The middle-school years at St. Francis are fun, challenging and productive. There are many curricular and social activities that make these years memorable. Seventh and eighth graders have the exciting job of making the critical transition from elementary school to middle school and eventually to high school. This means more independence, increased responsibilities, higher expectations, balancing school life with busy home schedules and dealing with those very special emotional, social, and physical changes that occur during these years. St. Francis School believes that the K-8 structure builds leadership, confidence and compassion in middle-school students. At the foundation is a commitment to growing in faith and love of God. They are actively involved in service and weekly liturgies. The highly qualified and committed staff is keenly aware of and sensitive to the unique needs of these students during their middle-school years.
Middle-School Core Curriculum
Textbook: Jesus in the New Testament and History of the Church published by Resources for Christian Living.
Jesus in the New Testament explores the life and message of Jesus Christ through the four gospels. Students also study the writings of St. Paul, other New Testament letters and the Book of Revelation. History of the Church introduces the major themes, events and people that have helped build the Church during our ongoing journey of faith. Students are encouraged throughout these studies to explore their own faith and they are challenged to grow spiritually.
Textbook: Easy Grammar Plus: Student Workbook published by Easy Grammar Systems.
Seventh-grade students will cover many different language mechanics including the eight parts of speech, simple and complex sentence structure, as well as paragraph structure. The course will highlight writing techniques through descriptive, narrative, expository, and creative writing. These writing styles will be emphasized in essays, journaling, responses, stories and letters. The class will also enhance speaking and listening skills through a variety of oral activities.
Textbook: Math Accelerated – Pre-Algebra published by McGraw-Hill.
This is a general math class designed to prepare students for the eighth-grade emphasis on Algebra. The class focuses on the mastery of basic facts of operations and number systems, measurements, basic geometry, beginning algebra and problem solving. A student’s performance, effort, standardized test scores and the results of the end-of-the-year placement exam determine his/her placement for eighth-grade math.
Our middle-school science curriculum is based on Project-Based Inquiry Science, our cutting-edge science series designed to give students the skills and practice they need to think and act like scientists. Each unit includes a big question or challenge related to a real-world problem in which students have to apply scientific skills to gather, organize and analyze data, use critical thinking, develop explanations and work collaboratively. They have opportunities to do the work of scientists: run experiments, design and build models, research, examine data sets, use technology and make presentations. In the process, they learn the scientific concepts and skills they need to answer the big questions and address the challenges.
Students study both life and physical sciences. They begin the year with a launcher unit, Diving Into Science, in which they explore the practices of scientists within a physical science context. Their next unit is a study of the human body, Good Friends and Germs, and they learn how germs make people sick. Students study viruses and bacteria, the cell theory and the structure and function of body systems. The next unit, Vehicles in Motion, is a physical science unit. In this unit, students design and build vehicles with specific properties while exploring the principles of motion and force. Finally, students investigate water quality in Living Together, a life science unit. They work in groups to determine how water quality affects the ecology of a community.
Textbook: Vocabulary Workshop, Levels A, B, and C published by Sadlier-Oxford.
The sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade classrooms use the Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop books, levels A, B, and C. The fifteen (15) units in each book focus on definitions, context, synonyms and antonyms. The online component of this program includes an audio program and interactive games and puzzles.
Textbook: Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes published by Prentice Hall, Inc. (Silver Edition).
Throughout seventh-grade literature, students cover a multitude of academic areas and use a combination of skills. They focus on literary appreciation for genres, styles and authors, as well as vocabulary, and the role it plays in speech and written work. Comprehension skills of literary terms, different cultural writings, and critical interpretations are also emphasized in seventh-grade literature. Novels read in class include The Cay, by Theodore Taylor, The Call of the Wild, by Jack London, Roll of Thunder; Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor and Nothing but the Truth, by Avi, as well as a wide selection of books that are read individually. Students study vocabulary from the Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop, Level B, as well as context reading.
Textbook: The American Nation Beginnings through 1877 published by Prentice Hall, Inc.
Seventh-grade social studies covers the history of the United States from its beginning to the time of Reconstruction. Emphasis is placed on the themes of forging a national identity, forming and strengthening the democratic institution and moving west across the vast landscape. Effort is made to help the students grasp the large patterns of American history, such as exploration, colonization and the development of the Constitution.
Textbook: ¡Avancemos! (Levels 1A and 1B) published by Holt McDougal.
¡Bienvenidos al maravilloso mundo del espaῆol!– Welcome to the wonderful world of Spanish!
Learning the Spanish language and Spanish culture is a journey that starts in the elementary grades at St. Francis of Assisi. The middle-school Spanish program prepares our students’ transition to year 1 or year 2 of a high school Spanish program as a freshman.
The entire ¡Avancemos! Level 1 curriculum at St. Francis focuses on the three areas of language acquisition: listening, speaking and writing. This program is equivalent to a first year of high school Spanish divided in Level 1A and Level 1B and it covers topics at the basic level. Appreciation and respect for the cultures of Spain and Latin America are included as an important element of the Spanish curriculum at St. Francis.