7th Grade Curriculum

 

UTICA COMMUNITY SCHOOLS JUNIOR HIGH

7th GRADE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS 2019-2020

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS 7th GRADE

Full Year = 2 Semesters = 1 Credit 

1/ 2 Year = 1 Semester = 1/ 2 Credit

REQUIRED COURSES

ENGLISH 7 Full Year 1 Credit

This course emphasizes the development of the student's strategic reading skills, literary knowledge, writing abilities, oral communication, and research skills. Grammar, vocabulary, and spelling are taught as part of the writing process.

ACCELERATED ENGLISH 7 Full Year 1 Credit

This course emphasizes the development of the student's strategic reading skills, literary knowledge, writing abilities, oral communication, and research skills. Grammar, vocabulary, and spelling are taught as part of the writing process. The advanced class will delve deeper into content by applying additional concepts to literature, independently reading additional novels, collaborating with others through discussion processes, and using critical thinking skills to analyze information.

GEOGRAPHY (SOCIAL STUDIES) Full Year 1 Credit

This course acquaints the student with the relationship between people, the natural environment, and the necessity of global interdependence. Cultural diversity, population growth, human migration, environmental protection, food and energy distribution, and human rights are examined. Basic concepts include: latitude, longitude, boundaries, topography, climate, natural resources and habitat. Geographical skills of map reading and plotting, as well as graph interpretation are emphasized.

ACCELERATED GEOGRAPHY (SOCIAL STUDIES) Full Year 1 Credit

This course acquaints the student with the relationship between people, their culture, and connections made within the Eastern Hemisphere. Cultural diversity, population growth, human migration, cultural diffusion, physical geography, history, and modern day issues are discussed within regions of the Eastern Hemisphere. Basic concepts include: how geography affects people and culture, how history is included in the understanding of regional people's, how modern day countries respond to issues affecting their own country and how to globally connect to the outside world, as well to improve the well-being of citizens from each country of the Eastern Hemisphere. This course deals heavily with charts, maps, graphs, primary and secondary sources and reading.

SCIENCE 7 Full Year 1 Credit

This course is an exploratory science course that covers basic laboratory and measuring techniques, basic chemistry principals, physics and earth sciences. The course uses a hands-on approach in laboratory discovery, that requires students to utilize critical thinking and problem-solving skills based on the scientific method.

MATH 7 Full Year 1 Credit

This course stresses both the reading and application of mathematics. Arithmetic principles are consolidated and integrated with concepts from algebra and geometry. An emphasis is placed on problem-solving strategies and scientific calculator usage. Placement in this class is based on established criteria.

ADVANCED MATH 7 Full Year 1 Credit

This course is designed for students displaying a high degree of skill and interest in mathematics, enabling the most capable students to make the transition from elementary school mathematics to algebra in one year. It emphasizes pre-algebra skills and concepts, such as variables, equation solving and problem solving. The full range of topics needed for the successful study of algebra is presented. Placement of the student in this class is based upon established criteria.

ALGEBRA I (ADVANCED CLASS) Full Year 1 Credit

This advanced mathematics course stresses both the structure of algebra and the development of computational problem-solving skills. Students study the structure and properties of real numbers, equations, inequalities, functions, and probability. Applications of these ideas are used in problem solving. Appropriate use of the scientific calculator is included throughout the course. Placement of the student in this class is based upon established criteria

 

ELECTIVE COURSES

PHYSICAL EDUCATION 7/ HEALTH 1 Semester ½ Credit

In health, students are introduced to decision making skills that will help them throughout life. Units of study include: substance use and abuse, emergency care, quackery and consumerism, infectious and non-infectious diseases, social, physical, mental, emotional health, and systems of the body. Students study various aspects of physical education including basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer, aerobics, and other leisure time activities. This is a REQUIRED class for all students.

DIGITAL LITERACY AND MEDIA DESIGN 1 Semester ½ Credit

Digital Literacy & Media Design is a recommended semester long foundational course to be taken in 7th grade. Students will learn digital citizenship principles and apply that knowledge through the strategic use of digital media. This course will provide students the opportunity to work collaboratively to enhance their understanding of communicating ideas through digital displays of information. Students will integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words. This elective is only offered in 7th grade.

COMPUTER SCIENCE DISCOVERIES I 1 Semester ½ Credit Computer Science Discoveries 1 is a one semester introductory computer science survey course targeted at grades 7-9. The course takes a wide lens on computer science by covering topics such as digital footprints, intellectual property, programming, JavaScript and HTML/CSS. Students are empowered to create authentic artifacts and engage with Computer Science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun. Computer Science Discoveries 1 will explore the problem-solving process and the different ways humans and computers solve problems, discover the languages powering the web by building websites in HTML and CSS using Web Lab, and learn the foundational programming languages by building interactive animations and games in JavaScript using Game Lab. Implementation of this course will create a natural pathway for students to enroll in high school computer science courses.

