skip to main content

What your Child will Learn in Grade Seven

Introduction

What Your Child Will Learn is an overview of goals and expectations of students throughout the seventh-grade school year. Specific student programs may differ depending on instructional needs.

Curriculum Areas:

English Language Arts

English Language Arts classes provide instruction based on the rigorous demands of the Common Core College and Career Readiness Standards, which are reflected in HCPSS units that address analysis of genre and theme. Sample units for grade 7 include:

  • Perseverance.
  • Facing injustice.
  • Thrills and chills.

English Language Arts College and Career Readiness (Common Core) Anchor Standards

The Standards address four main categories with sub-topics as outlined below. Specific descriptions of each sub-topic may be found at http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/.

Anchor Standards for Reading (literary and informational text)

Students will grow in their ability to comprehend complex text, drawing inferences and making connections between texts.

  • Key ideas and details.
  • Craft and structure.
  • Integration of knowledge and ideas.
  • Range of reading and level of text complexity.

How to Help Your Child with Reading

Anchor Standards for Writing

Students will write in a variety of modes in response to evidence found in their reading and research.

  • Text types and purposes (argument, explanatory, narrative).
  • Production and distribution of writing.
  • Research to build and present knowledge.
  • Range of writing.

How to Help Your Child with Writing

Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening

Students will grow in their ability to communicate in formal and informal situations while developing the interpersonal skills required for effective collaboration.

  • Comprehension and collaboration.
  • Presentation of knowledge and ideas.

Anchor Standards for Language

Students will use language correctly and effectively and grow in their knowledge of content-specific and general academic vocabulary.

  • Conventions of Standard English.
  • Knowledge of language.
  • Vocabulary acquisition and use.

Writing

Students complete assignments in a variety of modes, such as:

  • Explanatory, including analysis of both print and non-print texts.
  • Argument, using evidence to support a claim.
  • Narration.

All English Language Arts students maintain writing portfolios in order to assess and enhance their growth as writers.

Reading Seminar Classes

Students who require decoding or comprehension support are enrolled in reading seminar classes. Differentiated instruction is provided in a small group setting. These classes are made available to schools based on student need. Reading seminar classes are offered at each grade level.

English Language Arts Seminar

Students have opportunities to learn and apply reading, writing and language acquisition strategies that connect directly to learning outcomes in English Language Arts 7. The English Language Arts Seminar teacher provides scaffolded instruction in small group settings to ensure students can demonstrate and apply their knowledge of language arts skills and concepts and are successful in the English Language Arts class.

Gifted and Talented

Students address the demands of the English 7 Language Arts Curriculum, as well as specific critical reading, writing and thinking skills necessary for continued success at the high school level. In addition, curriculum compacting allows motivated students to collapse material and benefit from a more student-facilitated classroom. The teacher provides opportunities for students to respond to tasks similar to those on the College Board English Language and Composition Advanced Placement Examination.

How to Help Your Child with Language Arts

Back to Top ↑

Innovation and Inquiry Program

The Inquiry and Innovation Program provides cross-curricular opportunities for students to interact with engaging, relevant, credible and diverse resources as they clarify their own thinking considering fact, opinion, credibility and relevance of sources while making real-world connections. Students interact with different media and ask probing and thoughtful questions. Student curiosity is a pathway for considering possibilities, prompting students to see a reason to conduct inquiry and generate a product. In creating a real-world connection, students learn and practice skills, gather and present information and solve problems. Students build a deep understanding of the specific topic during each nine week unit.

The Reader’s Cafe

Students build an understanding of the importance of pleasure reading and its ability to promote independent, creative and critical thinking.

Economics in Action

Students develop an understanding of both national and global market economies and how people and nations are directly and indirectly affected by these market systems.

The Creative Habit

This unit expands student awareness and understanding of the power of art to create change, to persuade and to challenge societies’ beliefs and accepted norms.

Language of the Media

Students consider how language (via media) influences, manipulates and empowers its audience.

Digital Citizenship

Students examine the impact of informational systems on their lives and the workplace.

Back to Top ↑

Mathematics

Standards for Mathematical Practice

The Standards for Mathematical Practice describe varieties of expertise that mathematics educators at all levels should seek to develop in their students.

  • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  • Model with mathematics.
  • Use appropriate tools strategically.
  • Attend to precision.
  • Look for and make use of structure.
  • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

The Mathematical Content Standards

The Mathematical Content Standards (Essential Curriculum) that follow are designed to promote a balanced combination of procedure and understanding. Expectations that begin with the word “understand” are often especially good opportunities to connect the mathematical practices to the content. The content standards that set an expectation of understanding are potential “points of intersection” between the Mathematical Content Standards and the Mathematical Practices.

Unit 1: Scale Drawings

Draw, construct and describe geometrical figures and describe the relationships between them.

  • Solve problems involving scale drawings of geometric figures, including computing actual lengths and areas from a scale drawing and reproducing a scale drawing at a different scale.

Solve real-life and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area and volume.

  • Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes and right prisms.

