7th Grade

In seventh grade, students continue to develop a variety of important skills as they continue their maturation as intellectual beings. As writers, they delve more deeply into analysis and use textual evidence to support arguments. They are challenged to become more independent readers as they read a variety of genres; they work towards, deeper comprehension, fluency, and engagement. Seventh graders are encouraged to become risk-takers, build confidence, and develop a voice as an individual within a group. They solve problems and analyze systems, putting these skills to use when studying climate change and cultures in conflict, alike.

In math class, students’ thinking continues to move from the concrete to the abstract with a focus on proportional reasoning and more formal algebra. Students become proficient researchers who can utilize a wide variety of resources and skills to delve into a topic and analyze data. As global citizens in the 21st century, world language students research and explore similarities and differences between cultures, and express and present their information in the target language.

Both individually and collaboratively, they develop presentation skills and learn how to effectively communicate information about a topic to audiences made up of their peers and the larger community. Seventh graders also embark on a chosen performing arts elective, honing their expertise in their discipline. They work in collaboration with eighth grade students in these ensemble classes.

In seventh grade, students participate in a variety of large research projects. For example, students become experts on a specific aspect of colonial America. They visit the town of Williamsburg, Virginia, where they interview historians in an authentic setting. They explore their topics from multiple cultural perspectives and develop note taking and interviewing skills. They transcribe, summarize, and analyze their qualitative data, and continue their research when they return to school. Students then embody a colonial character and present their findings at the annual seventh grade colonial museum.

Seventh graders also participate in the “NYC of the Future” project in science class, in which they are challenged to redesign specific areas of New York City for a sustainable future. Each student takes on a specialized role within a design team and analyzes the group’s area from the perspective of his or her specialty (e.g., structural engineer). Students research innovative and sustainable design techniques with the goal of improving the current design of the area they have chosen. As a team, students draw on their math skills to build models of their new designs. They present their proposals to the school community and to experts in their field.

Both of these seventh grade projects encourage citizenship through group work and collaboration. For the colonial museum, students must consider multiple cultural perspectives and look at the world beyond their individual points of view. For the “NYC of the Future” project, they think about how to redesign their city to make it more ecologically sound and community oriented. These projects emphasize citizenship through respect for others and the environment within a local and global community. They also require students to challenge the status quo and think critically about their topics. Students are encouraged to add new ideas to a collective body of knowledge and to use analysis to draw their own conclusions and come up with solutions to problems.
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Little Red School House
and Elisabeth Irwin High School

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