The Hartsbrook School

Seventh Grade

7thIrisDevelopmental Picture of the Seventh Grade Student

The seventh grader, now entering the turbulent teenage years with their continuing physical and emotional challenges, could be likened to Copernicus, passionately rejecting a geocentric vision of the world and proposing the brave, new cosmology of heliocentrism. The seventh grader is an adventurer and explorer, questioning the authority of parents and teachers, mapping out her own search for truth, and launching herself into a larger social universe.

The study of the Renaissance, Reformation, and the Age of Discovery echoes the seventh grader’s developmental passage. The Renaissance heralded not only an artistic flowering, but also a new way of seeing the world. In the Renaissance, the principle of learning through observation of phenomena emerged, leading directly to the development of our modern scientific method.

Field trips include a White Mountains trip and work with team building and a high ropes course which allow the seventh grader to challenge himself in a secure environment.

Highlights of the Curriculum

In language arts, the students compose their own poetry and prose, responding to themes generated in the Main Lesson blocks and exploring the archetypal themes of wish, wonder, and surprise. In grammar students review and expand their knowledge of parts of speech, phrases, and punctuation. They also study tenses, verb agreement, and how to diagram sentences.

Seventh graders tackle algebra. They study positive and negative numbers, as well as integers. Students explore the laws of balance that underlie problems with equations. Mastery of equations helps the seventh grader solve numerical and word problems involving comparisons, time/distance, ratio and proportion, etc. Students also work with exponents, a practice that will be developed further in the eighth grade.

In history, the seventh graders explore the biographies of the seminal figures who rebelled against the prevailing views of their day. Through looking closely at the lives of scientists, explorers, and reformers like Copernicus, Galileo, Columbus, Magellan, Martin Luther, and others, seventh graders can reassure themselves that the struggle to find oneself and the desire to change the world can coexist.

The study of geography expands to encompass Africa, Asia, and South America. Students learn about the indigenous peoples and their struggles with European conquerors. Seventh graders also study the outstanding physical features of these continents.

In chemistry, students use their powers of observation to examine the phenomena of combustion, the water cycle, and the nature of acids and bases. They observe the properties and interrelationships of various substances. The study of human physiology concentrates on the human circulatory and digestive systems. Students also learn about two sense organs: the eye and the ear. Seventh graders draw and study the human body, and consider, in a scientific manner, the health and nutrition of their own bodies.

The study of physics now includes the study of mechanics, as well as the simple machines that underlie all labor-saving devices. Other topics include reflection and refraction, warmth, and electricity.

As a part of the study of the Renaissance, students consider the basic laws of perspective drawing. Each student completes a progression of simple to more complicated exercises, all stressing artistic composition as well as mathematical accuracy. Students study freehand perspective drawing as they attempt to recreate works of the Renaissance masters.

Subjects Studied

Language Arts Intensification of creative writing in the Wish, Wonder and Surprise main lesson block Grammar includes the study of verb tenses and agreement,and diagramming sentences.
Mathematics Introduction of algebra, positive and negative numbers, exponents and equations.
World Languages French and German are now studied in alternating blocks 4 days/week.
Movement Strengthening and conditioning as well as social dance. Sports offered include soccer, basketball and ultimate Frisbee.
Eurythmy Euryhtmy is now studies in blocks and continues with self-expressive work done with lyrical poetry and more complicated patterns.
Handwork The students create a doll from a region of the world.
Music Students continue in orchestra or band. Chorus is combined with the eighth grade with a spring concert.
Art Introduction of more specialized techniques like pastel, Japanese brush painting and black and white. Woodwork continues.