Unit 2: Introducing Proportional Relationships

Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

  • Compute unit rates associated with ratios of fractions, including ratios of lengths, areas and other quantities measured in like or different units. For example, if a person walks 1/2 mile in each 1/4 hour, compute the unit rate as the complex fraction 1/2/1/4 miles per hour, equivalently 2 miles per hour.
  • Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
  • Decide whether two quantities are in a proportional relationship, e.g., by testing for equivalent ratios in a table or graphing on a coordinate plane and observing whether the graph is a straight line through the origin.
  • Identify the constant of proportionality (unit rate) in tables, graphs, equations, diagrams and verbal descriptions of proportional relationships.
  • Represent proportional relationships by equations. For example, if total cost t is proportional to the number n of items purchased at a constant price p, the relationship between the total cost and the number of items can be expressed as t = pn.
  • Explain what a point (x, y) on the graph of a proportional relationship means in terms of the situation, with special attention to the points (0, 0) and (1, r) where r is the unit rate.

Solve real-life and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area and volume.

  • Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes and right prisms.

Unit 3: Measuring Circles

Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

  • Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
  • Decide whether two quantities are in a proportional relationship, e.g., by testing for equivalent ratios in a table or graphing on a coordinate plane and observing whether the graph is a straight line through the origin.
  • Represent proportional relationships by equations.

Draw, construct and describe geometrical figures and describe the relationships between them.

  • Solve problems involving scale drawings of geometric figures, including computing actual lengths and areas from a scale drawing and reproducing a scale drawing at a different scale.
  • Draw (freehand, with ruler and protractor and with technology) geometric shapes with given conditions. Focus on constructing triangles from three measures of angles or sides, noticing when the conditions determine a unique triangle, more than one triangle, or no triangle.

Solve real-life and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area and volume.

  • Know the formulas for the area and circumference of a circle and use them to solve problems; give an informal derivation of the relationship between the circumference and area of a circle.
  • Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes and right prisms.

Solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations.

  • Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions and decimals), using tools strategically. Apply properties of operations to calculate with numbers in any form; convert between forms as appropriate; and assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies.

Unit 4: Proportional Relationships and Percentages

Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

  • Compute unit rates associated with ratios of fractions, including ratios of lengths, areas and other quantities measured in like or different units. For example, if a person walks 1/2 mile in each 1/4 hour, compute the unit rate as the complex fraction 1/2/1/4 miles per hour, equivalently 2 miles per hour.
  • Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
  • Explain what a point (x, y) on the graph of a proportional relationship means in terms of the situation, with special attention to the points (0, 0) and (1, r) where r is the unit rate.
  • Use proportional relationships to solve multistep ratio and percent problems. Examples: simple interest, tax, markups and markdowns, gratuities and commissions, fees, percent increase and decrease, percent error.

Unit 5: Rational Number Arithmetic

Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions.

  • Apply and extend previous understandings of addition and subtraction to add and subtract rational numbers; represent addition and subtraction on a horizontal or vertical number line diagram.
  • Describe situations in which opposite quantities combine to make 0. For example, a hydrogen atom has 0 charge because its two constituents are oppositely charged.
  • Understand p + q as the number located a distance |q| from p, in the positive or negative direction depending on whether q is positive or negative. Show that a number and its opposite have a sum of 0 (are additive inverses). Interpret sums of rational numbers by describing real-world contexts.
  • Understand subtraction of rational numbers as adding the additive inverse, p – q = p + (-q). Show that the distance between two rational numbers on the number line is the absolute value of their difference and apply this principle in real-world contexts.
  • Apply properties of operations as strategies to add and subtract rational numbers.
  • Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division and of fractions to multiply and divide rational numbers.
  • Understand that multiplication is extended from fractions to rational numbers by requiring that operations continue to satisfy the properties of operations, particularly the distributive property, leading to products such as (-1)(-1) = 1 and the rules for multiplying signed numbers. Interpret products of rational numbers by describing real-world contexts.
  • Understand that integers can be divided, provided that the divisor is not zero, and every quotient of integers (with non-zero divisor) is a rational number. If p and q are integers, then -(p/q) = (-p)/q = p/(-q). Interpret quotients of rational numbers by describing real-world contexts.
  • Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide rational numbers.
  • Convert a rational number to a decimal using long division; know that the decimal form of a rational number terminates in 0s or eventually repeats.
  • Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving the four operations with rational numbers.

Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

  • Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.

Solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations.

  • Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions and decimals), using tools strategically. Apply properties of operations to calculate with numbers in any form; convert between forms as appropriate; and assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies. For example: If a woman making $25 an hour gets a 10% raise, she will make an additional 1/10 of her salary an hour, or $2.50, for a new salary of $27.50. If you want to place a towel bar 9 3/4 inches long in the center of a door that is 27 1/2 inches wide, you will need to place the bar about 9 inches from each edge; this estimate can be used as a check on the exact computation.
  • Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities.
  • Solve word problems leading to equations of the form px + q = r and p(x + q) = r, where p, q and r are specific rational numbers. Solve equations of these forms fluently. Compare an algebraic solution to an arithmetic solution, identifying the sequence of the operations used in each approach. For example, the perimeter of a rectangle is 54 cm. Its length is 6 cm. What is its width?

Unit 6: Expressions, Equations and Inequalities

Use properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions.

  • Apply properties of operations as strategies to add, subtract, factor and expand linear expressions with rational coefficients.
  • Understand that rewriting an expression in different forms in a problem context can shed light on the problem and how the quantities in it are related. For example, a + 0.05a = 1.05a means that “increase by 5%” is the same as “multiply by 1.05.”

Solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations.

  • Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions and decimals), using tools strategically. Apply properties of operations to calculate with numbers in any form; convert between forms as appropriate; and assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies. For example: If a woman making $25 an hour gets a 10% raise, she will make an additional 1/10 of her salary an hour, or $2.50, for a new salary of $27.50. If you want to place a towel bar 9 3/4 inches long in the center of a door that is 27 1/2 inches wide, you will need to place the bar about 9 inches from each edge; this estimate can be used as a check on the exact computation.
  • Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities.
  • Solve word problems leading to equations of the form px + q = r and p(x + q) = r, where p, q and r are specific rational numbers. Solve equations of these forms fluently. Compare an algebraic solution to an arithmetic solution, identifying the sequence of the operations used in each approach. For example, the perimeter of a rectangle is 54 cm. Its length is 6 cm. What is its width?
  • Solve word problems leading to inequalities of the form px + q > r or px + q < r, where p, q and r are specific rational numbers. Graph the solution set of the inequality and interpret it in the context of the problem. For example: As a salesperson, you are paid $50 per week plus $3 per sale. This week you want your pay to be at least $100. Write an inequality for the number of sales you need to make and describe the solutions.

Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions.

  • Apply and extend previous understandings of addition and subtraction to add and subtract rational numbers; represent addition and subtraction on a horizontal or vertical number line diagram.
  • Understand subtraction of rational numbers as adding the additive inverse, p – q = p + (-q). Show that the distance between two rational numbers on the number line is the absolute value of their difference and apply this principle in real-world contexts.

Unit 7: Angles, Triangles and Prisms

Draw, construct and describe geometrical figures and describe the relationships between them.

  • Draw (freehand, with ruler and protractor and with technology) geometric shapes with given conditions. Focus on constructing triangles from three measures of angles or sides, noticing when the conditions determine a unique triangle, more than one triangle, or no triangle.
  • Describe the two-dimensional figures that result from slicing three-dimensional figures, as in plane sections of right rectangular prisms and right rectangular pyramids.

Solve real-life and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area and volume.

  • Use facts about supplementary, complementary, vertical and adjacent angles in a multi-step problem to write and solve simple equations for an unknown angle in a figure.
  • Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes and right prisms.

Solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations.

  • Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities.

Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions.

  • Apply and extend previous understandings of addition and subtraction to add and subtract rational numbers; represent addition and subtraction on a horizontal or vertical number line diagram.

Unit 8: Probability and Sampling

Use random sampling to draw inferences about a population.

  • Understand that statistics can be used to gain information about a population by examining a sample of the population; generalizations about a population from a sample are valid only if the sample is representative of that population. Understand that random sampling tends to produce representative samples and support valid inferences.
  • Use data from a random sample to draw inferences about a population with an unknown characteristic of interest. Generate multiple samples (or simulated samples) of the same size to gauge the variation in estimates or predictions. For example, estimate the mean word length in a book by randomly sampling words from the book; predict the winner of a school election based on randomly sampled survey data. Gauge how far off the estimate or prediction might be.

Draw informal comparative inferences about two populations.

  • Informally assess the degree of visual overlap of two numerical data distributions with similar variabilities, measuring the difference between the centers by expressing it as a multiple of a measure of variability. For example, the mean height of players on the basketball team is 10 cm greater than the mean height of players on the soccer team, about twice the variability (mean absolute deviation) on either team; on a dot plot, the separation between the two distributions of heights is noticeable.
  • Use measures of center and measures of variability for numerical data from random samples to draw informal comparative inferences about two populations. For example, decide whether the words in a chapter of a seventh-grade science book are generally longer than the words in a chapter of a fourth-grade science book.

Investigate chance processes and develop, use and evaluate probability models.

  • Understand that the probability of a chance event is a number between 0 and 1 that expresses the likelihood of the event occurring. Larger numbers indicate greater likelihood. A probability near 0 indicates an unlikely event, a probability around 1/2 indicates an event that is neither unlikely nor likely and a probability near 1 indicates a likely event.
  • Approximate the probability of a chance event by collecting data on the chance process that produces it and observing its long-run relative frequency and predict the approximate relative frequency given the probability. For example, when rolling a number cube 600 times, predict that a 3 or 6 would be rolled roughly 200 times, but probably not exactly 200 times.
  • Develop a probability model and use it to find probabilities of events. Compare probabilities from a model to observed frequencies; if the agreement is not good, explain possible sources of the discrepancy.
  • Develop a uniform probability model by assigning equal probability to all outcomes and use the model to determine probabilities of events. For example, if a student is selected at random from a class, find the probability that Jane will be selected and the probability that a girl will be selected.
  • Develop a probability model (which may not be uniform) by observing frequencies in data generated from a chance process. For example, find the approximate probability that a spinning coin will land heads up or that a tossed paper cup will land open-end down. Do the outcomes for the spinning penny appear to be equally likely based on the observed frequencies?
  • Find probabilities of compound events using organized lists, tables, tree diagrams and simulation.
  • Understand that, just as with simple events, the probability of a compound event is the fraction of outcomes in the sample space for which the compound event occurs.
  • Represent sample spaces for compound events using methods such as organized lists, tables and tree diagrams. For an event described in everyday language (e.g., “rolling double sixes”), identify the outcomes in the sample space which compose the event.
  • Design and use a simulation to generate frequencies for compound events. For example, use random digits as a simulation tool to approximate the answer to the question: If 40% of donors have type A blood, what is the probability that it will take at least 4 donors to find one with type A blood?

Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions.

  • Convert a rational number to a decimal using long division; know that the decimal form of a rational number terminates in 0s or eventually repeats.

Unit 9: Putting it All Together (OPTIONAL)

Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

  • Compute unit rates associated with ratios of fractions, including ratios of lengths, areas and other quantities measured in like or different units. For example, if a person walks 1/2 mile in each 1/4 hour, compute the unit rate as the complex fraction 1/2/1/4 miles per hour, equivalently 2 miles per hour.
  • Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
  • Use proportional relationships to solve multistep ratio and percent problems. Examples: simple interest, tax, markups and markdowns, gratuities and commissions, fees, percent increase and decrease, percent error.

Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions.

  • Convert a rational number to a decimal using long division; know that the decimal form of a rational number terminates in 0s or eventually repeats.
  • Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving the four operations with rational numbers.

Use properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions.

  • Apply properties of operations as strategies to add, subtract, factor and expand linear expressions with rational coefficients.

Solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations.

  • Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities.
  • Solve word problems leading to equations of the form px + q = r and p(x + q) = r, where p, q and r are specific rational numbers. Solve equations of these forms fluently. Compare an algebraic solution to an arithmetic solution, identifying the sequence of the operations used in each approach. For example, the perimeter of a rectangle is 54 cm. Its length is 6 cm. What is its width?

Draw, construct and describe geometrical figures and describe the relationships between them.

  • Solve problems involving scale drawings of geometric figures, including computing actual lengths and areas from a scale drawing and reproducing a scale drawing at a different scale.

Solve real-life and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area and volume.

  • Know the formulas for the area and circumference of a circle and use them to solve problems; give an informal derivation of the relationship between the circumference and area of a circle.
  • Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes and right prisms.

Draw informal comparative inferences about two populations.

  • Use measures of center and measures of variability for numerical data from random samples to draw informal comparative inferences about two populations. For example, decide whether the words in a chapter of a seventh-grade science book are generally longer than the words in a chapter of a fourth-grade science book.

Above Grade Level and Gifted/Talented Seventh Grade

Students enrolled in above-grade level mathematics will have a blend of Mathematics 7 and Mathematics 8. Students enrolled in G/T mathematics will be taught the curriculum outlined in Algebra I GT. For more information about the curriculum for these courses, visit http://hcpssfamilymath.weebly.com.

How to Help Your Child with Mathematics

Back to Top ↑

Science

Introduction

The Howard County Public School System science program is committed to supporting all students in the development of scientific literacy. As described in “A Framework for K–12 Science Education,” scientific literacy means that students appreciate the nature of science and possess sufficient knowledge and skill in practicing science and engineering, that they can engage in public discussions surrounding scientific and technological issues, be careful consumers of scientific and technological information related to their everyday lives, continue to learn about science outside of school and enter careers of their choice including careers in science, engineering and technology. Throughout middle school, students develop scientific literacy by operating as student scientists. In seventh grade, students use scientific practices to investigate and understand living systems including the structures and processes of living organisms; the interactions, energy and dynamics operating within ecosystems; the inheritance and variation of traits through generations; and the manner in which organisms change over time in response to the environment. Environmental literacy learning experiences that include Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences are woven throughout the middle school science curriculum.

Practices of Science and Engineering

Throughout middle school, science students will develop their skill in the practices of science. Each year, students will apply these skills in laboratory and field investigations. These practices, as described in “A Framework for K–12 Science Education,” include:

  • Ask scientific questions that can be empirically tested.
  • Use and construct models such as diagrams, drawings, mathematical relationships, analogies, computer simulations and physical replicas to represent ideas and explanations.
  • Plan and carry out scientific investigations in the field or laboratory.
  • Analyze and interpret data using a variety of tools.
  • Represent physical variables and their relationships using the fundamental tools of mathematics and computation.
  • Construct explanatory accounts of the world using evidence.
  • Reason and argue based on evidence to identify the best explanation for a natural phenomenon or the best solution to a design problem.
  • Obtain, evaluate and communicate information clearly and accurately.

Course Content

The Grade 7 science curriculum is framed by four big questions that provide context and motivation for learning. These questions are:

  • How do scientists work together to study animals’ behaviors in their natural environments?
  • How can scientists use their knowledge to prevent the spreading of illness or disease?
  • How can scientists’ knowledge of genetics help feed the world’s population?
  • How does water quality within a community affect ecology?

In pursuing solutions to these questions, students participate in carefully sequenced, developmentally appropriate learning experiences that support deep understanding. By the end of their seventh-grade learning experiences, students will be able to meet the Maryland Science Standards’ middle school performance expectations in Life Science.

Gifted and Talented Science Program

In the G/T science program in seventh grade, students delve more deeply and independently into the content and practices of science by addressing additional learning objectives and completing in-depth research studies using creative problem-solving techniques. The research is embedded within the curriculum and conducted over an extended period of time to allow for authentic data collection and analysis.

How to Help Your Child with Science

Back to Top ↑

Social Studies

Overview

This is the second part of a two-year program entitled Geography and World Cultures. This program provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding of geographic skills and concepts of world cultures in relation to their own. Students also learn about geographic and cultural issues and of the cultural heritage and history of the various regions of study. Students are encouraged to gain an understanding and appreciation of other cultures and to use geographic skills to solve problems. There are countywide local assessments administered quarterly.

