grade 7

The Montessori Renaissance Curriculum
12 to 14 year olds

The Montessori Curriculum for students between the ages of 12 to 14 years is based on the following 5 areas of learning:

1. Language/French
2. Math
3. Science, History and Geography
4. The Arts
5. Health and Physical Education

  The curriculum is highly enriched and accelerated, designed to cover a comprehensive range of interests and abilities. The learning environment is structured for challenge and success at all levels.

In keeping with the Montessori philosophy of education, subjects are offered in an integrated way and the students continue to understand the interrelation of knowledge. The children are no longer using the Montessori materials as aids and the class format is more structured. The Program is a mix of Montessori principles and a more structured traditional approach.

Students work at their own pace. Emphasis is placed on developing strong work habits, time management skills and responsibility for completing assignments on time.

There are more computers in this classroom and they are used more often as a tool for research at this level. Students wear uniforms at the Elementary Level.


1. Oral and Visual Communication (Renaissance)

The Renaissance language program emphasizes excellence in oral and written language usage.

Oral language skills:
  • Students are expected to read aloud with animation and make clear, articulate oral presentations to their classmates, parents and community groups.
  • Debating skills and public speaking are an integral part of the curriculum.
  • Students learn to articulate, project and modulate their voices effectively.
  • The appropriate use of visual aids is demonstrated and practiced.
  • Vocabulary enrichment and complex sentence structure are encouraged.
  • Students are expected to provide clear answers to questions and well-constructed explanations or instructions, in classroom work.
  • They must listen attentively to organize and classify information and to clarify thinking.
  • Students are expected to listen to and communicate connected ideas and relate carefully constructed narratives about real and fictional events.
  • Students must express and respond to a range of ideas and opinions concisely, clearly and appropriately.
  • They are expected to contribute to and work constructively in-groups.
  • The ability to concentrate by identifying main points and staying on topic is expected of the students.
  • The students identify a wide range of media works and describe the techniques used in them.
  • They analyze and interpret media works.
  • The students create media works of some technical complexity.
  • They use the conventions (e.g. sentence structure) of oral language, and of the various media that are appropriate to the grade level.
  • Exercises in summarizing, relating and critiquing information are practiced routinely.

    Written language skills:
  • Students undertake detailed analyses of all the genres: poetry, drama, journals, reports, stories, letters and memos.
  • They study the conventions of poetry: rhyme, verse, simile, metaphor, sonnet and ballad. They examine aspects of bias, objectivity, fact, fiction, opinion, and negative and positive points of view.
  • Letters for all occasions are composed and attention is given to the detail of title, address, salutation and closing comments.
  • Students learn to record using headings, point-form, key messages and summaries.
  • Creative writing is enriched through the use of sophisticated and precise vocabulary, complex sentence structure, and careful development of plot and character.
  • Editing and proofreading skills are undertaken with a partner or individually to eliminate spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.
  • Projects such as making an anthology of class poetry, creating a storybook for younger children and writing to a local newspaper about something in particular all help to develop specific skills and talents. Literature in all its forms: fiction, biography, autobiography, historical and science fiction, myths and legends are available to the Upper Elementary student. Book reviews are used to contrast and compare different writers, evaluate similar themes, styles and traditions, identify the role of principal and supporting characters, critique main and sub plot.

    Language is seen as the thread that runs through every aspect of the integrated Montessori curriculum. The students are constantly engaged in projects that require copious written work. Their ability to research and classify information demands a sophisticated level of language competence. Children ages 12 to 14 understand that language skills are employability skills that are important in many careers. Students are encouraged to identify and learn about specific careers that require strong language skills.

  • French (Renaissance)

    French classes are taught for an hour once a day by a French teacher. The aim of the program is to develop basic communication skills in French and an understanding of the nature of the language. Children of the same age/level attend classes together in the traditional format. Text books and work books are used for this class. Overseas or exchange students have English Classes while the other students are taught French.

    In the program the children study:

    Nouns and Pronouns
  • Substitute personal pronouns to replace nouns
  • Direct and indirect object pronouns
  • Disjunctive pronouns
  • Relative pronouns
  • Position of a single object pronoun with simple or compound verbs in affirmative sentences

  • Past tense of irregular verbs
  • Past tense of verbs conjugated with etre, including the agreement of the past participle
  • Present tense of reflexive verbs related to daily routines
  • Future simple tense of 'er', 'ir' and 're' verbs and irregular verbs
  • Verbs followed by the propositions 'a' and 'de'.

  • Singular and plural, feminine and masculine, of irregular adjectives
  • Comparative and superlative forms of bon.

