Grade 7 & 8

Grade 7 & 8 Religion/Confirmation

Each student in grades 7 and 8 will have Confirmation class three days a week, taught by one of the Pastors or the Deaconess of the congregation.  This class is designed to:

  • assist the student to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, equipping them to become lifelong disciples of Jesus;
  • encourage the student to spend time reading God’s Word for spiritual growth and guidance;
  • instruct the student in the main teachings (doctrines) of the Christian faith, teaching and modeling what it means to be a Lutheran Christian in our world.
  • instruct the student in their preparation for active participation in the life of the local church; and,
  • if they are a member of St. John congregation, to guide the student in their preparation for reconfirming their baptismal vow by confessing publicly their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior in the rite of junior confirmation.

Chapel is held weekly on Wednesday mornings and is led by various leaders including the pastors, the principal, and the teachers of St. John.  Classes from grades 2-8 lead a service each year, and professors from Concordia University and missionaries from the field also provide chapel messages.  Chapel buddies from grades 6-8 accompany K-2 students to assist them in worship activities.  Offerings are collected to benefit specified ministries with an emphasis on missions.


Grades 7 and 8 Literature

We cover a variety of topics during the seventh and eighth grade years from literary elements (character, plot, setting, etc.) to poetry to drama. In addition to this, students read four class novels – one per quarter. Students do a variety of activities and discussion incorporating these books. Students also work on using text evidence to back up an opinion or point they are making as well as other reading skills as outlined in the Nebraska State Reading Standards.
In addition to this, students set a reading goal each quarter (minutes per week or books per quarter) in order to help students to read outside of the classroom. In conjunction with this, students are required to do an independent reading project each quarter. They are able to choose projects from a variety of options to show comprehension, analysis, and creativity.

In English, students cover grammatical concepts (parts of speech, usage, and mechanics) as well as writing. Students should be writing in a variety of genres each year – informational, narrative, descriptive, and opinion/persuasive. Students are working towards writing in a formal way and to be able to easily write a five paragraph essay given any topic.


Grade 7 Math

We use Transition Mathematics for our text.  The students get a combination of applied math, pre-algebra, and pre-geometry in this course.  They learn many algebraic and geometric properties, and have daily opportunities to solve real world problems when applying the concepts.


Grade 8 Pre-Algebra

Students are introduced to a variety of algebraic and geometric concepts throughout the year. This includes solving multi-step equations, working with slope and linear equations, the Pythagorean Theorem, and working with 3-dimensional figures.


Grade 8 Algebra

We use the UCSMP Algebra textbook which emphasizes connections between mathematical topics and also connections to the real world.  We use technology such as graphing calculators and spreadsheets to understand math at a deeper level.


Grade 7 Social Studies

The seventh graders spend the first three quarters of the school year focusing on geography and spend the fourth quarter focusing on the government of the United States.

In geography class, the students learn about the following five themes of geography:  locations, places, human-environment interactions, movement, and regions.  This course explores how geography influences human behavior and the role it plays in economic, social, political, and cultural development of societies.  Reading various types of maps and interpreting graphs, charts, and diagrams are emphasized.  There is also a current events component to the curriculum.  The students are organized into teams for a weekly Jeopardy competition involving current happenings from categories such as national and world news, family and society, arts and entertainment, sports, and people, places, and things.

In government class, the seventh graders spend time learning about important historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  As well, the students study the similarities and differences among the three branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial) and the various levels of government (federal, state, and local).  Students learn to apply their expanding knowledge of American government to social and economic problems that directly affect our country’s citizens today.  Above all, the goal of this class is to help students to become informed, actively participating U.S. citizens.


Grade 7 & 8 Science

We currently CPO science in grades 6-8.  Science is an active enterprise, made active by our God-given capacity to think. Scientific knowledge advances when scientists observe objects and events, think about how they relate to what is known, test their ideas in logical ways, and generate explanations that integrate the new information into the established order. The best way for students to appreciate the scientific enterprise, learn important scientific concepts, and develop the ability to think critically is to actively construct ideas through their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. In science class we engage students in these processes as they explore the natural world God created.  We study Life Science and Physical Science in grades 7 and 8.

