactions. 

    Specific skills that will be continually refined and improved include:

    • Organization
    • Research
    • Creativity
    • Listening
    • Appreciation of World Cultures
    • Respect and Kindness
    • Collaboration and Teamwork
    • Writing a Research Paper
    • Note-taking
    • Map Study
    • Presentation Skills
    • Following Directions
    • Meeting Written Expectations
    • Critical Thinking
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Writing with Purpose
    • Underlining, Highlighting and Outlining
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  • Mathematics

    The math program at Tatnall engages and excites the students in math. Classroom sizes are smaller than average, allowing teachers to work with the students in one-on-one, small group, and full class situations to meet individual student needs. 

    6th Grade, Mathematics
    Sixth grade math focuses on enhancing numerical reasoning and algebraic thinking skills by using formulas and problem-solving, while also developing scientific calculator skills. Sixth grade math students also acquire an introduction to financial fluency through the BizTown Junior Achievement program. By the end of sixth grade, students are proficient in the following areas:
     
    • Evaluating Algebraic Expressions
    • Solving One-step Algebraic Equations and Inequalities
    • Analyzing and Interpret Graphs and Data
    • Gaining an Understanding of Rational Numbers
    • Adding, Subtracting, Multiplying and Dividing Integers
    • Exploring Real-world Problems through Learning Projects
    • Understanding of Geometric Concepts from the Previous Year: Exploring Surface Area, and Volume of Three-dimensional Figures
     
    Sixth graders use the enVisionmath program, teacher-designed projects as well as online resources and Getting Ready for Algebra. 
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  • Science

    Active engagement and exploration is key when it comes to the sciences at Tatnall. Whether they’re analyzing the movement of water through the water cycle or examining specimens to investigate cell structures, students develop process skills that will help them solve problems not only in a higher academic level, but in their everyday lives.
     
    6th Grade, Science
    In the sixth grade, problem-solving is a common theme as students are expected to put it all under a microscope and really grasp various scientific subjects. From understanding Newton’s three laws of motion to learning how to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, students will find the answers to all their questions in all things biological and physical.
     
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  • World Languages

    At Tatnall, students are exposed to a variety of world languages while developing a curiosity for various countries, cultures, and languages. Students spend a trimester learning each new language, becoming familiar with sounds and vocabulary.
     
    Tatnall offers classes in the following languages:
     
    • Spanish
    • French
    • Latin
    6th Grade, World Language
    Well-known fairy tales provide the vocabulary and framework for the curriculum. Pronunciation and fluency are facilitated by the use of a gesture method. Words or phrases are given gestures which extend across the three languages.  Performances of the fairytales studies are the culminating activities of each term.  After rotating through the languages in sixth grade, students are well prepared to select their language for formal study in seventh grade.  
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  • Technology

    The Tatnall School is committed to enhancing the education of its students by enabling them to actively use technologycomputers, iPads, graphing calculators, 3D printers and green screens. We believe that effective and creative integration of technology can strengthen a student’s critical thinking, problem-solving and collaborations skills. Other technology software and programs include:
     
    • Google Drive: Docs, Slides, Sheets
    • Microsoft Word
    • Microsoft Excel
    • Microsoft PowerPoint
    • SMART Board Technology
    • Scratch
    • Codeacademy
    • Typing Tutor
    • Makey-Makey
    • Digital Citizenship
    • Common Sense Quizzes
    • Linda Research/Citations
     
    6th Grade, Technology  
    The focus of the first part of the year is on digital citizenship, developing research reports, building presentations and practicing keyboarding skills. Computer classes integrate with Humanities, Global Studies and art projects for a cross-curricular experience.
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  • Visual Arts

    Art is an important way for our students to explore, understand and evaluate their creative abilities. Thanks to a comprehensive and well-balanced visual art program, our students are exposed to different media, processes and cross-curricular connections. All Middle School students will learn how to use a variety of art media to communicate their ideas visually through rewarding experiences that stimulate their imaginations.
     
    6th Grade, Visual Arts
    In sixth grade art, students explore various artists, techniques and materials, while learning to appreciate the cultural significance of art history and developing a sense of ownership as an artist. They develop the foundation of artistic skills and critical thinking through the study of: 

    • Drawing
    • Painting
    • Graphic design
    • Sculpture
    • Art history
    Students are immersed in multiple interdisciplinary projects from the first day of school until the end of the year. The year includes many special events related to the visual arts; a particular highlight is the sixth grade art show featuring their one-of-a-kind masterpiece re-creations! 
     