Social Studies Skills

These skills and others are embedded throughout the curriculum:

  • Map reading, construction and interpretation.
  • Spatial analysis and interpretation.
  • Historical thinking skills.
  • Problem solving/critical thinking.
  • Roles, rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
  • Strategic reading of social studies text.
  • Economic decision making.
  • Explanatory and argument writing.
  • Information literacy.
  • Analysis and evaluation of primary and secondary sources.
  • Data analysis and interpretation.

Course Content

There are four units in seventh grade social studies. What follows is a summary of some of the key content standards.

Unit I: European Geography and Ancient History

  • Identify Europe’s relative location in the world and describe the characteristics that make it a region.
  • Describe the major geographic and climatic features of Europe and Russia.
  • Use geographic tools to describe the location of Ancient Greece.
  • Explain the location of Ancient Greece based on its human and physical characteristics.
  • Give reasons for the rise of Ancient Greece and cite examples of its contributions and major achievements to the world.
  • Compare and contrast the social and political structure of Athens and Sparta.
  • Explain the decline of Ancient Greece.
  • Describe the impact of Alexander of Macedonia’s conquests and the subsequent spread of Hellenistic culture.
  • Use geographic tools to describe the location of Ancient Rome.
  • Explain the location of Ancient Rome based on its human and physical characteristics.
  • Give reasons for the rise of Ancient Rome and cite examples of its contributions and major achievements to the world.
  • Explain the decline of Roman Empire and its impact on the creation of the Byzantine Empire.
  • Examine how the Byzantine Empire became the preserver of Greco-Roman culture.

Unit II: European Geography, Modern History and Contemporary Issues

  • Explain the factors that led to the development of Feudalism.
  • Describe the political, social and economic aspects of life in Medieval Europe.
  • Describe the influences of Slavic, Viking and Byzantine cultures on the development of Russian society.
  • Explain how the Crusades impacted the expansion of Christian Europe.
  • Identify selected countries and major cities of the region.
  • Identify and describe the major regions of modern Europe. Predict settlement patterns of major cities based on available resources including natural physical features (Gifted and Talented).
  • Examine the geographical influence on settlement and population patterns of modern European nations.
  • Explain how location, climate and natural resources influences trade and economic development of modern European nations.
  • Using current data, compare the standard of living of selected countries in modern Europe.
  • Analyze the characteristics and structures of various political and economic systems in modern Europe.
  • Describe why the European Union was formed and examine its successes and failures.
  • Examine contemporary issues such as immigration, ethnic strife, religious conflicts, economic concerns, etc. on modern European society.

Unit III: Latin America

  • Identify the relative location of Latin America in the world and describe the characteristics that make it a region.
  • Describe the major geographic and climatic features of Latin America.
  • Identify selected countries and major cities of the region.
  • Identify and describe the major regions of modern Latin American.
  • Examine the geographical influence on settlement and population patterns of modern Latin American nations.
  • Explain how location, climate and natural resources influence trade and economic development of modern Latin American nations.
  • Examine the emergence, growth, achievements and decline of the Mayan, Aztec and Inca Empires.
  • Analyze the causes and consequences of the Age of Exploration.
  • Examine the causes and effects of the Columbian Exchange on the eastern and western hemispheres.
  • Analyze how both forced and unforced immigration led to diverse populations in Latin American countries.
  • Describe the effect of colonialism on Latin American countries and the process for independence.
  • Explain why the nations of Latin America have had difficulty building stable governments.
  • Assess the impact of population growth and economic factors on the environment.
  • Using a variety of economic and demographic data, identify and justify the development status of selected Latin American countries and compare them to other nations in the world.
  • Examine contemporary issues such as; economic concerns like competing in a global economy, the war on drugs, political corruption, etc. on Latin America society.

Unit IV: United States and Canada

  • Identify the relative location of North America in the world and describe the characteristics that make it a region.
  • Describe the major geographic and climatic features of Canada and the United States.
  • Identify selected states/provinces/territories and major cities of the region.
  • Identify and describe the major regions of Canada and the United States.
  • Examine the geographical influence on settlement and population patterns of Canada and the United States.
  • Describe the varied cultures and geographic distribution of Native populations in North America prior to European arrival and compare to present day state locations.
  • Assess the range of reactions of Native populations to the colonization of North America.
  • Examine how Canada was colonized by France and England and became an independent nation.
  • Analyze the factors causing European migration to North America.
  • Identify the causes and impacts of slavery in colonial North
  • America.
  • Compare the economic, political, social, religious and ethnic composition of colonial regions of New England, the mid-Atlantic, the Chesapeake and the South.
  • Evaluate the impact of mercantilism on the political and economic relationship between the North American colonies and Great Britain.
  • Examine contemporary issues such as economic concerns like competing in a global economy, the environment, etc. in Canada and the United States.
  • Compare Canada’s and the United States’ federal form of government.
  • Explain how the history of Canada influenced the cultural elements of modern society.
  • Examine the effects on a nation when it moves from being monolingual to bilingual.
  • Describe how immigration to the United States resulted in a pluralistic society consisting of diverse cultures, customs and traditions.

Gifted and Talented

Students in G/T complete G/T research investigations during the school years. These investigations are grounded in the content of particular units and may take the form of teacher-developed historical or geographical research, district-developed performance assessment tasks, or district approved Document Based Questions. Optionally, students may participate in the National History Day program.

