Sixth Grade

Biblical Geography (1 Semester) As a prelude to the study of the Old and New Testaments students explore the geography of the biblical lands. Students study the Ancient Near Eastern lands of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Palestine, Greece, Rome and Asia Minor.

Literature and Composition I (2 Semesters) Students develop their literary and compositional skills by reading, writing reflections, and studying Latin and Greek roots of the English language.  See our reading list for the literature of the course.

Minnesota History (2 Semesters) focuses on the history of the state of Minnesota from prehistoric times to the present. Some highlights in the course include field trips to major Minnesota historical sites and various exploratory projects.

World Geography (2 Semesters) Starting with the United States and moving through the world’s continents, students use latitude and longitude coordinates, memory devices, and practice exercises to learn the geography of a world region and draw maps of its major features. By the end of the year, students use their accumulated knowledge to draw a map of the world entirely from memory!

Mathematics and Logic (2 Semesters) Students are guided through the transition from the concrete, arithmetic thought of elementary school years to more general algebraic thought of the middle school years.  This transition starts with the study of fractions as numbers and continues with performing arithmetic operations on them and understanding their equivalent representations as decimals, percents and points on the number line. Horizontal enrichment is available for advanced students.

6th Grade Science (1 Semester) Students are introduced to science primarily through project-building, experimentation, and stories. Sections include lake, sea, and glacier ecology; the chemistry and nutrition of cooking; and simple machines. 

World Mythology (1 Semester) Student read and engage with Egyptian, Greek, Norse and Native American myths, developing knowledge of the stories and their characters, considering the different ways that these peoples tried to understand the world around them through stories. 

6th Grade Art (1 Semester) Students participate in units on the fundamentals of drawing and composition, the study of value, and the use of color. Each unit culminates in an original composition.

Homeroom (2 Semesters) Students have the opportunity in sixth grade to build critical academic skills in typing, penmanship, study strategies, and public performance skills. In addition to these, students have the opportunity to explore topics not otherwise covered in their classes. Homeroom also includes a weekly Music Appreciation course.

Seventh Grade

Prealgebra (2 Semesters) Students initially focus on numbers and their properties, especially integers, decimals, fractions and percentages. They are then introduced to elementary set theory and move on to geometric figures and their properties. Finally, they study linear equations. Horizontal enrichment is available for advanced students.

7th Grade Science (1 Semester) Students study a wide variety of topics including insects, astronomy, trees, rocks, mammals, plate tectonics, weather, plants, surface processes and birds. Observation and the development of a sense of wonder are foundational to the course. 

7th Grade Literature and Composition (2 Semesters) Students continue to learn how to read both poetry and longer fiction accurately and with engagement. They also begin their study of formal English grammar and learn how to write a coherent paragraph.  See our reading list for the literature of the course.

Ancient History (2 Semesters) Students explore early civilizations from the rise of the Sumerians around 3500 BC to the sack of Rome in 410 AD, with an emphasis upon the Greco-Roman civilizations. They are introduced to the significant questions and tensions of civilization itself, such as how to balance security and freedom and what features of a political arrangement best promote human thriving.

Old Testament (1 Semester) Students read many of the narrative accounts of the Old Testament. Emphasis is placed upon God’s establishment of a covenant with his people, the history of Israel, and the messianic hope.

Latin I (2 Semesters) Students begin their formal study of Latin by learning three of the groups (declensions) of nouns and adjectives and all verb groups (conjugations), including irregular verbs. Over the course of the year, students master a substantial vocabulary, understand elementary Latin grammar and acquire a basic skill in translating from English to Latin as well as from Latin to English.

Music I (1 Semester) Students study music theory and the history of the Baroque Era in music. They learn the rudiments of note-reading, note values and rhythm, time signatures, major scales and key signatures. By the end of the semester, students both perform individually in a recorder recital and write several elementary melodies.

Art I (1 Semester) Students begin with a unit on calligraphy, emphasizing basic pencil techniques and the use of color in illuminated word designs. They then learn to draw, with an emphasis on proper proportions and shading, and finish the semester by studying and practicing portraiture.

Eighth Grade

Algebra (2 Semesters) Students develop skills for solving equations with one and two variables, learn quadratic and linear equations and are introduced to functions and their graphic representations. The concepts and skills the students gain in this course are the foundation for all future mathematics at Trinity School. Horizontal enrichment is available for advanced students.

8th Grade Science (1 Semester) Students participate in project-based learning throughout the semester. Each student completes a major project on a topic from life, earth or space science. This project includes a written report and the construction of a three-dimensional model.

8th Grade Literature and Composition (2 Semesters) Throughout the year, students read and discuss literature,  develop a mastery of English grammar and punctuation, and learn how to write a formally organized paragraph that becomes the basis for later essays. See our reading list for the literature of the course.