     
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  • Choral Music

    6th Grade, Choral Music
    All students in grade six participate in chorus. They learn foundational vocal techniques as well as fundamentals in musicianship, take enrichment classes in musical styles and study composers’ lives. The Ensembles generally sing in two- and three-part with a wide range of styles (classical to spirituals). Students meet three times weekly for 35 minutes.
  • Instrumental Music

    Tatnall provides endless instrumental music opportunities for students throughout their Middle School years. The program teaches students about music in a fun and enriching manner. Students explore varied musical concepts including melody, harmony, expression, theory and form through performance on an instrument. Our goal is to develop students’ technical mastery of their instrument and to provide opportunities for public performances.  

    6th Grades, Instrumental Groups
    Instrumental music begins in fifth grade with either band or string ensemble. Teachers and students work together to select an instrument that is most suitable for the child to play. The curriculum for the ensembles progresses through the years from establishing how to produce a clear sound while performing basic rhythms and simple melodies, to performing more complex music in varied parts and harmonies. These instrumental studies also integrate:
     
    • Ear training
    • Music theory
    • Music history
     
    Students will have a deep understanding of teamwork and learning in this supportive atmosphere.
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  • Physical Education

    6th Grade, Physical Education
    Fifth and sixth grade physical education focuses on a skill-based curriculum that emphasizes the progression of individual skills. Students are exposed to a variety of different team sports as well as lifetime activities that will promote physical fitness. There is also a health and wellness component interwoven into our physical education instruction. Topics range from decision-making skills to nutrition and body awareness.

7th & 8th Grade

Students in seventh and eighth grade are beginning the transition to young adulthood, taking greater responsibilities and accepting more challenges for their academic growth. Students engage in world language and core classes, while regularly participating in clubs of their own choosing.
 
At Tatnall, each student will learn the importance of analysis, synthesis, problem-solving and evaluation. Eight teachers and specialists make up the second two years—part two of middle school program—to provide developmental guidance for each student. Not only does the middle school program at Tatnall limit to academics, but also encourages the arts and athletics for a balance and holistic approach:
 
  • English
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • World Language
  • Technology 
  • The Arts: Visual, Drama and Music
  • Physical Education, Health and Wellness
  • Athletics
Extra! Seventh and eighth graders have outdoor recess every day (weather permitting) and may purchase lunch from the Buzz Bar located in the Beekley Building.  

List of 9 items.

  • English & History

    In the second half of Middle School, students write in a variety of forms, dedicating attention to learning new vocabulary and correct grammar usage. Many lessons are combined in English and history, and this integration permits students to have profound understanding of assigned narratives and their historical settings and conditions. Database research, movies, visiting speakers and out-of-state field trips are supplemental to these programs. Students will come out of this program advancing skill sets in the following areas:
     
    • Creativity
    • Collaboration and Teamwork
    • Communication
    • Leadership
    • Cultural awareness
    • Research
    • Presentation
    • Study skills
    • Interpreting maps
    • Distinguishing between fact and fiction
    • Organizing notes
    • Writing and thinking analytically about history
     
    7th Grade, English
    In the classroom, students work on several projects in conjunction with history classes to enable them to make connections between novels and their historical context. Literacy is key at The Tatnall School, and that’s why the English program focuses on the following areas:
    • Speaking
    • Listening
    • Reading
    • Writing Process
     
    After collaborating with a visiting author, students will have the opportunity to write a children’s book for their kindergarten pals. During English class, all students will tap into the following areas:
     
    • Literature
    • Vocabulary
    • Grammar/Mechanics: parts of speech, punctuation, direct/indirect speech
    • Writing: sentence structure, paragraphs, essays
    • Public Speaking: 7th Grade Speech
    • PALS program (link to PS section about PALs)
     
    8th Grade, English
    During the year, students work on several projects in conjunction with history classes to enable them to make connections between novels and their historical context. This program continues to emphasize the writing process as they research, write and deliver a formal speech to the entire middle school. Grammar study remains a focus, as does learning new vocabulary and the following seven areas:
     
    • Literature
    • Vocabulary
    • Grammar: phrases and clauses, punctuation
    • Writing: word choice, transitional words, sentence structure, paragraphs, essays
    • Public Speaking: 8th Grade Speech
    • 8th Grade Play
     
    7th Grade, History
    In seventh grade United States History, the study of the nation’s story continues chronologically and thematically through topics including the challenges and successes of the period of colonization, the development and structure of American government and the exploration of the West. During seventh grade history class, students develop skills in the following areas:
     
    • Research
    • Presentation
    • Study Skills
    • Interpreting Maps
    • Distinguishing between Fact and Fiction
    • Organizing Notes
    • Writing and Thinking Analytically about History
     
    8th Grade, History
    Eighth grade United States History begins with a brief review of the topics studies in seventh grade History, such as the causes and effects of the Civil War, the Era of Reconstruction and the development of the new South, and the West. The study of American history continues by tracing the U.S.’s social, political and economic transformation into one of the world’s most influential nations.
     