Special Programs

The Office of Secondary Social Studies supports several special programs available for middle school students. The History Day Competition is a local, state and national competition that promotes historical inquiry, knowledge and understanding among secondary school students. History Day encourages the development of research skills, the analysis and interpretation of primary and secondary source materials and the opportunity for creative expression. HCPSS sponsors a large regional competition each year that includes up to 300 students from our public and private schools. This program is typically integrated as part of the curricular program, but is dependent upon school interest. The Black Saga Competition is a statewide competition that challenges student knowledge about the African-American experience. Middle and elementary schools from across the state compete for prizes and awards. This event is very dependent upon school interest and community support, as it is an extracurricular program.

How to Help Your Child with Social Studies

Back to Top ↑

Visual Arts

Apply a variety of strategies, concepts and media to:

  • Generate and elaborate on ideas for personal expression in the production of art.
  • Experiment with a variety of tools, materials, processes, techniques and ideas to organize knowledge in the production of art.
  • Give and receive feedback/constructive criticism and persevere in the refinement of personal solutions to artwork.
  • Analyze and defend personal choices and selection of objects or artwork for presentation or exhibition.
  • Examine how and why people collect, present and preserve objects and ideas that have personal, cultural or historical meaning.
  • Perceive, interpret and respond to ideas, experiences and the environment through visual arts.
  • Analyze and interpret influences, intent and meaning in works of art.
  • Evaluate artwork based on select criteria.
  • Connect personal experiences and knowledge to art making.
  • Understand art as an essential aspect of history and human experience.

When exiting middle school, students will be able to:

  • Apply a variety of media, strategies and concepts to generate innovative ideas to solve art problems.
  • Maintain collection of ideas that demonstrate personal engagement and growth.
  • Recognize and apply the complex nature, power and history of art to connect to others, to tell stories, to record what is seen, to relate personal ideas or to make visible what is imagined.
  • Be comfortable with and apply a variety of strategies when there is no clear path or solution to a problem.
  • Work within given limitations to solve complex art problems.
  • Generate personally meaningful solutions.
  • Persevere in problem solving by evaluating work in-progress to identify areas in need of improvement and alternative solutions.
  • Collaborate with peers to arrive at consensus and solutions.

How to Help Your Child with Visual Arts

Back to Top ↑

Family and Consumer Sciences

Food and Nutrition

  • Demonstrate the ability to apply kitchen safety procedures and sanitation techniques at home, at school and at future work and living environments.
  • Identify the essential nutrients and give examples of nutrient dense foods including raw fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains and lean proteins.
  • Apply knowledge of nutrition to select restaurant items that are more nutrient dense while being lower in fat, sodium and added sugars.
  • Plan healthy meals by reading and interpreting food labels to compare nutritive values of similar foods.
  • Use comparison shopping strategies to plan budget meals and snacks.
  • Discuss the relationship between food costs and food choices (e.g., dining out, convenience foods).
  • Identify and demonstrate ways to fit a variety of fruits and vegetables into meals and snacks.
  • Identify chef/French, paring, bread knives and other cutting tools (e.g., microplane, grater and peeler) and demonstrate the safe and proper usage of each.
  • Describe and demonstrate dry and moist heat methods for cooking foods including baking, roasting, broiling, steaming, boiling and simmering.
  • Examine career options with an emphasis on those in the food services and hospitality industries.

Financial Literacy

  • Apply financial literacy reasoning in order to make informed, financially responsible decisions.
  • Relate choices regarding their education and career paths to earning potential.
  • Develop skills to plan and manage money effectively by identifying financial goals and developing spending plans.
  • Develop skills to make informed decisions about incurring debt and maintaining creditworthiness.
  • Develop skills to plan and achieve long-term goals related to saving and investing in order to build financial security and wealth.
  • Develop financial planning skills to minimize financial setbacks.

How to Help Your Child with Family and Consumer Science

Back to Top ↑

Gifted and Talented (G/T)

The G/T Program provides a continuum of services in addition to G/T classes. Middle School G/T Resource Teachers instruct students who participate in G/T Curriculum Extensions, such as the G/T Writers Guild and in G/T instructional seminars and research investigations, talent development and research opportunities available to all interested students.

Health Education

National Health Education Standards

  • These skills are embedded throughout the curriculum:
  • Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion.
  • Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology and other factors on health behaviors.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to access valid information and products and services to enhance health.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision- making skills to enhance health.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family and community health.

Disease Prevention and Control

  • Describe how lifestyle, family history, environment and other risk factors are related to physical health and overall wellness.
  • Identify prevention, intervention and treatment methods for common non-communicable diseases.

Nutrition and Fitness

  • Discover, evaluate and utilize health information, products and services related to healthy nutrition and weight management.

Social and Emotional Health

  • Describe the role society plays in the perception of normal body image.
  • Identify the causes, symptoms and intervention of eating disorders.
  • Explain causes and identify signs of depression.
  • Cite prevention and intervention strategies for depression.
  • Examine the impact of bullying on the individual, family and community.
  • Summarize child abuse prevention and intervention strategies.

Tobacco, Alcohol and Other Drugs

  • Describe effect and impact of alcohol on the individual, family and society.
  • Identify the consequences of underage drinking.
  • Demonstrate skills that promote a personal commitment to remain alcohol-free.

