7th Grade students really enjoyed a lesson on the Wilfred Owen poem, “Dulce et decorum est,” and an investigation into propaganda posters of WWI. We followed with a discussion with really interesting insight from the students on the messages contained in the posters and how that might affect different populations; in particular, men and women.
Our next step is learning more of the history behind the first battles and then we will move on to the trench warfare skits and begin our WWI essay project. Students will learn the basics of new technologies including airplanes, chemical warfare, machine guns, submarines, and trench warfare. Each student will choose which one they want to research and then work toward the culminating five-paragraph essay. This work is fully supported by Mrs. Holdredge in her class. First, students learned how to write a “proper” five-paragraph essay, next, they will be supported in her class with the composition of the essay on WWI.
In class (and for a bit of homework at home when we don’t finish), the students are reading Private Peaceful, a contemporary novel by Michael Morpurgo set in WWI–it’s the perfect companion piece to the students’ WWI unit in Humanities. In our reading today, we saw a reference to the Battle of the Marnes, and before I could even form the question, the kids were clamoring to tell me about how they were just learning about that battle in Humanities today! I strongly believe that these kinds of cross-curricular connections make learning more meaningful for our students, and the fictional account of two brothers facing tough choices in times of war paint a picture that will linger in students’ minds long after our study is complete. In fact, I’ve had to caution the 8th graders against talking about the book with the 7th graders lest they spoil the ending for them. When they saw we were reading it, the 8th graders wanted to share how much they loved the book.
We are continuing our study of the coordinate plane and graphing linear equations. Last week we spent a few days reviewing the concepts we had gone over before Christmas break and then completed a quiz that Friday. All quizzes have been scored and the results are posted on Canvas. To view the results you can login to Canvas and open the grades tab. You will see an icon located next to the Graphing Quiz. This icon will open the rubric where you will see how your student performed on the two standards assessed on the quiz.
We are quickly approaching the end of the first semester. I always like to spend some time reviewing the major concepts taught during the semester and have the students take a semester final exam. This exam will be given during the last week of January, so you should expect your child to be studying for this exam in the next few weeks.
Remember to use designated office hours as a time to meet with us if you would like to check in and see how things are going. To sign up for office hours go to sevenpeaksschool.org, click on the volunteer tab at the top of the page, and scroll down to Middle School Opportunities.
7th grade students have just begun our unit on Comparative Reproduction. In this unit we study two main things: 1) how scientists classify organisms and 2) how these organisms differ in their reproductive strategies. While students usually giggle at the idea of learning about reproduction, I found last year that they really enjoyed the unit as it involves a fun research project and an awesome dissection. This unit is also taught because it coincides with “My Future My Choice”, a healthy decision making curriculum put on throughout the state of Oregon and many other parts of the country. This curriculum doesn’t begin until mid-February, so I will be sending out an informational letter to parents in the coming weeks to answer any questions you may have. If you are curious about the curriculum or have any concerns, please feel free to stop by my room or send me an email. I’d be happy to talk with you about this curriculum and show you the lessons from the “My Future My Choice” book.
In the 7th grade art room we have been diving into figure drawing! Figure drawing is a foundational skill in developing an artist. The class will work through a series of exercises to develop confidence in understanding the human figure and accurately representing its shapes with careful detail to the proportions and figure’s expression. The unit started with sketching on large sheets of paper with minimal instruction and has developed into the study of shapes, proportions, and measurements that lend themselves to the human form.