Grade 7

Humanities

Our interdisciplinary Humanities courses nurture a love of literature and history while leading students to understand the world and its many cultures, past and present.  The program helps students to develop empathy for the full range of human experience and emotion and to refine the skills of communication and expression needed to engage as citizens of the global community.  We believe that students learn best through inquiry and practice of a critical and creative nature that encourages them to take personal and intellectual risks.

Seventh Grade Humanities

Essential Questions:

  • What happens when people of different cultures meet?
  • What does it mean to come of age?
  • What is the role of power in society?
  • How do we know what happened long ago and far away?
  • Is there only one true story in history?
  • What do we learn about ourselves from listening to stories of others?

Seventh grade students explore the theme of change as it pertains to history, literature and themselves. We start by looking at what happens when different cultures meet, focusing in particular on American Indians, Europeans, and Africans. Coming-of-age stories form the backdrop for our study of the American Revolution, as students look at the issue of independence in literature, history, and our world. Finally, students explore the theme of conflict through examples from literature, the antebellum South, and contemporary society.

In Humanities, students are guided in organizing their study materials and in taking effective notes. Gaining map and geography proficiency, understanding time lines and dates, and learning the research process are central. Students work independently on long-range projects including Early America Day in the fall and a more formal research paper in the spring

A highlight of the year occurs in the fall, when each student assumes the identity of an individual from the early days of European settlement. Early America Day offers seventh graders a chance to hone their skills in research, organization, and public speaking skills. Students, dressed in colonial garb, pay visits to classrooms and offices to address enthusiastic audiences and to share their knowledge about influential people from the past.

Primary source documents, strong literature connections, and personal narratives continue to illuminate the seventh graders’ studies of the Revolutionary War and the nineteenth century, including the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution.


 


 



Students develop reading, writing, thinking, speaking, and information skills. Through a variety of literary genres students build an understanding of theme, symbolism, and tone; they read primary and secondary historical sources for main ideas and supporting details. In past years, literature selections have included April Morning, Sees Behind Trees, The Light in the Forest, The Crucible, Seedfolk, To Kill a Mockingbird, To Be a Slave, and a Shakespeare play. 


Science

This course fosters students’ natural curiosity through a series of developmentally appropriate hands-on activities that allow them to practice laboratory skills and gain an appreciation for and working understanding of key energy concepts.  Using qualitative and quantitative methods, students make observations, record data, and write formal reports including spreadsheets and graphing programs.  During the fall study of meteorology student research topics of their choosing, prepare responses ranging from a model to a Power Point, and make presentations to the class.  They also investigate energy transformation and conservation by building generators powered by the wind, integrating engineering design and core science concepts.  This same integration occurs again during our investigation of astronomy when the students build robots and program them through our computers, and design and build rockets based on aerodynamic principles and Newton’s laws of motion.

Mathematics

In Seventh Grade, students are placed in either Pre-Algebra or Algebra I, in sections that best match their needs. Teachers guide students to hone their procedural skills as they move beyond operations involving whole numbers, decimals, and fractions and transition into algebraic reasoning. All seventh grade 
mathematics classes focus on equations and mathematical reasoning as expressed through many types of numeric, geometric, and conceptual forms. Our classes emphasize the meaning and concepts of math, often engaging students in ways that are both challenging and fun. One of the highlights of the year is an independent research project in statistics. Every student chooses a focus question and formulates a hypothesis. After collecting and analyzing data, the students prepare presentations and a written summaries of their results, using mathematical language to explain the proof of their hypotheses.

Fine Arts

Drama


In Middle School, drama classes include improvisation, playwriting, and many opportunities for performance. Students explore ethical dilemmas, dramatic plots, and methods for conveying complicated ideas. Monologues, dramatic literature, critique, and the technical components of theater are also included in the curriculum. The use of the stage--entrances, exits, sets, and production techniques are all incorporated into a variety of performances. In seventh and eighth grade, students have the opportunity to participate as actors or members of the stage crew for a major production that is performed in our black box theater in December. Ninth graders all take part their own play, which is prepared through the fall and winter and performed in March. 


Visual Art


In our middle school visual arts classes, students explore global and historical themes. Seventh grade concentrates on black-and-white design elements, with projects ranging from Pop art to photography, optical design, and portraiture. The culminating project in seventh grade is a realistic self-portrait rendered in pencil. 


