7th Grade Department » Subjects


English Language Arts

The classics we read are incorporated in both history and ELA.  For example, scholars will read Joan of Arc in English and learn about the Hundred Years’ War simultaneously in history which allows time for a simulation of Joan’s trial. Texts will either be checked out to the scholar or given as a Keep Book that they may write in. The following is a sampling of the books and poems we read.


Frost, Robert. “The Road Not Taken” among other Frost poems.

Serraillier, Ian. Beowulf the Warrior (keep book)

Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales   and children’s version by Geraldine McCaughrean

Daugherty, James. The Magna Charta and the original Magna Carta

Shakespeare, Henry V

Twain, Mark. Joan of Arc (keep book)


Grading for ELA will be weighted and homework will be worth 10 percent, classwork 20 percent, projects 30 percent and assessments 40 percent of the overall grade.



Scholars will be writing daily in class. All writing genres required by the California Standards will be covered each quarter. Essays will primarily be completed in class but on occasion some time may be needed at home.


Scholars will focus on a different part of speech each week with instruction, practice and weekly quizzes. There is no homework for grammar.

Spelling and Vocabulary:

Spelling and vocabulary words are based on classical roots. There are weekly pre and post tests and an assignment.

Teacher Resource: Fifer, Norma and Nancy Flowers.  Vocabulary from Classical Roots.

Reading:  Each great work will have these three essential qualities: great theme, noble language, and universality. We will gather at least weekly for a Socratic discussion about what we read. Commonplace book work and reading logs are required. Reading logs are 20 minutes nightly 4 times a week and are recorded monthly.



This class will cover medieval and early modern history. Scholars will study the social, cultural, and technological changes that occurred in Europe, Africa, and Asia from 450-1700 A.D. 

Using primary sources is essential to developing the habits of mind integral to historical thinking. Socratic discussion and effective questioning will lead to an understanding of content and the significance of primary sources. Scholars will analyze events from the point of view of those who were witnesses to the historical event. It is through this work that they learn how to interpret history. When scholars come face to face with greatness, rather than a textbook, they are able to comprehend more deeply.

Units of study:

First quarter: Rome review, Byzantine Empire, Medieval Europe

Second quarter: Africa, Islam, Crusades

Third quarter: Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution

Fourth quarter: Enlightenment, Asia, Americas

The scholars will:

  • Understand how geography, religion, arts, politics, economics and societal structures shape civilizations
  • Trace the development and spread of ideas in religion, politics, culture, and technology
  • Understand recurring themes across time and place
  • Analyze cause and effect
  • Present information in oral and written form
  • Read historically significant works of literature and respond to them

Grading for History will be weighted and homework will be worth 10 percent, classwork 20 percent, projects 30 percent and assessments 40 percent of the overall grade.


Trivium Studies

The aim of this course is to present the basic doctrine of logic for an introductory middle school course and to apply new grammar knowledge in context, aiding in the transfer of grammar skills into scholars’ own writing.


Grading for trivium studies will be weighted and homework will be worth 10 percent, discussion/class participation 30 percent, quizzes 20 percent and assessments 40 percent of the overall grade.


In Mathematics we will be using College Preparatory Math course 2. Grading for math will be weighted as follows: assessments 50%, classwork 30% and homework 20% of the overall grade.




Semester One

  • Unit 1 – The scientific process, critical thinking
  • Unit 2 – Cellular Biology and Genetics
  • Unit 3 – Evolution

Semester Two

  • Unit 4 – Earth and Life Sciences
  • Unit 5 – Structure and function in living systems
  • Unit 6 – Chemistry

The California State Standards and the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) for 7th grade science will serve as the guides for this course. During the school year we will also be including STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) curriculum, lessons, and laboratories.

Grading for science will be weighted as follows:

  • 35% from Tests.
  • 15% from Labs and in-class work
  • 20% from Homework and written science papers
  • 15% from Quizzes*
  • 15% from Interactive Notebook checks


Leadership Studies

One of the main purposes of a classical education is to prepare our scholars to be leaders in their homes, school and community. As a grade level we have set aside time each week to mentor and discuss leadership skills such as: time management, goal setting, and implementing JAA’s 10 Core Values. This leadership time will include scholars being mentored by JAA faculty and administration as well as people from the community. Scholars will also have the opportunity to mentor younger JAA scholars.