Brigid Killelea


Brigid Killelea



About the Teacher:

Brigid Killelea is a graduate of Mount Saint Mary College, receiving a BA in English and a MS Ed in Special Education.  She holds NYS certification in 7-12 English and K-12 Special Education. For over thirty years, Brigid has been teaching on the MSMC Campus.  She began her tenure at BDMS as a special education teacher in a 12:1:1 setting.  She was also an adjunct English instructor at MSMC and is a founding member of the BDMS Middle School, where she spent twenty happy years teaching ELA.  Second only to her love of  the BDMS Middle School is her love of the BDMS Drama Club!  Brigid began the drama club in1996 and has directed over twenty five productions filled with talented, happy middle schoolers. She was named a NYSEC (New York State English Council) Teacher of the Year, an Aquinas Scholar from MSMC and is a recipient of the Michael J. Gilecce Award.  She is excited to begin a new teaching opportunity as the sixth grade teacher for the 2021-2022 school year. 


Teaching Philosophy:

The middle school English curriculum is comprised of the study of four areas: vocabulary, literature, grammar and writing. It is the philosophy of the faculty that all four disciplines be integrated throughout the year to develop adept thinking, writing and processing skills.  The goal of the middle school ELA curriculum is to prepare students for high school level work. In addition to academic preparation, students will gain autonomy and responsibility in regard to their work. Students will graduate from Bishop Dunn with the reading, writing and cognitive skills required for a successful high school experience. 


"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." ~ John 15:12


Curriculum Information


The study of vocabulary is continuous on all three grade levels, with an assessment at the end of each lesson or unit. Children are expected to learn the definitions of words, as well as be able to use the words correctly in their writing. Children learn the Latin or Greek roots of words and are expected to know the origins of the words they are studying. 

All students in the middle school program are introduced to etymology and learn how to discern the meaning of a word, based on its root word(s).


The children will explore plot, character, setting and theme in the form of short stories from our literature text and the novels The View From Saturday, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM ,Crispin and the Cross of Lead and The Penderwicks. The majority of writing tasks are directly related to the novels/stories we read. The sixth graders also perform a Shakespeare Readers' Theatre in the spring.


The sixth graders will be concentrating on identifying sentences. They will be able to identify the four kinds of sentences, as well as determine fragments and run on sentences. We will also review basic grammatical concepts such as subject/predicate and identifying the eight parts of speech in sentences.

ELA Textbooks

The following series are used in the English program:

Literature: Copper, Prentice Hall

Elements of Writing: Introductory Course, Holt, Rhinehart, Winston (grammar text)

Vocabulary From Classical Roots Book 6

The sixth grade religion curriculum follows the Archdiocesan guidelines and the Old Testament.


God's saving actions are found throughout history. The Bible, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, records God's plan of salvation.


To understand the Old Testament as the revelation of God in the history of a people, a revelation fulfilled in the New Testament.

Core Content:

I. Sacred Scripture is also called the Bible and is the inspired Word of God

II. Study of the Old Testament

III. The Church is a sign of God's presence in the world today through the saving actions of Jesus

My World History

Unit 1 Origins

Chapter 1 Early People Chapter 2 Beginning of Civilization


Unit 2 The Ancient Near East

Chapter 3 The Fertile Crescent Chapter 4 Ancient Egypt and Nubia Chapter 5 Judaism and the Jewish People


Unit 3 Ancient India and China

Chapter 6 Civilizations of Early India Chapter 7 India’s Empires Chapter 8 Ancient China Chapter 9 The Chinese Empire


Unit 4 Ancient Greece

Chapter 10 The Ancient Greeks Chapter 11 Ancient Greek Civilization


Unit 5 Ancient Rome

Chapter 12 The Roman Republic Chapter 13 The Roman Empire and Christianity


Unit 6 The Byzantine Empire and Islamic Civilization

Chapter 14 The Byzantine Empire Chapter 15 Islamic Civilization


Unit 7 African and Asian Civilizations

Chapter 16 Early African Civilizations Chapter 17 China in the Middle Ages Chapter 18 Japan Before Modern Times


Students in the grade level program can access the Vocabulary Workshop website at or  for extra help and review games.

Another great site for vocabulary review is Both vocabulary series have review activities and practice tests on this site. Just type in the vocabulary book title in the search box and off you go!

Shakespeare Readers Theater - As we prepare our performances of A Midsummer Night's Dream  and Romeo and Juliet  check out this video tour of Shakespeare's Globe Theater in London

The Penderwicks at Point Moutte - The fictional town of Point Moutte is based on Ocean Point, Maine. Look at the following video to see what the Maine coastline looks like and imagine the Penderwick sisters in this environment

7th grade Poetry Journals - "Digging" by Seamus Heaney

The Primrose Way  - Read this article from Khan Academy regarding the Massachusetts Bay Colony as background information for our reading of the novel:

A video about the Massachusetts Bay Colony:


John Green's Crash Course in History about the Native Americans and the English:

The Secret Life of Bees - The novel begins in 1964, the day President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. Follow this link to read about this time in our country's history and as background information to prepare our reading of the novel

My Name Is Asher Lev - the video clips tagged on the ThingLink below exhibit/explain different art masterpieces referenced in the Potok novel ThingLink:  My Name is Asher Lev.

I recommend the following video to accompany our reading of the novel, Letters From Yellowstone. Follow these brothers and their friends as they hike, camp and fish in Yellowstone. The shots of the night sky are MAGNIFICENT! Enjoy!!