7th Grade Language Arts 2020-2021

Mrs. Lisa Ball

Ridgeview Middle School 276-835-1601

Google Voice 276-807-8753



Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

11`:03 – 12:03

12:43 – 1:13

Wednesday Office Hours

9:00 – 1:00

Welcome to your 7th grade Language Arts class. This year we will all be learning and adapting as we go. It’s a new experience for us all! Please take a moment to read through this syllabus to familiarize yourself with the course.

Course Description

According to the Virginia Department of Ed at the seventh-grade level, students will continue to develop oral communication skills and will become more aware of the effects of verbal and nonverbal behaviors in oral communications. Students will also demonstrate knowledge and understanding of persuasive/informative techniques used in media messages, including viewpoints expressed in non-print media.

At the seventh-grade level, students will continue the study of roots and affixes for vocabulary development and continue to study figurative language. Connotations will be introduced. They will read and understand information from various sources including a variety of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. They will continue to read for appreciation and comprehension in both classic and recent works. Students will apply critical reading and reasoning skills across the content areas, including history and social science, science, and mathematics. When selecting texts, teachers will consider appropriateness of subject and theme as well as text complexity.

At the seventh-grade level, students will plan, draft, revise, and edit expository as well as narrative and persuasive pieces with attention to composition and written expression. Students will achieve greater independence with sentence formation, usage, and mechanics and understand that the conventions of language help convey the message from the writer to the reader. Students will use writing for expressive purposes and as a tool for learning academic concepts. They will use available and appropriate technology.

At the seventh-grade level, students will apply knowledge of appropriate reference material to produce a research product including the collection and organization of information from multiple online, print, and media sources.  They will extend skills in the evaluation of sources and the use of technology to research, organize, evaluate, and communicate information.  In addition, they will continue to cite sources skillfully and thereby avoid plagiarism.

You will have an opportunity to demonstrate your reading ability in May on the Reading SOL test. One of your first tasks in Language Arts this year will be to complete a test to determine your areas of strength and weakness. Classroom instruction and virtual instruction will help you continue to grow in your areas of strength and I/E will support you in improving upon your areas of weakness.

Classroom Expectations 

Below you will find classroom expectations put in place for you.  In addition to these it will be expected that you follow the grade level behavioral expectations your 7th grade teachers have put in place for you.

  • Follow classroom and school rules

  • Be prepared for class (come to class prepared, ready to learn, with an open mind, and ready to participate).

  • No vandalism (treat all materials, especially Chromebooks, and property with care)

  • No lying, cheating, or stealing

  • No profanity will be tolerated

  • No cell phones or electronic devices (cell phones are only allowed during lunch)

A record of office referrals for misbehavior and/or inappropriate behavior with the purpose of monitoring students conduct will be maintained by the grade level teachers.

Hybrid Assessment Information:

Participation – You will be expected to participate in all in person class activities and remote class assignments and you will earn a grade for doing so.

Class Work & Homework – We will complete several activities in class, but you will be required to complete some activities on your own.  Failure to complete activities will have a negative effect on your overall grade. 

Tests and Projects – We reserve the right to test you on any material presented in class, assigned for homework, or covered in the textbooks.  However, you will have advance notice so you may have time to study.  You will be given vocabulary at the beginning of your week and have a test at the end, so please, study and be prepared.

Attendance Policy and Guidelines - The Code of Virginia states that every parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of any child who is of school age shall cause such child to attend a public school or otherwise provide the child with an education in accordance with state law unless the child is exempt from the state's compulsory attendance requirement. Attendance will be recorded daily.

  • Hybrid schedule students will be marked present or absent on the days they are scheduled to attend school.  Parents/Guardians should notify the school of their child's absence and should provide the school with a written note or doctor's excuse immediately when their child returns to school but no later than three days after they return.

  •  The attendance of remote students will be determined by time-based and task-based participation that produce meaningful interactions.  Meaningful interactions are defined as two-way engagement with a student and staff that allows some sort of feedback or input from the student on successes and challenges.

  • A meaningful interaction with a teacher could mean an email, attending an online Google Meeting, logging in to Google Classroom to complete an assignment, a phone conference with the teacher, participation in an online class, or submission of an online project or assignment. All remote students are expected to participate and submit all assignments as described in the syllabus or schedule provided by their teacher.

  • Dickenson County School will not award attendance awards for the 2020-2021 school year.   

  • Teacher Contact - Parents may contact the school to set up conferences during my planning concerning your grades, behavior, or any concern that they may have concerning your education.  

