Core Curriculum

- English Language Arts - Math - Physical Education - Science - Special Education/ICT - Social Studies -

Social Studies Department Mission Statement:

The mission of the Social Studies department at MS 131 is to develop the critical thinking skills that are necessary for students to be engaged citizens in the 21st century.

Curriculum Overview:

As such, the departments have created a literacy-rich and project-based curriculum:

In 6th grade, students focus on the different elements of civilization. Students study the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, Greece and Rome.

In 7th grade, the focus is on the balance between the rights and responsibilities of individuals and the needs of society. The three thematic units for the year are: Rights, Revolution, and Slavery. Throughout these units, students connect case studies from American History to modern examples and problems.

In 8th grade, students answer the essential question, "Does America live up to its ideals?" Students answer this question in a culminating middle school exit project, applying the knowledge that they gain during units on Civil Rights, Immigration, and American Foreign Policy.

English Language Arts

English Department Mission Statement:

The mission of the MS 131 English Language Arts Department is to provide our students with a balanced literacy curriculum that encourages them to think independently, to think critically and to express their ideas effectively, knowing these are the skills that ll make them college and career ready.

Curriculum Overview:

6th Grade

Mastering the Essentials: Becoming a Successful 

Participant in the Reading and Writing Workshop

The Art of Persuasion: Changing minds, and affecting change

Test Prep-Response to Literature


7th Grade

Urban Issues: Fact and Fiction

Nonfiction Strategies and Test Prep


8th Grade

Informational Nonfiction Reading and Writing: Theme: The Natural World
Historical Fiction Narratives: Theme: Immigration

Test Prep:  (Informational Reading and Essay Writing)

Exit Project


Science Department Mission Statement 

MS 131 science curriculum offers a wide array of investigation intensive units involving the disciplines of physics, chemistry and biology.  The science department maintains a focus on critical thinking skills while encouraging students to draw their conclusions based on their own experimentation and data collection.  This effort culminates in the 8th grade science exit project where students are challenged to create, implement and present an experiment of their own design.  Throughout these experiments students are learning essential science skills such as the use of appropriate tools for measurement and observation that will be crucial as they continue through their education.  Students are also presented with many opportunities during each unit to draw their own conclusions from present published research through article analysis and reflective writing on a variety of current science topics.  It is a universal goal of the department to present science as an important aspect of society that is both relative and interesting to the individual students we teach.

Curriculum Overview: 

6th Grade:

Unit 1: Launcher unit: Book Support Challenge

Unit 2: Weather

Unit 4: Diversity of life and Interdependence

Unit 5: Simple machines


7th Grade:

Unit 1: Earth Structure Unit  

Unit 2: Human Body System       

Unit 3: Chemistry Matter Unit   

Unit 4: Why are plants important?


8th Grade:

Unit 1: Force & Motion

Unit 2: Season

Unit 3: Reproduction & Development

Unit 4: Genetic


Math Mission Statement

The math department believes that given appropriate supports, feedback and practice, all students can achieve high levels of math performance.

Physical Education

Physical Education Mission: 

The P.E. department at MS131 is dedicated in its primary goals:

To provide all students with the skills & confidence in order to maintain a measure of Life. Time. & Fitness.

Through Sport, we believe all students should be able to develop skills & strategies consistent with solving conflicts, being good citizens, & being able to collaborate with others.

Curriculum Overview:

We offer a variety of sports:

  • Soccer 
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Football
  • Team Handball
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Badminton
  • Fitness Gram