7th Grade Curriculum

7th Grade Language Arts

Middle School Language Arts consists of three consecutive years of intense reading, writing, vocabulary study, and grammar work.

Classic novels such as JOHNNY TREMAIN, TOM SAWYER, THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY, and TREASURE ISLAND are studied as well as a selection of contemporary ones (for ex., MIDDLE SCHOOL IS WORSE THAN MEATLOAF, the BOY AT WAR series, LYDDIE, THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM, THE LIGHTNING THIEF, CHILDREN OF THE LAMP, HOW ANGEL PETERSON GOT HIS NAME, THE MYSTERY AT BLACKBEARD’S COVE .) New titles are selected every year. Students explore poetry both by writing their own with the teacher’s guidance and by studying such classics as “Paul Revere’s Ride , “Lochinvar , and “The Lady of Shallott . 8th graders analyze at least one of Shakespeare’s plays – MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and/orROMEO AND JULIET– both in Shakespeare’s original language.

Literature comes alive with activities such as a visit to Mark Twain’s home in Hartford, a “working  field trip to Slater Mill, a highly competitive annual scavenger hunt at Mystic Seaport, walking Boston’s Freedom Trail, and the 8th graders  Shakespearean presentations! In the summer, 6th graders can attend the RI Fencing Academy, 7th graders can sail aboard the schooner “Adirondack  in Newport Harbor, and 8th graders are able to assume the role of an archaeologist at the Meshantucket Pequod Museum. These adventures are just three of the experiences directly related to one of the novels on the summer reading list!

The SADLIER vocabulary text emphasizes the use of new vocabulary in reading and writing, rather than simply the memorization of definitions. A variety of approaches in the teaching of grammar, such as basic sentence diagramming (often in different colors!), supplements the workbook, EXERCISES IN ENGLISH. Proofreading and editing skills remain paramount in the teaching of correct English grammar.

From 6th grade to 8th, students progress from creative writing to the writing of informative and argumentative essays, editorials, and responses to literature. In addition, following the research process, preparing a bibliography in current accepted format, and avoiding even inadvertent issues of plagiarism are all addressed on a regular basis via interdisciplinary assignments.

In order to maximize each child’s potential and learning style, various teaching methods are utilized. This allows accommodations to be more easily set up for students with IEP’s or other special needs. Also, abridged texts of the literature studied in class as well as tape-recordings are available when indicated.

7th Grade Science

The seventh grade science curriculum provides students the foundation necessary for high school biology. The program focuses on the life sciences with an emphasis on the structure and function of cells. Instruction includes the structure of and chemicals in the cell, mitosis and meiosis, and cell processes. In addition, students examine genetics and future genetic engineering and gene therapy. Students are taught the proper use of microscopes as well as how to make microscopes slides. An introduction to each organ system is also examined before progressing to classification of living things and ecology.

7th Grade Social Studies


Student Goals
Identify significant countries (and individuals) and their roles and motives in the European exploration of the Americas as well as individuals and circumstances relating to colonization in the Americas.
Student Outcomes
Students will:

  • Explain how people first reached the Americas

  • Describe the Olmec, Mayan, Aztec, and Incan civilizations
  • Explain why trade flourished in the Muslim World
  • Discuss how exploration set off a global exchange of goods and services
  • Explain how Spain settled it’s colonies
  • Explain what life was like for Native Americans under Spanish rule
  • Explain why England, France, Spain and the Netherlands sought a Northwest passage to Asia
  • Compare the religious, political and economic motives of voluntary immigrants to the English colonies.
  • Using representative colonies, contrast the early settlement of Virginia and New England
  • Describe mercantilism and analyze its impact on colonial economies
  • Explain the causes of indentured servitude and slavery and analyze their impact on colonial societies
  • Compare and contrast the different cultural and social influences that emerged in the North American colonies

Student Goals
Identify and explain key events leading to the creation of a strong union among the thirteen original colonies and the establishment of the United States as a federal republic.

Student Outcomes
Students will:

  • Compare/contrast the social, political, and economic features of the three regions of the English colonies
  • Identify challenges faced by the first English colonies in North America
  • Describe how Virginia began a tradition of representative government
  • Describe how European states controlled or regulated religion
  • Discuss how the Pilgrims were able to survive early hardships
  • Explain why colonists at Plymouth wanted the Mayflower Compact
  • Discuss why the Puritans decided to leave England
  • Describe and analyze the consequences of the Puritan response to dissenters
  • Explain how the colonies of Rhode Island and Connecticut were established
  • Explain why the colony of New Netherland became the colony of New York
  • Explain why New Jersey Separated from New York
  • Describe how Pennsylvania was founded
  • Discuss what life was like in the Middle Colonies
  • Identify colonial influences that have shaped American culture and government
  • Discuss how the Great Awakening affected the colonies
  • Explain the background /causes of the French and Indian War.
  • Analyze the causes, effectiveness, and impact of the Proclamation of 1763.
  • Analyze the multiple causes and sources of dissent leading to the outbreak of the American Revolution
  • Describe how colonists protested British taxes
  • Describe how Britain responded to the Boston Tea Party
  • Explain why fighting broke out at Lexington and Concord
  • Compare/contrast the British and colonial advantages and disadvantages
  • Examine the significance of major events of the American Revolution
  • Explain how women and African Americans took part in the Revolutionary War
  • Analyze the political, social, and economic changes brought about by the American Revolution.
  • Explain the democratic principles of the Declaration of Independence.

Student Goals
Identify fundamental values and principles as expressed in basic documents such as the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution

Student Outcomes
Students will:

      • Explain why state governments wrote Constitutions
      • Evaluate accomplishments and weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
      • Explain how the Great Compromise helped both large and small states
      • List the rights protected by the Bill of Rights
      • Explain how the executive, legislative, and judicial powers are distributed and shared among the three branches of national government.
      • Explain how and why powers are distributed and shared between national and state governments in the United States.
      • Explain the framers’ concerns and the resulting compromises that emerged at the Constitutional Convention.
      • Summarize the arguments of the Federalist and Anti-Federalists over the ratification of the Constitution of the United States.
      • Examine/explain the fundamental principles of the United States Constitution
      • Explain the fundamental powers of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches under the United States Constitution.
      • Explain the rights and protections guaranteed to individuals in the Constitution
      • Analyze how the Constitution both promotes and limits democracy.
      • Describe the benefits of a national system of courts
      • Explain how Washington’s policies set a precedent for future Presidents
      • Analyze Washington’s concerns expressed in his Farewell Address
      • Analyze Hamilton’s economic policies and Jefferson’s opposition to them.
      • Explain the development and impact of the first American political party system.
      • Describe how Americans reacted to the French Revolution
      • Identify the policy the United States adopted when war broke out in Europe
      • Explain the actions of the Adams’ administration regarding international problems (e.g. undeclared naval war with France, Alien and Sedition Acts) and analyze the political responses.