7th Grade

Humanities

The 7th Grade Humanities program encourages a joy of reading, develops critical writing skills, and guides students in an exploration of systems of power as seen in literary and historical texts.

In addition to using Geography, Religion, Achievements, Politics, Economics, and Social Structures (G.R.A.P.E.S.) as a lens to study history, students read class novels, short stories, and poetry, as well as pursue independent reading choices selected from classic and contemporary literature that enrich their understanding of diverse experiences and voices. Students are exposed to a range of writings through fiction, non-fiction, and a class reader. They use a social-cultural critical lens to examine characters and themes and to make historical connections. The course is tightly integrated with an emphasis on learning close reading strategies, literary analysis, using evidence to support ideas, and helping students find their voice in their own writing. These skills are emphasized whether the focus is history, current events, or a novel. Ultimately, 7th graders are encouraged to think critically and write clearly through many opportunities for practice.

Essential Questions

  • How do I combine structure, textual evidence, commentary, and beautiful language to compose a meaningful essay?
  • How do I find my voice and then use it in my writing?
  • How do I shape and organize my ideas so they are clear?
  • How can I find and use evidence to support my ideas?
  • In studying systems of power, religious diversity, and geography – is it possible to identify patterns in history?
  • How do we learn about historical events?  Who decides what really happened?
  • How do we learn about the experiences of different groups when history does not always mention them?
  • Learn more about our Humanities curriculum:
    Selector Select a Subject

    Language Arts

    • Expository Writing and Essay Development 

      • Students consider questions of identity, race, gender, sexuality, and other experiences in their analysis of characters in their books
      • Students utilize the writing process to articulate their ideas and improve their written expression
      • Students practice literary analysis by developing five paragraph essays
      • Students practice expository (evidence-based) writing with historical and literary texts
      • Students write short stories, poetry, and a personal narrative

      Reading

      • Students explore and discover new literary genres and should be able to identify their preferred types of books
      • Students read novels, short stories, poetry, primary source materials, and news articles
      • Students apply a social-cultural critical lens to examine questions of power in their course readings as well as independent reading choices
      • Students explore various genres, write literary reviews, and present book talks in response to independent reading

      Medieval Spain and Poetry (Interdisciplinary Unit with History)

      • Daily life, diversity, and religious tolerance in Medieval Spain
      • Comparing Judaism, Islam, and Christianity
      • Art, music, and games in Medieval Spain
      • Poetry from the 11th century
      • Medieval Poetry Project: Writing Poetry in the Style of Medieval Spain

    History

    • Medieval Spain and Poetry (Interdisciplinary Unit with English)

      • Daily life, diversity, and religious tolerance in Medieval Spain
      • Comparing Judaism, Islam, and Christianity
      • Art, music, and games in Medieval Spain
      • Poetry from the 11th century
      • Medieval Poetry Project: Writing Poetry in the Style of Medieval Spain 

      Medieval Europe

      • Feudalism and systems of power
      • Daily life and cities
      • The Black Death
      • Role of the Church
      • Women

      Early Islam and Islam Today

      • Spread of Islam
      • Beliefs and practices
      • Diversity
      • Art, architecture 

      World Geography: Understanding the Role of Geography in the Development of the Modern World (Interdisciplinary Unit with Mathematics)

      • Applying the five themes of geography
      • Regions: comparing resources, potential, and challenges due to geography
      • Understanding income inequality and disparities by gender
      • Research Projects
      • Data collection, analysis, and graphing in collaboration with mathematics class