Seventh Grade Curriculum Overview
Research and analysis in both literacy and humanities are the key areas of growth in 7th grade. Students refine use of their individual voice, formulating their own perspectives about a topic and taking greater responsibility for the shape of their academic inquiries. In 7th grade, themes become more global as students explore current and historical practices of religion, as well as the role of decision-making in everyday moments and larger decisions. Seventh grade is a year of longstanding Stevens overnight traditions, including the rustic outdoor education trip to The Ashokan Center in Olive Branch, New York and an overnight trip to Philadelphia. There is an emphasis on self-awareness, insight, empathy and understanding multiple perspectives. Students also begin to think about their education beyond Stevens and lay the foundation for the high school application process in 8th grade.
Explore what your child will learn in each of the following subject areas:
- Social-Emotional Learning
- Specials Classes
- Homework and Assessments
Seventh grade is a year of deep exploration of coming-of-age themes. Decision-making, taking a stand, change and society are all explored in an array of genres. Continuing their work on providing textual evidence, students explore how literary devices like symbolism and metaphor are used to tell a story. In addition to traditional essays, students are provided alternative opportunities to showcase their understanding of their reading, including visual displays, cover redesigns and creative writing.
- Analyze text, cite textual evidence, determine an author's point of view, bias, or purpose in a text
- Identify, understand and use literary elements
- Write a range of texts for specific purposes and audiences; develop a thesis, cite evidence, demonstrate writer's craft following conventions of grammar, spelling and MLA format
- The Outsiders
- I am Malala
- Ronit and Jamil
- Look Both Ways
- All American Muslim Girl
- Purple Hibiscus
In 7th grade, students reinforce their basic computation skills and become familiar with the following: the properties of mathematics; the language of algebra; solving one-step, two-step, and multi-step equations; adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing rational numbers and integers; solving inequalities; graphing equations and inequalities; ratios; proportions; percents; powers, roots and the basics of functions. Students are formally introduced to the Algebra curriculum, with special emphasis on linear functions. As students learn about proportionality, slope, and functions, they learn to represent the linear functions in multiple ways: verbal descriptions, equations, tables and graphs. They also learn to model real‐world situations using linear functions in order to solve problems arising from the situations.
Units of Study:
- Real Number System
- Algebraic expressions
- Algebraic equations and inequalities
- Proportions and percent change
- Angle properties and straight Lines
- Geometric construction
- Circumference, volume, and surface area of solids
- Statistics and probability
- Probability of Compound Events
The overall theme of 7th grade humanities is world beliefs, which permeates an array of studies exploring the core tenets of different religions and philosophies, as well as the intersectionality of identity, morality and ethics. Units draw on various regions and eras, and explore the relationships between history, faith, community social change, misconceptions and stereotypes, and ideas about the universe and the afterlife. Students deepen their understanding by enhancing their research skills and engaging in analytical and writing projects, including an independent self-study for their final exhibition projects.
- Demonstrate understanding of key concepts, causal relationships and historical timelines, compare, contrast, and analyze a variety of texts, primary and secondary sources
- Interpret and synthesize primary and secondary sources.
- Research and present topic of choice using notes and a variety of credible sources to make citations, correctly format a works cited page
- Religion and Geography
- Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)
- Dharmic religions (Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism)
- Beliefs in America: Islam and Atheism
- Exhibition (Individual capstone project): How do beliefs intersect with everyday choices, passions and interests? Past topics include: Religious displays of faith in professional sports, Hindu and Jewish wedding rituals, stereotypes in film and television.
With inquiry at its core, the 7th grade science curriculum aims to guide students to collaboratively and independently investigate issues through observation, research and experimentation. As students investigate real examples of science applications they discover the dependencies and tensions between ethics, culture, economics and environment.
In 7th grade, our students select an environmental topic to become experts in through the annual Science Expo where visiting scientists attend and assess projects students have designed, implemented and evaluated.
- Understand and explain scientific concepts
- Use structured processes to solve problems, gather information, and draw conclusions
- Record observations and thought processes, measure with accuracy, and communicate with relevance, meaning and insight
- Weather, Climate & Action
- The Atom and the Periodic Table
- Chemical Reactions and Thermodynamics
The Classroom Advisory Program (CAP) builds upon community building lessons that take place in the lower grades. Our middle school CAP program focuses on identity, health and wellness, communication and interpersonal relationships. CAP provides students with a spiraling curriculum that allows for a deeper dive into character education, social-emotional learning and citizenship as students progress through Middle School.
