Serving Preschool Through 8th Grade in the San Francisco East Bay Since 1962
No words can describe how much fun it is for me to see [our son] so enthralled with the process of editing his own work ... Not us editing mind you, but HIM re-writing and re-writing ‘to come up with better words’. Frankly, I'm not sure I believed it possible when he began his writing journey years ago...that he might one day come to appreciate and even like it. Thanks for all you do to help make that possible. Confident kids given tools sure can do wonders.

— Jennifer, Middle School parent

Did you know?

Each year, Seven Hills 8th graders travel to Ashland, Oregon for the Shakespeare Festival, where they enjoy several performances and go backstage to learn from the pros.

Language Arts

Language Arts teachers, Janis Jones, Julie Scarpelli, Mari Weiss, and Marianne McBride continue to build on the writing, reading, grammar, and spelling foundation begun in the Lower School. Students begin the year working on the complexities of a five-paragraph expository essay. The essay is taught as an interdisciplinary activity along with comprehensive note-taking and the outlining of information. Writing progresses from expository and creative in sixth and seventh grades to an emphasis on analytical and expository in eighth grade, culminating in a major research paper. All writing is taught as a process involving the steps of brainstorming, outlining, revision, and editing. Students write several five-paragraph essays throughout their three years of Middle School.

Reading skills focus on increasing vocabulary, critical thinking, and comprehension with a reading list that complements the History curriculum. All three grades require outside reading in addition to the assigned in-class literature, which in sixth grade includes The Adventures of Odysseus by Hugh Lupton and The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt, in seventh grade A Midsummer Night’s Dream and To Kill a Mockingbird, and in eighth grade Macbeth and Lord of the Flies.

Grammar, vocabulary, and spelling continue to be critical components of the Middle School Language Arts curriculum. The grammar program looks at word and sentence analysis, including sentence diagramming, and examines the writing styles of literature read in class. All Middle School students are enrolled in an online individualized vocabulary program that tracks their progress over time.

It is our intention to instill a lasting appreciation for literature and to help develop a fluent and strong writing voice in all of our students.