7th Grade

RELIGION:  Ms. Frazzini

Textbook: Christ Our Life Series – Jesus the Way, The Truth and The Life, Loyola Press; 2016.

The seventh grade program involves teaching our students that Jesus is the one around whom each of our lives is centered.  This revised edition encourages prayer and guides students to a deeper personal relationship with Jesus.  It teaches them how to live out their faith in their daily lives and in communion with the Church.  It integrates Scripture, Catholic doctrine, and Tradition along with the Church’s social teachings. The Gospel according to St. Luke will be read and studied by the students during this year.  A second book, Family Life, provides a moral catechesis for students covering topics as such as conflict resolution, dealing with peer pressure, self-assessment of attributes and attitudes, keeping a health checklist, making a prayer pledge, discerning messages in the media and developing and growing friendships.



Textbook: The Writer’s Craft, McDougal Littell, Inc. 1998

At the seventh grade level, the study of grammar, spelling, language usage, and mechanics will help students become proficient writers.  In late October/early November, study will begin on note taking and writing the Science Focus paper.  Writing narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive papers aids in the growth and development of the students’ writing skills.  Daily Oral Language (DOL) is practiced for the first five minutes of each class.



Textbook: The Writer’s Craft, McDougal Littell, Inc. 1998

English assignments follow the Collins Writing Program. This program enables students to become comfortable thinking and writing to develop the essential writing skills for academic success. English projects correlate with the English lessons in the seventh grade general education classroom. The seventh grade text, The Writer’s Craft is used. The small group environment allows for extra drill, instruction, and practice.  Support is provided in other subject areas as needed.



Textbook: Literature, McDougal Littell, Inc. 2008

Seventh grade Reading initially focuses on the two novels that were assigned as summer reading – Matched by Ally Condie and Bruiser by Neal Shusterman.  Once the summer reading activities are complete, we move to the Literature anthology, which offers a variety of genres including short stories, fiction, non-fiction, poetry and drama.  In this series, the students will read pieces from such authors as Gary Soto, Sandra Cisneros, Emily Dickinson and Rudyard Kipling.  In addition, the study of novels is a large component of reading class.  Three novels will be read and studied throughout the year: Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, My Brother Sam is Dead by Christopher Collier & James Lincoln Collier, and The Call of the Wild by Jack London  We will incorporate nonfiction pieces and current events into our fictional units/novels. Students will enhance their reading and critical thinking skills and gain an appreciation for literary texts.



Textbook: Literature, McDougal Littell, Inc. 2008

Mrs. Widmaier has small group reading classes that cover the 7th grade common core standards according to student need. The 7th grade Comprehension group applies reading strategies to improve understanding and fluency of a broad range of reading materials. The text is the 7th grade McDougal Littell Literature anthology.  Drills emphasizing word analysis and vocabulary development are essential in this class. To practice their reading skills, students are assigned short reading passages with questions from the seventh grade novels for homework.



Textbook: Math in Focus: Singapore Math - Course 2

The curriculum and instructional strategies that are applied within the 7th grade-level mathematics program are based upon the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics for Illinois.  This multifaceted and enhanced approach for learning is designed to deliver student support across multiple texts, develop study, note-taking, and organizational skills, utilize math vocabulary appropriately, and foster an understanding and retention of textual information that encompasses number sense, measurement, technology and algebra, geometry, data analysis, statistics, and probability.  Student learning outcomes will be focused on increasing understand within ratios and proportional relationships, percentages, integers, rational numbers, expressions, equations and inequalities, geometric figures, measuring figures, probability, and statistics.

Students are expected to develop reading, writing, and computational skill sets within mathematics and pre-algebra topics that prepare ultimately prepare them to use higher-order thinking skills to address real-world and hands-on problem solving.  While the course may build upon daily interventions and prerequisite skill sets as necessary, this enhanced approach will address test-taking strategies, test preparation skills and practice, and utilize online and/or additional resource materials as necessary to address individual and/or group needs for students.  Students should already have a good conceptual understanding for problem-solving using whole numbers, patterns, statistics, and graphs.  Similarly, students are expected to have a reasonably solid understanding for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals and fractions, in addition to an understanding of ratios and proportions, positive and negative integer, solving for equations with one variable, and a general sense of beginning measurement and geometry skills.  



Textbook: Math in Focus: Singapore Math - Course 2

The students in this class will study Pre-Algebra at a faster pace than the other Pre-Algebra classes. The students will study algebraic language, skill development, critical thinking, and problem solving strategies using algebraic concepts. They will also use supplementary materials, discussions, and collaborative learning to explore these areas. Homework will be given daily to reinforce concepts and to have the students use their higher level thinking skills. Math in Focus addresses topics in greater depth at each grade level, including “brain at work” and enrichment problems for the students to complete. This year your student will learn about developing problem-solving skills and strategies, evaluating and simplifying algebraic expressions, solving algebraic equations, and using proportional reasoning. They will also work on constructing geometric figures, finding volumes and surface areas of cones, cylinders, and spheres, graphing data sets and analyzing statistical sampling methods, identifying events, outcomes, and sample spaces,


Textbook: Math In Focus Course 3, 2015, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Grade 7 advanced math will be studying the eighth grade math curriculum, which is Algebra I. The areas of study include:  variable, functions, patterns, graphs, rational numbers, solving equations and inequalities, linear equations and their graphs, exponents and exponential functions, polynomials and factoring, quadratic equations and functions, and radical and rational expressions and equations.  Students in this class will be learning math at a faster pace and on a deeper level through class discussions, collaboration, and investigation.  Homework is given every night including weekends to reinforce concepts and to have the students use their higher level thinking skills.



