7th Grade Update: January 2019

7th Grade Update: January 2019
Posted on 01/29/2019
7th graders


Students are finishing their second unit of Biology. This Biology unit focuses on what is happening inside of us and what it means for things to be living. Students will dig deeper into studies of cells and organelles, and investigate a series of driving questions about Biology that they developed at the start of the unit. The students are currently working on their final independent projects, which show what they’ve learned about organelles and how they function to keep cells alive. Examples of student projects include: poems, games, slideshows, posters, 3D models, and songs.


In math, students are discovering what negatives numbers are, how they work, and where we see them in our lives. As we wrap up this unit we will move on to a unit called Equations, Expressions and Inequalities. Students will be grappling with the idea of using variables and learning how to balance equations. Feel free to see where we are in our curriculum by visiting Illustrative Mathematics Grade 7 Student Materials online!


Upon returning from vacation, students began working on narrative writing. Students will be required to either continue a story by writing from where the story left off, or will have to write a story from a secondary characters perspective. Students will see narrative writing on the MCAS and we want to build their narrative writing skills now, so they will have the tools to be successful in the Spring.

Additionally, we will start our third unit, Pygmalion, a play written by George Bernard Shaw and the overarching essential questions that we will be discussing are: When people change their external appearance, do they necessarily change on the inside too? How can I be a savvy consumer of media and create a strong sense of self despite messages spread in society? We will read this play by using Reader’s Theater in the classroom. In addition to reading the play, students will have an opportunity to watch some clips from My Fair Lady, which is a movie adaptation.

Lastly, beginning the week of January 22, students will receive homework on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. The homework will be skills-based activities that they must complete. Students will still be required to read for thirty minutes on Monday, Thursday, and Friday nights.

Social Studies

Students recently finished their unit on West Africa with the African country research project. For this project, students researched an African country of their choosing. They then created a convincing proposal as to why Disney World should add that country to their world showcase exhibit in Epcot. Finally, students presented their proposal to the Disney board (PAUS staff members). The board was impressed with the level of research and preparation students put into their proposals.

We will start our unit on Ancient India looking at the geography of the subcontinent and why people chose to settle in various areas. We will then explore the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism and how they both developed in India.

Chinese Immersion

Students are finishing the West Africa unit. Students presented their assigned section from chapter 15 “ The cultural legacy of West Africa” in class. Within this unit we have focused on Ancient West Africa, students also will pick a modern West African country and create a tourist flyer to introduce a travel site in the country. We will make paper mache of African masks to end this unit. We will move forward and explore Ancient India next.

Photos (3 on left): 7th grade students work on their Organelles Independent Projects. Projects included short stories, 3D models, analogy diagrams, songs, and even an organelle game!
Photo (1 on right): 7th grade student, Abby, teaches peer, Hurmann, about the science of “multitasking” for her Genius Hour project, using a demonstration to highlight the inability of the brain to focus on multiple tasks effectively.
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