New Perspectives in 7th Grade

Liz began 7th grade last week. I can't believe it. She is all dressed up because they begin the day with a formal ceremony where the 7th graders are paired with entering 1st graders. Liz's class will mentor the first graders all year.

The 7th-grade curriculum is a favorite of mine. This year the teacher has begun with two weeks of perspective drawing. Partly a review of geometry and partly an introduction to the Renaissance, these two weeks are also a time of getting comfortable in 7th grade and with their new roles as leaders of the school. This focus on perspective will be an ongoing theme in school and our family this year--since school has begun, we all have been challenged to look at our family life from each others perspective (more on that later).

A snapshot from her main lesson book

Here's how her teacher describes what they will be covering this year~

Renaissance History
This block will develop a picture of the Renaissance world, as it evolved out of the Middle Ages,
focusing on the areas of art, religion, government and science. We will pay special attention to the discoveries and works of the great artists and and astronomers of this period.

An introduction to the principles of algebra, including variables and coefficients, positive and negative numbers, order of operations, exponents, expressions and equations. We will continue to work with algebra in math classes throughout the year.

Creative Writing
We will study creative writing and poetry using many different sources as inspiration. We will put to practice our knowledge of grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, and begin to examine aspects of style and usage in our writing.

First attempt at perspective drawing

In our study of geometry we will review the geometric principles introduced in sixth grade, moving on to the introduction of new principles, including more complex work with the properties of angles and triangles, the Pythagorean theorem, construction of the pentagon, and an understanding of pi.

This introduction to chemistry will be an exploration of the material quality of the world and
will include the study of salts and crystals, acids and bases, combustion and the quality of gases
and the lime process.

Reformation and the Age of Exploration
This block will focus on the shift in thinking and belief in Europe that resulted in the
Reformation and the rise of Protestantism. We will also examine the lives and travels of the great
explorers, becoming more familiar with the geography of the world, with a special focus on the
continent of South America.

Another drawing from the first week of school

Building upon the work of sixth grade physics, this block will continue with the study of sound,
light, heat, magnetism and electricity and will introduce the study of mechanics.

Human Physiology
This block will include the study of the main organ systems of the body, including the digestive
system, the respiratory system, the circulatory system and the reproductive system.

Art Class
The seventh grade students have an adventurous time discovering new artistic perceptions in a
multitude of artistic problems related to the main lesson studies of the Renaissance. This artistic
investigation of the Renaissance correlates well to the intellectual awaking of this particular
age of the students. These lessons will challenge their abilities to understand perspective and
mechanical drawing, chiarascuro, and human proportion. In this year, we will draw the human
form, as well as sculpt a hand and a foot in proportion. Each lesson will have significant
artistic reference broadening their artistic perception, as well as some freer lessons of self-

Students will plan and construct their own version of a marionette out of various woods and other materials. They will revisit the study of human anatomy in proportions of a puppet and learn the very old craft of puppet making. There will be many fun tasks and challenges thoughout the process, which, if successful, will end with a performance for all to see!

Repertoire in seventh grade will include music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. In
addition we will begin to look at music written after the turn of the century as we begin to look at
where the music fits into a basic historical time line.

Then there's German, French, Handwork, PE, and Chorus...... and homework. Another post topic, perhaps.

In writing this up, I was struck once again by how integrated the curriculum is--human physiology, woodworking, art, and history all weave together as do history, music, handwork and art.

sarah elwell  – (September 14, 2011 at 4:28 PM)  

This is such an amazing year! How lucky your daughter is to have this education.

Susan @ Home Hum  – (September 17, 2011 at 11:06 PM)  

Gosh, I wish that I could send my children to a Waldorf school! The seventh grade curriculum is so vibrant and rich--really, just what education should be. It is so *balanced* and *whole*. In the early grades, I think the public schools put too much emphasis on testing and "academics" (especially math). There is too little art, drama, handiwork, music, and foreign language study, and nothing is integrated all lacks cohesion and connection. Waldorf education gets all of this right!

It looks like Liz has a fabulous year ahead of her.

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