The seventh grade student shows an increasing interest in the wider world. Their capacity for critical thinking continues to develop and yet, their emotional life is often tumultuous during this period of intense growth. They feel enthusiasm for learning and their newly developing capacities for causal thinking. The seventh grade curriculum meets the students where they are with the Age of Exploration; the Renaissance; Reformation; cultural geography; physics (mechanics); inorganic chemistry; physiology; health and nutrition; creative writing; pre-algebra and arithmetic; composition, grammar, spelling, and literature.
Students study the flowering of thinking and art that accompanied this unique period of human history. They do exercises in perspective drawing and geometry and learn about the Protestant Reformation and the settlement of colonies in the Americas and Africa.
In seventh grade, a formal creative writing block introduces the students to poetry and other forms of expressive writing. Students are encouraged to channel their adolescent feelings through language that expresses mood, tone, and the author’s point of view. Seventh grade students are introduced to the concept of a thesis statement and the structure of an essay. Writing becomes almost completely independent with the students writing drafts, taking responsibility for editing and revising their own work, incorporating teacher corrections, and rendering final versions of their compositions. Seventh graders continue to develop research skills, presenting reports and biographies in class that complement main lesson content. Reading skills are developed through comprehension and vocabulary work on class readers, individually assigned literature, or discussion material.
In math, the arithmetic work continues with percentages and business math, ratios, irrational numbers, the use of statistics, and word problems involving a variety of concepts, such as metric measurement and rate. Seventh grade geometry focuses on Euclidean constructions, the golden ratio, angle theorems and proofs, as well as perspective drawing and other geometric constructions requiring measurements. The students calculate area and perimeter of circle and polygons. Math is taught by the middle school math specialist.
Science studies expand to include inorganic chemistry, physiology, and physics. The study in these fields is continued with the addition of mechanics and the exploration of simple machines. Students now specialize in one foreign language (German or Spanish), studied three times a week to reach a greater level of proficiency. In music they sing as a class choir. Students either participate in a strings ensemble or a woodwinds group. There are several field trips throughout the year to support both academic and social development. Students actively participate in fundraising as a class to offset costs of future trips.
Outside of the curriculum carried by the class teacher, seventh graders receive instruction in handwork, eurythmy, games and movement, farming and gardening, and music.