Resources for Seventh Grade

 

One thing I think that you should start doing if you are going through the grades for the first time, is to gather lists for each grade – books by topic, possible field trips in your area, etc.

There are some ideas by curriculum writers or Waldorf teachers for seventh grade, in no particular order:

This is a list of books that I am personally finding helpful so far and wanted to share. This is absolutely by no means an inclusive list, or a list of “doing it right.”  It is just a list of possibilities.  By subject: 

Geometry/Algebra

  • Mathematics in Nature, Space and Time by John Blackwood
  • Drawing Geometry by Jon Allen
  • String, Straightedge and Shadow by Julia E. Diggins
  • Making Math Meaningful, Grades Six Through Eight – by Jamie York .  See his full website here:  http://www.jamieyorkpress.com/
  • The Key To…books (Geometry, Algebra, Metric System if you have not covered that already)
  • Any standard math curriculum for seventh grade could be a source of practice problems

 

Perspective Drawing/Drawing/Painting/Modeling:

  • Perspective by William F. Powell
  • I also think Rod and Staff has a small perspective drawing book (Christian resource)
  • Black and White Drawing E-book by Rick Tan of Syrendell: https://www.etsy.com/listing/78556591/black-and-white-drawing-lesson-video-and?ref=shop_home_active_6
  • “Painting and Drawing in Waldorf Schools:  Classes 1 to 8″ by Thomas Wildgruber
  • “Drawing With Hand, Head, and Heart”: by Van James
  • Learning About the World Through Modeling” by Arthur Auer
  • “Creative Pathways” by Elizabeth Auer

 

Colonial/Revolutionary War History

I think this belongs in this grade if you can fit it in so you can explore more American History in eighth grade.

Resources:

  • A Main U. S. History source – I have Joy Hakim’s series in my house, so that is what I am using, but there are others
  • Colonial Days:  Discover the Past with Fun Projects, Games, Activities, and Recipes by David King
  • “The American Revolution for Kids:  A History with 21 Activities” by Hebris
  • “Colonial Places” and “Colonial People” by Sarah Howarth
  • Landmark Books “The Pilgrims at Plymouth”  (more in series)
  • “The New Americans:  Colonial Times 1620-1689 by Betsy Maestro; there are others in this series
  • The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
  • The World of Columbus and Sons by Genevieve Foster (also for other blocks) (also has The World of William Penn, etc that could be used for this block)
  • George vs. George by Rosalyn Schanzer
  • Ben and Me by Robert Lawson
  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
  • Four Great Americans by James Baldwin (Ben Franklin and others)
  • Elizabeth Foss has a good list here:  http://ebeth.typepad.com/serendipity/2008/07/along-the-histo.html  (This link may or may not be working currently; you may have to search the Internet to find the latest link).

 

Renaissance/Reformation World Studies:

Some of this will depend where you ended your Medieval Block of sixth grade.    There are so many,  many resources, so this is just a sampling.

  • In the summer between sixth and seventh grades, consider reading any of the following:  A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver; The Hidden Treasure of Glaston; or Avi’s Crispin, Cross of Lead
  • The Magna Charta by James Dougherty
  • Books about Joan of Arc, Genghis Khan, Marco Polo
  • The World Awakes:  The Renaissance in Western Europe by Polly Schoyer Brooks and Nancy Zinsser Walworth (used)
  • The Age of Discovery by Charles Kovacs (Waldorf resource)
  • “Trumpeter of Krakow” by Eric P. Kelley
  • Leonardo da Vinci for Kids: His LIfe and His Ideas by Janis Herbert
  • “Leonard:  Beautiful Dreamer: by Robert Byrd
  • “Michelangelo” by Diane Stanley
  • “Good Queen Bess” by Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema

 

 

Spelling and Grammar:

At this point, most of the families I know are using a mainstream program to supplement.  I would probably wait on a vocabulary book until eighth grade like many of the Waldorf Schools do, but that is, of course, up to you.  I don’t have any particular programs to recommend as none of the mainstream programs have bowled me over.