  • Et, main ou, donc

    Interrogative Constructions
  • Question words used with est-ce queue and with subject verb inversion

  • Use of ne...pas with compound verbs
  • Use of ne...pas with simple sentences that include an object pronoun

    By the end of the Renaissance program the children will be able to:
  • Listen and respond to short, structured spoken texts
  • Listen and respond to a variety of short, simple, non-structured media works
  • Express ideas and opinions in short conversations and teacher-guided discussions
  • Make oral presentations on a variety of topics
  • Use appropriate language conventions during oral

  • 2. Math Montessori (Renaissance)

    The Montessori Renaissance Math curriculum deals predominantly with the abstract understanding of Mathematical operations and concepts. Math is taught predominantly through the traditional format using textbooks.

    Children in a Renaissance classroom continue to be explorers. They are given opportunities to discover the laws of their environment. They are compelled to test them and draw their own conclusions from the data they collect and analyze. Renaissance students explore Math concepts in arithmetic, geometry, algebra and trigonometry.

    Over the two-year period children will:

  • Compare, order, and represent fractions, decimals, integers and square roots
  • Demonstrate proficiency in operations with fractions
  • Understand and apply the order of operations with fractions and exponents in evaluating expressions that involve fractions
  • Understand and apply the order of operations with brackets and exponents in evaluating expressions that involve fractions
  • Understand and apply the order of operations with brackets for integers
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the rules applied in multiplication and division of integers
  • Use a calculator to solve number questions that are beyond the proficiency expectations for operations using pencil and paper
  • Justify the choice of method for calculations: estimation, mental computation, concrete materials, pencil and paper, algorithms (rules for calculations) or calculators
  • Solve and explain multi step problems involving fractions, decimals, integers, percents and rational numbers
  • Use mathematical language to explain the progress used and the conclusions reached in problem solving
  • Demonstrate a verbal and written understanding and ability to apply accurate measurement and estimation strategies that relate to their environment
  • Identify relationships between and among measurement concepts (linear, square, cubic, temporal and monetary)
  • Solve problems related to the calculation of the radius, diameter and circumference of a circle
  • Apply volume and area formulas to problem-solving situations involving triangular prisms
  • Identify, describe, compare and classify geometric figures
  • Identify, draw and represent three-dimensional geometric figures
  • Identify and investigate the relationships of angles
  • Construct and solve problems involving lines and angles
  • Investigate geometric mathematical theories to solve problems
  • Use mathematical language effectively to describe geometric concepts, reasoning and investigations
  • Identify the relationships between whole numbers and variables
  • Identify, create and discuss patterns in algebraic terms
  • Evaluate algebraic expressions
  • Identify, create and solve simple algebraic equations
  • Apply and defend patterning strategies in problem solving situations

    The Math curriculum is designed to meet all academic learning styles and abilities. At the Renaissance level there is scope for a wide achievement range. Some students may be ready for an introduction to curriculum activities while others will be ready for sophisticated, in-depth study. Students progress at their own speed and emphasis is always placed on achieving one's personal best.

  • 3. Montessori Science, Social and Cultural Curriculum (Renaissance)

    Students are encouraged to research subjects of particular interest to themselves. There is no limit to the range of projects that can be undertaken, and each student works to her own personal best level of ability.

    Through this work students learn how to learn. They continue to build on the methods for finding information, evaluating it, organizing it and presenting it using a range of strategies: tables, graphs, webs, flowcharts, maps, spreadsheets and timelines. They use their language skills to write, edit and proofread their work.

    They continue to refine their understanding of the laws of copyright, know how to prepare bibliographies and tables of contents, and use footnotes and subtext. They work collaboratively and are not afraid to share their knowledge since there is no competition or class ranking.

    This approach has value for the weak or underachieving student just as well as for the gifted one. They all work towards achieving a personal best. Weaker students will learn from the standards set by those who are more capable while the stronger students will research at a deeper level. No student is restricted by specific curriculum goals that must be met within a grade year.

    History in the Renaissance class follows the Ontario curriculum. The students use an interdisciplinary knowledge base in order to research topics of particular interest.