Sexual Health

  • Apply personal and interpersonal skills to support sexual health.
  • Explain the male and female reproductive systems as they relate to fertilization.
  • Describe changes that occur to the mother and fetus during the stages of pregnancy.
  • Explain the term “abstinence” as it applies to sexual health.
  • Identify protective factors for healthy pregnancy.

How to Help Your Child with Health Education

Back to Top ↑

Instructional Technology

Instructional Technology in Grade 7 follows the 2016 ISTE Standards for Students. These standards emphasize the skills and qualities Howard County Public Schools values for all students, enabling them to engage and thrive in a connected, digital world. The ISTE Standards focus on transforming learning through the use of technology throughout a student’s academic career by cultivating these skills. The Office of Instructional Technology works with Howard County teachers in all curriculum areas to support staff in working to amplify learning with technology and challenge students to be agents of their own learning.

Empowered Learner

Students use technology to set goals, work toward achieving them and demonstrate their learning. For example, students will:

  • set personal learning goals and develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them.
  • build networks and learning environments in ways that support learning.
  • use technology to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
  • understand concepts of technology operations, are able to choose and use current technologies as well as transferring their learning to new technologies.

Digital Citizen

Students understand the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world. For example, students will:

  • manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world.
  • engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology.
  • respect the rights of using and sharing intellectual property.
  • manage their personal data to maintain digital privacy and security.

Knowledge Constructor

Student critically select, evaluate and synthesize digital resources into a collection that reflects my learning and builds my knowledge. For example, students will:

  • use effective research strategies to locate information and other resources.
  • evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources.
  • curate information from digital resources to make conclusions.
  • build knowledge by exploring real-world issues and problems.

Innovative Designer

Students solve problems by creating new and imaginative solutions using a variety of digital tools. For example, students will:

  • use a deliberate design process for generating ideas and solving authentic problems.
  • use digital tools to plan and manage a design process.
  • develop, test and refine prototypes.
  • exhibit the capacity to work with open ended problems.

Computational Thinker

Students identify authentic problems, work with data and use a step-by-step process to automate solutions. For example, students will:

  • formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods.
  • collect data, use digital tools to analyze and represent data in various ways.
  • break problems into component parts, extract key information and develop models to facilitate problem solving.
  • use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.

Creative Communicator

Students communicate effectively and express myself creatively using different tools, styles, formats and digital media. For example, students will:

  • choose appropriate tools for meeting desired objectives.
  • create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
  • communicate clearly and effectively by using a variety of digital objects.
  • publish or present content appropriate for their intended audiences.

Global Collaborator

Students strive to broaden their perspective, understand others and work effectively in teams using digital tools. For example, students will:

  • use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures to broaden mutual understanding and learning.
  • use collaborative technologies to work with others.
  • contribute to project teams, assuming various roles to work toward a common goal.
  • explore local and global issues and use collaborative technologies to investigate solutions.

How to Help Your Child with Instructional Technology

Back to Top ↑

Library Media

Inquiry Process

  • Identify information needs.
  • Create, refine and use criteria to guide the research process.
  • Follow systematic problem-solving steps using the Big6 process.

Locate and Evaluate Resources and Sources

  • Identify and use a wide variety of resources.
  • Use the library media center catalog to locate sources to meet the information need.
  • Evaluate potential sources for the information need.
  • Use text features to select appropriate sources.
  • Identify and follow the district’s Policy 8080: Responsible Use of Technology and Social Media policy.
  • Learn to use safe practices online.

Find, Generate, Record and Organize Data/Information

  • Use keywords for finding answers to questions.
  • Utilize effective search strategies for collecting relevant information from sources.
  • Use technology tools to find, record and organize data/information within sources.
  • Differentiate between fact and opinion.
  • Avoid plagiarism by correctly recording relevant information and keeping track of sources used.
  • Use a variety of formats for recording and organizing data/information.
  • Create a source list using an accepted citation style.
  • Match appropriate format with content to be organized.

Interpret Recorded Data/Information

  • Identify the main ideas of recorded information.
  • Apply critical thinking and problem-solving strategies.
  • Create new understandings and knowledge related to the information need.

Share Findings/Conclusions

  • Use a variety of formats to share information learned.
  • Apply fair use, copyright laws and Creative Commons attributions.
  • Reflect on and provide feedback about the research process and the information product.

Literature Appreciation and Lifelong Learning

  • Read, listen to, view and discuss stories that reflect human experiences.
  • Make literature connections to self, to other literature, to multimedia and to the world.
  • Use libraries for personal or assigned needs.
  • Utilize library circulation procedures and policies to access reading materials.
  • Locate and select literature and/or multimedia in a variety of genres.
  • Recognize the connection between reading and being a lifelong learner.

How to Help Your Child with Library Media

Back to Top ↑

Music

Creating:

  • Imagine – generate musical ideas for various purposes and contexts.
  • Plan and Make – select and develop musical ideas for defined purposes and contexts.
  • Evaluate and Refine – select musical ideas to create musical work that meets appropriate criteria.
  • Present – share creative musical work that conveys intent, demonstrates craftsmanship and exhibits originality.

Performing:

  • Select – select varied musical works to present based on interest, knowledge, technical skill and context.
  • Analyze – analyze the structure and context of varied musical works and their implications for performance.
  • Interpret – develop personal interpretations that consider creators’ intent.
  • Rehearse, Evaluate and Refine – evaluate and refine personal and ensemble performances, individually or in collaboration with others.
  • Present – perform expressively, with appropriate interpretation and technical accuracy, and in a manner appropriate to the audience and context.

