Humanities: Medieval & Early Modern (Language Arts, World History & Geography)
Humanities in grade 7 is an interdisciplinary experience combining Language Arts and Social Studies. Students in grade seven study the social, cultural, and technological changes that occurred in Europe, Africa, and Asia in the years A. D. 500-1789. The yearlong essential question which guides our work is “Does the individual control society or does society control the individual?” We will explore this question through the major content area units. After reviewing the ancient world and the ways in which archaeologists and historians uncover the past, students study the history and geography of great civilizations that were developing concurrently throughout the world during medieval and early modern times. They examine the growing economic interaction among civilizations as well as the exchange of ideas, beliefs, technologies, and commodities. They learn about the resulting growth of Enlightenment philosophy and the new examination of the concepts of reason and authority, the natural rights of human beings and the divine right of kings, experimentalism in science, and the dogma of belief. Finally, students assess the political forces let loose by the Enlightenment, particularly the rise of democratic ideas, and they learn about the continuing influence of these ideas in the world today. Students in grade 7 Humanities will analyze novels, short stories, poetry, and primary source documents and engage in rigorous skill building in the fields of literary response and analysis, reading comprehension, and vocabulary development. They will go on field trips and meet guest speakers. This humanities course will integrate visual arts, dramatic arts, music, politics, philosophy, history, literature, and current events.
The grade 7 mathematics curriculum is organized around “big ideas” in mathematics clusters of important, related, mathematical concepts, processes, ways of thinking, skills, and problem-solving strategies, which are studied in depth. By the end of grade seven, students are adept at manipulating numbers and equations and understand the general principles at work. Students understand and use factoring of numerators and denominators and properties of exponents. They know the Pythagorean Theorem and solve problems in which they compute the length of an unknown side. Students know how to compute the surface area and volume of basic three-dimensional objects and understand how area and volume change with a change in scale. Students make conversions between different units of measurement. They know and use different representations of fractional numbers (fractions, decimals, and percents) and are proficient at changing from one to another. They increase their facility with ratio and proportion, compute percents of increase and decrease, and compute simple and compound interest. They graph linear functions and understand the idea of slope and its relation to ratio.
Grade 7 Life Science is the continuation of the retelling of the story of life and the universe. Following up on grade 6’s exploration of the beginnings of the universe, in grade 7 students begin with the emergence of life on this planet. Students explore early life forms, multicellular life forms, the emergence of mammals, and the arrival of humans. Particular attention is paid to scientific investigations and lab skills. The curriculum will culminate with a 3-day trip to Catalina Island.