Junior High Curriculum and Goals

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Junior High Religion program begins with a complete study of the Life of Jesus. There is bible study and learning about saints and other models of our church tradition. In eighth grade the focus is on Jesus’ Church, its history, and the students’ personal response to Jesus and his life. Students are prepared for Confirmation and encouraged to give lifelong service. The study of the liturgical year aids each student in knowing how the larger church community celebrates Jesus’ life! Prayer and discussion of religious topics round out the program. We use the series “We Live Our Faith” published by Sadlier and the Confirmation series called “Chosen” by Ascension Press.

Grade 7

In grade 7 English class we revisit the eight parts of speech and their functions within a sentence. Additional sections in our text, Houghton Mifflin English, review other basics of grammar, usage, and mechanics. A research paper is assigned emphasizing the processes of research, utilizing proper formats, and employing good writing. These skills are as important as the final product. Vocabulary is integrated into the seventh grade English curriculum. The text used is Sadlier Vocabulary Workshop.

The Math program in grade 7 includes both standard and advanced levels of math all of which integrate an introduction of Algebraic concepts and positive and negative values along with a comprehensive review of the four basic math operations in the areas of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals. Other concepts covered are square roots, graphing, proportions, percents, measurement and geometry. Considerable emphasis is given to story problem solving techniques. The text used is Pre-Algebra published by Prentice Hall.

The Grade 7 Social Studies curriculum focuses on World History: Eastern Hemisphere. The program begins with a study of eastern civilizations and how they have influenced modern cultures. The relationship between geography and history will be thoroughly examined, including how geographic features have helped certain regions around the world to thrive. Map study, economics, government systems, and religions are integral to the Social Studies program. Cultural and religious diversity and tolerance are emphasized, while examining the foundation of Christianity and the values that have helped shape modern cultures. Units of study include the Middle East, China, India, Japan, Africa, and parts of Europe (modern times). Course work involves critical thinking and writing, discussion, comparing and contrasting, analyzing, and constructing. Students will learn practical skills, including identifying main ideas and supporting details, writing and organizing study notes, strengthening critical thinking and comprehension, and public speaking. The textbook is: My World History (2012), published by Pearson, and includes digital textbook access.

In grade 7 Literature class we study the elements of fiction: setting, character, plot, and theme through the reading of short stories. As the year progresses we explore other literature genres: drama, non-fiction, poetry, myths, and the novel. In addition to the selections in our text, Prentice Hall Literature, students read three novels and an autobiography for enrichment reading. Expository, narrative, descriptive, and persuasive writing assignments mirror the type of literature being studied at a particular point in the curriculum. These assignments reinforce proper English usage, mechanics, and grammar while fostering sound writing skills and creativity.

The Science program in grade 7 focuses on Life Science. The text used is Holt Science and Technology, Life Science, published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.   The main areas of Life Science covered are cells, heredity, and human body systems. Where possible, students will learn and review/reinforce concepts by completing lab activities. They will learn the proper techniques for using lab equipment, as well as safety procedures used in a lab activity.

The 7th grade Spanish course is designed to help students develop a beginner’s command of the Spanish language and an appreciation for Hispanic heritage and customs. Spanish language study includes writing, listening, speaking, and reading in the target language. The 8th grade Spanish course continues to explore these same aspects of language learning but with greater depth. The text used is Expresate, published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Grade 8 has Spanish three days per week and Grade 7 has Spanish two days a week for the entire school year.

Grade 8

In grade 8 English class, we review and expand on all that has been taught in the previous years: the eight parts of speech, grammar, usage, and mechanics. Students focus on content, organization, voice, word choice, style, and mechanics in both creative and expository writing. A research paper is required and due at the end of the year.   The text used is Houghton Mifflin English. Vocabulary is also a part of the English program, and we use Sadlier – Oxford Vocabulary Workshop.

Grade 8 Math program includes both standard and advanced. Both texts cover the topics of operations involving integers, order of operation, simple equations and inequalities, absolute value equations, multiplication and factorization of polynomials, and linear equations with graphing. The advanced Math program incorporates the same concepts at a 9th grade level as well as quadratic equations, using Larson Algebra I text and the standard Algebra I text, Prentice Hall Algebra I.

The Grade 8 Social Studies curriculum covers American History. The program begins with post-Revolutionary War America, from a group of loosely organized states into one of the most advanced nations in history. Emphasis is based on drawing comparisons between past and current events, showing how cause-and-effect relationships have helped shape our society. Units of study include the Early Republic and the writing of the Constitution, Westward Expansion, Industrialism, Civil War Era, Progressive Era, Cold War Era, and the World Today. Students will study the role immigrants have had in shaping the United States of America, as well as examine the 1st Amendment rights of Freedom of Speech, Religion, and Press. We will also complete a cross-curricular, comprehensive Career Project that involves research, economics, and practical skills. The textbook is: American History (2016), published by Pearson, and includes digital textbook access.

In grade 8 Literature class, we cover various literary elements, authors, genres, and reading skills. Students read short stories, plays, poetry, and novels and study story elements and writing devices. The structure of the course will consist of both whole class reading and individual, independent reading. We will frequently use the text, Prentice Hall Literature, along with other supplemental materials. Reinforcement of English writing skills, mechanics, grammar, and creativity are all emphasized in literature writing assignments.

Grade 8 Science program focuses on Physical Science. The text used is Holt Science and Technology, Physical Science. The first semester consists of an overview of Chemistry with emphasis on matter, atoms, elements, and the compounds formed from them. The second semester is an overview of Physics. The emphasis here is on motion, forces, energy and electricity. Where possible, students will learn and review/reinforce concepts by completing lab activities. They will learn the proper techniques for using lab equipment, as well as safety procedures used in a lab activity.

The 7th and 8th grade Computer class is to provide students with the skills they will need to be successful in high school and college. 7th grade students attend 2 times a week and 8th graders attend computer class 2 times a week. In addition to teaching the Office 2010 applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Keyboarding), we will also teach effective Internet search techniques, Internet safety, and we will focus on copyright and plagiarism issues. All work for computer class will be performed on the St. Hugo computer network; students may not transport work to and from school on floppy disk. We have also developed an Internet Use Policy for the St. Hugo Computer Network. You and your child will be asked to sign and return this form before they will be allowed to access the Internet. This year is very exciting as the 7th and 8th graders have the option of choosing “Yearbook” as an elective. Students will be creating this year’s St. Hugo School Yearbook using technology, taking and editing pictures, and designing pages!

Updated 9/14

Junior High Instructors

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