As students reach adolescence, they are met with more rigorous intellectual content, a growing understanding and respect for the world around them, and a spirit of exploration.
As students reach adolescence, they are met with more rigorous intellectual content, a growing understanding and respect for the world around them, and a spirit of exploration. This adventuresome spirit is met by a full 7th grade curriculum. In history studies the students delve into the Renaissance, investigating this time period through biographies of the great – and sometimes not so great – men and women. The students grow in an understanding the age of exploration through the biographies of Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Zheng He, Henry the Navigator, and others, whose stories lead the students to see how complex our pasts are and how good men can do bad and bad men can do good. Looking into scientific growth and inventions of the Renaissance the students learn of Galileo, Kepler, Copernicus, Brahe, Gutenberg, and others who helped modern science take hold of minds and hearts. Finally, understanding the great thinkers and artists of this time gives the stories of da Vinci, Erasmus, Machiavelli, Michaelagelo, Durer, and others whose work we still admire and emulate today.
The seventh grader is a student of great extremes. Sometimes fiery, sometime icy, the science curriculum reflects this inner experience of the student. Chemistry studies circulate around acids, bases and salts, as well as combustion. Physics focus on optics, mechanics and electromagnetism. Life sciences gives the students a firm understanding of their bodies as we turn our eyes inward to Human Physiology. In all of these lesson there are elements that speak to the core of the student, be it the crystallizing of salt, reflected in the pure thinking of the student, the combustion of gases, reflected in the occasional “flare ups” of a 7th grader’s social life, or the intense and then neutralizing effect acids and bases have on each other.
Math lessons give the students pre-algebra including studies of the metric system, ratios, exponents and square roots, and continued work with decimals, percentages and fractions. The students have a main lesson block in Algebra where graphing, solving for the unknown, positive and negative numbers, and word problems are introduced. In addition to this the students study geometry. In 6th Grade geometry focused on artistic forms and using tools to create images, while in 7th grade we get down to the barebones of geometry and focus on the mathematical aspect of this discipline.
Language arts in 7th Grade focuses on complex grammar and growing vocabulary. Students no longer write book reports – now they turn in well thought through essays focused on an aspect of a book read in class. Books read in 7th Grade include: The Outsiders by SE Hinton, I, Juan de Pareja, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, and short stories. The students also have a main lesson block focused on poetry entitled Wish, Wonder and Surprise wherein the class gains understanding and appreciation for poetry’s place in human history, meter, rhythm, and how to write poems.
All of these lessons are supplemented with weekly classes in Spanish, Russian, Handwork, Woodwork, Orchestra, Instruments (woodwinds or stringed), PE, Latin and Study Hall.