Grade 7 Language Arts

Mission for 7th Grade Language Arts:

In 7th Grade Language Arts we will be working on becoming better readers and writers together. Students will work on building reading skills through four core novels and one play this year (The Waltons Go to Birmingham – 1963, The Outsiders, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Giver). Students will build their writing skills by learning how to write well developed paragraphs and well developed five paragraph argumentative essays and informative essays as well as narratives. We will also work on grammar by learning the parts of speech and how to use them to build well written sentences. We will work on vocabulary and spelling through reading literature and working on various vocabulary activities. I hope to develop projects and assignments that are enjoyable and help build skills in a successful way.

Unit 1 – Making a Good Story

Watsons Go to Birmingham Book CoverCore Literature: The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 by, Christopher Paul Curtis

Essential Questions:

How do authors create texts that reflect and reveal the thoughts and actions of human beings?

What skills are needed for effective listening and speaking?

How are people transformed through their relationships with others?

  • Students will understand how a story captures the interest of an audience through the progression of a plot.
  • Students will understand how people grow through experience, friendship, and determination by understanding the relationships between characters in a piece of literature.
Writing and Grammar:
  • Write a well-written paragraph with detail.
  • Write a narrative.
  • Understand how simple, compound, and complex sentences are formed.

Unit 2 – Analyzing Craft and Structure

Outsiders Book CoverCore Literature: The Outsiders by, S.E. Hinton     

Essential Questions:

How does an author use craft and structure to portray the relationship between characters and create meaning?

How is an effective argument made in writing?


Understandings: Through studying the actions and development of the characters in a piece of literature, students will understand true heroism and that identity is developed by a person’s life experiences and beliefs.

Writing and Grammar:
  • Write an argument essay.
  • Correctly use commas in a sentence.
  • Understand how compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences are formed.

Unit 3 – Theme in Drama and Fiction

Midsummer Book CoverCore Literature: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by, William Shakespeare and A Long Walk to Water by, Linda Sue Park

Essential Questions:

Are there universal themes in literature that are of interest or concern to all cultures and societies?

How does an author create meaning in a work of literature?

How are literary genres different from each other, and how does that difference influence our interpretations?

  • Students will understand how culture influences writing.
  • Students will understand how universal and timeless themes make a piece of literature last through the ages.
  • Students will understand how a play and a novel can tell stories in different, yet meaningful, ways.
Writing and Grammar:
  • Conduct research and write an informational essay based on that research.
  • Revise writing to include more compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences.

Unit 4 – Understanding the World Through Text

The Giver Book CoverCore Literature: The Giver by, Lois Lowry

Essential Questions:

What is the value of an individual within a community?

How does an author create suspense in a piece of literature?

What strategies do active readers use?

Understandings: Students will understand that characters in literature help us understand human nature and the value of an individual in a community.

Writing and Grammar:
  • Write informational and argument essays.
  • Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.
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