    Along the way, students continue to develop research, presentation and study skills, including identifying and analyzing cause and effect relationships, interpreting maps, distinguishing between fact and fiction, taking and organizing notes, and writing and thinking analytically about history. To enhance students’ expertise about our nation’s history, eighth graders will travel to the following destinations:
     
    • The United Nations
    • The Tenement Museum in NY and DC
    • The Holocaust Memorial Museum
    • Newseum
    • The White House
    • The US Capitol
    • Arlington National Cemetery
    • Smithsonian 
    Read More
  • Math

    Pre-Algebra
    In seventh grade, our primary goals are to further develop students’ study skills, to build confidence in their abilities to solve problems, to understand and apply the concepts presented and develop an excitement for math. We encourage students to use correct mathematical vocabulary when communicating about or presenting a mathematics problem, and design homework for them to practice concepts learned in class.
                       
    This course is divided into four units:
     
    • Integers, Equations and Inequalities
    • Rational Numbers and Proportions
    • Functions, Geometry and Measurement
    • Data Analysis, Polynomials and Transformations
                       
    The textbook we use is Holt McDougal Larson Pre-Algebra. We use an electronic version of the textbook and use online resources to enhance the lessons. In addition to the textbook, students use a TI-84 graphing calculator. We assess students by homework, classwork, projects, quizzes and tests. After successfully completing this course, students are prepared to take Algebra.
         
    Algebra
    Built on a strong foundation of Pre-Algebra, students build a positive attitude toward mathematics. We use real-life examples, challenging problems and problem-solving strategies, while we design homework for students to practice concepts learned in class. We encourage students to use correct mathematical vocabulary when communicating about or presenting a mathematics problem.
                       
    This course is divided into four units:
     
    • Equations in One Variable
    • Equations in Two Variables
    • Exponential and Quadratic Functions
    • Radical and Rational Functions
                       
    The textbook we use is Holt McDougal Larson Algebra. We use an electronic version of the textbook and use online resources to enhance the lessons. In addition to the textbook, students use a TI-84 graphing calculator. We assess students by homework, classwork, projects, quizzes and tests. After successfully completing this course, students are prepared to take Geometry.
     
    Algebra 1 is offered to seventh grade students who have proven to be academically talented.
     
    Geometry
    Geometry combines an integrated approach with algebra and an investigative approach with hands-on and computer activities, develops logical reasoning, and connects with meaningful applications to the real world. Students learn the building blocks of geometry, such as points, lines, planes and postulates. With great support and attention of teachers, students review geometry and extend algebraic topics such as:
     
    • Slope and Linear Equations
    • Triangles, Quadrilaterals and Parallelograms
    • Interactions between Circles, Lines and Angles
    • Pythagorean Theorem and Right Triangles
    • Trigonometry
    • Ratios and Proportions
    • Matrix Arithmetic
    • Algebraic Representations
    • Two-dimensional and Three-dimensional Objects
     
    Geometry is offered to eighth grade students who have proven to be academically talented, Students completing this course are prepared for Algebra 2.
  • Science

    The goal of the Tatnall Middle School Science program is to engage students in the study of living organisms and the physical world using the methods and techniques of scientists, while giving them freedom to voice their own opinions during the experimentation process. Middle schoolers are encouraged to use the Tatnall campus: streams, woods, fields and natural habitat gardens during lessons and projects. Students work together, developing academic relationships and social skills, within the laboratory-based program. They investigate the world of science using the following steps in logical processes:
     
    • Issues
    • Research
    • Development of Hypotheses
    • Data Collection Using Controlled Experiments
    • Drawing Conclusions Based on Student Data
     
    7th Grade, Science
    Seventh grade Life Science students use the methods and techniques of scientists to study living organisms and the biological systems that support them. In seventh grade Science, students prepare for eighth grade Science by conducting controlled experiments, collecting and analyzing data, and writing their first formal lab report.
     
