7th Grade Curriculum

7th Grade English Language Arts

MSAD 75 employs a research-based reading and writing program to meet our curricular learning goals. This program is developed by Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP) at Columbia University. The teacher-educators from this research and staff development organization are involved in long-lasting collaborations with teachers across the United States and the world. Our district has been affiliated with TCRWP since 2008-09. 

Literacy Assessments 

NWEA Reading: NWEA is our universal screening tool. Administered within the first quarter of school, it gives us a glimpse of where the student is in their reading with a percentile score. We use these percentiles, as well as what we know of the student, to make decisions about their instructional needs. We administer the assessment to all students again throughout the year to monitor their progress in reading.

Unit-based assessments: Teachers assess continually throughout a unit, pulling students into small groups or conferring 1:1 for additional teaching points that they may require to either fill a gap in their skills or extend them to a higher level. At the end of a unit, students demonstrate growth on the targeted skills/process with a final product.

Conferences:  The writing workshop model includes frequent conferencing with students during independent reading and writing. Conferences are a way for students to receive 1:1 or small group targeted teaching throughout a unit of study. Teachers “research” by asking the students questions about their reading or writing and what strategies they’re trying. Teachers also use what they see in the student’s work to guide their decision-making about what to teach the students. Teachers quickly assess what they will teach the student, and the class, next that will help the student take their reading or writing to the next level. 

Writing Curriculum

There are typically two-three writing units taught in each grade. Because we know students begin a school year at differing levels of readiness, teachers sometimes “reach down” into previous years’ teachings to ensure students are getting the instruction they need to move forward. These decisions are made based on what the students in that classroom need, either as a whole or on an individual basis. Units are the vehicle for teaching standards; depending on student needs and special programming, teachers may choose to move or reteach standards among the listed units. Likewise, teachers have access to more units than are listed below, and may include those units during the year as time and student needs allow. The writing process is its own standard and may be measured multiple times during the year. Teachers score student compositions on learning progressions which align to the Common Core standards and are broken up into strands: overall, lead, transitions, ending, organization, elaboration, and craft. 

Narrative Writing

Writing Realistic Fiction: Symbolism, Syntax, and Truth

The 7th grade year is full of incredibly engaging units that demand students to begin thinking outside of themselves and their experiences. This unit, Realistic Fiction, asks that students take real life experiences- ones they haven’t necessarily witnessed themselves- and create a fictional world of the story while still maintaining the skills and work they did last year. The unit also plays with pacing, foreshadowing, and character development and tightening a plot. 

Argument Writing

The Art of Argument: Research-Based Essays

In this unit, students will first engage with a common topic so that the teacher may teach the skills involved with critical reading, defending logic, and angling evidence for a particular purpose or audience. Students will then choose their own topic in which to engage and in order to apply these newfound skills. This unit is sometimes  taught alongside the Nonfiction Research Across Text Sets information reading unit, as students use all they learn about what they’re reading to inform their argument pieces. 

Information Writing

Writing About Reading: From Reader’s Notebooks to Companion Books

(If information standard was not measured in previous unit)

This unit is intended to have students transfer their information writing skills to writing about their independent reading. Throughout the unit, students are challenged to think about their reading and thinking work and then make decisions about how best to write about their ideas. 

Reading Curriculum

There are typically two to three reading units taught in each grade. As with writing, teachers sometimes “reach down” into previous years’ teachings to ensure students are getting the instruction they need to move forward. These decisions are made based on what the students in that classroom need, either as a whole or on an individual basis. Students are scored on learning progressions which align to the Common Core. Units are the vehicle for teaching standards; depending on student needs and special programming, teachers may choose to move or reteach standards among the listed units. As mentioned below, students’ independent reading habit is taught and worked on directly during the first unit of the year, this is then measured every quarter. 

Reading Habit

Building a Reading Life

Building a Reading Life launches students’ independent reading habit for the school year. This is the first unit in each grade level, and is adjusted to meet students where they are each year.

Students ramp up their reading skills by immersing themselves in within-reach books while going through lessons asking them to self-reflect on who they are, and who they would like to be as a reader. Students and teachers set goals together for their reading, and the unit assesses student growth and habit at the end of each quarter.

Narrative Reading

Developing The Habit of Reading Analytically

This unit taps into the power of studying one author closely. In this unit, students will read several books written by the same author, searching for subtle details, comparing the patterns and themes an author uses, and then, finally, emulating that author’s craft in their first narrative writing unit, Realistic Fiction

Nonfiction Reading

Tapping the Power of Nonfiction

Students will analyze and synthesize information from multiple sources, state and back up a well-founded and well-supported claim, and then apply what they learn in their reading to write their argument. Oral debates are also prominent in this unit. The students will engage in a class topic and then in their own topics, either individually or in small groups.

Narrative Reading

Historical Fiction Book Clubs

One of the most engaging reading units of the 7th grade year is the historical fiction unit. Students simply love reading about the often heroic and adventurous stories that are rooted in real-life events. Readers must pay attention to not only the needs of the characters, but also to the forces of the time and society in which the real people lived. Students engage in these books in book clubs, and clubs often read multiple novels throughout the unit. 