In Life Science, major topics include Living Things and their Classification, Cell Structure and Function, Reproduction and Heredity, Ecosystems, Animals (including dissection), and Creation and Evolution.
In Physical Science, major topics include Scientific Measurement, Heat and Phases of Matter, Properties of Matter, Elements and Compounds, Chemical Reactions, Motion, Forces and Newton’s Laws, Waves and Sound, and Light and Color.

We also do a science fair project.  Students choose their own question to investigate and then conduct research and develop a valid scientific test for their hypothesis.  The students carry out their investigations, then conclusions are made and their results are shared with peers, our St. John community and at a regional science fair at Doane College.


Grade 7 & 8 Art


Grade 7 Spanish

The seventh graders continue with the Rosetta Stone Spanish program two days per week for the entire school year.  The students continue to build their receptive language skills as they read Spanish words, phrases, and sentences and listen to speakers of the Spanish language.  They continue to build their expressive language skills as they use the program’s voice recognition software to speak and write Spanish words, phrases, and sentences.  The students’ knowledge of the four basic structural components of language (phonology, grammar, semantics, and pragmatics) continues to grow as the seventh graders progress through the lessons and units of the program.


Grade 7 Keyboarding

Keyboarding class, which is offered to seventh graders during the first and third quarters of the school year, teaches proper techniques of computer keyboarding.  This class helps students to become familiar with alphabetic, numeric, and keypad keys.  As well, students spend some class time learning how different types of reports, essays, and letters should be formatted.


Grades 7 & 8 Health

The human body is one of God’s most amazing creations.  In 8th grade health we learn about each of our unique human body systems as well as how to take care of what God has given us.  We focus on physical health as well as social, emotional and spiritual health.  Leadership is emphasized as we focus on transitioning from Middle School to High School next year.  We also serve God and others through our Kiwanis Builder’s Club during this time.


Music/Band Curriculum

Students at Saint John Lutheran School receive classroom music instruction from kindergarten through seventh grade. The curriculum follows the national standards published by the National Association for Music Education, which include creating, performing, listening to, and analyzing music. To these standards, the Saint John music curriculum adds this “Lutheran Addendum”:

  • Recognizing voices and music are gifts from God.
  • Singing from memory a varied repertoire of sacred songs.
  • Joining in congregational singing.

School Music Ensembles:

Beginning Band: St. John students may begin band instruction in 5th grade. Since this group meets outside of the school day, 6th-8th grade students wishing to start learning a band instrument can join the band program.

6th Grade Band: 6th graders continue their band instruction before the school day, but join the 7th and 8th graders in December and 4th quarter to prepare for concerts.

Advanced Band: The 7th and 8th graders have band during the study hall period. The 6th graders often join them in concerts and worship services.

St. John Choristers: All 5th and 6th graders participate in this choir as part of the school music curriculum. Led by Mrs. Werner, the students learn some of the music in separate music classes and rehearse as a larger group once a week. Choristers sing in St. John worship services about once a quarter and in school concerts.

St. John Singers: Students in grades 7 and 8 may participate in Singers, an elective choir. In addition to singing regularly in worship services, this choir sings in the Christmas and Spring concerts, at community events, and on an annual weekend tour to share the Good News of Jesus in song. Singers rehearse during the school day, during the study hall period.

St. John Ringers: Ringers is an elective handbell ensemble for 7th and 8th graders. The group rehearses before school and frequently plays at worship services and concerts.


Grades 7 & 8 Physical Education

Our Physical Education program focuses on keeping children healthy by learning to be active in their lives. God has given us one body and it is up to us to take care of it.  The goal of the program is to help the students enjoy being physically active and understand the basics of different sports so that they may enjoy activity throughout their lives.

Each grade also starts the class out with running laps, which are assigned according to the grade level.  We are fortunate to have physical education every day, so that we can accomplish a lot in a school year. This is the level at which the students start to be tested on their knowledge of sports and their skills.  They also continue to grow in working on good sportsmanship, respect, and kindness as we play different games.  What has been practiced in previous years is expanded upon and brought up to a higher level of performance. Some Fridays we have “Free Choice Friday”, which is a great day to be very active and work on our cardio for the week while playing a game of student choice. What better way to take care of our bodies than to have fun with friends!