7th Grade Course Descriptions

  • West Chester Area School District 2020-2021 Middle School Course Description Guide

    7th Grade Academic Courses

    Language Arts - English (7th Grade)

    All English classes include the study of a variety of texts: novels, poetry, short stories, drama, and nonfiction, which includes speeches, biographies, autobiographies and editorials. Integrating reading, speaking, listening, writing, and viewing skills encourages critical thinking and effective communication. Students also study grammar, spelling and vocabulary according to a grade level scope and sequence.
    The specific data points that middle school principals will consider for placement into seventh grade reading and English courses are as follows: teacher recommendation, historical and current PSSA performance in reading and writing, PVAAS projections, and sixth grade reading and English report card grades. Principals may also consider additional data points that may be available for individual students.

    English 7 Accelerated Honors

    This course is recommended for avid readers, advanced writers, critical thinkers and those who have a passion for Language Arts. This class teaches students to analyze, explain, and evaluate elements of literature and write at an accelerated pace.

    English 7 Honors

    This class teaches students to analyze, explain, and evaluate elements of literature and writing at a challenging pace.

    English 7 Grade Level

    This course teaches students to explain, evaluate and analyze elements of literature and writing at a continuous pace.

    Language Arts - Reading (7th Grade)

    Reading Through Time 7 Honors

    This course is for self-directed students who apply advanced reading strategies independently across all content areas.
    If a student qualifies and chooses to take a world language, that student will not take reading in 7th grade.

    Reading Through Time 7 Grade Level

    This course provides additional instruction and practice in developing reading skills and strategies in all content areas.

    Reading Plus 7

    This course replaces World Language and/or Reading Through Time.

    Reading Plus is designed to provide intense, formal reading intervention by a reading specialist. Students who are required to take this course will be selected based on need as determined by multiple criteria.

    Mathematics (7th Grade)

    All Math classes include the following content as outlined by state standards: rational numbers, algebraic expressions, equations and inequalities, ratios and proportions, angle properties, geometric construction, volume & surface area, and statistics & probability.

    The specific data points that middle school principals will consider for placement into seventh grade mathematics courses are as follows: teacher recommendation, historical and current PSSA performance in math, PVAAS projections, and sixth grade math grades. Furthermore, principals may consider additional data points that may be available for individual students.
    Students who are non-proficient on the PSSA may receive math support through an additional math class or support within their regular math class.

    Algebra 1 Accelerated Honors

    Algebra 1 requires abstract thinking and higher-order problem solving. The content includes algebraic properties, linear equations and functions, inequalities, systems of equations and inequalities, exponents, exponential functions, quadratic equations and functions, polynomials and factoring, rational equations and functions, radicals and data and probability.

    Mathematics 7 - Honors

    Mathematics 7 Honors requires a focus on abstract thinking with an exposure to higher-order problems. The course provides students with a foundation of skills and abstract reasoning and incorporates a challenging pace and level of rigor in preparation for taking Algebra 1 the following year.

    Mathematics 7 - Grade Level

    Abstract thinking is embedded throughout the mathematics 7 – Level 2 course to support the concrete representation of numbers. In this course, students continue the progression to understanding the abstract elements of math while reinforcing numeracy skills.

    Math Plus 7

    This course replaces a 2 day Unified Arts class

    Math Plus is designed to provide intense, formal math remediation. Students who are required to participate will be selected based on need as determined by multiple data. Math Plus is in addition to a student’s core math class.


    Science (7th Grade)

    The seventh grade science curriculum is based on the Pennsylvania State Science Standards and Assessment Anchors. The scientific method is integrated as an extension of sixth grade science and a connection to future scientific discovery. Basic principles of chemistry and physics are taught using a hands-on, guided inquiry approach to learning. Topics include chemical interactions, motion, force, energy, sound, light, electricity, magnetism, and astronomy. Students continue to develop science and literacy skills as they engage in the process of science.


    Social Studies (7th Grade)

    American History to 1787
    In accordance with Pennsylvania State Standards, the seventh grade American History class includes a review of the geographical regions of the United States. In this review, the physical, climatic and economic characteristics of each region, as well as the interaction of the people with their environment, will be examined. The exploration and development of the New World in early American history through the development of the Constitution are also included in this course of study. The course continues with American History from 1787-1914 in eighth grade.


    World Language (7th Grade)

    Middle schools will recommend reading or world language for students based on multiple criteria including, but not limited to, standardized assessments and grades. Students enrolled in Direct Instruction Reading or Reading Plus are not eligible for world language.


    French 1

    Students develop the skills of listening, understanding, speaking, reading and writing French at a beginner’s level. The course includes vocabulary building, development of basic structural patterns, listening comprehension exercises, instructional games, role playing, and exploration of French culture. Listening and speaking skills are combined with written work for evaluation.


    Spanish 1

    Students develop the skills of listening, understanding, speaking, reading and writing Spanish at a beginner’s level. The course includes vocabulary building, development of basic structural patterns, listening comprehension exercises, instructional games, role playing, and exploration of Spanish culture. Listening and speaking skills are combined with written work for evaluation.