Medieval History (1 Semester) Students study the history of Western Europe from roughly 200 BC to the beginning of the Renaissance, learning about the emergence and spread of Christianity in the Roman Empire, the development of modern nation-states from the collapsed Roman Empire, the role of the Catholic Church and its institutions in Western Europe, the struggles between the church and secular authorities and the conflict between Islam and Christian Europe.

New Testament (1 Semester) Students review the Old Testament claims about the end of Israel’s exile and then proceed with an in-depth reading of the Gospel of Mark as the story of God acting in the person of Jesus to fulfil his promises. They then read the Acts of the Apostles and excerpts from the Epistles and the Book of Revelation.

Latin II (2 Semesters) Students master the core grammar of Latin in eighth grade, learning the indicative forms of active and passive verbs, five noun declensions, adjectives, pronouns, adverbs and subordinate clauses. Learning new vocabulary and grammar is aimed increasingly at understanding the relationships of different parts of a sentence and at fluid translation of Latin stories.

Music II (1 Semester) Students build on the foundation laid in seventh grade, continuing playing the recorder (now in ensembles), studying the history of the Classical Era in music and building upon their music theory. Students perform in ensembles at the end of the semester and each writes a two-part composition.

Art II (1 Semester) Students review the drawing techniques learned in seventh grade then learn several new drawing skills and new techniques with colored pencils, pastels and watercolors.

Ninth Grade

Geometry (1 Semester) Students study the geometry of objects, including lines, triangles and circles. They are taught to extract mathematical information from visual images of geometrical objects, to understand the mathematical relationships between geometrical objects, and the structure and role of proofs in geometry. Horizontal enrichment is available for advanced students.

Precalculus (1 Semester) Students study the general concepts behind functions and the particular classes of functions: polynomial, rational, root, logarithmic, logistic and exponential. Functions are represented graphically, symbolically and numerically. The semester ends with a study of asymptotes and infinity.

Biology (2 Semesters) Students begin with a short introduction to the unifying themes of biology and follow this up with an inductive approach to the study of the plant and animal kingdoms. This is followed by a more substantial discussion of cell theory and genetics, followed by a unit on anatomy and physiology. The course concludes with a unit and project on ecology.

9th Grade Humane Letters Seminar (2 Semesters) Students study American history and letters from colonial times to the early 20th century, reading original texts, with special attention given to the foundational texts of American democracy. Students spend a significant amount of time developing the fundamental skills necessary to participate effectively in the seminar and to write a five-paragraph essay.  See our reading list for the literature of the course.

Doctrine (family choice) (2 Semesters) As a follow up to their reading of the Old and New Testaments, students continue their study of God’s work in the world by examing the history, traditions, and beliefs of their own denominations or traditions. Families choose between Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant Doctrine.

Roman Catholic Doctrine Students learn the beliefs, practices and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church as expressed in the Nicene Creed, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the sacraments. Students also study the history of the Catholic Church in the modern world.

Protestant Doctrine  Students survey pivotal events and influential figures in church history from the age of the apostles to contemporary times, following the concerns of the early church through the turbulent 16th century and the consequent rise of denominationalism and ecumenism. Each student then participates in an independent study of the foundations, doctrines and practices of their own denomination or tradition.

Eastern Orthodox Doctrine Students study the practices, traditions and special emphases of the Eastern Orthodox traditions with special emphasis upon the councils of the church and the liturgy.

Latin III (2 Semesters) Students begin with an eight-week review of the grammar learned in the seventh and eighth grades. They are introduced to complex sentence constructions, including the use of subjunctive clauses. Gerunds and gerundives are introduced. Students are prepared to translate Caesar, Cicero and Virgil in the tenth grade.

Music III (2 semesters) Students apply the musical skills developed in the seventh and eighth grades to the study of choral music. They develop healthy vocal technique, learn how to read a choral score and perform in an ensemble. They also continue their study of music theory and composition, culminating in a four-part vocal piece composed in the second semester.

Tenth Grade

Precalculus B and C (2 Semesters) Students build upon their introduction to Precalculus by learning applications of trigonometric functions and vectors being introduced to matrices. They also explore linear transformations and their connection to matrices, concluding the year with the study of conic sections and probability.

Chemistry (2 Semesters) Students study the structures, properties and reactions of substances at the atomic and molecular levels with small-scale labs and demonstrations providing a physical experience of chemistry. Topics include the periodic table, bonding, stoichiometry, reaction rates and equilibrium, states of matter redox and acid-base reactions, organic chemistry and biochemistry, with an emphasis on understanding the structures of proteins and DNA.

10th Grade Humane Letters Seminar (2 Semesters) Students study the history, literature and political philosophy of England and Europe from 1066 through the early 20th century, continue to develop their writing skills and mature as seminar participants.  See our reading list for the literature of the course.