    New France
  • Describe the origin and development of French settlement in North America
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how the early French Canadian communities adapted to the challenges of their new land
  • Describe the relationships among the various cultural groups in North America

    British North America
  • Describe the origin and development of English settlement in Canada in the late eighteenth century
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the strategies used by early settlers to adapt to the challenges of their new land
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the significance of the war of 1812 for Canadian/American relations Conflict and Change
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of change and conflict, methods of creating change and methods of resolving conflicts
  • Describe the causes, personalities and results of the rebellions of 1837 in Upper and Lower Canada
  • Evaluate the social, economic, political and legal changes that occurred as a result of the rebellions

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the factors that contribute to Canada's Confederation
  • Analyze and describe current issues and their potential impact on Confederation today, (e.g. demands of the aboriginal peoples, Quebec issues, Western issues)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the diverse groups and individuals who contributed to the formation and growth of Canada

    Development of Western Canada
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the growth and development of the West from the points of view of the Canadian government, Aboriginal peoples, Metis and new immigrants
  • Analyze and describe the conflicts and changes that occurred in the Canadian West in the nineteenth century
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how diverse groups and individuals have contributed to the growth and development of the Canadian West

    Canada: A Changing Society
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how diverse groups and individuals have contributed to the historical, cultural and economic development of Canada
  • Analyse and describe the conflicts and changes involving Canadians from Confederation to 1918
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of World War I on Canada and the world community

    Geography in the Renaissance level encourages the student to explore the creation of the Universe, the Solar System, the Earth and the scientific laws that govern them.

    The Themes of Geographic Inquiry

  • Demonstrate an understanding of geographic inquiry
  • Use the five themes of geography (location/place, environment, region, interaction, movement) to focus their inquiries
  • Use a variety of geographic representations, tools and technologies to gather, process and communicate geographic information

    Patterns in Physical Geography
  • Explain how patterns are useful to the study of geography
  • Identify and explain patterns in physical geography
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how physical patterns effect human activity

    Natural Resources
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how Canada's natural resources have contributed to economic development
  • Identify factors that affect the use and value of natural resources (e.g. supply and demand, technology)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how human activity (e.g. canal building) affects people and the environment

    Patterns in Human Geography
  • Identify and explain patterns in human geography (e.g. population distribution, population characteristics, settlement patterns and urbanization) and describe how human activities are affected by these patterns
  • Demonstrate an understanding of employment patterns and trends
  • Use a variety of geographic representations, tools and technologies to gather, process and communicate geographic information

    Economic Systems
  • Demonstrate an understanding of economic systems and the factors that influence them
  • Describe the economic relationship between Canada and Global community (with respect to harvesting resources, manufacturing goods and the provision of services world-wide)
  • Use a variety of geographic representations, tools and technologies to gather, process and communicate geographic information

  • Identify factors that affect migration and mobility
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which culture is affected by migration
  • Describe the pattern and trend in migration and their effects on Canada

    By the end of the course, students will:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of spatial organization components
  • Demonstrate an understanding of patterns of spatial organization including land use, population distribution and ecozones
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the regional diversity of Canada's natural systems and human systems
  • Analyze factors that affect natural and human systems in Canada using local and regional examples

    Science in the Renaissance curriculum encompasses physics, chemistry, botany, biology and zoology. Students learn how to collect and analyze data, observe systematically and carry out experiments using appropriate scientific methods. Children can display work in a yearly Science Fair.

    They study:
  • Interactions within ecosystems, Heat, The Earth's crust, Fluids, Pure substances and mixtures, Structural strength and stability, Cells, tissues organs and systems, Optics, Water systems, Atoms and elements, Space exploration, Mechanical efficiency, Reproduction, Characteristics of electricity

    The goals are intended to insure that all students acquire a basic scientific literacy and technological capability before entering secondary school.

    The goals for the students are:
  • The students learn to understand the basic concepts of science and technology.
  • They develop the skills, strategies and habits of mind required for scientific inquiry and technological design, and to relate scientific and technological knowledge to each other and to the world outside the school.
  • They learn appropriate strategies for working harmoniously with others.
  • Collaborating, cooperating and negotiating successfully are all learned social skills that challenge the pre-adolescent student.
  • Social groups, their rules and hierarchies are important and influential at this age.
  • Exercises in conflict resolution are practiced.
  • Courtesy and consideration for others are behaviours that are positively and consistently supported.
  • This is a time when students raise powerful moral and ethical issues for debate. Their sense of social justice develops and they are concerned about poverty, homelessness, frailty, threats to people and the environment.
  • Renaissance students are avid participants in community service, fund-raising events, and social awareness groups.
  • They learn that they can make a difference to such challenges as world peace, conservation of resources, and wildlife preservation.
  • They willingly participate in social action, e.g. fostering a third world child, supporting food drives, raising funds to protect an endangered species.
  • Field trips and visits to places of interest are an integral part of the Renaissance program.
  • Students experience empowerment and respect when they identify the places they wish to visit, make the bookings, plan a budget, arrange transportation and complete a follow-up report.
  • They share their concerns with politicians, journalists, and social activists, and are quick to write letters, make phone calls, send e-mails, and organize petitions, to support their cause or relate their concerns and objections.

