ACADEMICS Reading 7th and 8th grade literature curriculum includes 3-4 core novels each year, a home reading program, and discussion and analysis of a variety of texts (articles, poetry, textbooks, historical documents, and short stories). The focus is on making assertions based on inference or textual evidence. Most of the texts are integrated with the history content.
Writing Students write frequently in class and at home, in a variety of modes for a variety of purposes. They will produce a few lengthy, formal written projects throughout the year, culminating in the 8th grade I-Search. We use the Writing by Design approach, which includes a supportive writer’s workshop atmosphere and rubrics based on the Six Traits of Writing.
Grammar and Language Work 7th grade grammar focuses on analyzing, using, and punctuating compound and complex sentences. 8th grade grammar continues its focus on sentence work, recognizing and using verbals to create shades of meaning and increase sentence variety. Both classes review sentence structure and parts of speech and get ample experience editing written work for common errors. They study vocabulary (academic words and Latin/Greek roots) in the context of their history and literature lessons and in our Wordly Wise program.
History 7th graders study world medieval cultures, which include seven major units of study over the course of the year: Feudal Europe, Islam, Latin America, West Africa, China, Early Modern Europe, and Japan. The curriculum is based on literature, projects, and simulations, and is supplemented with our History Alive textbook. 8th graders study U.S. history, from the birth of the new country through the early twentieth century. Their curriculum alternates between simulations, projects, literature, and the History Alive curriculum. The focus is on multiple perspectives and critical thinking.
Art The students regularly study artists and do art projects that relate to the history and literature content in Humanities class. Students also have the opportunity to sign up for 6th period art enrichment courses, as well.
SOCIAL CURRICULUM Rights and Responsibilities/Life Skills The focus in the classroom is on making connections between the rights that young teens deserve and the responsibilities that they must use to ensure those rights. We also practice Life Skills, which are an integral part of being a responsible citizen.
Advisory 7th and 8th graders meet together for Advisory class for 30 minutes each week. Advisory is taught by the three middle school teachers and the school counselor, and we alternate between whole group meetings and smaller group rotations. Lessons include topics such as internet safety, cyberbullying, the teen brain, high school and college readiness, and positive communication.