Seventh Grade: The Student and the Curriculum
In the seventh grade, the students are leaving the security, dependence and dreaminess of childhood behind. New forces of self-determination are surging up in them. They are looking into the world that is opening up ahead of them with excitement, enthusiasm and a longing to find their place within it. They vacillate between an incredible passion for finding life out for themselves, and a fear of failure and loneliness. They have a longing to become connected to the world around them as artists, explorers, scientists, philosophers, and more. It is the task of the teacher to help them create a bridge between their passion and the world; they must be empowered to find themselves as individuals within the community. The teacher brings challenging physical and mental group exercises to the class with a focus on team building, e.g. canoeing, ropes course. The students perform service work, helping to bring them out of the self-absorption of puberty and move them towards meeting the needs of others.
The language arts curriculum for the seventh grade focuses on understanding the individualization of writing, of different points of view and style. The students experiment with developing their own styles. They also learn to understand the points of view and techniques used for expression by others. The natural mood swings that the students experience are explored and articulated in the creative writing block, “Wish, Wonder and Surprise.”
Seventh graders relate to the biographies of the first mathematicians and their longing to understand the universe through the clarity and purity of numbers and mathematical concepts. Geometry is studied in practical applications that help to build the bridge between the individual’s thinking and the construction of life all around us.
Students study the biographies of key personalities of the Renaissance, the Age of Exploration and the Reformation. The focus is on understanding the transformations that occurred in the world through the struggles, initiatives, and awakening of individuals. Geographical boundaries were broken down during this historical period and so, in geography lessons, the students begin to look at the world as a whole, focusing on the connections that began to be developed across the globe laying the foundations for today’s political, economic and social world conditions. Particular attention is given to Africa as one of the areas that was explored and colonized during this period.
The science curriculum endeavors to develop the new capacities for individual, free thinking that are emerging in the seventh grader, including objectivity and enthusiasm for the world around them. It is hoped that the student will experience both the understanding of accessible phenomena and the mystery of all that is still unfathomed.
Grade 7 Morning Lesson Blocks: Reformation and Renaissance, Age of Discovery and Exploration, African and European Geography, Chemistry (combustion, acids and bases, and nutrition), Anatomy and Physiological Systems, Physics (optics, magnetism, current electricity and mechanics), Astronomy, History of Algebra, Geometry, Class Play
Grade 7 Trips: Canoeing and rock climbing camping trips
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