The horizon is wide for seventh graders, and students are eager to explore as many avenues as possible. Socially, students have a desire for a greater sense of personal autonomy, and Calvary Day School provides for its students’ social needs through memorable group activities such as the class trip to a regional amusement park and the 7th/8th grade Valentine’s Social.
Seventh graders work diligently to increase their skills in the classroom as well. Students implement their computational skills in technology class and advance their research skills in order to write more challenging papers for English and civics. They test their skills by taking the Stanford 10 achievement test in the spring. Seventh graders also enjoy time in the spotlight with their peers in other grades by participating in the Middle School Variety Show.
Through nurturing the whole student, Calvary encourages its seventh grade students to grow into positive, responsible young adults who take a sense of accomplishment and pride in all that they do.
Grade 7 English (also offered at the honors level)
Seventh grade English students dive deeper into all areas surrounding writing and reading. Grammar lessons are more detailed as students polish their sentence constructions and proper use of parts of speech and vocabulary words. As readers, students analyze the structures and themes of novels, short stories, poems, dramas, and nonfiction pieces. Students encounter literary elements such as symbols, foreshadowing, characterization, figurative language, sound, dialogue, hyperbolic speech, irony, satire, idioms, and analogies. As writers, students learn the various methods of conveying information through assigned essays and paragraphs. Research, analysis, and editing skills are further developed through the main research paper assignment as well as through various other projects during the course. Through rigorous reading and writing as well as assigned oral reports, students are equipped to express themselves and explore their world with critical eyes. Grade 7 English students focus on The Little Prince; Hatchet; The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle; and The Giver. Honors students focus on The Little Prince; Lord of the Flies; The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle; and The Giver.
Grade 7 Math (also offered at the honors level)
As students develop their arithmetic skills into algebraic ones, the seventh grade mathematics course emphasizes pre-algebra skills and concepts as well as their connection to geometry, to multiple areas of mathematics, and to the real world. Students gain an understanding of real numbers, solving equations and inequalities, using data analysis techniques to make predictions, graphing transformations in the coordinate plane, identifying probabilities, and understanding plane and solid geometry.
Seventh grade life science serves as a transitional course that provides the necessary skills to move from elementary life science standards to High School biology standards. This course offers a more complex understanding of change, cycles, patterns, and relationships in the living world. Students build on basic principles related to these concepts by exploring the cellular organization and the classification of organisms; the dynamic relationships among organisms, populations, communities, and ecosystems; and change as resulting from the transmission of genetic information from generation to generation. This course enhances students’ scientific inquiry skills, such as organization and mathematical analysis of data, manipulation of variables in lab experiments and dissections, and identification of experimental error sources. Students’ appreciation for our planet and the universe increases as they minutely explore the scientific components behind the word “living” in topics such as diversity of living organisms, structure and function of cells, heredity, ecosystems, and biological evolution.
Calvary Day School’s seventh grade students explore the philosophy, function, and structure of the U.S. government. Students begin their study of civics by defining what the word “citizen” means socially as well as legally. Students examine the Declaration of Independence and discover both the historical and present requirements for a government. From this point, detailed studies are conducted into the structure of the U.S. government, including investigation of the Constitution; the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government; the Bill of Rights; local governmental systems; the economy; and the United States’ relations with other nations. By the end of this course, students are empowered to be active and effective participants in their local government.
Christian Living, the seventh grade Bible course, is an Old Testament survey designed to encourage the spiritual and social growth of students. Through a non-denominational approach, students are taught to hear and respond to the call of God. In this course, the Bible is a trustworthy text that illustrates the faithfulness of God to the children of Israel. Students witness the pathway of faith through studying biblical accounts including Creation, the Fall of humanity, the world-wide flood, and Abraham’s life. Students learn about God’s faithfulness and protection through investigation of the Old Testament’s various figures, including Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Ruth, David, Solomon, Elijah, Naaman, Jeremiah, Daniel, and Esther. With God’s values in hand, seventh grade students begin the lifelong process of character building by examining their daily interactions with others and deciding to act upon positive principles. In this course, students also learn to serve others as they participate in community service activities.
Why Art? (nine-week elective)
The Middle School art courses at Calvary Day School emphasize four components of art: artistic perception, creative expression, historical and cultural context, and aesthetic valuing. We believe that a comprehensive Art program enriches students’ lives and allows for discovery and creative problem solving. Art students gain a broader perception of their environment and a greater understanding of historical and cultural perspectives. Our Art program cultivates active learners who make positive and thought-provoking contributions to society. The seventh grade art class is called Why Art? because students explore why people since prehistoric times have felt the need to create art, and why we continue to create art today. Students also explore the different approaches to art history and art criticism and how they are used to judge a piece of art. Seventh grade art students learn the three major aesthetic theories and how they are used in the art world as they create beautiful and original pieces of art.