    Seventh graders engage in the following in-class projects:
    • Winter Bird Feeder Data-collection Program
    • Collecting “Leaf Packs” from their Stream Plot and Analyzing the Health of the Tatnall Stream
    • Discussions about the Year-long Study of Marked Plots in the Tatnall Woods
    • Actual or Virtual Frog Dissection
     
    8th Grade, Science
    Students begin the study of Introductory Physical Science (IPS), a subject focused on students developing a knowledge of physical science and the way scientific knowledge is acquired, within a laboratory setting. The laboratory experience and the reasoning, communication and writing skills attained, combined with the in-depth understanding of physical science concepts and the use of technology in scientific analysis, provide students a solid basis for success in higher-level science courses such as Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
     
    • Volume and Mass
    • Characteristic Properties
    • Distinguish and Separate Substances Based their Properties
    • The Study of Atomic Theory
    Read More
  • World Languages

    Supporting your middle schooler in learning a world language is beneficial in many ways as it helps linguistics, cognitive and creative abilities. At Tatnall, students in seventh and eighth grades experience the formal study of the world language of their choice. These classes meet every day and are considered a core subject. Seventh and eighth grade language is the equivalent of Level 1 in the Upper School. In alternating years, students have the opportunity to participate in a 10-day trip to explore France and Spain!

    7th Grade, Spanish
    In seventh grade, students learn to confidently communicate about themselves in everyday situations. An appreciation for culture is developed through authentic readings, art and music, as well as subject-related media.
     
    8th Grade, Spanish
    Eighth graders continue to develop their language skills through more sophisticated tasks. In a communicative classroom setting, students expand on the following: 
    • Master of Vocabulary
    • New Grammatical Concepts
    • Verb Tenses
    • Culture
     
    7th Grade, French
    In seventh grade, students begin their formal study of the French language. Building their proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking, students learn to confidently communicate about themselves in everyday situations.
     
    8th Grade, French
    In eighth grade, students build upon the foundation laid in seventh grade, continuing to develop their language skills through more advanced tasks. They dive deeper into French culture, embark upon a virtual trip to Paris and even study a French film!
     
    7th Grade, Latin
    In seventh grade, the introduction to formal Latin study is designed to provide the language tools necessary for translating, recognizing and using Latin derivatives to improve vocabulary and make connections between the Romans and contemporary American culture. Latin middle school students have the opportunity to join at least five other private schools for a Latin Day event involving chariot races, Roman food, academic contests and athletic events!
     
    8th Grade, Latin
    In eighth grade, there is more emphasis on sight translation and the subtler aspects of Latin grammar. Students are greatly supported by their teachers and fellow classmates. At the end of 8th grade Latin, students are ready to move seamlessly into Latin II after further exploration of the Latin roots of our own:
     
    • Language
    • Laws
    • Entertainment
    • Literature
    • Mythology: Understanding of English Literature, History and Art 
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  • Technology

    To be adequately prepared for the technological world we live in all seventh and eighth grade students explore, create and refine their research, web page creation, word processing, spreadsheet and presentation skills. Students have many opportunities to use the following software: MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, Adobe Creative Suite, coding programs such as Code Academy, electronic research and data base tools, such as Common Sense Media and Digital Citizenship to learn best practices with media use. 

    7th Grade, Computers and Life Skills
    Seventh graders Life Skills curriculum, focusing on two main topics: tolerance and social issues. Students through the research and preparation of extensive multimedia presentations about social issues relevant to teenagers. These projects help students develop effective collaboration skills, improve their note-taking and refine their preparation of references. Students may have opportunities to use softwares and programs such as:
     
    • Google Drive: Docs, Slides, Sheets
    • Linda Research/Citations
    • Digital Citizenship
    • Codeacademy
    • Photoshop
    • Green Screen
    • iMovie
    • Vimeo
     
    8th Grade, Computers and Companies
    In the eighth grade, students become marketing professionals, taking part in a project-based unit in which they research and report on an existing company and create their own fictitious company. Students are able to view their company online and present ideas to the class! Students may have opportunities to continue their skill sets in softwares and programs such as:
     
    • Google Drive: Docs, Slides, Sheets
    • Linda Research/Citations
    • Digital Citizenship
    • Codeacademy
    • Photoshop
    • Green Screen
    • iMovie
    • Vimeo
     
    Students will also learn the ins and outs of:
     
    • Logo Design
    • Product Creation
    • Costs and Pricings
    • Marketing Strategies
    • Profit and Loss Statements
    • Publishing and Copyrighting
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  • Visual Arts

    Art is an important way for our students to explore, understand and evaluate their creative abilities. Thanks to a comprehensive and well-balanced visual art program, our students are exposed to different media, processes and cross-curricular connections. All Middle School students will learn how to use a variety of art media to communicate their ideas visually through rewarding experiences that stimulate their imaginations.
    7th Grade, Visual Arts
    Seventh graders learn about making connections and collaborating, gaining a sense of awareness of the vital role art plays in the world. Integration of cross-curricular core subjects such as history, math, English and science plays an important part in the development projects throughout the year. In seventh grade art, students focus on further developing their artistic skills in various integrated lessons that include: 

