Grades 7 - 9 overview
Grades 7-8: Exploration, Discovery, & Revolution Within Ourselves & Earth's Living Community
Each 2-3 year learning cycle in the SOLA curriculum has an underlying theme that supports learners' developing consciousness and cognitive capacities.
As learners enter adolescence, they develop their capacities for self-reflection and introspection, and experience dramatic changes in their physiology. They are also inquisitive about the world and eager for knowledge, independence, and more social connections. They are ready to explore their own identities through an expanded experience of the world around them.
This developmental cycle is supported by thematic studies of the Renaissance, Reformation, Cultural & Political Revolutions, and the Age of Discovery & Exploration. Biographical reading focuses on social and political figures who challenged the prevailing views with their search for truth, freedom and individuality. The scientific study of chemistry, astronomy, meteorology, physics, & geography give learners an expanded, multi-dimensional understanding of the complex, living systems that support life on Earth and the form & function of our Universe. Learners also dive into anatomy, physiology, health & nutrition, and gender mysteries, which offer a supportive context for the radical changes they are experiencing in their own bodies, and offer wisdom that will support their health and well-being.
Thematic blocks are offered continually through the year, in 1.5-2 hour morning sessions. Topics shift every 4-6 weeks.
The Age of Exploration & Discovery
Civics & the formation of a Nation
Physics: Heat, Light & Sound
Anatomy & Physiology
Inorganic & Organic Chemistry
Global village cultural immersion
Our international learning venues for grades 7-8 include Ireland, France, Costa Rica, Greece, and more. Through planning, preparing, and fundraising for their trip, grades 7-8 students learn more about themselves as creators of their own class/community culture, and dive deeply into cultural identity as an element of their own humanness. These expeditionary learning experiences are guided by skilled mentors, teachers and expeditionary educators, and parents are welcome to come along!
Internships are held on Friday afternoons, are typically 2-3 hours, and occur on and off-site at local artist and professional venues. Internships are offered in trimesters, but can continue as long as student and teacher wish for them to.
Equine or Animal Arts
Academic Focus Classes
Academic focus classes are offered continually through the year, in 40-50 minute sessions, 2-4 times per week
Language Arts: Grammar review, creative & expository writing, research, poetry & prose
Math: Algebra, Geometry, mathematical process practice skills
Foreign Language: French, Spanish, Italian, or Mandarin Chinese
deep service learning
Through the internationally recognized PeaceJam curriculum, students identify service projects in our own and the greater community, and learn to engage service in a deeper, meaningful way through their studies of Nobel Peace prize recipients.
Click here to learn more about the Peacejam service, social justice, & peace studies curriculum
Arts, Enrichment, Trimester Electives
Enrichment and electives are offered each afternoon, in 60-90 minute sessions. Students may opt to deepen their experiences of these topics through the creation of a Friday afternoon internship.
Handicrafts: sewing, knitting, crocheting, bookmaking/papercrafts, woodworking, leatherwork
Games: Outdoor games, team sports, Archery
Music: Singing, Choir
Theater & Performance: Students collaborate to create an end-of-year performance each year, with an option to perform, do set design, or help author or direct the project. During the course of the year, they may also offer brief presentations of artistic work, rhythmic or musical skills at festivals, events, parent & student gatherings.
Wellness & Movement: Rhythmic Movement, Yoga, Tai Qi, Eurythmy, Dance, Cooking & Nutrition
Animal Arts: Equine ground work, riding, grooming & care; farm animal care, feeding, communication & connection; basic animal physiology.
Land Arts: Students learn about garden, land, water and forest stewardship through regenerative practices and biodynamics.
Forum & Council: Students explore self and others through evocative discussions and contemplate stewardship of SOLA through the student lens in a safe & intimate setting
Gender Mysteries Circle: Students explore self care/wellness, identity, gender, and sexuality in a safe & intimate setting
Media Wisdoms: Students are given a wise & appropriate context for understanding technology & media. Topics include etiquette, social media, advertising, games, email, keyboarding, computer & internet skills.
Yearbook: Students work on design, content photography and layout of Seasons of Learning, our annal of the year's activities at School of Living Arts.