MS Band (year elective)
The sixth, seventh, and eighth grade band courses at Calvary Day School aim to enrich students’ lives through the study of music, instrumental performance, music history, theory, and culture. Students begin each course by learning or reviewing the correct playing position, posture, and performance techniques appropriate to their instrument. Students learn to respond appropriately to conducting techniques, to participate effectively as a member of a performing ensemble, to read and sight-read music, as well as to evaluate and critique music performed by the ensemble. The band courses also provide students with necessary music vocabulary and instruction about composers of selected musical repertoire. In addition to learning how to perform a piece, students learn the historical and cultural context.
Song and Stage II (nine-week elective)
Calvary Day School’s Song and Stage II program builds upon the principles learned in the sixth grade Song and Stage I program. It continues to acquaint students with various musical styles, music theory, vocal technique, and theatre. Students perform, recognize, and appreciate different styles of music. Students begin by developing and using correct singing posture and breathing skills. Class exercises establish proper vocal tone, diction, intonation, as well as the use and care of the voice. Students are familiarized with a repertoire of vocal literature and are instructed how to read and notate music. Performances are solo, in small ensembles, or in large groups, and teach students how to evaluate themselves individually and as a performer among many. The Song and Stage program aims to establish within each student a sense of citizenship through group endeavor. Whether a student performs in the Spring Musical or at an event in a nursing home, working effectively as a responsible team member is a required skill that promotes all students to success in the Song and Stage program and in life.
Grade 7 Physical Education (nine-week elective)
Physical Education (P.E.) is an integral part of the Middle School curriculum at Calvary Day School. It provides unique opportunities for personal development in creativity and in physical skills that promote an active lifestyle. Students are introduced to fitness through a variety of physical activities that they may pursue in the years to come. Students gain experience in learning to lead, to follow, and to contribute. The ultimate goal of this course is to develop a well-adjusted individual who will be able to live a satisfying and active life. In the seventh grade P.E. course, students participate in some of the following activities: basketball, flag football, soccer, wiffleball, volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, War Ball, Capture the Flag, Colony Ball, Pillo Polo, and fitness.
Presidential Physical Fitness (nine-week elective)
In seventh grade, besides taking nine weeks of general physical education, students also take nine weeks of Presidential Physical Fitness. In this course, students take a pre-test that involves the mile run, sit and reach, sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups. This gives them an idea of the fitness level from which they are beginning. Then throughout the remainder of the nine weeks, students work on their endurance, flexibility, abdominal strength, and arm strength. At the end of the nine weeks, students are given a post-test to see how much fitness progress they have made.
Introduction to Computers (nine-week elective)
To give our students an advantage in today’s computer-based society, Calvary Day School offers technology courses for Middle School students. Introduction to Computers, the course for seventh graders, provides an overview of hardware computer components. Students do a review keyboarding lesson to build upon their speed and skill for the first three weeks and then focus on an introduction to computer input, output, storage, and communication processing. Students also learn about the creation of the various Microsoft operating systems.
Taste of Calvary (nine-week elective)
Taste of Calvary is a course designed to introduce students to the basic principles of food preparation. In this course, students learn about food and kitchen safety and the basics of nutrition and healthy menus. They also learn about the chemistry of food and cooking processes, food costs and budgeting, food identification, basic culinary terminology, cooking techniques, the proper use of kitchen tools and equipment, elements of food preservation, and food quality checkpoints.
Intermediate Spanish (nine-week elective)
Intermediate Spanish is a review and continuation of Introduction to Spanish (the sixth grade Spanish course). The goal of this course is to teach students to be able to survive in a Spanish-speaking country by teaching them about the cultures of Spanish speakers, where the Spanish-speaking countries are located, and to give them a basic knowledge of the written and spoken language. Students review and build upon vocabulary needed in everyday life such as greetings, months of the year, days of the week, body parts, telling time, professions, giving and receiving directions, and money words. The goal at the end of the nine weeks is that students are able to understand and communicate in short, simple phrases and sentences and that they can read brief texts.
Creative Writing (nine-week elective)
The goal of Creative Writing is to introduce students to the art and craft of writing short fiction. Many students see this course as an opportunity to explore an aspect of their creativity that sometimes gets overlooked in other subject areas. Topics explored include The Ten Commandments of Storytelling; Fiction; Storytelling in Film; and Children’s Literature. In addition to creative writing, students also have a unique opportunity to experience the vast world of social media and the safety measures they can take to protect themselves.