    • Art vocabulary
    • Creativity
    • Concepts of design
    • Painting
    • Collage-making
    • Drawing
    • Printmaking
    • Art history, art appreciation and crtical thinking

    8th Grade, Visual Arts
    In eighth grade art, students are encouraged to take risks, experiment and explore their inner creative voices to help prepare them for future success in the fine arts. Students spend all year working towards producing a variety of pieces to be showcased at the end-of year-eighth grade art show. The primary focus is to build a personal sense of aesthetics, accountability and appreciation for the arts. Field trips to art museums are supplementary to lessons and projects, encouraging inspiration and deeper knowledge of art forms and movements. Eight graders work with advanced mediums and techniques while exploring a variety of processes such as:  

    • Painting
    • Sculpting
    • Photography
    • Ceramics
    • Three-dimensional art
    • Graphic design
    • Composition technique
    • The elements of art
    • Principles of design
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  • Choral Music

    7th and 8th Grades, Choral Music
    More than 90 percent of the students in grades 7 and 8 participate in Chorus. They learn foundational vocal techniques as well as fundamentals in musicianship. They sing three-part and four-part music with a wide range of styles. Students meet two times per week in full ensemble and two times per week for sectionals. They may participate in both band and chorus: Students who are in chorus meet with the full band at least twice a week. In the second half of the year, small chorus ensembles are divided by gender, allowing an additional experience of singing in a boys’ and girls’ choir
     
    Treble Choir
    Treble Choir selects students in grades 7 and 8. The Treble Choir sings in two- and three-part music in a wide variety of styles and languages for girls and boys with unchanged voices. Students meet for a combined time of 40 minutes twice a week in the middle of the day. They are often featured at special events like the Admissions Open House and the Talent Night at The Queen.
  • Instrumental Music

    Tatnall provides endless instrumental music opportunities for students throughout their Middle School years. The program teaches students about music in a fun and enriching manner. Students explore varied musical concepts including melody, harmony, expression, theory and form through performance on an instrument. Our goal is to develop students’ technical mastery of their instrument and to provide opportunities for public performances.  
    7th and 8th Grade, Instrumental Groups
    The seventh and eighth grade Symphonic Band and String Ensemble builds upon the strong musical foundation established in previous grade levels. Starting in seventh grade, students may choose to participate in both choral and instrumental groups, meeting with each group at least twice a week. In seventh and eighth grade, repertoire is more challenging and diverse, and there are more opportunities for students to work in small groups, perform both on and off campus and audition for honor groups such as the All-State Ensembles. Students will learn a wider vocabulary of musical techniques and terms, and will be challenged to collaborate with one another to perform both with and without a teacher/conductor. 
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  • Physical Education

    7th and 8th Grades, Physical Education
    Seventh and eighth grade students continue to develop their athletic skills. They learn the rules and strategies of team sports, as well as the importance of active participation and sportsmanship. In addition, they learn the importance of cardiovascular fitness; all students learn how to safely use the fitness center equipment, study weight-training techniques and gain an appreciation for the importance of cardiovascular health. 

    In eighth grade, the students have a Health and Wellness class that focuses on health-related topics such as drug education, nutrition and sexuality education. This is based upon making healthy decisions and creating a platform to discuss a variety of topics.

    7th & 8th Grades, Athletics
    Starting in seventh grade and continuing through twelfth grade, students are required to participate in two sports per year. The program emphasizes skill development, teamwork, participation and sportsmanship. All students who sign up for a team participate and will receive playing time in games. Practices and games are scheduled for after school, and there are planned breaks between the seasons.


Signature Experiences



Our students are exposed to countless educational and social opportunities that result in a memorable Middle School experience: 

  • "Abuelito Who" Poetry Readings
  • NEXUS Study of the 1920s and 1930s
  • French, Spanish and Latin Folk Tale Performances
  • Bird Identification Project - Featured in the Washington Post!
  • Alka-Seltzer® Rockets
  • Family History Scrapbook
  • Make a Difference (MAD) Dash Community Service Project
  • Children's Literature and Illustration Assignment
  • Robotics Models
  • Middle Eastern Cultural Experience
  • Stock Market Project 

Advisory

Students not only have their teachers in the classroom, but have them assigned as advisors, too! Each Middle School student at Tatnall is partnered with an advisor who collaborates with the student and family to answer questions and address concerns about performance and development. For two years, every student builds a strong and lasting relationship with the same advisor.