Sixth grade content standards focus on the United States from 1877 to the present. Historical events studied by sixth graders include the Spanish-American War, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, and major events of the latter part of the twentieth century. Emphasis is placed on economic, geographic, social, and political changes that impacted every aspect of life during these time periods, including communication and technological advances, changes in national boundaries, and the movement of the United States into the role of world leader.
Sixth-grade students are interested in acquiring a deeper understanding of those whose cultures and political opinions are different from their own. As they begin a transitional stage characterized by physical, cognitive, and social changes, they begin to analyze and evaluate relationships between ideals and practices. Therefore, sixth-grade instruction provides constant opportunities for students to explore their prior knowledge and opinions and to maximize and expand their knowledge through the use of cooperative learning, large- and small-group discussions, hands-on activities, and technology.