Reading, writing, and critical thinking are at the heart of the seventh grade English curriculum. As students read short stories, poetry, drama, and novels they continue to develop their critical reading skills. Literature studies include The Outsiders, The Giver, and Romeo and Juliet, as well novels independently chosen by students. Writing projects comprise a variety of genres such as journals, personal narratives, short stories, poetry, and literary analysis. Students study grammar and vocabulary both in the context of their reading and writing, as well as through the use of adaptive programs such as IXL and Membean, which allow for differentiated instruction tailored to each student’s skill level and individual progress.
Seventh Grade Pre-Algebra is designed to help students transition from the concrete concepts of arithmetic to the abstract concepts of algebra and geometry. The course integrates these three areas while making connections to probability, statistics, and the use of technology. This course provides opportunities for students to individually and cooperatively visualize, discuss, and demonstrate mathematical concepts.
In seventh grade, students independently and collaboratively learn in an integrated science course which introduces the principles of physical and life sciences and how they relate to each other. Through traditional and project-based modalities, students learn about matter, motion and forces, cells and genetics, and the human body. Additionally, 21st century skills are emphasized, such as collaboration, critical thinking, communication, creativity, and technology proficiency. Students research, conduct experiments, collect, analyze, and synthesize information, create models, and communicate what they’ve learned.
Seventh grade history is a continuation of the two-year world civilizations program and focuses on the history of North Africa, Europe and Asia since the collapse of the Roman Empire. The course is hands-on and seeks to help students understand not only how to read history but how to “do” history. Students explore the connections to the mathematical and scientific achievements of Islamic civilizations in collaboration with the math curriculum. Famous figures from the Italian Renaissance come alive in online blogs as young historians discover the connections between artists, patrons and popes in the age of humanism. Science, art and history connect when students create their own frescoes using traditional methods and materials. Throughout the course students examine historic artifacts and interpret their meaning in order to practice writing analytically. Finally, students become historians themselves during a yearlong inquiry project. Using original research garnered from family oral history, each seventh grader spends the year investigating a topic of historic importance in the life of his or her family. After careful research, students transform their learning into a mini-documentary blending their own primary source interview with music, images and video found in the public domain. Students share their learning with the larger community by presenting their films at the annual St. John’s Documentary Film Festival and publishing them in an online archive.
Seventh grade French develops basic understanding of grammar and vocabulary. Greater detail and competency are developed. The course explores the vocabulary associated with school and classroom, describing people, objects, life in the city and home interiors. Grammar includes learning the four main irregular verbs être, avoir, faire and aller. Regular –er verbs in the present tense. A more in-depth study of adjectives and prepositions is pursued. Cultural traditions are explored through skits, projects, and a field trip.
Seventh grade German equally addresses listening comprehension, written skills, and oral skills. The curriculum includes: asking and telling what someone is doing; talking about interests, likes and dislikes; talking about school; sequencing events properly; weather, time increments; countries of Europe, languages; asking where someone is from and giving the same information; Germany and German culture.
Students begin to develop complex communication skills. The students learn how to use a variety of irregular verbs and stem-changing verbs. The verbs ser and estar receive particular emphasis, and students learn to write compositions using both verbs properly.