Seventh Grade Curriculum
As they read short stories, poems, and novels written by people from other countries, including India, Russia, and China, seventh graders learn about other cultures and develop their ability to think critically about their own world. The choice of stories and novels is linked to the topics that students will cover in their history classes so that the boundaries between classes are expanded. Some of the novels that link with these topics are Animal Farm, Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, and Tie that Bind, Ties that Break. In addition, students develop stronger communication skills as they review grammar concepts, develop a broader vocabulary, and use what they have learned in their own writing – first in narrative writing, and then in expository writing throughout the year – to prepare for their end-of-the-year history paper. Students not only learn how to express their own opinions clearly and well, but also how to listen carefully and respectfully to the opinions or thoughts of their classmates and teacher in small groups and as a class.
This course develops in students a respect and appreciation for cultures other than their own. Using the framework of the five major world religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – students learn about the geography, culture, history, and the impact on the world today of India, Russia, the Middle East, China, and South Africa. Emphasis is placed upon building critical thinking, process writing, note taking, test taking, and academic research skills. Students complete their first major independent research paper, which further facilitates their awareness and citizenship of a greater global community.
Seventh grade features an in-depth exploration of life sciences. Students are challenged to study the cell and cellular processes such as photosynthesis, cellular repiration and protein synthesis. After studying the suborganismal aspects of biology, students move into the study of the whole organisms through taxonomy and interactions within ecosystems. Scientific study is accomplished using an active, collaborative, experimental and inquiry-based approach. Labs include plankton sampling, microscopy, field identification of plants and birds along with multiple dissections.
Seventh grade pre-algebra prepares students for success in Algebra I in the eighth grade. Pre-algebra develops rational number skills through real-life applications and problem solving. Students apply what they learn by participating in a checkbook project and stock market simulation. The course introduces basic algebra skills, including integers, equations, inequalities, relations, functions, and writing and graphing linear equations. It also covers proportional reasoning, geometry, probability, and statistics.
Seventh Grade Spanish
Seventh grade Spanish is the first of a two-year, sequential course which adapts to the needs and abilities of the students through differentiated instruction. Students develop a strong foundation in the fundamentals of the Spanish language through a variety of creative, interactive activities that integrate presentational, interpretive, and interpersonal communication. Students learn to appreciate the diversity of Spanish and Hispanic culture through authentic audiovisual materials, direct oral and written contact with native speakers, and connections and comparisons with their own culture and communities.
SEVENTH GRADE French
Seventh grade French is the first of a two-year, sequential course that adapts to the needs and abilities of the students through differentiated instruction. Students develop a strong foundation in the fundamentals of the French language through a variety of creative, interactive activities which integrate presentational, interpretive, and interpersonal communication. Students learn to appreciate the diversity of cultures and dialects in the francophone world through authentic audiovisual materials. As they progress in the course, students begin to make connections and comparisons with their own cultures and communities as well as with other languages they may have studied previously.
Seventh Grade Latin
The first-year study of Latin emphasizes pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar, and English vocabulary derived from Latin. Translation skills are developed by reading Latin stories about Pompeii, Rome, and the larger Roman world. Students study the culture and geography of the ancient world and present research projects.
Chinese I is a basic course designed for students who have no formal background in learning Chinese. This course introduces the Chinese (Mandarin) phonetic system, basic grammatical structures, and functional daily language use, and covers about 200 characters and associated phrases. Mandarin I emphasizes training through all four language skills – listening, reading, speaking, and writing – as well as an understanding of the socio-linguistics and socio-cultural factors important to cross-cultural communication.
Seventh Grade Drama
Students gain an understanding of basic movement and vocal techniques as well as acting method. Through the rehearsal and performance of monologues, scenes and short plays, students develop skills examining text, creating characters, and motivating movement. Seventh grade drama promotes confidence, communication, collaboration, and an appreciation of the theatrical experience in general.
Seventh grade choir covers the basic elements of vocal production and music theory as well as sight-reading and performance skills. Students are exposed to a wide variety of choral literature in two and three parts. Each semester the choir performs in concert as well as at selected chapel services and special programs. The spring semester brings an opportunity to prepare for formal adjudication at district and state choral festivals.
Students build upon the foundation begun in their first year of study. One year of prior band experience or teacher approval is required. Expanding range, increasing difficulty of rhythm patterns, and more control over tone quality are emphasized in this second year of instrumental study. The Intermediate Band is featured in two evening concerts and other school events, and students are eligible to participate in the Region Solo and Ensemble Festival.
Beginning Wind Instruments
Students in grades 7-10 are eligible to learn to play a band instrument in the Beginning Winds class. No prior musical of band experience is necessary. All students are placed on an instrument (flute, clarinet, trumpet, horn, trombone, baritone, or tuba), balancing their interests, their physical predispositions, and the needs of the program. Students are taught basic tone production and technique on that instrument. Counting, reading, playing, and listening are all elements of the program method. Students make accelerated progress due to the small class size and one-to-one instruction. The Beginning Winds students are incorporated into the intermediate or Upper School Band for the concert at the end of the year.
Seventh grade students strengthen their skills in the Elements of Art and Principles of Design. Students build upon and continue the visual introduction to more artists, their techniques and contributions to art history. Throughout the year art making projects collaborate with the core curriculum. They work with critical thinking, communication and discipline in drawing, painting, and sculpture techniques and other art making to include but not limited to mixed media, assemblages, two and three dimensional works and recycled materials.
Speech and Debate
Students develop an understanding of basic movement, the structure of the story – whether it is generated by prose, poetry, or play – the basic argumentation necessary to create orations in persuasion, and the fundamentals of speech writing. Ultimately, this course is designed to build confidence in both word and demeanor.