Music


In the Middle School, students choose from a variety of musical electives, with options to pursue instruments such as guitar, hand bells, and steel drums. The Pop Colloquium and Opera programs in 7th grade include vocabulary useful for any genre of music, encourage deep listening, respect for differing opinions, and help students discuss a range of musical styles using accepted musical terminology and analysis. Our middle school chorus provides another opportunity for continued participation in vocal performance.

World Language

Chinese


Chinese will expand to 7th grade during the 2015-2016 school year.

 

Latin


Students become familiar with the basic grammatical concepts of the Latin language, early Roman history and various cultural topics such as family, slavery and travel. Their interest in, and awareness of, Roman culture and civilization are enhanced by reading the continuous narrative about the lives and adventures of the Cornelius family in the Ecce Romani IA textbook. Students become quickly proficient in reading lengthy stories in Latin and in inducing the general grammatical and syntactical rules from the specifics found in the passages. Attention is also paid to modern influences from the Roman world, such as English words derived from Latin, Latin sayings, and the vestiges of Roman culture in our own. During their first year of study, students master three declensions of nouns, first and second declension adjectives, the present and imperfect tenses for all four conjugations and numerous irregular verbs, prepositions, adverbs, and many elementary syntactical rules. Special projects may include poetry recitation, creation of a Latin game, making of Roman lamps, and story bags of Roman Kings and early Republican heroes.

 

French


After extensive review and reinforcement of previously learned material, students continue to enlarge their knowledge of French vocabulary and grammar. They are introduced to a new set of regular verbs, many more irregular verbs and the "passé composé". Francophone culture throughout the world continues to be emphasized. Special projects may include poetry memorization for the COLT Poetry Contest, DVDs, French cuisine, and a short reader. Students may be grouped by ability.

Spanish


After a thorough review of the previous year's material, students continue to expand their knowledge of Spanish grammar and vocabulary. They are introduced to reflexive verbs, indirect object pronouns, familiar commands, comparative and superlative forms of adjectives, and the preterite tense. Projects, readings, videos and discussions heighten their appreciation of Hispanic culture. Special activities may include participating in the COLT Poetry Contest, creating a Day of the Dead craft, researching and sampling Hispanic cuisine, hosting guest speakers and planning fiestas. Students may be grouped by ability.



 

Physical Education

At Foote, we believe in nurturing our students’ physical health and growth as well as their academic progress. With that philosophy as a guiding force, our physical education program is designed to support students’ self-image, build sportsmanship, and provide a basis for a healthy lifelong attitude toward fitness. Our curriculum is carefully sequenced to match the stages of physical, social, and emotional development from year to year. In addition to athletic skills, our program encourages creative expression, builds social concepts such as sportsmanship, cooperation, and fair play, offers opportunities for leadership, encourages children to take risks, and fosters a sense of well-being in a non-competitive setting.

All children at Foote School are members of either the Maroon or Grey sports teams. Spirit is high on our annual Field Day, when students participate in a variety of fun and competitive events between the Maroon and the Grey. Kindergarteners take part only in the morning, competing in a fun run, a scoop  relay, and a shuttle relay. All the other students participate in a full day of events, culminating in an all-school relay race around the entire field, featuring the day’s winners of the 60-yard dash from each grade.



Sixth through Ninth Physical Education


In middle school, our physical education program is designed to provide appropriately strenuous exercise, develop athletic skills, and promote team cooperation. Specific skills in a wide variety of games are incorporated into the curriculum, including all of the sports offered through the athletics program as well as Frisbee, juggling, football, floor hockey, volleyball, gymnastics, badminton, and distance running. In eighth grade, students participate in a double period of outdoor education each cycle in addition to their regular twice-per-cycle PE class. 

Sports Teams


All students in grades 7-9 are encouraged to take part in the after-school sports program. Sixth graders are invited to participate in team sports if there are spaces available. Team sports are an extension of the physical education program. Our interscholastic athletics program shares many of the goals as our PE program. The sports program at Foote provides an opportunity for all students in 7th, 8th, and 9th grades to participate voluntarily in a number of seasonal sports. Foote is a member of the New England Preparatory Schools Athletic Council. 

Fall sports: Boys’ Soccer, Girls’ Soccer, Field Hockey, Co-Ed Cross-Country
Winter sports: Boys’ Basketball, Girls’ Basketball, Co-ed Swimming, Co-Ed Squash
Spring sports: Boys’ Lacrosse, Girls’ Lacrosse, Baseball, Softball, Co-ed Tennis