top of page

7th Grade

IS289 middle school offers an inclusive curriculum for all. In the 7th grade students are given a firm grounding in the following subjects:

Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Spanish, Music, Art, Physical Education


For more 7th grade information, please access our

What’s Happening’ Blog, Faculty list and Trip information


Jennifer Brogan Rogers -

7th grade is a challenging time for students.  It is also a time with great opportunity for students to thrive and push toward academic independence.  Students are taught to critically respond to a variety of texts.  Students are also encouraged to look critically at the world around them and work in ways that foster positive change in our school community and beyond.



  • Launching Reading Workshop, Partnerships, and Reading Notebooks

  • Writing Realistic Fiction

  • Election- Reading with a Critical Lens (mini-unit)

  • Fantasy Book Clubs

  • Information Writing about Reading

  • Reading with a Lens/Argument Essay

  • Reading with a Lens/Literary Essay

  • Test Preparation as a Reading and Writing Genre

  • Historical Fiction Book Clubs

  • Independent Courses of Study in Reading and Writing

Each writing unit includes conventions lessons designed to enhance overall mastery and improve skills that are especially useful in that genre

Writing Work:

  • Collecting entries in the writer’s notebook

  • Developing an idea for a writing project

  • Rereading notebook entries and drafts

  • Drafting, revising and editing writing

  • Conferring with the teacher

  • Goal setting and reflection work

  • Reading model texts for form, craft and inspiration

  • Talking with a writing partner

  • Devising and/or publishing new writing strategies

  • Publishing writing

  • Portfolio work

  • Reading peers’ published work and responding

  • Maintaining a Writer’s notebook

Reading Work:

  • Reading independently

  • Partner reading

  • Interrupting reading to think

  • Writing about reading

  • Conferring with the teacher

  • Goal setting and reflection work

  • Talking with a reading partner

  • Being in conversation with a Book Club

  • Browsing for future book choices in the library

  • Making book recommendations

  • Maintaining a Reader’s notebook


Seventh graders should be doing about 40 – 50 minutes of literacy work each night (this includes independent reading).

  • Writing homework: Seventh graders are expected to extend their in-class writing work.   Additional writing work can be notebook work, or drafting (which includes revision and editing).

  • Reading homework: Students are expected to read independently each night, and should be completing a book in seven to ten days.  This will mean a minimum of three to five hours of independent reading outside of school each week.  We expect that students will read in a variety of genres across the year.


According to the Dick Allington, former president International Reading Association, “Simply put, students need enormous quantities of successful reading to become independent proficient readers.  By successful reading, I mean reading experiences where students perform with a high level of accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.”



Yelena Bedichevsky –


Mari Mannino -

In IS289 7th grade science, students learn science concepts, core ideas, and practices by working collaboratively in an inquiry- and project-based environment. The curriculum is based on the NYS Scope and Sequence Science Standards. I am also incorporating the Common Core and the new national Next Generation Science Standards into my curriculum.


For the last three years, we have been a part of a National Science Foundation initiative called “Cyber-Enabled Learning: Digital Natives in Integrated Scientific Inquiry Classrooms”. The goals of this initiative are to motivate student learning in science classrooms by integrating information and communication technologies (ICTs), literacy skills with scientific inquiry-based learning

We are also part of the Department of Education’s new initiative to teach Computer Science in the science classroom. This consists of 1 week of introductory computer programming using the StarLogo Nova language and 1 week of applying the new programming skills to our Chemistry unit.

Unit 1 - Scientific Investigations

  • What are the parts of a scientific investigation and how is a scientific investigation conducted?

  • Scientific investigation; creating scientific questions, developing structured hypotheses, identifying independent, dependent, and controlled variables.

  • Through conducting various investigations,

  • Dynamic Equilibrium:

Unit 2 - The Human Body: How do human body systems function to maintain homeostasis?

  • Students will be able to understand how cells are organized into tissues, organs, and organ systems.

  • The functions of these body systems will include obtaining energy, regulation of the internal environment, and responding to the external environment.

  • Through the efforts of their unit project, students will assume the role of a doctor demonstrate knowledge of various human body systems, such as the digestive, respiratory, circulatory, etc. They will diagnose a patient’s symptoms and will create a treatment plan.

Unit 3 - Chemistry: Interactions between Matter & Energy

How do the interactions of matter and energy explain physical and chemical change?

  • Through various investigations, students will learn about the properties of matter, energy, and their interactions.

  • The ideas of atoms, molecules, and elements will be the basis for understanding the more complex properties of matter such as density.

  • The Periodic Table will be introduced as a way of organizing the elements.

  • Through their unit project students will be able to demonstrate the characteristics of physical/chemical properties and changes and be able to distinguish between the two.

Unit 4 - Geology: The Dynamic Earth

How do we as scientists gather and interpret evidence that the Earth is continually changing?

  • Students will learn about Earth’s layers, and composition.

  • Through the evidence of plate tectonics, students will connect how the folding of the Earth’s crust leads to mountain building, volcanoes, and earthquakes.

  • Through various investigations students will justify how rocks are classified and understand the rock cycle.

  • For their unit projects, students will assume the role of scientists and will: create a scaled model of Earth’s interior, explain the importance of the fossil record, and argue the case of Continental Drift.

