7th Grade

NFS Curriculum Update :: December, 2015


Students in Advanced Handbells dove right in! We have highlighted and played through several holiday pieces. We will be preparing a piece or two to play at the Holiday Meeting for Worship on the 18th and I am hoping to put a short program together to play at the end of the quarter!


Students are currently working on a typography project. Students were asked to transform an inspirational quote into a poster with a focus on font using only letters and words. We will move into a quick study of industrial design in which student will redesign an everyday product and focus on either ergonomic or aesthetic improvement.


Seventh grade English students will take on a full-length novel in December. Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083 is a dystopian young adult novel which may remind a few readers of The Hunger Games in its treatment of society’s future (although it was published three years earlier!). The text offers an excellent venue for discussion of conflict, narrative point of view, and other key literary elements. Students will also develop their approaches to active reading, interacting with what they read in order to better engage with and understand the text. Whether students opt for Post-its, pen and paper, or an electronic annotation method, they will be stronger readers and more capable writers as a result of tracking their responses to what they read. Finally, the novel will serve as a springboard for Harkness-style discussions in which the entire class will work together to generate meaningful conversation about the text.


This month the seventh grade Latin students will complete their work in Lesson 11. This lesson introduces the ablative of place where, a type of prepositional phrase that indicates where something is located or where an event is taking place. As part of this lesson, students will master the skill of sentence analysis, a modified form of parsing that makes explicit the nature and function of each component of a sentence. This skill provides students with a new strategy for tackling complex or confusing sentences. This work will carry us through to the end of the month.


Seventh graders will continue solving algebraic equations with variables on both sides. This includes reinforcing the use of inverse operations, combining like-terms, simplifying to lowest terms, and checking each equation as the final step. Students will be given formulas that are unfamiliar to them and evaluate a word problem given what each variable means. This is an important skill because in many occupations, various formulas are used to represent situations. Students will be involved in several activities including investigating if coupon clipping is actually saving money, exploring how a car’s fuel economy changes as it drives, and examining if taller sprinters have an advantage to winning the race.

With integrating technology, we will also continue working with Google Sheets, Google Slides, graphing calculators, Desmos, and continue having class notes and resources shared on Google Classroom. The cumulative math midterm will be in mid-January.


December is the start of our basketball unit and many of the classes this month will focus on various basketball skills, drills, and activities. We will play basketball games called H-O-R-S-E and Twenty One. We will play large group games like BBK and Knockout. We will play full and half court basketball games too. This month's fitness skill challenge is "how many baskets can you make in one minute?" We will continue to use the rock wall once this month. Fitness and skill development remain an important part of our activities, as well as sportsmanship and fair play.


The seventh grade will explore DNA and genetics in December. Using Punnett squares, the classes will understand genotypes, phenotypes, purebreds, and hybrid crosses. The students will also understand the differences between homozygous and heterozygous genotypes. Ultimately, the students may design a hypothetical genetic “being” using all of their knowledge.


This month the second batch of Service Learners will lay the groundwork for their service projects. Students have recently chosen issues in the world that are of concern to them and will now research the causes of and remedies for these issues. They will synthesize their findings into annotated bibliographies and present brief speeches to their classmates persuading them of the importance of their issues. After these presentations, students will form groups based on their shared interests, and they will begin to write their project proposals. As the end of the month approaches, groups will revise and edit their proposals to created detailed and easy-to-follow plans for their service projects.


In December the seventh grade social studies students will finish our unit on the American Revolution. The unit culminates with an FRQ (Free Response Question) paragraph test. The students will be expected to write persuasive paragraphs about how several topics relate to the American Revolution. After we complete the test we will move on to the formation of the United States government. We will discuss the social, political, and economic factors that led to the United States creating the government we currently have.


In December the goal for seventh grade students is to complete the reading text, Esperanza. The class will read the La Guerra Civil de Guatemala handout and will discuss how the characters in the book are affected by the injustices that occurred during that period . The class will have discussions about the reading and will also need to indicate, how long the war lasted and why it occurred. Other class discussions and activities will include researching and examining the document, The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights in English with Spanish translation.

Holiday Meeting for Worship

Friday, Dec. 18th, 9-10am

George School Meeting House

Parents are welcome to join us for Holiday Meeting for Worship on Friday, December 18th at 9 am in the George School Meeting House. This year's program includes performances from the Advanced Handbell Elective, the NFS Parent Chorus, and the Faculty Chorus.