7th Grade - An Age of Exploration & Human Greatness


Developmental Picture of the Student

Seventh graders navigate two worlds. They carry an introspective inner life as well as an active, outer perspective. While the students may yearn for independence and solitude, there is also a strong desire to look outward and make social connections. Adolescence is marked by many physical and emotional changes. Seventh graders may go through periods of emotional volatility, self-absorption or youthful exuberance. The curriculum challenges the students’ cognitive and creative skills, promotes interest in the outer world and nurtures their inner lives.

How the Curriculum Meets the 7th Grader

The seventh grade curriculum focuses on important epochs: the Renaissance, the Age of Exploration, the Scientific Revolution and the Reformation. These eras of discovery spark the adolescent’s developing engagement with—and questioning of—the world. The students hear biographies of innovative thinkers whose thirst for knowledge came with a fearless need to question and defy authority. Independent work and group projects enable the students to step out of themselves and into a broader perspective. As a preview to high school, guest faculty may periodically teach the seventh graders a special topics block from their chosen fields of expertise.

The students hear historical accounts of individuals whose ideas challenged and changed the world. The core theme of renewal embodied in the Renaissance mirrors the adolescent’s rebirth into a new stage where thinking and feeling capacities expand. In geography students learn about the environments, climates and social structures of indigenous cultures in Africa or South America.

The students study the innovative thinkers of the Renaissance era whose thirst for knowledge was coupled with a fearless need to question and defy authority.

In the arts, they paint in the style of the Renaissance masters, learn perspective drawing and explore light and shadow in design. For language arts, students practice careful note taking, write comprehensive essays, research papers and expository reviews. Poetry writing gives the students an opportunity to express their observations of life and to explore their own inner feelings.

In mathematics, students study geometry including triangle constructions, angle theorems, proofs, the golden ratio and the Pythagorean Theorem. Seventh graders also advance their conceptual thinking with an introduction to algebra. They move from simple logic structures to more complex problem solving and abstract reasoning.

In physics and chemistry the students use their senses to make objective observations of scientific phenomenon. They study mechanical force and simple machines. The science blocks explore the lime cycle, salts, acids and bases, which are all related to the digestive system. The human physiology block focuses on health issues that relate to the growing adolescent, including digestion, respiration, circulation and reproduction. In learning about themselves as growing individuals, the students gain an understanding of the responsibilities and choices they will face as they mature.


Study of The Renaissance, The Age of Exploration, The Scientific Revolution and The Reformation




- Physics: mechanics and simple machines
- Chemistry: lime cycle, salts, acids and bases
- Human Physiology: systems of the body
- Geometry and Introduction to Algebra

- Essays, Expository Writing, Research Papers
- Poetry
- Grammar

- The history of the Renaissance, the Age of
  Discovery & the Reformation
- Geography of Africa or South America

- Painting
- Clay Modeling
- Perspective Drawing and Freehand Drawing

- Alternating 6-week blocks of German and 
  Spanish provide cultural exposure, develops
  memory, language, translative thinking and
  vocabulary skills


- Patternmaking and Sewing: Conceive and
  create garments including translation from
  2-D flat pattern to 3-D hand crafted apparel

- Students participate in band or orchestra
- Recorders and singing with class teacher
- Students sing in combined chorus

- Team sports for strategic collaboration,
  teamwork & coordination
- Eurythmy explores movement to music
  & poetry

- Adventure Challenge: High ropes course.
  Three to four day trip to a camp in Wisconsin.
  Opportunity to take challenging physical risks
  in a secure, safe environment

- 7th grade play: Typically builds on some
  aspect of the curriculum, often an historical
  figure, such as Queen Elizabeth I



  • Writing: take notes out of a lecture review, write rough drafts, proofread material, edit and transcribe final revisions, write research papers, write poetry, practice grammar skills
  • Reading: read complex material, participate in class discussions
  • Science: practice observational skills; explain and write experiment details, draw conclusions
  • Math: solve computation problems and conceptual word problems, do mental math to strengthen processing dexterity and flexibility
  • Organizational Tasks:  effectively use an assignment notebook, turn assignments in on time and complete, have materials ready for class, manage time to handle several assignments at one time, individual responsibility for homework