Seventh grade topics include:
- Making decisions
- Coping with anxiety and anger
- Time management
- Managing stress in healthy ways
- Social skills and interpersonal relationships
- Confronting bullying, bias, and discrimination
- Upstander vs bystander
- Effective communication
- Responsibility and accountability
- Resolving conflict
- Study skills
- Peer pressure
- Conflict resolution
- Mental health awareness
- Puberty, alcohol and drug addiction, safety, consent
Seventh graders have the option of joining our choir as an alternative or addition to their instrumental studies.
In 7th and 8th grade choir, students study vocal technique for solo and ensemble singing. Students develop musical literacy skills in reading traditional music notations, and aural analysis skills for performing music by rote. Students prepare a repertoire for ensemble performances that are shared within the Stevens community and beyond.
- Computer science & robotics
- Basic programming concepts such as sprites, functions, control structures, variables, user input, and randomness
- The design process
- Identifying a social problem, developing solutions, using user centered designs, app prototyping, and app creation in App lab to test solutions
- Expressing ideas through graphic design, filming and video editing
- Digital citizenship
- Media balance and well-being
- Privacy and security
- Digital footprint and identity
- Relationships and communication
- Cyberbullying, digital drama and hate speech
- Media literacy
In 7th grade, the art curriculum challenges students to consider art not merely for accurate representation but also meaning, intent and symbolism. Students create folk art that is informed by beliefs and values, experiment with Cubist perspectives, debate the aesthetics of conceptual art, and consider art that speaks to social critique and activism. Students confidently employ a range of media and processes including:
Units of Study:
- String art
- Folk art
- Mixed media sculpture
- Conceptual art
- Art history including Cubism and Japanese Art
- Digital art and 3D-CAD
- Drawing homework encouraging personal exploration and elaboration of studio work in class
Beginning in 5th grade, students choose between Spanish and Mandarin as their World Language course. Seventh grade students practice their speaking and listening skills four times per cycle.
Students learn Spanish vocabulary, grammar, culture and history through the lenses of different countries including Spain and Spanish-speaking countries in Central, South America and the Caribbean.
- Parts of the body
- Personal hygiene
- Symptoms and illnesses
- Basic remedies
- Healthy Habits
- The verbs ver, oir, oler and decir
- Reflexive verbs
- The verb doler
- The verb sentirse
- Affirmative “tu” commands
- Regular verbs
- Cultural Backdrop: Spain
- Atlantic Spain: The cradle of the Spanish language
- The Plateau: Territory of La Mancha
- Pilgrimage through Camino de Santiago de Compostela
Students acquire more complex vocabulary and the ability to produce authentic sentences independently. Students develop memorization strategies throughout the years of learning Mandarin to effectively memorize characters in writing. Through various speaking exercises and projects, conversational skills are emphasized and students continue working on their pronunciation, since Mandarin is a tonal language. Mandarin students continue celebrating Chinese holidays such as the Moon Festival and Chinese New Year in class. Some of the activities are learning poems, playing popular Chinese games, and making traditional arts and crafts.
- Pinyin, tones, strokes, radicals
- Dates, ages, telephone numbers
- Family Members
- Countries and languages
- Informal/formal greetings
- Family contents
- Radicals (bu shou and pian pang)
- Grammar usage
Beginning in fifth grade, Electives are offered once per week to middle school students in mixed group settings. This is a chance for students to have choice and voice through personal selection and an opportunity to work with peers from other middle school classes. Offerings change from year to year and have included Photography, Creative Writing, Fiber Arts, Tinkering and Makerspace, The Art of Public Speaking, Healthy Habits and Nutrition, Service Learning, Theatre, Coding, and Ethics Bowl.
Seventh graders can expect daily homework that is purposeful and helps them manage their time and workload responsibly. Students also gain practice of managing longer term assignments with mini deadlines and milestones along the way.
Students will be assessed in a variety of ways: class discussions, homework assignments, comprehension questions, essays, end of unit tests, quizzes, and research projects. Stevens uses authentic observation, testing and ongoing assessment to provide a comprehensive evaluation of each student.
In the spring of 7th grade, students take a practice Independent Schools Entrance Exam (ISEE), administered by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB), in preparation for the exam in 8th grade.
In addition to exploring relevant curriculum connections through local day trips to museums, including the American Folk Art Museum, Hindu Temple in Bridgewater, and Brooklyn Museum, students participate in a fall overnight trip to The Ashokan Center, an outdoor education camp for three days and two nights focused on enhancing teamwork, leadership and self-confidence. In the spring, students attend an overnight trip for two days and one night in Philadelphia.