Learning & Growing
Academics
Grade 7-8 Curriculum

Integrated Learning for Grades 7 & 8

    • Grade 7 students collaborate to create a prototype for an invention that will help the main character from their English novel to survive a natural disaster.

      Grade 7 students collaborate to create a prototype for an invention that will help the main character from their English novel to survive a natural disaster.

When students make connections between key concepts in more than one course, they are synthesizing ideas - and that leads to deep learning.
This learning is furthered when it takes place in an authentic context and involves collaboration with other students and subject experts. According to Susan Drake, an expert on integrated curriculum, subject integration minimizes boredom by reducing duplication of skills and concepts across subject areas, and is consistent with the interdisciplinary approach most relevant in today's world.

Why is integrated learning important?

The primary focus of students in these grades is on themselves and things that have a direct impact on them. Grade 7 and 8 students learn best when they understand:

  • Why they're learning certain concepts
  • How these concepts are relevant to them
Students of this age are developing a sense of empathy. Integration projects connected to a real concern in their community help students cultivate this important attribute.

Grade 7 and 8 students also need to develop the ability to plan projects that evolve over a period of time. This is done in a gradual manner. In Grade 7, students begin developing these skills through direct instruction from teachers; by the end of Grade 8, students are planning and making connections independently.

Learning at this age is abundantly social, so teamwork appeals to students, as does presenting through role playing, which happens in one of the Grade 7 projects.
    • The War of 1812 Fort Design project asks Grade 7 students to create a model of a stable and insulated structure.

      The War of 1812 Fort Design project asks Grade 7 students to create a model of a stable and insulated structure.

    • Through the Quality of Life integration project, Grade 8 students investigate and design sustainable communities.

      Through the Quality of Life integration project, Grade 8 students investigate and design sustainable communities.

How does integration happen?

Students in Grade 7 and 8 participate in two types of integrated study:

  • Twice a year, they participate in week-long integration projects which build on prior learning and key concepts in two or more courses.
  • Smaller integrated activities take place over one or two classes. For example, students read novels in English connected to topics from Social Studies and then analyze the historical accuracy and significance in their novel.
The Grade 7 and 8 schedule is organized so that all students in the grade take math and science simultaneously. The same approach is used with Social Studies and English. This allows classes to come together easily for a full morning or afternoon of integrated studies.
"I liked that the whole week was connected to one main idea. I was really proud of our final product, because it worked and we had a clear view of why we made it." - Grade 7 student

Watch: An Integration Project in Action

In 2016-2017, Greenwood teachers used the back-to-back scheduling of Grade 7 English and Grade 7 Social Studies to create a project touching on concepts and skills from both subjects. The result? An engaging project with real-world applications.

Greenwood College School

443 Mount Pleasant Road
Toronto, ON M4S 2L8
Tel: 416 482 9811