7th Grade Friday Note

Good afternoon, parents!

We hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable long weekend ahead with your children. The school year is drawing to a close, but we are still in high gear! Here are some highlights from the week.

In Cultural Studies this week we continued to explore the connection between genetics and race, with the evolution of “whiteness” emerging in the early American colonies and continuing into the dubious field of “race science” in the 19th century. Over the weekend students are identifying one of our spring Essential Questions to do a final reflection on. Unlike our research paper, which began with a thesis statement, this writing is intended to show their process of arriving at a position, using examples from class and life that have shaped -- and continue to shape -- their views on race, membership, and power.

In language arts this week, students selected the topic that they will compose their spoken word poem about and began brainstorming images, emotions, actions, people, and adjectives that they associate with that topic. We also took a look at some poetic devices they may use, such as external/internal/multisyllabic rhymes, alliteration, assonance, and simile/metaphor, and one class got the chance to workshop their pieces with Dwight Dunston, member of City Love (from last week’s workshop), and poet. Over the last couple nights, students began their first drafts of the piece, which are due digitally to David by Saturday. Over the weekend they should be rereading, revising, and practicing their piece out loud.

We want to give you a heads-up that on Tuesday, June 7, we will have a cookout at SCEE to celebrate the year. The menu will include beef hot dogs, veggie hot dogs, and s’mores. We are getting all ingredients approved by Nurse Sara. Students should bring their own drinks and any other snacks that they want.

Finally, a call for assistance from one of our sixth graders, Eleanor. She needs magnets for a science experiment that she is doing at home. Any kinds of magnet will do, from refrigerator magnets to neodymium. Please bring in any magnets that you're willing to contribute; donation boxes will be available in classrooms next week. Thank you!

Some questions to ask your children this long weekend:

  • Which of the Essential Questions are you going to reflect on for your Cultural Studies assignment? Why? 
  • What is “dubious” about the field of race science? What is an example of how scientists tried to justify racism? 
  • How did Diplomacy go this week? How is your group defining success? 
  • What is redlining? 
  • What images are you incorporating into your spoken word piece?

Until next week,

Virginia, Steve, and David