The historical period known as the Renaissance forms the leitmotif for our work in Seventh Grade. As they slowly master the technicalities of vanishing points, converging lines, interpolation and extrapolation the students will gain the ability to create the illusion of three-dimensional space. Each student will complete a “Perspective Drawing” portfolio containing a progression of simple to more complicated exercises, all stressing artistic composition as well as mathematical accuracy. Our first History block will deal with the late Middle Ages. Regarding Mathematics, we will begin the year with a general review, stressing the numerous formulae that we have learned in the past two years, e.g., area, perimeter, circumference, interest rates, etc. This will serve as a preparation for algebra.
Up until now, the writing done by our class has essentially been an imaginative re-telling of content covered in the classroom. Now, as creative forces unfold in their physical bodies, the possibility of creative activity awakens in the youngsters’ souls as well, and so we take out first foray into “creative writing.” Through prose and poetry that we compose ourselves, we will look at three states of soul, expressed as “Wish”, “Wonder” and “Surprise.” the Seventh Graders will set out to study the living human body, and do so from the vantage point of “health and hygiene.” Our study of human physiology will concentrate on the human digestive system, and on our respiratory and circulatory systems. We will also study two sense organs — the eye and the ear — to see how the functions of digestion and respiration are carried on “in miniature”.
In our geography block we will all the continent of South America to be our focus, and we will approach it from the perspective of both cultural and physical geography. In our physics block we will concentrate on the study of Mechanics, and learn about the “simple machines” that underlie all labor-saving devices; the lever, the inclined plane, and the wheel, especially in its application as the pulley. We will learn how to compare the degree of exertion needed to lift or transport heavy weights unassisted and the reduction of effort brought about when we utilize the simple machines. Chemistry is taught in the seventh grade not only as a laboratory science, but as a means of extending the students moral vision to encompass the earth and all of humanity. The students are now of an age in which they have passionate feelings about a number of issues, with concern for the environment high on the list. It is important for them to realize that scientific knowledge will be of the greatest help in corroborating their strong opinions.
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