Learning / Middle School

Seventh Grade Glimpse


Chinese Curriculum Unit: Water, Water Everywhere

In a Chinese class discussion, students brainstorm about the environmental impact of water in our lives. Through a homework assignment, students report the results of interviews about water related issues their family and community members have encountered. Students read texts, stories and news excerpts to learn how people have dealt with water issues throughout the history of various regions. One group is taking notes on the process of Singapore’s effort in recycling and reusing water, one group is discussing how to give “饮水思源” a comprehensible and meaningful definition, and one group is recording the water usage of their households. Through a collective effort, students produce persuasive posters to raise the awareness of water shortage and simple ways to reduce water waste.

Science Curriculum Unit: Water, Water Everywhere

Down the hall in science, students are working to design contraptions and inventions for how to clean water using primary treatment, secondary treatment and tertiary treatment. Last week, they visited the water treatment plant and learned about how the water cycle is impacted by global human development. On the wall of the science classroom are baggies the students filled to recreate various types of water cycles. As a student looks in his folder at his diagram of biochemical cycles, he thinks about how resources and energy flow through cycles around the planet Earth and how water is non-renewable and therefore, necessary to preserve.

Math Curriculum Unit: Linear Equations

In math class, seventh graders are chattering excitedly in groups trying to determine what is affecting change in five equations shared by the teacher. One group is using a posterboard with all five equations plotted, arguing collegially. “The only equation they all have in common is the linear parent function (y=x),” one student exclaims. Nearby, another group stumbles upon their answer by graphing and discovers that the y intercept is the constant. At another table, a student asks the teacher if their answer is correct and cheerfully, the teacher says “Nope, try again.” When they return with another incorrect answer, she tells them to look at their graphs and how they compare to the coordinate plane.

English Social Studies Curriculum Unit: World Religions

Meanwhile in English social studies class, a student adds finishing touches to his infographic poster representing the Buddhist Eightfold Path. He references his annotated Thich Nhat Hanh reading as he considers how to illustrate right mindfulness. Another student creates an infographic about the Four Noble Truths; she asks the teacher for help finding a Dalai Lama quote about suffering that they had discussed in class. A pair of students make an infographic comparing Buddhist principles to the key tenets of religions studied earlier in the year: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Smiling, yet another student asks the teacher if the class can practice another guided meditation instead of conducting project research.

English Language Arts Curriculum Unit: Animal Farm

Student’s propaganda poster for Animal Farm

In English language arts, a student reviews images of Rosie the Riveter and anti-American propaganda from WWII. She jots some notes as she plans her own poster, asking herself what techniques she could use (fear, perhaps, or glittering generalities) to persuade an entire population that a blatant untruth is appealing. Her poster will be from the perspective of Squealer, the propagandist villain in Animal Farm, depicting Snowball as the enemy. Her teacher leans in to discuss how this famous allegory works as an extended metaphor, making it both credible and entertaining as a story and directly parallel to the Russian Revolution.

Examples of Enduring UnderstandingsExamples of Essential QuestionsFocus of Integration
Unit: Water, Water Everywhere
Systems and communities serve a purpose and are often changed or influenced by internal and external factors over time. 

We have an impact on natural resources.
What actions can we take to preserve water resources?Global Citizenship

English Social Studies
Unit: World Religions
Religion helps people to make sense of the world and to explain aspects of life that are otherwise difficult to comprehend.

A vast diversity of religious practices exist, both between and within religions.
What purposes does religion serve?Culture, Self Development, Global Citizenship
English Language Arts
Unit: Animal Farm
History gives context to literature.

Language and propaganda control how people think.
How do we know what we should learn from a book?

What do writers illuminate and what do they disguise?
Global Citizenship, Change and Continuity
Unit: Linear Equations
Equations can depict patterns of change.

A variable represents an unknown can will change in different setting.

Mathematical models can represent and explain quantitative relationships.
How do patterns and functions help us describe data and physical phenomena and solve a variety of problems?

How does a range of possible solutions answer a problem?

How does a mathematical model represent an answer for a problem?
Change and Continuity
Unit: Water, Water Everywhere
There are of four major interconnected biochemical cycles that impact planet Earth.How does matter and/or energy flow through cycles and systems?

How do human activities change or impact access to clean water?
Global Citizenship, Innovation and Creativity, Environments