Academics

Grade 7

Grade 7 Curriculum

List of 10 items.

  • Design

    This course helps students follow the Design Cycle, which is, at its core, a model for empathetic problem solving. The cycle has four stages: analysis, ideation, creation, and evaluation; students find that they often need to rethink their progress and revisit stages of the cycle. This rethinking and revisiting can take the form of debugging code, redesigning plans for a boat during the Milk Boat Project, or troubleshooting an unexpected hurdle for a video advertisement. Students track their progress and provide reflection, an integral component of the process, in their design blogs.
  • Individuals & Societies

    This concept-driven course builds note-taking skills and a base of knowledge and then encourages students to apply what they have learned. There is a strong emphasis on analysis and research skills, with students working directly with primary source material. The course investigates the American Revolution, the US Civil War, and finally ends with the World Wars, particularly World War II. While there’s an emphasis on the American experience, each unit also reaches to global experiences. During the first unit, students research a revolution in another country and another time period, and then they deliver a formal presentation on the conflict for their peers. A heavy focus in the final semester is on the production of a thesis-driven research paper.
  • Language & Literature

    This course emphasizes the organization and structure found in quality writing. A consistent feedback loop on essays offers the main guidance, but there is also an emphasis on the application of grammar concepts and the use of editing skills. For reading, the year begins with short stories and builds into novels that sometimes connect to concepts and units in other classes, creating opportunities that help students to see larger ideas in different ways. For instance, the class reads Inherit the Wind, which helps with voice work but also connects to evolution in Science, and we read The Lord of the Flies, primarily as a push toward better reading comprehension, but also because it connects conceptually to World War II. Throughout the year, students also build speaking skills through a series of increasingly challenging games that culminate in formal speeches.
  • Mathematics

    Students take one of the following courses as determined by the Mathematics Department after considering available grades, Math Inventory scores, teacher recommendation, and student application. 

    All courses are taught through the MYP lens, working to promote inquiry and application, and helping students become better communicators and problem solvers.

    Pre-Algebra
    This course is a standard 7th grade course; students should be proficient at operations with whole numbers and decimals, and work reasonably well with fractions and mixed numbers before beginning the course. Students will explore operations with positive and negative numbers (integers and rational numbers), proportional relationships (ratios, proportions, and percents), basic algebra (simplifying expressions and solving equations), and geometry (surface area, volume, constructions and scale drawings).  The main text for this course is Big Ideas Math: Course 2. 

    Introduction to Integrated Math
    This course is designed for students who need exposure to the 7th grade curriculum, but who have demonstrated that they would benefit from both an accelerated and enriched version of it. This course includes all of the topics listed above in Pre-Algebra but also includes advanced work whenever possible related throughout the course as well as geometry (transformations, angle relationships, triangles, circles and similar solids), data analysis (scatter plots, lines of best fit and data displays), and further algebraic concepts (inequalities, linear functions, exponents and scientific notation). The main text for this course is Big Ideas Math: Advanced 2. 

    Integrated Math 1
    This course is designed for students who are ready for the study of high school level mathematics. Topics include solving linear equations and inequalities, graphing and writing linear functions, and systems of linear equations. Students also apply basic geometric terminology and reasoning skills to the topics of parallel lines, transformations, congruent triangles, and relationships within triangles. This course ends with the study of probability.  The course has two main texts, Big Ideas Math: Algebra 1 and Big Ideas Math: Geometry. 

    Participation in the American Mathematics Competitions is expected of Middle School students in this advanced pathway.
  • Physical & Health Education

    Throughout the year, Middle School students engage in three major components of Physical & Health Education (PHE): Health & Wellness, Social-Emotional Development, and what it means to be a student athlete. As part of the Health & Wellness component, students focus on learning about muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and body composition, and they participate in exercises and activities that promote the development of agility, balance, coordination, speed, power, and reaction time. Students also develop a deeper understanding of nutrition, growth, and development. The social-emotional aspect of PHE will allow students to grow and reflect through activities focused in five core competency areas, including self-awareness, self-regulation, social-awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. Finally, a focus for our students throughout the year is on what it means to be a student athlete. We emphasize the “being the best you” attitude, and highlight practicing empathy and inclusiveness, individual and team skills, reflection on words and actions, and finding joy in what they are learning with a positive attitude.
  • Science

    Over the course of the year, students will engage in units of study in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Science. These units are inquiry-based and emphasize the application of knowledge to novel situations, where students conduct independent research and evaluate how scientists solve real world problems. Hands-on and virtual laboratory experiences actively engage students in scientific inquiry in the following topics: the Chemistry of Mixtures, Forces, Evolution, Cells and Microbiology, Density and Buoyancy, and the Processes that Shape the Earth. Highlights for Grade 7 include an interdisciplinary unit to help students refine their Milk Boats designs prior to racing them on American Lake and a unit preparing students for their Journey to the Southwest that explores the processes that have shaped the stunning landscapes in national parks.
  • Spanish

    Spanish students continue to deepen their understanding and practice of the four skills in language learning: speaking, reading, writing and listening. Our strong commitment to developing verbal skills ensures that students are engaged in a 90% target language environment. Topics include: food, sports, health, and vacations. In addition, students engaged in a variety of cultural activities that are aligned with the topics of study, to prompt a deeper understanding of the language, people, and customs in a variety of Spanish speaking countries. By the end of the year, students will have completed two-thirds of the high school Spanish 1 textbook, ¡Así se dice!
  • Strings

    The Middle School Strings Classes gives students the opportunity to learn or increase their skills on violin, viola, cello, or bass. Units include: “Instrumental Technique”, “Music Performance in Orchestras” and “Improvisation”. The curriculum is adjusted to match the playing abilities of the class and any level may participate. Along with learning music reading, ensemble skills and musical context, students perform at a variety of all school events throughout the year.
  • Theatre

    The art of theater demands that artists engage in an ongoing process of construction and deconstruction. This class explores the art of theater and places it in the context of our changing world.  
    The course looks at the history of theater and focuses on how theater developed, the purpose it served in the development of human society, and the forces that changed theater throughout history. Students deconstruct characters created by a playwright and learn to create a believable character onstage. While our main focus is on acting - students have the opportunity to learn the basics of theater design through scenery, lights, and costumes.
  • Visual Art

    The history of art is long and sometimes complicated; stories told, stories lost, and stories rediscovered. Students in Visual Arts learn about how history was nearly lost but how its rediscovery changed the world's "perspective." Cultures all over the world have been creating using clay for tens of thousands of years. The class explores some of those cultures and uses their ancient knowledge to create something contemporary. Visual art is not an exclusively individual activity, collaboration through the creative process takes a unique set of skills but the outcome is always amazing. Finally, there is rhythm in everything we do, including visual arts, and so we turn musical composition into a stunning visual artwork.
As part of their design course, Grade 7 students picked their own non-profit, reached out to conduct an interview with an expert and created a documentary-style short video to publicize the non-profit's work. Above are a few examples.
For questions or to schedule a campus tour, contact Lower & Middle School Admissions Director Joy Phelps at 253.284.8602 or joy_phelps@aw.org.

Contact

Annie Wright Schools
827 North Tacoma Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98403
253.272.2216

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Founded in Tacoma, Washington, in 1884, Annie Wright Schools serve students from age three through high school. Annie Wright Lower  and Middle Schools offer coed programs in Preschool through Grade 8, while separate Upper Schools for girls  and boys offer day and boarding options in Grades 9 through 12. Annie Wright is proud to be an International Baccalaureate World School.