Grade 7 Science 71-74: Course Overview
Course Number: SCM.71 - SCM.74

This course emphasizes concept and skill development and contains a balance of physical, biological, earth/space, and environmental science topics. Each unit focuses on applying the Scientific Process in one major scientific concept, which is developed through a thematic approach. The major concepts include: Interactions; Diversity of Living Things; Solutions; Force and Motion; The Restless Earth; Toward the Stars; Growing Plants; and Human Body and Health Topics, including the Circulatory and Digestive Systems, Environmental Health, and Health-related Careers. Students construct their own understanding through an inquiry-based approach. Activities include open-ended investigations, small-group discussions, exploratory writing and reflective reading tasks, and long-range projects. Assessment activities are varied and teach as well as evaluate comprehension and performance.
Prerequisite: None
Course Length: 1 Period Length: 1 Grade Level: 6-8 Credit per Semester: 0



Grade Level
Quarter 1
Quarter 2
Quarter 3
Quarter 4
U1 - Safety, Lab Skills & The Scientific Process (2 weeks)
U2 - Mixtures of substances can be separated based on their properties such as solubility, boiling points, magnetic properties, and densities (3 weeks)
U3 - Major geologic events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, mid-ocean ridges, and mountain formation are associated with plate boundaries and attributed to plate motions (4 weeks)
U4 - Geologic time, history, and changing life forms are indicated by fossils and successive sedimentation, folding, faulting, and uplifting of layers of sedimentary rock (9 weeks)
U5 - Multiple lines of evidence show the evolution of organisms over geologic time (2 weeks)
U6 - Cells are the smallest unit of life that can function independently and perform all the necessary functions of life (4 weeks)
U7 - Photosynthesis and cellular respiration are important processes by which energy is acquired and utilized by organisms (3 weeks)
U8 - The human body is composed of atoms, molecules, cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems that have specific functions and interactions (6 weeks)
U9 - Individual organisms with certain traits are more likely than others to survive and have offspring in a specific environment (2 weeks)
U10 - Health (1 week- some aspects covered in human body)


Grade 7 Essential Vocabulary


Visual Thesaurus - use the approved District 11 login and password to the right. Login:



cellular respiration
geologic time
kinetic molecular theory

organ systems
particle model
scientific investigation

single-celled organisms



Research confirms that students need at least 6 opportunities through varied activities to experience new vocabulary in order to acquire a conceptual understanding. The following activities are endorsed by the Mid-Continental Research in Education Laboratory (MCREL) Six Step Strategy for Improving Vocabulary. Instead of looking at a dictionary first, follow the 6 steps to insure students have a full understanding. Read more about Research on Teaching Vocabulary.

  • Step 1: Teacher provides a description, explanation, or example of the term
  • Step 2: Student restates the description, explanation, or example in his/her own words
  • Step 3: Student designs a visual representation

  • Step 4: Student completes activities that provide practice for using terms in writing
  • Step 5: Students review and discuss word meanings
  • Step 6: Students practice words with games