  • “An English Manual” by Dorothy Harrer

 

Wish, Wonder, Surprise Writing Block:

  • The Art and Science of Composition by Dorit Winter
  • An English Manual by Dorothy Harrer
  • If you have girls, also try “Pens on Fire:  Creative Writing Experiments for Teens from WriteGirl”
  • “Wish, Wonder, Surprise:  An Anthology for Creative Writing in Grades Seven and Eight” Compiled by Eugene Schwartz
  • Examples of literature that have a wish, wonder or surprise component to them!

 

 

 

Astronomy:

I wish we had done this at the end of sixth grade as a bridge to talking about navigation and explorers in seventh grade, but we didn’t.   So here we are; learn from my first go-round!

  • Geology and Astrology by Charles Kovacs
  • “Starry Messenger:  Galileo” by Peter Sis
  • Find the Constellations by H.A. Rey
  • 365 Starry Nights by Chet Raymo
  • “Carry On, Mr. Bowditch” by Jean Lee Latham could be a good read-aloud during this block – If you want to learn more about ships, try Macauley’s “Ship” book

 

Chemistry:

  • A Demonstration Manual for Use in the Waldorf School Seventh Grade Chemistry Main Lesson by Mikko Bojarsky
  • Illustrated Dictionary of Chemistry  (any number to choose from)
  • Exploring the World of Chemistry by John Hudson Taylor could be a good read aloud during this block (Christian resource, I think)

 

Physics:

  • “Physics is Fun” by Trostli
  • A Path of Discovery –Eric Fairman

 

Physiology:

  • Nutrition and Education by Gerhard Schmidt (Waldorf resource)
  • Resources for your family’s typical diet
  • “Human Fertility” by Linda Knodle  (Waldorf resource)
  • “Muscles and Bones” by Charles Kovacs  (Waldorf resource)
  • Background knowledge for you, the teacher:  “Complete Healing” by Michael Evans, MD (Waldorf resource) and Karl Konig’s “A Living Physiology”
  • This e-book by Rick Tan:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/192873111/lets-talk-biology-and-biography-ebook?ref=shop_home_feat_1

Africa: This has been my favorite block to plan so far. 

  • “Hear the Voice of the Griot!” by Betty Staley is a must have.  (Waldorf resource)
  • “David Livingstone”  and “Rowland Bingham” by Janet and Geoff Benge (Christian resource)
  • Sundiata: Lion King of Mali by David Wisniewki; “Mansa Musa” as well
  • Amazing Africa Projects You Can Build Yourself by Carla Mooney
  • My Life with Chimpanzees by Jane Goodall
  • Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan
  • Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta by James Rumford
  • African Princess:  The Amazing Lives of Africa’s Royal Women by Joyce Hansen
  • African Beginnings by Haskins and Benson
  • Elizabeth Foss has a good list here:  http://ebeth.typepad.com/serendipity/2009/05/continents-and-cultures-africa.html (This link may or may not be working currently; you may have to search the Internet to find the most recent working link for Serendipity blog).

 

Latin America:

  • I found a traditional  “World in Focus” book regarding Central and South America, so you can find things like that used to help you, the teacher, gain background knowledge
  • Machu Picchu by Elizabeth Mann
  • The Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark
  • Mexico and Central America:  A Fiesta of Cultures, Crafts, and Activities for ages 8-12 by Mary C. Turck

 

 

Explorers:

  • Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl (could also fit other blocks)
  • Pedro’s Journal by Pam Conrad
  • Around the World in a Hundred Years by Jean Fritz
  • Explorers Who Got Lost by Diane Dreher

Please add in your favorites in the comment box.