COMPUTER SCIENCE DISCOVERIES II 1 Semester ½ Credit

Pre-Requisite: Computer Science Discoveries I

Students are empowered to create authentic artifacts and engage with Computer Science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun. Computer Science Discoveries 2 is a continuation of Computer Science Discoveries 1 and will follow the design process to identify and empathize with problems faced by a target audience by prototyping an app using App Lab. Students will develop binary representations of different kinds of information. They will collect, analyze, visualize, and make automated decisions using data. Finally, students will explore the relationship between hardware and software while building interactive projects using Adafruit’s Circuit Playground. Implementation of this course will create a natural pathway for students to enroll in high school computer science courses.

INTRO TO ART 1 Semester ½ Credit

This class helps develop drawing skills using nature, figures, still life, and perspective studies. The student will gain an understanding of composition by working with the elements of art: color, line, space, shape, texture, value, and form; and the principles of art: balance, variety, movement/rhythm, harmony/unity, proportion, contrast (size) and emphasis. The class will provide training and experience in painting, printmaking, lettering, sculpture, pottery, and/or technology. A sketchbooks containing outside assignments will be kept to help the student develop sequential thought processes, and creative ideas.

INTRO TO DRAWING AND DESIGN 1 Semester ½ Credit

Did you every say, “I can’t draw a straight line” or “I don’t know how to draw”? This course is designed to teach you the ‘tricks’ of drawing. What an artist inherently knows about looking, seeing, and spatial relationships can be learned. The right side of the brain is the creative side. By learning to tap this creativity, anyone can learn to draw better. The book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards, is used as the main resource for this class. By practicing the techniques learned in this class and studying other artists’ work, anyone can become more skilled at drawing, the beginner as well as the advanced artist. Methods of drawing include contour, spatial relationships, and proportional relationships.

INTRO TO PHOTO AND FILM 1 Semester ½ Credit

This class is recommended for serious students who seek to expand their proficiency in the digital arts. Students are asked to demonstrate their understanding of technology through the use of digital cameras for photos and computers for editing digital photographs with Adobe Photoshop. Assignments will help students gain proficiency in using and understanding any digital camera as well as understanding the rules of composition and what makes a good photo. Students will create a photography portfolio, compete, publish and print their work.

EXPLORATORY DESIGN & ENGINEERING I 1 Semester ½ Credit

This introductory course is designed for students who have an interest in drawing, design, and engineering. The course will provide students with basic fundamentals and an appreciation for the basic knowledge of mechanical, architectural, and engineering design. This course encompasses proper lettering, use of measuring scales, use of design equipment, single, multi view and isometric drawings, and basic residential design. The Engineering Design Process will be followed as students identify, analyze, predict, and test solutions to problem based projects. The students will analyze and interpret data, construct explanations, and design solutions. This course will provide students a foundation for the Design & Engineering and Architecture programs at the high school.

EXPLORATORY LANGUAGE 1 Semester ½ Credit

The focus of this course is on introducing the student to the foreign languages of French, Spanish, German, and Japanese. In addition to the essentials such as numbers, colors, greetings, and simple nouns, the student will be using their skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening during all four languages. Additionally, this course includes the study of the various countries and cultures related to each of the language groups. This elective is only offered in 7th grade.

DRAMA 7/8 1 Semester ½ Credit

Drama is a twenty-week course designed to introduce the basic elements of performance to seventh grade students. Students will learn about the production of a play and/or musical through a performance role, set, costume, and/or promotional design. Students may be required to attend the final performance for this class.

VOCAL MUSIC 1 Semester ½ Credit

This coed choir is made up of beginning and intermediate students. Many styles of music will be offered, and some choreography will be included. All students will be required to attend all rehearsals, competitions, concerts, and activities of the group

LIFE SKILLS 1 Semester ½ Credit

Life Skills promotes a positive self-esteem to guide students toward effective living. Students will explore career pathways, goal setting, success skills and develop a presentation to be shared in a tradeshow format. This course includes academic links and study skills. Student success is enhanced through the use of hands-on projects and cooperative learning experiences.

 

YEAR LONG COURSES

BAND 7 Full Year 1 Credit

This course is available to any seventh grader who wishes to learn a band instrument. Band gives students the opportunity to learn and understand musical notes, symbols, and terms, and a chance to develop proficiency on their musical instruments which will benefit their performing and listening ability. Members of this group are expected to develop and refine those skills that will lead to advancement into the 8th grade band. All members are expected to practice regularly and give their utmost dedication to the group.

ALL MEMBERS ARE REQUIRED TO ATTEND ALL PERFORMANCES.