Seventh Grade

NFS Curriculum Update :: April, 2014


Students in the 2D elective are wrapping up value painting and moving onto linoleum printing. Artists will learn to use tools to carve away their own unique design and will experiment with printing techniques. Sadly, the quarter is almost over but luckily we are together for our next elective - Sculpture! Students will begin the term with an introduction to the work of 3D and will be given some time to familiarize themselves with several different materials and techniques


Seventh grade English students are well into the process of designing, writing, editing, and publishing their original non-fiction feature articles. While the topics are varied (ensuring an engaging final product!), as a whole, they provide a distinctive reflection of the seventh graders' interests, passions, and commitments, truly exemplifying the class's overall identity. Interspersed within the writing process will be an extensive study of punctuation, designed to help these non-fiction authors most effectively leverage rhetoric to reach their audience and achieve their purpose. The final versions of these pieces will be compiled into an online version of the longstanding seventh grade magazine. (Last year's edition can be accessed here: Later on in the spring, students will have the opportunity to work together in book clubs, collaborating to explore the legacy of slavery in America.


This month the 7th grade Latin students will wrap up their work in Lesson 12, refining their ability to work with the perfect tense forms of 1st and 2nd conjugation verbs. We will then move on to Lesson 13, which introduces the vocative case of nouns. This is the case we use to address people directly when speaking to them. We will also learn to use the ablative of place from which, a type of prepositional phrase that expresses motion away from a place. This work will be interspersed with preparations for the World’s Fair, a project that entails research into the history and culture of the provinces of the Roman Empire.


Seventh graders are in the midst of exploring several aspects of linear functions and applying the thematic unit to real-life scenarios. This month, the investigation will continue into calculating x and y intercepts of the equations, pointing out the information each form gives you, and generalizing when each form is advantageous to use over another.

While sixth graders are in Echo Hill, seventh graders will be collaborating in homogeneous groups to design and produce a package for a given product a specific company “hired” them for. Mathematicians will calculate the surface area and volume, with the overall goal of maximizing space in the container with little, extra space and minimizing cost of materials. In addition, students will figure out how many units need to be sold to break even with the initial production line. Also, students will determine what material is appropriate for their product and take into account if extra packaging or special wrapping is essential. Then, the architects will bring their designs to life by creating them on Google SketchUp and compose a three-dimensional package using the 3D printer.

Toward the end of the month, statisticians will graph and explain trends in scatterplots and graph absolute value functions. Students in 7-3 will begin investigating the relationships between exponential functions and real-life situations that can be described in an exponential graph.

Math App of the Month

Trainyard Express

The objective of the game is to get all of the trains to each desired station without any of the trains crossing paths. The task seems simple but gets very challenging as you achieve each level and more restrictions are added.

Musical Theater

The cast of Guys and Dolls has tackled vocal rehearsals and choreography with Nolan! The month of April will be an intense month of blocking rehearsals. It is not easy to put vocals, choreography and blocking together, and it will take a lot of concentration and effort on the part of everyone in the cast. This group has been such a pleasure to work with thus far, and I am confident things will continue to progress smoothly. I will continue to update you on important dates and costume information using email.


The month begins with our unit on floor hockey. The students will learn and practice the skills of stick handling, passing and shooting. Game strategies will be reviewed with the basic understanding of the principles associated with playing offense or defense, followed by actual game play. Badminton is our next unit and probably the most popular unit of the school year. Students will review the basic grip of the racket and learn and practice shots like the underhand hit, overhand smash and drop shot, including the proper technique of serving. Game play and tournament play will follow.


The seventh grade has now concluded their medical school studies and will go from biology to mineralogy. Students will study what a mineral is and how it forms to become Crime Scene Investigators for the “Criminal Mineral Unit.” As CMUCS Investigators, the students will employ multiple laboratory skills and techniques to ultimately catch and prosecute a dastardly gang of criminal minerals.

Social Studies

This month, in seventh grade social studies, we will begin the American Civil War. We will read about the leaders, contributors, major battles, and effects that the war had on Americans in both the North and the South. We will also discuss the Lincoln presidency including his rise to prominence and his untimely death. Students will research and analyze primary source documents about the individual experiences of a diverse group of Americans during the Civil War. Students will continue their primary source analysis, long-form writing, and internet research.


Seventh grade Spanish students will continue to practice the imperfect/preterit tense and the various uses of both past tenses. They will have assessments requiring knowledge of –AR, -ER, and –IR verb conjugations in both tenses. The test will also require students to assess whether the imperfect of the preterit needs to be used in the given information. At this point, it is great to see some students already applying these accurately in their oral work when they describe past events. The goal is for the entire class to obtain these more complex skills. Applying these tenses will improve their communication by making it more specific and descriptive. They will read several familiar folk tales and stories to obtain better understanding of these tenses application and usage. They will watch a video from Spain in which a young person describes childhood memories and activities. Students will then work with partners and interview each other regarding their lives in earlier years. Students will create a list of questions to ask partners and prepare to answer questions as well.

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