    Unified Arts Courses (7th Grade)


    Art

    This class meets 6 days per 6-day cycle for 1 quarter

    The various styles and time periods or “isms” of art are the focus of the seventh grade art program. Students use a variety of media to produce creative and personal projects that demonstrate understanding of stylistic differences in art. Elements and principles of design are incorporated into aesthetic and critical analysis of art. Whenever possible, interdisciplinary connections are incorporated. Each unit is modified, when appropriate, for differentiated instruction.

    Computer Science 7

    This class meets 6 days per 6-day cycle for 1 quarter

    The 7th Grade Computer Science curriculum consists of an exploration of digital products using a variety of software tools to address topics such as hardware, binary numbers, emerging technologies and technology careers. Digital citizenship topics include Internet safety as well as legal and ethical issues such as copyright and fair use. Students will be exploring computer programming using a variety of software applications and enhance their skills in digital literacy, information communication technology, and web design principles.

    Family and Consumer Sciences (7th Grade)

    The seventh grade Family and Consumer Science program includes two courses listed below taken back-to-back during one marking period. Each course meets every day for half a marking period.

    Food Science

    Based on the Chester County Food Bank Raised Bed Garden curriculum and “Farm to Table” concepts, curriculum content includes: food safety and prevention of food borne illness, accuracy in measurement, leavening agents and chemical changes in food preparation, nutritional analysis and food labeling, raised bed garden care, vegetable harvest, and lab experiments using vegetables and other healthy food choices. Students apply knowledge learned as they complete lab experiences and critique their performance as members of a team.


    Child Care and Personal Finance

    Students explore child growth and development and examine decision-making and problem-solving skills related to the care of children. Toy safety and children’s literature are highlighted to enhance activities for children. Students create a business plan using information related to spending and saving, credit, income, expenses and decision-making, and explore consumer rights and responsibilities as well as advertising.

    Health (7th Grade)

    This course meets 2 days per 6-day cycle for the entire year

    The middle school Health Education Program is designed to motivate and encourage active student  participation in developing life skills for optimal emotional, mental, physical, and social health. The curriculum is aligned with the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety & Physical Education and is delivered in a variety of teaching styles to optimize and accommodate student learning. A main goal of the program is for students to apply the knowledge gained to make healthy lifestyle decisions.

    Music (7th Grade)

    Band, Chorus, and String Orchestra all meet 2 days per 6-day cycle for the entire school year.

    If qualified, middle school students may register for ONE performing ensemble class (band, chorus, orchestra) OR they will be enrolled in Classroom Music.

    Band

    Students who play band instruments are given the opportunity to perform many styles of literature from classical to contemporary. The development of technical skills, musical knowledge, and self discipline, as well as learning to work together as a unified organization, are important elements of the band program. Group lessons are scheduled on a rotating basis during the school day. Home practice is essential. Extracurricular activities such as Jazz Band, District Honors Band, Pep Band, and small ensembles may be offered as enrichment opportunities for exceptionally motivated students.
    Prerequisites: (1) essential technical skills on a band instrument as prescribed in the district band curriculum; and (2) approval by the band director.

    Chorus

    Each grade level practices and performs varied selections of choral literature while working toward developing tone, intonation, diction, blend, balance, and breathing techniques. Furthermore, students will continue to improve their music literacy, ear-training/audiation skills, and sight-reading abilities. Chorus is designed for students who have a high level of interest in singing and improving their vocal skills. Extracurricular ensembles such as Stetson Singers, Peirce Vocal Ensemble, Fugett Chorale, PMEA Songfest, and District Honors Chorus may be offered as enrichment opportunities for exceptionally motivated students.

    String Orchestra

    Students who play string instruments are given the opportunity to perform many styles of string ensemble/orchestral literature ranging from baroque to jazz. Students develop their technique and knowledge of scales and rhythms as well as their sensitivity to style and character of the music. As a community of people, members of the string orchestra learn to work together with self discipline toward a common goal: excellence in performance. Group lessons are scheduled on a rotating basis during the school day. Home practice is essential, and private lessons are encouraged. Extracurricular activities such as Select Strings, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 12 string festivals for seventh and eighth grades, and other small ensembles may be offered as enrichment opportunities for exceptionally motivated string students.
    Prerequisites: (1) essential technical skills on a violin, viola, cello or double bass and (2) approval by the middle school string directors.

    Classroom Music

    Classroom Music students study a variety of topics, including music theory, music history, instrumentation, composition, musical careers, recording, and the music industry. They actively participate in musical performance while learning the basic elements of music through the use of the MIE keyboard lab and guitars. This course is designed to develop and expand upon the students’ knowledge of history and culture through the medium of music. The course focuses on musical styles, rhythm, music history, and music in the movies.

    Physical Education (7th Grade)

    This class meets 2 days per 6-day cycle for the entire school year

    The middle school Physical Education Program provides cognitive, affective and psychomotor learning opportunities aligned with the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Health, Safety & Physical Education in order to gain a better appreciation, working knowledge and understanding of the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. Students engage in a wide variety of activities including team sports, cooperative games, personal fitness, lifetime pursuits, team building and indoor rock climbing. Classes are differentiated to meet all levels of ability and students are encouraged to optimize their participation by being prepared with a required uniform.

    Technology Education (7th Grade)

    This class meets 6 days per 6-day cycle for 1 quarter

    Students study communication technology along with energy and power engineering, and design. Students are engaged in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities and concepts in energy, power and communication technologies. Students explore electrical generation, use and conservation of energy, as well as 21st century communication, technology, and product design.