Scripture I (Old Testament) (2 semesters) Students learn the vocabulary, grammar, imagery, literary forms and other devices used by Old Testament authors so that they can understand what these authors were saying to their contemporary audiences. Emphasis is placed on understanding the story of creation, the fall, the formation of Israel and God’s work of restoring creation and establishing his kingdom.

Latin IV (2 semesters) Students engage in a short review of grammar, then move quickly to translating Caesar’s De Bello Gallico (The Gallic War), Cicero’s Oratio Prima in Catalinam Habita (First Oration Against Cataline) and Virgil’s Aeneid. The goal is for students to translate fluently and to grow in appreciation for the subtleties, beauty, complexity and precision of language.

Music IV (2 semesters) Students focus on composition and theory through a study of 16th-century counterpoint techniques while continuing to study and perform choral music.

Eleventh Grade

Calculus A and B (2 semesters) Students study limits and their application to slopes, derivatives of functions and the area under curves of functions, emphasizing real-world applications. Both semesters include a weeklong project involving several calculus-related story problems.

Computer Programming (1 Semester) Students are given a thorough introduction to computer programing using the industry and academic standard programming for STEM research, MATLAB. This work provides a foundation for future work in both the mathematics and physics courses.

Physics A (1 semester) Students begin their three-semester study of physics by investigating mechanics (motion, energy, momentum), waves and thermodynamics. They develop conceptual understanding and problem-solving competency through laboratory work, traditional problem-solving and the writing of computer code to simulate real-world physical situations.

11th Grade Humane Letters (2 semesters) Students read, discuss and write on texts drawn from the classical Greek and early Christian eras. Their writing instruction turns towards the development of clarity and grace in explaining their ideas.  See our reading list for the literature of the course.

Drama I (1 Semester) Students are introduced to the elements of acting, performance and play production. They receive technical instruction, are involved in group activities and participate in creative workshops designed to build the skills of voice, movement, stage presence and collaboration. Students produce and perform a full-length play from Shakespeare’s corpus.

Art III (1 Semester) Students return to studio art, reviewing how to draw portraits using pencil and charcoal. Students create landscape paintings using watercolor through observations and learning from studying master watercolor painters. They are introduced with acrylic paint, recreating impressionists paintings.

Art History I (1 Semester) Students study a variety of art forms from the prehistoric era through the 12th century A.D., learning how to employ artistic vocabulary, formally analyze a work of art and appreciate art in its historical context.

Modern Language I (French, German, Koine Greek or Spanish) (1 Semester) The first year of a student’s language option focuses mainly on the study of grammar and vocabulary, enabling the student to read and translate basic literature in the target language. Having studied Latin for four years, students are in a position to move much more rapidly through the early portions of studying a third language than they otherwise would be. 

Scripture II (New Testament) (1 Semester) Students focus on Jesus as the fulfilment of Old Testament expectations. They learn how to read the New Testament by being attentive to Old Testament allusions, the historical context and different literary styles at work in the New Testament and to understand the reality of God’s work in Christ and the church that are articulated in the Scriptures.

Twelfth Grade

Calculus C and Advanced Math Topics (2 Semesters) Students conclude their study of Calculus with an introduction to multivariable calculus in two dimensions. They then study linear algebra, organized around the solution of the matrix linear equations Ax=b and around the eigenvalue / eigenvector problem. Finally, they work significantly in mathematical modelling, applying the mathematics they have learned to biology, physics and economics. 

Physics B, C (2 Semesters) Students continue their study of physics using calculus in problem-solving. Some topics in mechanics are revisited using the calculus, culminating in the solution of the Kepler problem. Other topics include special relativity, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics and particle physics. Students create problem-solving programs in MATLAB.

12th Grade Humane Letters Seminar (2 Semesters) Students wrestle with a wide variety of texts in medieval to modern literature, philosophy, theology and poetry, writing approximately six essays per semester. See our reading list for the literature of the course.

World Issues Colloquium (1 Semester) Students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned to current issues and challenges encountered in different regions in the world. Through this study, they come to understand the depth and complexity of the many issues facing humanity and way in which their education has equipped to be of use to God in the wise care and governance of his creation and the building of his kingdom.

Drama II (1 Semester) After a review of the basics of acting, students produce a play from the modern repertoire.

Art IV (1 Semester) Students continue to develop techniques learned in previous years concluding with a major independent work. 

Art History II (1 Semester) Students study art from the twelfth century to the present, expanding their ability to employ artistic vocabulary, formally analyze a work of art and appreciate art in its historical context.

Modern Language II (1 Semester) Students continue their study of a third language, with the aim of being able to read a work of literature in the original language.