Seventh Grade Humanities

7th 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 to help students gain an understanding of individual, political, and social rights within our societies. As we study both historical and fictional societies, we focus on how individuals are impacted by the rules, values, beliefs, customs, and social structure of societies. By exploring the fundamentals of each society, students are able to see how ideologies can shape the rights 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 work to find their authentic written voice. 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, and The Bill of Rights

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 did the expansion of the United States impact its people?

Major Texts: Primary and secondary sources focused on the experiences of Indigenous people and immigrants

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

Essential Question: What is the effect of social class, racial segregation, or gender division on a society and the rights of individuals? 

Major Texts: Young adult literature that addresses American women, Japanese Americans, Americans with disabilities, LGBT+ Americans, and Black Americans

Unit 5— Empowerment: Lisa Moore Ramée’s A Good Kind of Trouble

Essential Question: How can ordinary people, even young people, act as change-makers?

Major Texts: Lisa Moore Ramée’s A Good Kind of Trouble, excerpts from Julissa Arce, Maya Angelou, Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Baldwin, and Reyna Grande

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 and Mean Girls, written by Tina Fey