Seventh Grade Humanities

Seventh-grade Humanities builds upon the sixth-grade year by using history and literature as lenses to examine the human experience. Specifically, we focus our studies on American history and literature. By exploring the fundamentals of both historical and fictional societies, students are able to see how different ideologies impact the rights and values of individuals. In the 7th grade, students are asked to focus on two writing skills: crafting a structured assertion paragraph and defending an argument using evidence and analysis. Over the course of the year, students will develop their own authentic voices in their academic writing. Through critical reading, active discussion, and frequent writing, students gain a broader understanding of themselves, their society, and contemporary social issues.

Course Essential Question: How can “we the people” of the United States work to form a “more perfect union”?

Unit 1—Rights and Values: United States of America 
Essential Question: How do rights and values shape a society?
Major Texts: Excerpts from John Locke, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and the Iroquois Confederacy Constitution
Unit 2—Self and Society: Lois Lowry’s The Giver
Essential Question: Are individual freedoms essential? Why or why not?
Major Text: Lois Lowry’s The Giver 
Unit 3—Expansion: Displacement, Immigration, and Migration
Essential Question: How does the expansion of a country impact the people living and moving there?
Major Texts: Shing Yin Khor’s The Legend of Auntie Po and primary and secondary sources focused on the experiences of Native nations and Chinese immigrants
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?
Major Texts: Young adult literature that addresses American women, Japanese Americans, Americans with disabilities, LGBTQ+ Americans, Latin Americans, and Black Americans
Representative texts: Helen Frost’s Crossing Stones, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houson’s Farewell to Manzanar, Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind, Kyle Lukoff’s Too Bright to See, and Pablo Cartaya’s Each Tiny Spark
Unit 5—Empowerment: Poetry and Short Stories from Modern America
Essential Question: How is literature used to make change?
Major Texts: Poetry by Amanda Gorman and Maya Angelou, Ted Chiang’s “The Great Silence,” and short stories from Come On In: 15 Stories About Immigration and Finding Home, edited by Adi Alsaid
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?
Major Texts: Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Mean Girls by Tina Fey, and excerpt from John Winthrop’s “City on a Hill” speech