A co-educational private school for Preschool–Grade Eight

Grade 7 English

The seventh-grade English course continues to foster a love of literature and writing and strengthen our students’ confidence in their abilities to read and write effectively. Seventh-graders develop and sharpen their critical thinking skills through reading, writing, thinking, listening, speaking, and research. As seventh graders, they build upon the skills instilled in English Six, such as note taking and discussion techniques as well as structuring a well-crafted piece of writing. Students understand themselves as readers by continuing to use personal criteria to select books and by reading a minimum of eight to ten independent books per year in different genres.

Seventh-grade students expand their reading vocabulary by identifying idioms and words with literal and figurative meanings in their speaking, writing, and reading experiences. They also learn to look more intently at the world around them as they discover how writing and literature communicates certain values and feelings. The essential thematic reading questions in English Seven are as follows:
  • What is friendship and the responsibilities associated with friendship?
  • What are the consequences associated with friendship, and what does loyalty have to do with friendship?

Students engage in numerous types of writing, including journal/reflective writing, writing to inform, writing to persuade, writing to explain, short-term writing, and writing to publish. Students write every day, tailoring their work for a particular audience and purpose and producing longer pieces every week. They write stories and scripts that demonstrate their understanding of how literary elements, such as characterization, setting, dialog, internal and external conflict, irony, and imagery, function within a story. Additionally, in seventh grade they compose both formal and extemporaneous essays. Students maintain a writer’s notebook, including starter questions, journaling, creative writing, free writing, etc. Vocabulary is studied on a weekly basis. In addition to examining stylistic and grammatical issues as they arise in writing, students continue to practice sentence diagramming and more advanced grammatical concepts, such as combining and manipulating sentences using subordination, coordination, apposition, phrasing, and other devices that indicate relationships among ideas.

An emphasis on oral presentation skills continues in the seventh grade as students ask questions to elicit information, including evidence to support hypotheses and conclusions. Additionally,
students memorize and present a poem of their choice in the annual Seventh Grade Poetry Salon.
Sample Course Texts: We study a variety of classic and contemporary works in all genres of literature. Our reading lists are dynamic, changing according to student composites, theme relevance, and new interdisciplinary connections.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
Little Worlds: A Collection of Short Stories for the Middle School Vocabulary from Classical Roots Book A, Rules of the Game 2
From There to Here: Immigrant Literature Voices of the Holocaust
Students also read a diverse array of independent reading texts, short stories, poems, and articles.