Welcome to Seventh Grade!
Seventh grade is an exciting year as we learn about all sorts of things in every class, learning to fall ever more deeply in love with the truth. We also have some exciting adventures and trips, including a week trip to Yosemite, and participating in the annual pro-life Mass and workshop which the diocese of Sacramento hosts at the Cathedral each year.
Knighthood Virtue Program
The 6th - 8th grades participate in the Knighthood virtue program. This program is based on the virtues and qualities of the medieval knights and ladies and how we can transfer similar virtues into our own daily life. The students design their own personal shield to represent their qualities and the virtues they desire in their lives. Over the course of the year, the watch their shields move up the classroom castle bulletin board as they display consistent effort in working on the virtues. Each student has a knighthood folder with a virtue checklist. This list is filled out by the teacher at least every two weeks and is sent home for the parents to sign. There is room for both student and teacher comments in the virtue folder. In 7th grade, the students have the opportunity to become pages or squires depending upon their growth in virtue. Knighthood is reserved to the 8th graders. Throughout the year, 8th graders are knighted individually as they meet their Domincan Court goals. Knighthood Ceremonies occur at the end of an All School Mass.
Junior High Religion
In religion, we use the ecclesial method of catechesis to engage the hearts, minds and souls of the students in coming to know and love their faith. We make use of Ignatius Press' Faith and Life series as our main text, but also make extensive use of the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Each week we make time for a period of Eucharistic Adoration as a class. We have the opportunity to participate in many other religious events as well, including the October Rosary Procession, Eucharistic Processions, and a Tenebrae Service on Holy Thursday morning. It is a great blessing to share our Faith with the junior high students who are so eager to know about God and their Faith.
Junior High History
The junior high history program at PBVM is a unique experience. We follow the diocesan standards which include:
- 6th Grade - Ancient History from Prehistory to Rome
- 7th Grade - Medieval History from the Fall of Rome to the Enlightenment
- 8th Grade - US History from the Revolutionary War to World War I
We begin history with a discussion on what a Catholic view of history is. We see how the central point in all history is the Paschal Mystery of Christ and that all history flows from or leads to this point. We view all history through this lens, asking how this all works into God's plan for humanity.
We explore history through a variety of means and methods. Emphasis is placed on working with primary source documents and not simply reading information from a textbook. We also make use of historical fiction to learn about historical events, people and places. Here is an overview of some of the books we use:
- 6th Grade
- Nystrom World History Atlas
- God King by Joanne Williamson
- Herodotus and the Road to History by Jeanne Bendick
- Galen and the Gateway to Medicine by Jeanne Bendick
- Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick
- St. Helena and the True Cross by Louis de Wohl
- 7th Grade
- Nystrom World History Atlas
- Edmund Campion by Evelyn Waugh
- Winning His Spurs by G.A. Henty
- 8th Grade
- Nystrom US History Atlas
- US History Sourcebook
- Treegate Series by Leonard Wibberly
Perhaps one of the most exciting parts of history class are the hands-on projects. Here is a sampling of the hands-on experiences we have throughout junior high history:
- Building a Trojan Horse out of cardboard - 6th Grade
- Medieval Monk Day - 7th Grade - we dress up and act like medieval monks for a whole day - we even try to keep silence!
- Building a Cathedral - 7th Grade
- World War I Trench Warfare Simulation - 8th Grade
- UN Security Council Crisis Simulation - 8th Grade
All the junior high students also participate in National History Day and display their projects at the Catholic Schools Week open house in January. We are also looking forward to new adventures in history as we integrate our new iPad technology into the classroom!