6th Grade English Lessons and Assignments

Some students struggle in school because they need extra practice and support outside of the classroom. If your 6th grader could use extra practice in writing or reading comprehension, keep reading for ways to help your child with lessons and assignments you can give at home.

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Teaching 6th Grade English

What 6th Graders Must Learn

Although what 6th graders must learn in English varies by location and from school to school, there are many commonalities when it comes to core standards. Most of the time, your child will study writing, literature and informational texts. As a writer, your 6th grader will be required to learn a number of words, phrases and styles, such as informative and narrative writing. By the end of elementary school, students are usually required to be fluent readers, with a mastery of basic comprehension. As a result, your child will begin to look at a text analytically.


In 6th grade English, your child will adapt his or her writing style to meet different needs and audiences. For instance, a formal essay will have a different tone than a narrative. To practice, have your 6th grader write a story with a first-person narrator. Tell him or her to use a casual, conversational tone. Next, have your child write the same story in the third person with a more formal, objective tone and point of view.

Writing poetry can be another way to engage your child with writing. Read poems with your child that use a simple rhyme scheme, such as 'ABAB'. Write down a number of words and concepts for your child to use. Have your child a topic out of a hat, and then write a poem about that topic.

For help with informational texts, you can have your child write biographies. First, read a biography, noting its style and structure. Then, provide your child with lists of people he or she can write about. You can also let your child choose his or her own. Some typical biographical subjects in the 6th grade are presidents, musicians, artists, athletes, civil rights leaders and inventors.

Reading Literature and Informational Texts

Among the types of literature your child will probably be learning are short stories, novels, poetry and drama. Informational texts come in many types as well, from biographies to biology textbooks.

With literature, a common way to increase comprehension is by focusing on what conflicts occur in a text. Teach your child about the difference between internal and external conflicts in a narrative. Have a discussion where you encourage your child to elaborate on these conflicts.

If your child has trouble concentrating when reading informational texts, encourage him or her to take notes. Every paragraph has a main idea and supporting details. Help your child discern between these two. This exercise will be especially helpful when he or she has to study for a test.

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