Mr. Barnhart - Sixth Grade

Hello My Name Is...

Mr. Barnhart

Good looking dude

My field of study at UC Berkeley was history, and I continue to learn of the Ancient World alongside the students in my classes. I make it a goal each year to instill in each student a sense of awe and gratitude for those who carved the characteristics of our society. I have taught for sixteen years, including the last six years here at Akers. I am currently teaching English Language Arts, Reading, and Social Studies.  

All assignments, links, and homework can be found at the following site:

Social Studies
The study of ancient civilizations in the sixth grade is intended to expand the students understanding of ancient history by studying the people and events that ushered in the dawn of the major ancient civilizations. Political, cultural, and physical geography will be a major theme in the learning environment. Continued emphasis will be placed on the everyday lives, problems, and accomplishments of people, their role in developing social, economic, and political structures, as well as in establishing and spreading ideas that helped transform the world. Students develop higher levels of critical thinking by considering why civilizations developed where and when they did, why they became dominant, and why they declined.

Students will understand what was learned of the early physical and cultural development of mankind from the Paleolithic era to the Agricultural Revolution. Students will review the geographic, political, economic, religious and social structures of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Kush, the ancient Hebrews, Greece, China, and Rome.

Language Arts
The goal is to encourage intellectual, social, and emotional growth for our students while meeting and/or exceeding the Common Core Standards. Students will attain skills in narrative, informational and argumentative reading and writing.  I will support student learning by incorporating units of study in reading and writing and through continuous collaboration among staff and students surrounding next steps. The class focuses on encouraging critical thinking, multi-level analysis and synthesis, understanding perspectives on themes made available by literature, responses to reading, relating
text to self and world, promotion of interdisciplinary connections, problem-solving to support intellectual autonomy, and emphasis on the value of process over product.

Reading and writing units will support students as they work through personal narratives, fiction, non-fiction, test prep, and literary and content-based research essays. Additional grammar work will be taught dependent on the student’s writing and reading levels. Students will be taught and encouraged to achieve sixth grade Common Core Standards for reading, writing, speaking and listening and language.

A good learning experience is built on a cooperative effort among parent, child, and teacher. I look forward to the work and growth we will accomplish this year. I would like to encourage you in several ways to assist your child in the area of reading, with the following activities:

  • Read with your child and around your child.
  • Encourage your child to read for pleasure.
  • Discuss what your child reads, what you read together, and where appropriate, what you are reading.

At the beginning of the school year, the students in my reading class will review vocabulary strategies such as context clues, word roots, prefixes, etc. The students will also be introduced to various story elements, such as: plot, theme, protagonist, antagonist etc.

I require at least one book report a quarter, which will be completed in class. We will also complete one ARL book per trimester; students will be given a computer-based assessment on this book.

Throughout the school year, I introduce the students to a variety of literature and genre through the literature book, articles, and core literature books. I also train the students on how to work in literature circles, and model the different jobs of clarifier, director, questioner, etc. The students are then able to do this throughout the year with each piece of literature. This reinforces vocabulary development, word analysis, comprehension, etc. I also continually use graphic organizers to map out stories, compare and contrast, and sequence different literature throughout the year.

Students will have a study guide to go along with each piece of literature, which reinforces literary elements, vocabulary, and comprehension. These literary pieces will be read and discussed in class. Occasionally, if students are not able to complete in-class work, homework will be assigned to ensure completion.

On a daily basis the students are asked to determine cause and effect, fact and opinion, make a prediction, find the main idea, and draw conclusions from each piece of literature, either verbally or in written form. The students also reinforce the literature they have read through various projects, such as story quilts, poetry, letter writing, diorama report, graphs, reports, role-playing etc.

There will be independent reading homework Monday- Thursday nights. In addition, vocabulary activities will be available on the QUIA Website to give students the opportunity to commit those words and meanings to memory. You may find the homework at the sixth grade QUIA Web-Site at:

Feel free to contact me for any questions via e-mail at