7th grade LA Course Outline

MYP Course Outline: 7th Grade Language A

Instructor:    Christopher A. Garner

Course Description: In seventh-grade English Language Arts, students learn literary analysis and basic literary structure, writing processes and modes, the grammar and conventions of Standard American English, research techniques and strategies, and etymological word analysis.  The three fundamental concepts of the MYP are inherent in this curriculum.

  1. Holistic Learning is accomplished through:
  • Linking historical, scientific, and cultural knowledge to the study of texts.
  • Exploring the various meanings of “voice” in texts of all kinds.


  1. Intercultural Awareness through:


  • Research into and response to real-world issues and problems of global consequence.
  • Consideration of a variety of different approaches to problems and issues.


  1. Communication through:
  • Formal writing in a variety of mode, including research.
  • Informal writing (freewriting, essay responses)
  • Speaking (formal presentations, speeches, class discussions)



The IB Learner profile:  Students will develop their understanding of the IB Learning Profile through their analysis of literary characters as well as participating in introspective writing assignments designed to increase their self-awareness and recognition of their own profile characteristics.  Learner profiles are accentuated in each unit as described in the core units.


AIMS:  The aims of the seventh-grade Language A are to encourage and enable the student to:

  • use the language as a vehicle for thought, creativity, reflection, learning, and self-expression,
  • use language as a tool for personal growth, social interaction, and for developing relationships within the international community,
  • comprehend more clearly aspects of their own culture and those of other cultures by exploring the interdependence of human beings through a variety of work,
  • explore the many facets of the language through the use of media and information technology,
  • develop the skills involved in speaking, listening, reading, writing, and viewing in a variety of contexts,
  • respond appropriately to a variety of texts,
  • read widely to promote a lifelong interest in language and literature,
  • develop a critical and creative approach to studying and analyzing literature,
  • develop language skills through interdisciplinary work,
  • consider the role of literature both culturally and historically,
  • reflect on the learning process in various ways and at various stages,
  • empathize with real people and fictional characters as and when appropriate.

OBJECTIVES:  Students will be able to:

Year 2

  1. Understand and analyze the language, content, structure, and meaning of both familiar and previously unseen oral, written, and visual texts.
  2. Understand Language A terminology in context
  3. Recognize an author’s choices within a text
  4. Compose pieces that apply appropriate literary and non-literary features to serve the intention
  5. Compare and contrast works within and across genres
  6. Express an independent response to literary and non-literary texts
  7. Create work that employs organizational structures and language-specific conventions
  8. Organize ideas in a sustained and coherent manner
  9. Employ critical apparatus

10. Use language to narrate, describe, analyze, explain, inform,  entertain, and express feelings

11. Apply concepts of accurate language use

12. Use appropriate register, vocabulary, and idiom

13. Apply correct grammar and develop an understanding of syntax

14. Use varied sentence structure

15. Use correct spelling and writing



Role of the areas of interaction in seventh-grade Language A:


Approaches to learning: Students will employ a variety of paradigms for understanding and analyzing texts, with an emphasis on critical thinking and the application of logical argument. Language A provides students with opportunities to become active learners, efficient test takers, effective time managers, excellent organizers, competent researchers, and skillful communicators. 

Students will be able to:

  • develop good study habits,
  • present work neatly and effectively,
  • become active listeners,
  • be aware of different types of language,
  • read and interpret a variety of texts critically,
  • take notes in class and from written texts,
  • analyze and talk and/or write about texts that have been viewed,
  • ask and answer pertinent questions,
  • write in a variety of forms,
  • improve vocabulary
  • conduct simple and advanced research, presenting research findings orally and in writing,
  • use a library and information technology effectively,
  • reflect critically on their own work and that of their peers,
  • set goals and solve problems,
  • develop interpersonal skills.


Human Ingenuity:  In Unit One, students will examine the genius of the individual author in breaking the boundaries of conventional thinking.

Environment: In Unit Two, students will analyze the interaction of voice and environment.

Health and Social Education: In Unit Three, students will explore the interaction between society and individual growth.

Community and Service: In Unit Four, students will consider the nature of obligation and the demands it places upon us.

Texts and resources: IncludeThe Giver; "Flowers for Algernon;" "The Griffin and the Minor Canon;" "The Lady, or the Tiger?" (film); The Diary of Anne Frank (drama); Diary of a Young Girl; Night;  To Kill a Mockingbird, A Christmas Carol; Word Within the Word stem study.