Standards of Learning (SOLs)

7th Grade English

7.1           The student will participate in and contribute to conversations, group discussions, and oral presentations.

a) Communicate ideas and information orally in an organized and succinct manner.

b) Ask probing questions to seek elaboration an Tests and Projects – We reserve the right to test you on any material presented in class, assigned for homework, or covered in the textbooks.  However, you will have advance notice so you may have time to study.  You will be given vocabulary at the beginning of your week and have a test at the end, so please, study and be prepared.d clarification of ideas. 

c) Make statements to communicate agreement or tactful disagreement with others’ ideas.  

d) Use language and style appropriate to audience, topic, and purpose. 

e) Use a variety of strategies to listen actively. 

7.2 The student will identify and demonstrate the relationship between a speaker’s verbal and nonverbal messages.

  1. Use verbal communication skills, such as word choice, pitch, feeling, tone, and voice appropriate for the intended audience.

  2. Use nonverbal communication skills, such as eye contact, posture, and gestures to enhance verbal communication skills.

  3. Compare/contrast a speaker’s verbal and nonverbal messages.

7.3 The student will understand the elements of media literacy.

a) Identify persuasive/informative techniques used in nonprint media including         television, radio, video, and Internet.

b) Distinguish between fact and opinion, and between evidence and inference.

c) Describe how word choice and visual images convey a viewpoint.

d) Compare and contrast the techniques in auditory, visual, and written media messages.

      e) Craft and publish audience-specific media messages.

7.4 The student will read to determine the meanings and pronunciations of unfamiliar words and phrases within authentic texts.

a) Identify word origins and derivations.

b) Use roots, cognates, affixes, synonyms, and antonyms to expand vocabulary.

c) Identify and analyze figurative language.

d) Identify connotations.

e) Use context and sentence structure to determine meanings and differentiate among multiple meanings of words.

f) Extend general and specialized vocabulary through speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

7.5 The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of a variety of fictional texts, narrative nonfiction, and poetry.

  1. Describe the elements of narrative structure including setting, character development, plot structure, theme, and conflict.

  2. Compare and contrast various forms and genres of fictional text.  

  3. Identify conventional elements and characteristics of a variety of genres.  

  4. Describe the impact of word choice, imagery, and literary devices including figurative language.

  5. Make, confirm, and revise predictions.

  6. Use prior and background knowledge as a context for new learning.  

  7. Make inferences and draw conclusions based on the text.

h) Identify the main idea. 

i) Summarize text relating supporting details.

j) Identify the author’s organizational pattern.

k) Identify cause and effect relationships.

l) Use reading strategies to monitor comprehension throughout the reading process.

7.6 The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of a variety of nonfiction texts.

  1. Use prior and background knowledge as a context for new learning.

  2. Use text structures to aid comprehension.  

  3. Identify an author’s organizational pattern using textual clues, such as transitional words and phrases. 

  4. Draw conclusions and make inferences on explicit and implied information. 

  5. Differentiate between fact and opinion.  

  6. Identify the source, viewpoint, and purpose of texts.

  7. Describe how word choice and language structure convey an author’s viewpoint.

h) Identify the main idea.

i) Summarize text identifying supporting details.

j) Identify cause and effect relationships.

k) Organize and synthesize information for use in written formats.

l) Use reading strategies to monitor comprehension throughout the reading process.

7.7 The student will write in a variety of forms with an emphasis on exposition, narration, and persuasion.

  1. Identify intended audience. 

  2. Use a variety of prewriting strategies including graphic organizers to generate and organize ideas. 

  3. Organize writing structure to fit mode or topic.  

d) Establish a central idea and organization.

e) Compose a topic sentence or thesis statement.

f) Write multiparagraph compositions with unity elaborating the central idea.

g) Select vocabulary and information to enhance the central idea, tone, and voice. 

h) Expand and embed ideas by using modifiers, standard coordination, and subordination in   

        complete sentences.

i) Use clauses and phrases for sentence variety.

j) Revise sentences for clarity of content including specific vocabulary and information.

k) Use computer technology to plan, draft, revise, edit, and publish writing.

7.8 The student will edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, and paragraphing.

  1. Use a variety of graphic organizers, including sentence diagrams, to analyze and improve sentence formation and paragraph    structure.

  2. Choose appropriate adjectives and adverbs to enhance writing.

  3. Use pronoun-antecedent agreement to include indefinite pronouns.

  4. Use subject-verb agreement with intervening phrases and clauses.

e) Edit for verb tense consistency and point of view.

f) Demonstrate understanding of sentence formation by identifying the eight parts of speech and their functions in sentences.

g) Use quotation marks with dialogue.

h) Use correct spelling for commonly used words.

7.9     The student will apply knowledge of appropriate reference materials to produce a research product.

a) Collect and organize information from multiple sources including online, print and media.

b) Evaluate the validity and authenticity of sources.

c) Use technology as a tool to research, organize, evaluate, and communicate information.

d) Cite primary and secondary sources.

e) Define the meaning and consequences of plagiarism and follow ethical and legal guidelines for gathering and using information.