Teaching Grade 7: A Year of Awakening and Exploring

With Alison Henry

Seventh graders arrive with a bold show of personality and self-assurance, however superficial. They really don’t have much patience for school anymore. They believe they never learn anything anyway, and the teacher is so unfair! Woe unto the seventh grade teacher who is unprepared for displays of gross disrespect and indifference. But the seventh grade teacher also has the antidote at her fingertips, for the students can hardly contain their delight, bewilderment, and wonder at the deceptive simplicity of perspective drawing; the myriad examples of the Golden Mean all around us; the breath-taking masterpieces and biographies of Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael; the audacity of Martin Luther; the marvels of chemistry and mechanics; the daring stories of exploration around the globe; and the unique geography and cultural expressions of people on distant continents. The teacher need only add a healthy dose of humor, and success is assured.

In this course, we will consider strategies for approaching the daunting period of history covered in the seventh grade curriculum. A materials packet will include a sample block rotation along with suggestions for classroom materials and activities. Presentations will include hands-on practice of perspective drawing and sacred geometry, as well as suggestions for homework, independent projects, and recommended books.

Alison Henry a graduate of the Waldorf Teacher Education Program at Antioch University New England, has found her home in Keene, New Hampshire, just a short walk from Monadnock Waldorf School where she recently took a class through the grades. She now divides her time between doctoral studies, part-time class teaching, and teacher development. She finds inspiration in the lively dance between these roles.

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