Homework Policy

Students will receive approximately 20 minutes of homework 3-4 nights per week. Homework is due the next time the class meets. Before starting homework, students should first review their class notes. In addition, students are strongly encouraged to review their class work, previous homework, or project work regularly.

Edmodo is an academic social media tool. I strongly suggest that parents have their child login to Edmodo and together look at the various documents that are in the folders for each subject. Edmodo is useful as students can post school-related questions about classwork, homework, or project work for any subject. Also, students and parents can refer to documents, such as rubrics, mentor texts, strategies, handouts, etc. which exist in Edmodo folders for each subject.


Social Studies

Marc Todd

Using the workshop format, the students in the 7th grade will work both individually and collaboratively in partnerships and in groups to understand strategies of the social scientific method and formulate social science questions.

Although textbooks are introduced as a resource in social studies class, we want students to learn from multiple sources. Students are exposed to a wide range of trade books with diverse perspectives and a variety of reading levels.  Other equally important materials are primary sources such as letters, logs and journals, maps, illustrations, and other artifacts, some in print and some on-line.

The 7th graders will investigate the following chronologically organized units of study of American History:


Unit 1 - Ways of Working

  • How do we know what we know? How does my perspective inform and affect the way I view history?

  • Different perspectives of events, ideas and people allow individuals to be emotionally and intellectually engaged.

Unit 2 - Election Study

  • Is democracy fair or unfair? 

  • How are structures and systems created to serve a community?

  • A healthy Democracy depends on citizens who are well informed, involved, and participate.

Unit 3 - Peoples of the Eastern Woodlands

  • How do we develop an understanding of people who have been marginalized?

  • Citizens develop concerns and understandings for individuals or groups of people who are marginalized or became extinct.

Unit 4 -Exploration or Occupation

  • How do we discern people’s intentions?

  • Is change good?

  • Change occurs at the intersections of people’s beliefs and culture.

  • Personal and political intentions affect the way we engage with others.

Unit 5 - Settlements: Colonies to Revolution

  • How do individual values influence a community?

  • How does where we live affect how we live and what we value?

  • Colonization is a political and economic effort.

  • The 13 colonies were founded for distinct purposes, but developed a common identity over time.

Unit 6 - 7th Grade Write and perform an Opera Project

  • How do we get others to care and think about our point of view?

  • People use the performing arts to collaborate, take a stance, and to get others to care about what happens in history.

Unit 7 - Westward Expansion

  • How does societal constructs affect how we interact with others?

  • When people come together they can create change.



Homework has a purpose.  Homework helps students process and reflect upon the material covered in class during the day.  Also, homework prepares students for the following day’s work to ensure participation and understanding.  As a result, you should expect a variety of homework assignments.  Please make sure you check your child’s student planner and have her/him explain the work that is required.  In addition, the students have research partners they can contact if they have questions about the homework or what is required of them.



Jennie Kelly

The 7th grade Spanish course is designed to foster Spanish fluency primarily through comprehensible input language learning method. Comprehensible input presents students with highly-interactive stories that create immersion in the classroom. We focus on acquiring high-frequency vocabulary--words that are commonly used in everyday conversation. Students develop their reading skills through Spanish novels designed for language learners. Catchy songs that reinforce vocabulary acquisition help students feel confident speaking in Spanish.



Mary Cherney (woodwind)

John Blevins (brass)

Jennifer Axelson (strings)


Students have the choice of participating in the music program for two periods per week. Instrument choices include: Flute, oboe, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, trumpet and trombone. Students will develop instrumental proficiency and music literacy through Western classical music and will have the opportunity to perform as part of an orchestra

In the 7th grade, students continue to expand their ensemble skills and learn more challenging scales and repertoire.  Performances will include string orchestra and full orchestra opportunities.

Further opportunities for music loving students can be found through our free Manhattan Youth After-School program




By adolescence, youngsters have developed powerful new thoughts and feelings that challenge established world-views. As experiences become increasingly conflicting and diverse, so art making becomes a safe arena for experimenting in the construction of new relationships between inner and outer realities. Painting, drawing, collage, printmaking, and art appreciation become important vehicles for testing ideas, making judgments, forming values and exercising curiosity. In particular, the exploration of new and different ideas about the representation of three-dimensional space helps youngsters express new points of view about themselves and their worlds.


In 7th Grade we concentrate on principles of design including balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, rhythm, unity and pattern

(add examples of Artwork)



James Herlihy


The Physical Education program at IS289 introduces students to the fundamentals of team and individual sports, which include skills, rules, and strategies associated with the different sports. In addition, students take part in general physical conditioning activities and fitness. The program promotes qualities such as, cooperation, leadership, fair play, enthusiasm for physical activity and friendly competition.

Through our Manhattan Youth afterschool program (link to ‘Manhattan Youth Afterschool’ section) IS289 students have the opportunity to take part in the competitive Manhattan middle school sports leagues. A wide range of Junior Varsity and Varsity sport teams are offered, led by our experienced and skilled coaches. Teams include: soccer, football, basketball, baseball, softball, track and field.


7th Grade Trip

On June 7th – 8th, the 7th graders will take part in an overnight trip to Philadelphia. The students will explore the national historical sites related to the founding of the United States including visits to Independence National Historical Park and Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence was signed) and the Liberty Bell. The students will also enjoy a walking tour of this city which offers a wealth of historical, art and culture site as well as parks and gardens.

Social Studies
Lower Section
bottom of page