The Language A curriculum methodology is designed to develop essential literacy skills—reading carefully, thinking critically, listening intently, and speaking and writing persuasively,  Reading/Literature, Listening/Speaking, Writing, and Research/Critical Thinking areas of study are integrated, applied, and supported by the South Carolina ELA Standards.

Methodology is as follows:

Students will be exposed to a variety of teaching methods in the class:

  • formal lecture with note-taking
  • Socratic discussion, both formal through Socratic Seminars and discussion groups, and informal through class discussion and questioning
  • in-class exercises and activities, both guided and independent
  • modeling and protocols.


Reading Comprehension

  • Use pre-reading strategies,
  • Generate questions about the story,
  • Make generalizations and draw conclusions,
  • Answer questions about the story’s meaning,
  • Summarize stories and passages,
  • Discuss interpretations of the story,
  • Cite passages to support questions and ideas,
  • Gain exposure to a wide range of words,
  • Use context to figure out word meaning,
  • Read with a purpose and take notes to monitor comprehension,


Critical Thinking

  • Ask interpretive questions,
  • Generate ideas with a clear focus in response to questions,
  • Support ideas with relevant evidence,
  • Respond to other students’ ideas, questions, and arguments,
  • Modify an argument to incorporate other students’ ideas,
  • Question other students’ perspectives,
  • Compare and weigh evidence,
  • Evaluate ideas for sense and evidence,
  • Present ideas logically and persuasively,


Listening and Speaking

  • Comprehend as stories are read aloud,
  • Listen actively and carefully to others; listen for differing ideas,
  • Ask for clarification,
  • Respond to other students’ questions,
  • Participate in discussion,
  • State ideas clearly,
  • Agree and disagree constructively,
  • Explain and defend arguments.



  • Take notes about a story,
  • Record personal responses before and after discussion,
  • Use discussion to generate and develop ideas,
  • Use graphic organizers to plan writing,
  • Write a first draft, Write descriptions, narratives, expository essays, and persuasive essays,
  • Practice creative writing,
  • Revise writing in response to feedback.

Grading policy:

Students are assessed using both formative and summative assessments divided into three categories.  Tests will count 35%, papers and projects will count 40%, and homework and daily grades will count 25%.  Essays and projects will be assessed using the IB assessment criteria of Content Mastery, Organization, and Style and Language, adapted specifically into rubrics for each assignment.




Core Course units for Grade Seven Language A

First quarter:

The Scientia of Science Fiction (How do authors bring new and creative solutions to problems?)

Area of Interaction: Human Ingenuity

Learner profiles emphasized: inquirers, thinkers, open-minded



The Giver

“Flowers for Algernon”

“The Griffin and the Minor Canon”

"The Lady, or the Tiger?" (film)



Parts of speech; three-part key; vertical analysis



Word Within the Word lists 11-13


Writing and Research

Writing process

Rhetorical Triangle

Snail Mail Relay letter

"Extrapolation and the Cutting Edge" research paper

Second quarter:

The Voice in the Community (How does an individual voice reflect and influence a community?)

Area of Interaction: Environments

Learner Profiles emphasized: communicators, reflective



Diary of a Young Girl

The Diary of Anne Frank (drama)

"Wounded Knee"

Excerpt from "The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano"



Phrases and clauses; clause identification




Word Within the Word lists 14-16


Writing and Research

Five-part essay form

Thesis and argument construction

Voices in the Holocaust literary writing

Voices in the Community interview and presentation project


Third Quarter: 

To Kill a Mockingbird and the Individual in Society (How does the individual grow and mature in society?)

Area of Interaction: Health and Social Education

Learner profiles emphasized: principled, caring, risk-takers


To Kill a Mockingbird

The Panic is On (film)

"Scottsboro Blues"

Elements of fiction



Phrase and clause punctuation



Word Within the Word lists 17-18


Writing and research

Rhetorical Question speech

Rhetorical devices

"Tom Robinson Blues"

Fourth quarter:

A Christmas Carol and the World of Obligation (What is the nature of obligation?)

Area of Interaction: Community and Service

Learner profiles emphasized: knowledgeable, balanced, caring, thinkers


A Christmas Carol

“Gift of the Magi”

Selected non-fiction

Selected hint fiction

Symbolism and figurative language

Freytag’s pyramid



Complex and compound sentence constructions




Word Within the Word lists 19-20


Writing and Research

Hint fiction

Historical context essay

Comparison-contrast essay