Grade 7

An Age of Exploration

Students reach adolescence, a stage of self-reflection and introspection. They are also inquisitive about the world and eager for knowledge, independence, and social connection. Seventh graders are challenged with increasingly rigorous academics and supported during this time of growth and change.

With emerging capacities for abstract and conceptual thinking, seventh graders are introduced to algebra and plane geometry; the interrelationship of chemical properties; and physical laws of refraction, reflection, heat, and electricity. They study anatomy and physiology and have an objective look at health and nutrition.

Renaissance & Reformation

Seventh graders study the Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution, and Age of Exploration. Students explore how Renaissance artists used geometric principles to develop the laws of perspective, and practice the application of these laws in their own drawings. They read biographies of great figures who challenged the prevailing views in their own search for truth, freedom, and self-expression.


Language Arts

  • Grammatical foundations
  • Creative writing; techniques for composition, reports, poetry
  • Class play
  • Class readers, including historical fiction and biographies
  • Curriculum projects on selected topic: research, report, artistic project, and presentation skills


  • Algebra: order of operations; steps for solving simple equations
  • Signed numbers and powers
  • Four operations in relation to positive/negative numbers


  • Physics: acoustics, optics, heat, electricity, mechanics
  • Astronomy: planetary studies, discoveries of major astronomers of the Renaissance
  • Chemistry: combustion, acids and bases, roles of oxygen and carbon dioxide, metals
  • Anatomy and Physiology: systems of the human body; health and nutrition; human sexuality and reproduction

Social Studies

  • Geography: Latin America and Mesoamerica
  • History: Renaissance, Reformation, Age of Exploration, Scientific Revolution


  • Individuation in music, including strong and differentiated tones qualities and harmonies
  • Class orchestra and opportunities for solo performance pieces


  • Students select either Mandarin or Spanish for concentration of study
  • Speaking: provide descriptions of people, places, likes and dislikes, food. Ten minute oral presentation about a reading or topic.
  • Oral comprehensive: Understanding of topics and vocabulary.
  • Reading: Independent reading of short stories. Comprehension through written responses.
  • Writing: Summary or essay. Emphasis on accuracy and beauty of Spanish books, including the presentation of cultural and geographic topics.
  • Grammar & Syntax: Conjugation of present test of most common irregular verbs; simple past teste (preterito). Comprehension of reflexive verbs.


  • Student select either Mandarin or Spanish for concentration of study. Note: Since the Mandarin program is fairly new at the school, our current middle-school age students are building language skills at levels dependent on the year the school transitioned.
  • Review both Zhuyin and Pinyin alphabet systemsFocus on reading more complex Chinese characters
  • Practice more advanced grammar and grammatical structuresUse human anatomy as the theme to introduce more Chinese radicals and characters
  • Conversation practice amongst students and teachers
  • Creative writing exercises; writing whole paragraphs by combining different sentence structures
  • Short story reading and comprehension
  • Practice in use of Chinese / English dictionary to look up unfamiliar words
  • Chinese culture through ancient Chinese Dynasties / History and Chinese poems
  • Practice of Chinese calligraphy


  • Wet-felted wool slippers: transformation of un-spun wool into custom fitted slippers with stitched-on leather soles. Use of carding machine.


  • Creation of spoons, bowls, simple propellers, and small boxes


  • Large group forms, which develop sense of self and bring awareness of the individual on the whole
  • Wide variety of musical forms; gestures for each interval
  • Practice with copper rod exercises and various geometric forms

Games & Gym

  • Themed games from the Renaissance period and cultures around the world
  • Relay races, cross country running, wide field games
  • Archery, basic orienteering
  • Parkour games and challenges
  • Explorer Event training

Grade 7 Faculty

Wendy Baschkopf
Class Teacher

Febe Chacon
Dennis Zhu
Kristine Joyce-Ragudo
Stacey Hubbard

Yoriko Yamamoto

Rodney Sutton

Monika Leitz

Mona Nemetz
Games and Gym

Laurence Jaquet
Upper Grades Resource Teacher

Working With Wood

Students learn the correct usage of saws, rasps, gouge and mallet, spoke shave, draw knife, drills, and carving knife. They practice simple finishing techniques such as sanding and applying an oil or beeswax finish. Wood is a challenging medium; practice and concentration are developed as students create beautiful and utilitarian items like spoons, stools, and sculpture.