Middle school at Allendale Christian School is designed to nurture the child emotionally, physically, academically, and spiritually. We help each other experience God through the lens of scripture and discern how we can apply that to our daily lives. While in sixth grade we help students adjust to middle school life and in eighth grade we begin the preparation for high school, seventh grade is a time to help students foster positive habits in all areas of school and life.
Bible: In seventh grade Bible we use the updated Christian Schools International Bible curriculum, Walking with God and His People. Most of the year is spent in the Old Testament. We begin with an overview of the major themes in the Old Testament, followed by a unit on some of the major Jewish feasts and festivals. Through all of this, we try to learn more about our faith and how it is shaped through the history of the Old Testament. These two units are followed by a unit on the book of Job and Ecclesiastes and lastly prayer. The unit on Job helps give us perspective and strengthens our faith in new ways. The unit on prayer causes the students to really stop and think about how they communicate with God.
Language Arts: Seventh grade language arts starts out with a lively poetry unit which includes analyzing, writing, and selecting poetry, culminating in a poetry anthology project. In addition to grammar and independent reading requirements, highlights for the course include a short story unit, in which students will read and analyze various science fiction short stories and write their own. Students will also participate in an argumentative writing unit, in which they will learn to effectively formulate and articulate an argument which includes opposing viewpoints. Students will learn to make connections between various stories through a common theme of “heroism” via a unit that centers around CommonLit readings. Students will also participate in literature circles, in which they will read coming-of-age novels in groups and discuss the book in sections together.
General Math: This is one of two main options for 7th grade. We use Big Ideas Math: Modeling Real Life. Big Ideas offers a balance of learning math skills and gaining deeper understanding of concepts. The units we learn focus on an introduction to algebra, operations with integers and rational numbers, ratios and proportions, percents, statistics, and probability. Our study of math enables us to more fully recognize and appreciate the patterns God put in the world around us and to better understand our orderly, creative God.
Pre-algebra: This is one of two main options for 7th grade. We use Big Ideas Math: Modeling Real Life. Big Ideas offers a balance of learning procedures and conceptual understanding. The units we learn in 7th grade focus on an introduction to algebra; operations with integers and rational numbers; ratios and proportions; percents; 2D geometry including transformations, angels, and triangles; writing and solving equations; and 3D geometry. This class is an intense, fast paced, exploration of concepts to prepare students for Algebra. Our study of math enables us to understand in a fresh way our orderly, creative God.
Science: Middle School Science is taught from the Biblical perspective of creation (Genesis 1) and God as the Creator of our magnificent universe. The curriculum is a hands-on, problem-solving based curriculum, in which students learn through activities and experiments through a combination of Mi-STAR Science units, nature-based experiences, and intentional faith-based reflection opportunities. We use a three year rotation of topics. In year one the focus is on the water cycle, human anatomy, plant growth, and ecosystem interaction. Year two focuses on the cycling of energy in the environment through plate tectonics, cycling of energy in matter, and genetics. The final year of the rotation covers sound and light energy, gravity and the solar system, and weather. Each topic gives us the opportunity to learn more about the wonderful order in which God created the universe.
Social Studies: We use History Alive!: The Ancient World and The Medieval World and Beyond by Teachers’ Curriculum Institute. Our study begins with the ancient civilizations from the Fertile Crescent through Ancient Rome. We then move on to learn about many regions of the world during the Middle Ages. We end the year back in Europe, looking at the Renaissance and Reformation, the Age of Exploration, Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment. In each unit, we learn about the geography of the area, their culture at that time, and how they connect to our culture today. Seventh grade social studies is often a time when the students’ understanding of the length and breadth of God’s world becomes much more real to them.
Literature/Library: Seventh grade students have one fifty minute Literature class period, half of it spent in the library and half of it spent in the classroom reading. In the library, students receive tips about good reading habits, listen to read-alouds, have discussions that aim to meet seventh grade reading standards, and learn about the story God is writing. They also have time to find, read, and check-out books they want to read independently.
Physical Education: Seventh Grade students receive two fifty minute sessions of PE each week. At this point, students should be able to work effectively independently or in groups and make appropriate decisions to resolve conflict in game situations. Each day in class there is a focus on fitness development and skill development.
Art: Seventh Grade students receive fifty minutes of art instruction each week. Students are encouraged to explore personal meaning in their art. Students create with the Principles of Design as a main focus and guideline. Students will continue to develop their artistic craft making it more personal and refining previously learned skills.
Music: Seventh Grade students are involved in band (55 minutes/ 2 days) and/or choir (50 minutes/ 1 day). The mission of the music program at Allendale Christian School is to allow students to discover and develop the musical gifts that God has given them through an appreciation of, enjoyment of, and success in music. In band and choir, students will develop the following musical skills through performance: creating a clear tone with voice and chosen instrument, reading pitches on the treble and bass clef, reading a variety of musical symbols, and performing contrasting parts. Students will also participate in the Annual Christmas Concert in December and the Spring Band and Choir Concert in May.
Spanish: Seventh grade students have two fifty minute Spanish classes each week. Through interactive games and activities, students continue working through the Savvas Realize curriculum. They learn vocabulary and grammar topics related to the following units: “Breakfast or lunch?” “Staying healthy,” and “Where are you going?” At the end of the year, students read a beginner novel in Spanish. Cultural activities and biblical instruction are woven in throughout the units. Students continue to develop listening, writing, reading, and speaking skills in the Spanish language.
Extra opportunity for 7th and 8th grade students: In 7th and 8th grade, students have one 'specials choice' period where they are able to select from options that include classes include Art (clay, painting, etc.), Music (ukulele, film music, etc.) and PE (competitive sports, individuals sports, etc.). This allows students to take an extra class in an area of interest to them.