Seventh Grade Humanities

Seventh grade Humanities builds upon the sixth grade year by continuing to use history and literature as lenses to examine the human experience. Specifically, we focus our studies on American history and literature to help students gain an understanding of our individual, political, and social rights within our societies. As we study both historical and fictional societies, we focus on how the cardinal value or ideology impacts the rules, values, beliefs, customs, and social structure of each society. By exploring the fundamentals of each society, students are able to see how ideologies can shape the rights of individuals. Through critical reading, active discussion, and frequent writing, students gain a broader understanding of themselves, their society, and contemporary social issues.

Unit 1: Rights and Freedoms - United States of America

Essential Question: Are humans born with certain rights and do governments need to protect them?

Primary Texts: Excerpts from Locke & Hobbes, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights

Unit 2: Self and Society - Lois Lowry’s The Giver

Essential Question: Are individual freedoms essential? Why or why not?

Primary Text: Lois Lowry’s The Giver

Unit 3: Exploration and Environment - The relationship between humans, their environment and their property

Essential Question: How should humans treat the environments in which they live?

Primary Texts: Excerpts from John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael, and Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

Unit 4: Citizenship and Equality - American Civil Rights and Literature Circles

Essential Question: What are the effects of prejudice on a society and the rights of individuals?

Primary Texts: Kristin Levine’s The Lions of Little Rock, Helen Frost’s Crossing Stones, Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston’s Farewell to Manzanar

Unit 5: Justice and Prejudice - Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

Essential Question: What is the effect of social class, racial segregation, or gender division on a society and the rights of individuals? What role do family, school, and government play in the development of an individual’s mindset?

Primary Texts: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, as well as the audio recording read by Sissy Spacek

Unit 6: Human Nature and Morality - Arthur Miller’s The Crucible

Essential Question: How does a society’s ideology shape its rules, values, beliefs, relationships between citizens, and language?

Primary texts: Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Mean Girls, written by Tina Fey