Grade 7 Humanities

Amy Minkley – aminkley@aes.ac.in

Courtney Al Moreno – calmoreno@aes.ac.in

Kevin Kuehn – kkuehn@aes.ac.in

Course Description:

Welcome to grade seven, a year of diversity and exploration. This course is a journey of your thoughts, experiences and responses and development of skills connected to our studies. Humanities 7 is an integrated social studies and language arts program combining the reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills of language arts with social studies content.  The focus this year is on connection, particularly the connection between human geography and physical geography.

Our Beliefs:

  • Student choice and time for independent reading and writing.

  • Modeling effective literacy strategies and skills.

  • Providing opportunities for students to engage in authentic literary experiences.

  • Building independence by providing time for students to practice and reflect upon their abilities.

Our Methodology:

Read Aloud Research has shown that reading aloud is an integral part of a balanced literacy program.  It serves as a tool for sharing common experiences with literature, modeling reading  and writing strategies, and prompting deep class discussions.  

Unit Study – Our units are based on questions and understandings that arise from our Social Studies standards and themes.  Each unit will have a Social Studies theme that will be explored through a specific type of reading and/or writing.  All Social Studies themes will fall under the umbrella of our year-long guiding essential question: How are we connected?

Independent Reading and Writing – Protecting independent reading and writing time is an important part of our Middle School literacy program.  Student choice in reading  and writing is one of the most important pieces to promote student growth. It is in this time that teachers will work with students on their individual goals as readers and writers, as well as on spelling, vocabulary development, and grammar.

One of our goals is to create a community of readers and writers.  In order to do this, we have laid out some grade-wide student expectations.

Assessment of Student Performance:

Students will be assessed formatively and summatively throughout the year based on the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards and the C3 Framework from National Council for teaching Social Studies.  All students will receive individual feedback on their assessments and have the opportunity to demonstrate growth by reassessing according to the Middle School agreements.

Additionally, students will be assessed on their learning habits. Teachers and students will work together to identify what respect, perseverance, collaboration, and responsibility look like in each classroom and each unit of study.

Communication:

Humanities teachers will use blogs, emails, google classroom, and powerschool to communicate with students and families regarding the student progress and what’s happening in the classroom.

Homework:

All 7th grade students are expected to read at least 30 minutes at home each evening.  They are also expected to produce 3-5 pages of rough draft in their notebooks each week. There may be additional homework at times to help students prepare for class or extend learning that was done in class.  Students should have no more than 30 minutes of homework from Humanities any given evening (this does not include the 30 minutes of nightly reading).