    Through all of this work, Renaissance students develop strong interpersonal skills. They come to understand who they are and why and how they are valuable beings. They conduct themselves as individuals and contributing members. The expected outcome of the Montessori Renaissance Program is that the children are prepared to enter high school.
  • 4. The Arts (Renaissance)

    The Arts include Music, Visual Arts, Drama and Dance.


    The children have music classes once a week with a music/band teacher. Band is mandatory. They have the choice of learning clarinet, flute, snare drum, trombone or tuba. The children listen to, perform and create music, and compose their own words for familiar tunes using their knowledge of rhythm to ensure the new text fits with the melody. The children are taught to read familiar music that contains whole notes, half notes, quarter-notes and eighth-notes and their corresponding rests in 4/4 time. Children are taught to vocally or instrumentally produce the same pitch as others and identify meters and the corresponding time signatures in the pieces they play or sing. They are taught to play instruments with expression and proper technique and to use correct musical terminology.

    Visual Arts
    The Visual Arts program at the Renaissance level is taught by an Art specialist who comes in once a week. The program is also integrated into the curriculum by their teacher. The children also produce works for special events and two or three dimensional works of art that communicate a range of thoughts, feelings and experiences for specific purposes and to specific audience. They identify strengths and areas for improvement in their own work and that of others and describe possible strategies for improving their work. Art history is taught in conjunction with creative projects.

    Drama is integrated into the curriculum and is taught by the teacher. The children memorize and present, through drama, a short play based on source material. They select appropriate themes that deal with specific situations and are aimed at a specific audience, and produce work as a member of an ensemble. Children are expected to be able to understand the appropriate use of the voice, gestures and the level of language in different dramatic situations and identify ways of sustaining concentration in drama, focusing on the character's motives in order to stay in character.

    Dance is integrated through the Physical Education program. The children are encouraged to communicate, through movement, their thoughts and feelings about topics. Children are taught folk dancing as a part of the Phys-ed curriculum. At the end of the year, children are expected to recognize and choose appropriate elements of movement for dramatizing their responses to different stimuli or ideas.

    5. Health and Physical Education (Renaissance)

    Healthy eating is stressed at Blaisdale Montessori School. The children are encouraged to bring fresh fruits and vegetables for refreshments. We discuss the benefits of healthy food choices, allergies, physical activity, healthy bodies and dental health. We discuss safety procedures and practices at home, school and in the community. Personal safety topics such as peer pressure, bullying, road safety, sun protection, evacuations, and fire safety are also discussed. We arrange occasional visits from the Fire Department and Police Department who reinforce this. A Health Nurse comes in once or twice a year to discuss the major parts of the reproductive system and their functions, and relate them to puberty, menstruation, fertilization and birth control. The nurse also discusses the influences of drugs, alcohol and the legalities of them. Generally, all of the students in the Renaissance class attend this discussion, however, it is not mandatory. We expect that the children will be able to use living skills to address most personal safety and injury prevention issues.

    Physical Education
    The school has Physical Education classes twice a week. A Physical Education specialist teaches the children once a week and the classroom teacher teaches the other day of the week. The children are taught movement skills that are required to participate in the physical activities in the program.

    The school has six Physical Education modules it follows throughout the year:

  • September - Borden Ball
  • October - Flag Football
  • November/December - Swimming
  • January/February - Skiing/Skating
  • March/April - Jump for Heart/Folk Dance
  • May - Soccer; June - Track and Field

    We have a school tournament following the Borden Ball module, the Soccer module, and the Track and Field module. All the Renaissance children participate in the Terry Fox Run. The children may also sign up for extra curricular chess, karate and golf lessons. (There is an extra cost for Swimming and Skiing.)

    Skills for participating in these activities are taught at the child's own level. Fitness, participation, good sportsmanship and teamwork are encouraged.

  • Extra Events and Activities
  • Skiing
  • Chess Club
  • Swimming
  • Computers
  • Choir
  • 3 Tournaments a year
  • Intramural Sports - Parent volunteers.
  • School Dances/Socials
  • Ballet
  • Karate
  • Skating
  • Overnight Trips (voluntary)
  • Science Fair
  • Band
  • Parent Nights
  • Mothers Day Tea/Social
  • Report Cards
  • Parent Information Evenings
  • Parent Volunteer Groups