Textbook: Math In Focus: Singapore Math - Course 2

The resource math group will cover seventh grade material in a small group setting. Emphasis will be placed on the mastery of grade level concepts. Students will participate in daily drills, practice, and instruction on a more individualized basis.


SOCIAL STUDIES:  Mrs. Hoversen

Textbook: The American Republic to 1877, Glencoe, 2007

The seventh graders study U.S. history starting with the European explorers and colonization through the Civil War.  Students are encouraged to engage in critical thinking and debate.  Each week students will discuss current events via the use of maps, a program called CultureGrams and the internet. The U.S. Constitution is taught during one trimester of the school year. Appropriate handouts and notes are given to students to help them prepare for each class and the final Constitution test, which is required by the State of Illinois.


SCIENCE:  Mrs. Stypka

Textbook: Science Dimensions series, Module B (Cells and Heredity), Module C (Ecology and the Environment), and Module D(The Diversity of Living Things); Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 2018.

Each textbook is what is called interactive which means students write in them constantly.  The textbooks, enhanced with videos, virtual labs, simulations and more, are also available online.

The seventh grade science curriculum focuses on life science. The textbook follows the science and engineering concepts and practices specified by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  A consistent practice is learning how to argue scientifically. Students follow the Claim, Evidence, Reasoning method to defend their claim. Students begin their learning by becoming comfortable with lab safety and use of the microscope. The Engineering Design Process is also introduced which will be used in various activities. The Scientific Method is used in science projects (Science Focus) in which our school competes at the school, regional, and state levels through the Illinois Junior Academy of Science. Students particpate in general labs and classroom discussion. In addition, Science World magazine exposes students to the latest applications of science and technology.


Physical Education: Mrs. Ufheil

7th grade students in physical education class will work on mastering rules and regulations of leisure and team sports.  Students in 7th grade will come in their gym uniform when they have physical education class.


Music: Ms. Elko
The music curriculum will be a year exploring the history of music. The purpose of choosing music history is to expose students to the diverse historical music periods so they may see the progression of music through the times. I hope to engage students directly through composition, singing and in-depth listening activities that will deepen their understanding of how and why music is written, so they may then listen for similarities and differences in the music they listen to on a daily basis. In this students will explore music of various time periods. Students will be assessed on their understanding of learned concepts and their development as singers and instrumentalists.  


SPANISH:  Mrs. Mejicanos
The Spanish program at St. Paul of the Cross School is designed to develop basic communication skills with a final goal of confidently communicating in Spanish. The Spanish curriculum is designed to meet the requirements of both the National and State Foreign Language Learning standards. Thematic units integrate both culture and vocabulary. This approach also aids students in listening, reading and writing skills.

Seventh grade students use a book as their main tool to polish their grammar and spelling.

The goal is language acquisition, which happens through comprehensible input with a variety of fun and interesting activities. The exposure to a foreign language helps students develop an awareness of other cultures, preparing them not only to interact with other people, but to increase sensitivity and understanding of values, customs, and traditions of others. All students are encouraged to participate in class to help them acquire not only language proficiency, but comprehension as well. Students are further encouraged to make an effort to study the language outside of class to practice their skills.

7th grade themes:

Students use a Spanish book to work in class and complete homework.  Lessons are complemented with worksheets and manipulatives.  Spanish class’ main focus is writing and oral communication. Previous years’ themes continue to be revisited and used frequently in lessons.  Individual and group projects are used to acquire proficiency in different circumstances.

Spanish assessment:

Students are assessed based on teacher’s observation, checklists, projects, and quizzes. Students will be able to understand the spoken target language in the classroom setting, when high frequency vocabulary is used. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between practices, products, and perspectives of Spanish culture. Students will be able to understand written and spoken Spanish.  Students will be able to present information, concepts, and ideas on familiar topics to an audience.

Quizzes are scheduled one week after the end of the book’s chapter or a theme.  Projects are graded based on the presentation and how the assignment rubrics have been followed.


Art: Ms. Kelly

The art program at St. Paul of the Cross School is designed for students to perceive, create, and appreciate the visual arts. Students will gain an understanding of the variety of ways that artists function in society.  Projects are based on art history and cultural art with a strong emphasis on the elements of art (line, color, shape, texture, etc.) and the principles of design (balance, contrast, pattern, unity, etc.)  Students experience a wide assortment of media in both two and three dimensional art production.  Problem solving skills as well as the development of fine motor skills are intrinsic to the art experience.  Project assessment includes the following criteria:

1.      Knowledge of the elements of art and principles of design.

2.      Understanding the relationships among media, tools, technology, and processes.

3.      Skills when creating art using different media.


Students at this level have more refined motor skills, therefore, projects focus on design and good craftsmanship using a variety of two and three dimensional media.  Students will participate in the International Children’s Art Exchange and work on projects emphasizing different artists, art movements, and cultural art.