Responding:

  • Select – choose music appropriate for a specific purpose or context.
  • Analyze – analyze how the structure and context of varied musical works inform the response.
  • Interpret – support interpretations of musical works that reflect creators’/ performers’ expressive intent.
  • Evaluate – support their personal evaluation of musical work(s) and performance(s) based on analysis, interpretation and established criteria.

How to Help Your Child with Music

Back to Top ↑

Physical Education

Motor Skills and Movement Patterns

  • Passes and receives objects while running, changing directions and speeds with competency in a modified invasion game.
  • Dribbles with dominant and non-dominant hands and feet while in a variety of practice tasks.
  • Strikes an object with an implement into open space in a variety of practice tasks.

Concepts and Strategies

  • Executes at least two of the following offensive tactics to create open space: moves to open space without ball, uses a variety of passes and fakes, or uses a give and go with partner.
  • Transitions from offense to defense or defense to offense by recovering quickly and communicating with classmates.
  • Selects the correct defensive play based on the situation (i.e. force outs).

Physical Activity and Fitness

  • Identifies barriers related to maintaining a physically active lifestyle and seeks solutions for eliminating those barriers.
  • Describes the overload principle (FITT formula) for different types of physical activity.

Personal and Social Behavior

  • Exhibits responsible social behavior by cooperating with classmates, demonstrating inclusive behaviors and supporting classmates.
  • Demonstrates cooperation skills by establishing rules and guidelines for resolving conflicts.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of rules and etiquette by following the parameters for physical activities.

Recognizes Value of Physical Activity

  • Generates positive strategies such as offering suggestions or solutions when faced with group challenges.
  • Demonstrates the importance of social interactions by helping and encouraging others, communicating effectively and providing support to classmates.

How to Help Your Child with Physical Education

Back to Top ↑

School Counseling

Academic Development

  • Identify personal strengths and develop skills necessary to set and achieve academic goals.

Career Development

  • Identify personal strengths, skills, interests and abilities and relate them to possible career options.

Personal/Social Development

  • Apply knowledge of personal strengths to increase healthy decision making and positive peer interactions.

How to Help Your Child with School Counseling

Back to Top ↑

Engineering and Technology Education

Students will develop an understanding of engineering design through exploratory experiences. Students participate in activities to understand how criteria, constraints and processes affect designs. Brainstorming, visualizing, modeling, constructing, testing and refining designs provide firsthand opportunities for students to understand the uses and impacts of inventions and innovations. Students will also develop skills in communicating design information and reporting results.

The Nature of Technology

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the nature, characteristics and scope of technology.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the core concepts of technology.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationships among technologies and the connections between technology and other fields of study.

Impacts of Technology

  • Assess the impacts of products and systems.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the cultural, social, economic and political effects of technology.
  • Determine the effects of technology on the environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of society in the development and use of technology.

The Engineering Design and Development Process

  • Describe the attributes of design.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of engineering design.
  • Select and use tools and equipment correctly and safely.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of troubleshooting, research and development, invention and innovation and experimentation in problem solving.
  • Use and maintain technological products and systems.

The Core Technologies, Building Blocks of the Designed World

  • Describe the functioning and applications of core technologies applied in common technology systems.
  • Describe the functioning and applications of structural systems.

The Major Enterprises that Produce the Goods and Services of the Designed World

  • The students will demonstrate an understanding of manufacturing technologies.
  • Describe manufacturing processes such as designing, development, producing and servicing.
  • Classify mechanical processes that change the form of materials such as separating, forming, combining and conditioning.
  • Describe the role manufacturing plays in the operation of other enterprises.

How to Help Your Child with Engineering and Technology Education

Back to Top ↑

World Languages (French or Spanish)

Communicate in French or Spanish

Interpersonal

  • Spell words using the alphabet.
  • Respond to and initiate greetings and farewells.
  • Count from 0 to 100.
  • Talk about school subjects, schedules and the classroom.
  • Talk about the calendar and birthdays.
  • Talk about the weather and seasons.
  • Introduce and talk about self and friends (ages, personality, physical description).
  • Talk about pastimes, leisure activities and sports.
  • Describe family members and pets (French).
  • Discuss meals and elements of a healthy lifestyle (Spanish).

Interpretive

  • Comprehend simple daily conversations on familiar topics by using authentic recordings, broadcasts and videos.
  • Determine meaning of words based on context cues, cognates, word derivatives and use of other resources.
  • Use before, during and after strategies to gain comprehension of both written and spoken language.

Presentational

  • Compose in a variety of writing formats.
  • Deliver formal oral presentations.

Gain Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures

Practices

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of other people’s way of life and the relationship between their patterns of behavior and the underlying beliefs and values that guide their lives.

Products

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the relationship between the products and beliefs and values of the cultures that use the target language.

Connect with Other Disciplines and Acquire Information

Cross-curricular

Reinforce and further knowledge of other disciplines through the world language.

Develop Insight Into the Nature of Language and Culture

Language

Examine elements of the target language and comparable elements in English.

Culture

Compare concepts of the cultures studied with one’s own.

Participate in Multilingual Communities

  • Use the language both within and beyond the school setting.
  • Use the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment as a lifelong learner.

How to Help Your Child with World Languages

Back to Top ↑