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Seventh Grade

Each Expedition is approximately 6 - 8 weeks in length and challenges students to learn new skills and apply them in a way that makes learning fun.  When learing is fun, students absorb and retain more.


Expedition #1:  Journeys and Survival

In this eight-week module, students explore the experiences of people of Southern Sudan during and after the Second Sudanese Civil War. They build proficiency in using textual evidence to support ideas in their writing, both in shorter responses and in an extended essay.


Students will undertake a deep exploration of character and point of view: students will combine their research about Sudan with specific quotes from A Long Walk to Water as they craft a research-based two voice poem, comparing and contrasting the points of view of the two main characters, Salva and Nya.

Internally displaced persons camp in Darfur, Sudan


Expedition #2:  Working with Evidence: Working Conditions Then and Now

In this module, students explore the issue of working conditions, both historical and modern day. As they read and discuss both literary and informational text, students analyze how people, settings, and events interact in a text and how an author develops a central claim.


As a final performance task, students create a consumer’s guide to working conditions in the garment industry. This teenage consumer’s guide provides an overview of working conditions and offers advice to consumers who are interested in working conditions in the garment industry


Expedition #3:  Slavery - The People Could Fly

In this eight-week module, students explore the life of Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave and noted abolitionist who wrote Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. The module focuses on the questions of what makes stories powerful and on understanding an author’s purpose. In addition, students analyze how writers use figurative language and word choice to convey meaning.

At the end of this module, students write their own powerful story, using Frederick Douglass: The Last Day of Slavery as a mentor text. They select one event from the Narrative and rewrite it as a picture book for younger students, making sure that the story they create is powerful, just as the stories they have been reading 


Expedition #4:  Screen Time and the Developing Brain

This eight-week module focuses on a “science and society” topic, engaging students in reading compelling informational text about adolescent brain development and the effects of entertainment screen time on the brain. 


To complete this module, students will plan and draft a position paper, addressing the question: “After examining both the potential benefits and risks of entertainment screen time, particularly to adolescent development, make a recommendation. Should the AAP raise the recommended daily entertainment screen time from two hours to four hours?” Students have several opportunities for feedback and revision during this unit. As a final performance task, students publish and share a visual representation of their position paper.


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