7th Grade Math

Open Up Resources is an engaging middle school mathematics course designed to develop students' mathematical skills, problem-solving abilities, and analytical thinking. This course covers a wide range of topics, including number and quantity, algebraic reasoning, ratios, percentages, geometry and more. Students will explore real-world applications, strengthen their computational fluency, and develop a solid foundation in mathematical concepts.

Learning Goals

Scale Drawings

  • 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.

Proportional Relationships

  • Decide whether two quantities are in a proportional relationship 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. 
  • 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.

Area and Circumference of Circles 

  • Know the formulas for the area and circumference of a circle and use them to solve simple and more complex problems.


  • Use proportional relationships to solve multistep ratio and percent problems, including tax, tips, discounts, markups, commission, simple interest, percent increase, and percent decrease.

Operations with Rational Numbers

  • Add, subtract, multiply, divide positive and negative integers, fractions, mixed numbers, and decimals

Expressions, Equations, and Inequalities

  • Write and solve basic one variable expressions, equations, and inequalities

7th Grade Science

During seventh grade science we look at Physics, Life Sciences, and Chemistry. Students will discover through hands-on learning, analyzing data, creating models and much more. We will continue to build on the scientific process to engage in science. 

Learning Goals

Population Data and Resources

  • Resource availability and how changes to ecosystems affect populations.

Relationships between diverse populations 

  • Diverse species interact and establish patterns of relationships in different ecosystems. Students will learn about disruptions to those patterns and design solutions to maintain those systems. 

Biological Cycling of Matter and Energy

  • Organisms cycle both matter and energy through ecosystems using biologically assisted chemical reactions and interactions among populations.

Potential and Kinetic Energy

  • Kinetic energy of an object changes as energy is transferred to or from the object.
  • Potential energy relates to an object’s position relative to another object. 

Magnetic/Electrical Fields 

  • Fields exist between objects, exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact.
  • Many factors affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces. 

Investigating Objects In Motion

  • Newton’s three laws of motion
  • Changes in motion can be determined from the sum of forces and the masses of the objects colliding
  • Gravitational forces

Interaction and Conservation of Units of Matter

  • Atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures 
  • The total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved. 
  • Properties of substances before and after the substances interact determine if a chemical reaction has occurred. 

Particles and Thermal Energy 

  • Thermal energy measures how particles are moving, and this can be changed through chemical reactions 
  • Relationships among the energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass, and the change in the average kinetic energy of the particles.

7th Grade Social Studies

The purpose of social studies education at Mt. Ararat Middle School is to develop learners who think critically, and make informed and reasoned decisions as members of a culturally diverse, democratic society. Social studies includes civics and government, personal finance and economics, geography, and history.

Geography focuses on exploring the 5 themes of geography. Students will construct and label maps of different regions of the world. The history strand focuses on students using primary and secondary sources to answer a historical question and consider different historical perspectives.

In government, students will study the rights and responsibilities of US citizens. Finally in economics, student will examine factors that contribute to spending and saving. 

7th Grade Exploratories

Physical Education 

Physical education at MAMS promotes a program aimed at lifelong physical activity. Our learning standards address knowledge, rules and skills, sportsmanship, team work, safe play, knowledge of fitness concepts and participation in fitness activities. Some of the activities students will participate in this year include but are not limited to Tennis, Team Handball, Badminton, Pickleball, weight training, floor hockey, disc golf and cooperative games. Please reach out to your child’s Physical Education teacher at any time with questions or concerns.

Visual Arts

Through hands-on experiences guided by the Middle Level Visual Arts Curriculum, students will be progressing through a comprehensive series of learning goals to achieve an appreciation of the Visual Arts and a desire to participate in and enjoy them as a lifelong interest. Students in all grades are encouraged to become aware of the Elements and Principles of Art as they work on various projects. A cumulative goal of this 6-8 grade program is that each student has the opportunity to strengthen their ability to value their individual ideas and talents and to focus that positive energy toward creating their personal best artwork.


Hands on, minds on. 

Design Process: Students design and make their own wooden CO2 race cars. They currently sketch thumbnail ideas. Students learn safe and proper use of machines/tools and will use a drill press, bandsaw and hand tools to make their car.

Health Education 

Health is a comprehensive, age appropriate skill based program where students engage in project based activities. Information will come home before each unit about the specific curriculum, please reach out beforehand if you have any questions. Curriculum: The connection between the dimensions of wellness; puberty; physical, social and emotional health; health promotion and nutrition; injury prevention and first aid strategies.

World Languages 

In Introduction to World Languages class, students will learn a bit of French and Spanish throughout the semester. Students will have French with Ms. Drew for one quarter and Spanish with Ms. Lera for one quarter. Students will work towards recognizing a few memorized words and phrases when they hear them spoken, understanding that there are different alphabets and pronunciations, understanding familiar words, phrases, and the main idea of short and simple texts, and understanding the usefulness of cognates.


Welcome to the MAMS Music Program! Our goal is individual student growth and achievement that will contribute to the musical quality of our ensembles and instill a life-long appreciation of music. Students can participate in Concert Band and Chorus, where students learn how to sing or play instruments and perform together as an ensemble. Students will also have the opportunity to have sectionals on their instrument/voice part. Additionally, students can participate in extra ensembles that meet outside of the school day, such as Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, and District III Honors Band and Chorus.

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