Many blessings,

Carrie

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11 thoughts on “Resources for Seventh Grade

  1. Hi Carrie,
    I’m not up to 7th Grade yet. But I was just wondering… Do you buy all those resources yourself..all the books? Or do you tend to borrow things (like from the library). Do you find that you read them once or use them repeatedly as references throughout the year?
    thanks,
    Carla

    • Carla! Ha! I wish I could say I got everything through the library…but they certainly don’t have the Waldorf resources especially. I have three children so I create boxes for each year and save things by grade. So, I admit to library use and also frequent used book buying as a really bad habit. :)
      Blessings,
      Carrie

  2. Wow, thank you for this very comprehensive suggestion list. I know this is going to come in very handy for me in another 12 months or so when I start to think about 7th. Thanks for all your hard work and for sharing your research, Carrie!
    Cathy

  3. Hey Carrie,
    Great list. I’m printing it for reference. I think I have changed my mind on the explorers since our last talk about grade 7. I think I am going to begin the year (Sept/Oct) with doing 2 explorers in depth and the corresponding geography: Marco Polo and the Silk Road (China) and Prince Henry the Navigator and the horn of Africa (Africa – obviously, lol). I love the Demi bio of Marco Polo. There is also a book called “The Animals Marco Polo Saw” by Sandra Markle that someone recommended. For Prince Henry, there is a bio by Leonard Fisher (love him!). This will also finish Medieval. I am saving the Renaissance for later in the year (maybe early winter) and end the year (April) with Colonial/Revolutionary War America. Lots of history!!! Trying to remember to go deep not wide.

    I have my grade 7 resources here http://sureastheworld.com/planning/grade-7/. I hope to update them this weekend as I finally have last year’s stuff cleared from the shelves and next year’s up. It’s a big job, isn’t it??!!

    xxoo
    S

    • Very big job and my blocks keep changing. Will let you know when I settle down and decide how I am doing things. I like your suggestions though. More books though. My husband will be thrilled! LOL. :)
      Blessings,
      Carrie

  4. We are at the very beginning of our journey – we’ll be doing first grade with our 7y.o. and our 5yo still in Kindy. BUT, I have been wondering how Waldorf homeschooling might look in the middle grades and higher, especially when it comes to subjects that I have less knowledge in myself. So I find your post very interesting indeed. Besides, I was a teacher (of 4th and 6th grades) in my former life (i.e. pre-children), so all this talk about planning just makes me giddy!! I love it! LOL. I also love Sheila’s comment about remembering to going deeper rather than wider. I think that’s certainly relevant at every grade!

  5. Hey Carrie,
    Me again. I’m up early looking at your resources again. And NOT to add any more books to your list, BUT Leonard Fisher has a series on Colonial Craftsmen (printers, blacksmiths, shoemakers, etc). We used a series like this for medieval (don’t remember the author, but the titles were like “A Day with a Miller” “A Day with a Noblewoman”).

    Love your suggestions for explorers. Added them to my list.

    We would be dangerous at a book sale together, lol.
    S

  6. Hi Carrie,

    Have you heard of Brave Writer for Language Arts? We love, love this curriculum. I was surprised and thrilled to find this curriculum listed at waldorfinspiredlearning.com. Although I’ve only used them for grade one, so I don’t have an opinion for grade seven.

    Hope that helps,
    Samantha

  7. Great list, Carrie! So many good suggestions; library book sales have been a great resource for me. Samantha and all, I do love Brave Writer for Language Arts. It’s great for vocabulary, spelling and writing skills. I like to pick my books for main lessons and then also choose a book for my child to read independently that block that I “assign” starting in about fifth grade (the point at which it gets more and more difficult to get all that history in!) Brave Writer offers newsletter issues for individual book titles, and each issue has key passages for dictation or copy work, some specific aspect of writing/grammar/literary element to note, and a writing exercise. Brave Writer has lots of helpful products that in my experience are great for middle school and up. I think It’s important for us to help our children become more independent in their learning, when the time is right, a little bit at a time! One other book suggestion: Michael Faraday’s The Chemical History of a Candle – like storytelling for chemistry.

    • Thank you, Jean! I was just sitting down to listen to you on the Waldorf Connection.
      Many blessings,
      Carrie

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