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Grades 7&8 Curriculum

The Junior High promotes independence in preparation for high school.  Students change classrooms and have seven subject teachers as well as specialists.  


Computer:  Seventh grade computer class teaches students basic online tools that will be used throughout their education and into their careers. The year begins with an in depth dive into Google Docs, a free online word processor that competes with Microsoft Word. From there, the students learn basic functions of Google Sheets (Excel equivalent) including formulas, data recording, and chart making. Additionally, students embark on a year-long personal investment challenge using They learn about the stock market and day trading, as well as risk management through diversification and market patterns. Other topics include an introduction to coding using Python, typing practice, file management and online safety.

Debate: Eighth grade students begin the year with learning debate skills and habits before putting them into practice. The class is randomly split in half and assigned an opinion for the debate. They will then spend one class period conducting research to support their points and formulating a plan for how the debate should go. The next class period, the two halves of the class will hold the debate using the information they researched. Topics vary in intensity, ranging from the benefits and detriments of social media to America’s role in international relations.

ELA:  The ELA program in the Junior High teaches a variety of high-quality curriculum to prepare students for their high school education. The students use Everyday Words to help them hone in on their Latin and Greek root words. This not only will help them decode words in their everyday language, but on future assessments such as their HSPT (high school placement test) and their SAT. We also use Sadlier Vocabulary; this expands students’ vocabulary on a weekly basis. Our writing program helps students prepare for high school with assigned research papers for both 7th and 8th grades. Students also work on creative writing, argumentative writing, compare and contrast essays, and much more. 7th and 8th graders also receive a daily grammar sentence, where students are to fix any errors and label what part of speech the sentence is. We also have a wonderful literature program as well, where they explore even the classics! Some of the novels that 7th and 8th graders read are: Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, Ties that Break, Ties that Bind by Lensey Namoika, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, Animal Farm by George Orwell , The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, The Giver by Louis Lowry,Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals, Night by Elie Weisel, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, assorted short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Assorted Science- Fiction short stories ,Miscellaneous Short Stories...such as “The Necklace” by by Guy de Maupassant, Assorted Poetry forms, Grimm Brothers short stories, Fairy Tales, Tall Tales, Fables, Legends, Myths, and much more!

Math: The curriculum is centered on algebra. Depending on the student’s academic achievement, they will be placed in a proficient or advanced class  Students will learn the basic building blocks of Algebra, foundations of Algebra, or an Algebra 1 course. The primary text used is Fundamentals of Algebra by Sadlier-Oxford, Foundations of Algebra by Sadlier-Oxford, and Algebra 1 by Sadlier-Oxford.

Religion: The religion curriculum at St. John the Baptist begins with an overview of the Catholic Faith in Grade 7, and then a more intensive study of the Mass, the Sacraments, and topics related to Chastity, Virtue, and Life in Christ in Grade 8. Grades 7-8 likewise view educational video series produced by Ascension Press that supplement classroom instruction.  Grade 7 views the videos in the series What We Believe: The Beauty of the Catholic Faith. Grade 8 views the videos in the series A Biblical Walk Through The Mass. 

Science: Throughout the school year, opportunities for scientific study and creativity are provided, while using laboratory tools that stimulate and challenge the students. Curiosity and discovery is instilled and reinforced through the investigation of the world of life & physical science and beyond. Students develop a logical and systematic approach to problem solving and study skills using critical thinking skills inclusive of smartboard and Chromebook technology. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning through organizational skills based on their individual learning style. Procedures are devised for carrying out independent investigations within the frameworks of the MA state guidelines.

  • Environmental Science
  • Cells, Heredity & Classification
  • Human Body Systems & Health
  • Introduction to Matter

Social Studies: The seventh grade social studies curriculum is a continuation of the 6th grade curriculum, with our World Geography and Ancient Civilizations II textbook by McGraw Hill, picking up where the previous year left off. Students begin the year studying Asian history and civilizations, working West from India into China, Japan and Southern Asia . Unit two delves into Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, and the latter half of the year is centered around Europe. This includes Greek and Roman tradition, which connects to the 8th grade civics curriculum.

In addition to the textbook driven curriculum, 7th grades embark on their first major research project: the Pop Culture Fair. Beginning in late January, students select a topic of interest that they feel played a major role in American pop culture. The project includes an MLA formatted research paper complete with citations as well as a tri-fold poster and oral presentation.

The 8th grade social studies curriculum is based on studies of the American government. The year begins with lessons on the background of American government and citizenship before moving into the Constitution and the three branches of government. Political parties, elections and public opinion are all examined. Federal, state and local levels are discussed before moving into the economy and foreign affairs. Current event lessons are added when appropriate, especially during election cycles. The primary text used is Civics and Government by McGraw Hill.

Spanish: The primary text of the 7th and 8th grade spanish curriculum is ¡Asi se dice! by McGraw Hill.   Students are immersed in an engaging and rigorous study of language, spelling, and culture.


  • Art
  • Gym
  • Music


In addition, students in Grades 7-8 choose an elective in the Spring and Fall that runs for 2 sessions of 14 weeks and typically includes some of the following:

  • American Sign Language
  • Beginner Portuguese
  • Bowling
  • CPR/Fitness
  • Music
  • Public Speaking
  • Retro Gaming
  • STEM (True Robotics Program)
  • 8th Yearbook
  • Yoga