7th Grade

The 7th grade program capitalizes on students’ developing ability to think conceptually and abstractly. It asks students to evaluate not only their roles in the community and their relationships to the world around them, but also to see themselves as agents of change.

List of 6 items.

  • Mathematics

    Students will solve algebraic equations with all four operations, including decimals, fractions, and variables on both sides. They will investigate and graph linear functions, including parallel and perpendicular lines, explore and justify the Pythagorean theorem by rounding and estimating radical values, simplify exponential and radical expressions, and study 2D and 3D figures extensively. Problem solving skills will be cultivated and developed further throughout each unit by collaborating with their peers and in classroom activities.
  • English

    Seventh graders read and discuss historical and modern fiction, short stories, and poetry and analyze vocabulary drawn from texts which focus on identity and belonging. Students dissect a variety of stories told by diverse authors to better understand identity, race, and freedom. Students continue to develop their advancing writing skills while outlining, and drafting multi-paragraph essays which defend claims, offer counter claims and support arguments all using evidence from the text. Continuous feedback and a strong focus on the revision process help students strive to become deep and purposeful writers. Students learn a 5 point analysis system and practice annotation, discussion, and revision throughout the year.
  • Science

    Students in 7th grade science begin the year on a cellular level and work their way up to ecology and ecosystem interactions all while seeking to understand the essential question: “How does structure dictate function?” Specific topics include cell differentiation, cellular respiration, genetics, evolution, and diversity of life. Students hone their scientific presentation skills through journal club, debate, and research presentations. Lab investigations demonstrate and connect class concepts as students gain more independence in writing comprehensive lab reports.
  • Latin

    Latin at Cathedral is taught using a blend of comprehensible input and grammar instruction. The goal is for students to slowly build their vocabulary and reading fluency in a manner that simulates how they learned their first language. Taking an engaging, comprehensible story as our starting point for each lesson, students are able to understand how the language functions on a more intuitive level. 
    In the 7th grade, students read stories in Latin that are based on the classic stories of the Iliad and the Aeneid. Towards the end of the year, students read a longer novella about the story of Cupid and Psyche. In these foundational stories, students deepen their contextual understanding of the ancient world by comparing ancient and modern ideas about leadership and heroism, bringing a critical lens to what each society values. An example of a creative project in this year involves studying a character from the Iliad or the Aeneid and portraying them in a manner of their choice, either through creative writing, visual art, or in a presentation.
  • Social Studies

    Seventh grade students apply their critical thinking and debate skills to unpack and explain the founding and development of the United States from before colonization to our country’s founding documents leading up to the Civil War. They will rethink the colonies as land “untouched and ready for the taking” and understand a more inclusive American history incorporating multiple experiences and perspectives chronologically across these time periods. Students analyze artifacts and sources and display knowledge through written assignments and projects.
  • World Languages

    Cathedral 7th graders are taught in Spanish or French as much as possible, and all speaking, reading, and writing are in the chosen world language focus. There is a concentration on intermediate grammar: additional verb tenses (past, future, conditional), direct and indirect object pronouns, negative expressions, and comparatives. Students continue to develop more sophisticated vocabulary, demonstrate and practice conversational skills, and explore Spanish- or French-speaking cultures.

Curriculum in Action

A foundational experience in Shakespearean language and culture, the Elizabethan Evensong curriculum prepares Cathedral’s seventh grade students for the rigors of studying Shakespeare in high school. This three-month project includes not only a deep study of figurative language and the fundamentals of drama, but also the building blocks of public speaking and presentation. Students analyze a Shakespeare play in the classroom and go on to rehearse and perform selections from it in The Cathedral of St. John the Divine for the whole school, with direction from a guest teaching artist. The performance also incorporates Renaissance music, dancing, and period costumes.
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