Grades 7-8

At the junior high level, grades 7 – 8, students are assigned an individual schedule and thus encounter many different academic teachers.

Students deepen their level of spiritual, intellectual, and social growth to become mature, confident and successful individuals. The junior high years develop the self-advocating skills and provide the bridge between elementary and high school years. Students graduate from the eighth grade with an understanding of the Catholic faith and the values and knowledge to achieve continued academic excellence.

Subjects

Religion

We believe that faith is to be “believed, celebrated, lived and prayed. It is a call to integral Christian education”. (General Directory for Catechesis, no. 122) We encourage developing a strong Catholic identity at Divine Child. In seventh and eighth grade, students gain an in-depth look at the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and focus on developing a relationship with Him. The students strengthen their knowledge of our Church and its history and what we believe as Catholics. A major emphasis is placed on what their faith means to them and how to live their lives according to the teachings of the Catholic Church. The Virtue Program is utilized for both grade levels. Students also prepare for the sacrament of Confirmation, becoming missionary disciples in an ever-changing world.

Mathematics

Mathematicians in seventh and eighth grades use logical thought processes to solve real-world and theoretical problems. Learners investigate concepts of number theory, algebra, geometry and statistics, and apply these skills to persevere through challenges until a solution is reached. They gain and hone skills needed for high school and the rest of their mathematics career.

Social Studies

The Junior High students study the chronological history of the United States. The curriculum in 7th grade covers the beginnings of the U.S. history to the Civil War and the 8th grade curriculum starts at the end of the Civil War and continues through the end of World War II. Students are challenged to analyze and evaluate the political, economic and social issues facing America throughout its history. Students learn to compare and contrast events from the past to the present and learn from the past events on how they can become better Catholics and influence the future. Both 7th and 8th graders read and learn to critically analyze primary source documents from our nation’s past.

Language Arts

Junior High students have three language arts classes per day: Literature, English and Vocabulary. In English, students focus on developing their grammar skills through such areas as phrases, clauses and sentence diagramming. They also focus on composing various types of essays and speeches in a clear, coherent fashion with an emphasis on research and MLA-style citations. In literature, higher level thinking is supported as students examine different forms and genres collected by theme. The course emphasizes reading fluency, literary analysis and application of evidence-based writing. Vocabulary class employs word and sentence structure, relationships between words, word origins, classical roots and prediction in order to increase and diversify students’ knowledge of the English language.

Science

Junior High science students gain knowledge and skills that prepare them with the foundation for the subsequent courses in high school. Seventh grade focuses on life science, from the study of cellular structure and function to the interactions of organisms with ecosystems. Eighth grade focuses on physical science with topics including motion, forces, energy, the structure and composition of matter, and chemical reactions. All junior high students engage in activities that develop engineering and design skills. They participate in laboratory activities and experiments that are conducted within a fully renovated science lab. Students enjoy the cooperative learning environment as they investigate and analyze microscope specimens, collect and interpret data, and develop and finalize a supported conclusion.

Physical Education

The 7th and 8th grade students are focusing on advancing their sport skills, knowledge of each sport and critically thinking in game like situations. Students play small sided target games, invasion games, net/wall games, and striking and fielding games. During these games, game rules and strategies are emphasized. Students are assessed on their sport skills and their knowledge of sport information after every unit and on the fitness test (Fitnessgram) twice a year. The curriculum also focuses on the importance of healthy habits and lifelong fitness. Students are expected to track their progress with each test. Students are taught the importance of best effort, sportsmanship, communication and team building. All concepts align with the national (SHAPE America) and state (SHAPE Michigan) physical education standards.

Safety and Health: The junior high students review the Peer Mediation Program. Students who are having peer difficulties may seek assistance from our trained student Peer Mediators. A peer mediator is a student trained in Conflict Resolution and who is supervised by a staff advisor during school hours to help the students solve their difficulties. Seventh and eighth graders may be trained as Peer Mediators. All safety programs are directed by the school counselor and are presented in the context of Catholic values.

Art

The art curriculum is aligned to the National and State of Michigan Standards for the visual arts. We offer a Differentiated Program with concentrations in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics and art history. Students actively learn to express their creativity and develop their understanding of the arts through participation in these areas of discipline. At junior high level students are invited to join Art Club. Junior High students interested in developing their artistic skill become members of the Art Club. The club provides the opportunity for students to explore and participate in creative experiences beyond the classroom. An art show is held every year where student work is on display for the community.

Music

Junior High students have the opportunity to learn an instrument of woodwinds, brass and percussion in the school band. The beginning, intermediate, and junior high bands perform in the Christmas and spring music concerts. The Junior High band has additional performances during the year. They are also invited by Divine Child High School to join their band on special occasions. Divine Child is a member of the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) which invites students to perform solos and small ensembles at the District Solo and Ensemble Festival. The entire band also performs at the district Band and Orchestra Festival with a focus on age appropriate music and sight reading.

World Language

Students in grades seven and eight use their previous knowledge of the Spanish language and culture and continue to grow in their Spanish knowledge base. Students use reading, writing, listening and speaking in order to strengthen their Spanish skills. They participate in activities and projects that incorporate the target language and culture. Grammar and vocabulary are strengthened and expanded upon throughout the course. Students develop a sound basis of the Spanish language and culture in which to build upon in high school.