Life Science Syllabus 2015-2016
Oakland School for the Arts
7th Grade Life Science
2015 - 2016 School Year

Ms. Humphrey
Room 222

Course Description
The study of science in 7th grade is based on the relationship between structure and function in all living things. With this theme in mind, students will begin to explore life at the cellular level. We will learn the beginning concepts of genetics. We will explore evolution. Students will look at living creatures from viruses (living or not?) to bacteria, the study of ecology and our influence on all living systems in our environment. This class will have at least one hands-on learning experience each week.

Required Texts & Materials
We have found that students are more successful when they have the proper supplies available. Please make sure your student has the following items with them every day:
  • 2 pencils with erasers and a pencil sharpener
  • Inexpensive ear-buds to use when accessing a Chromebook
  • A spiral notebook to serve as a Science Journal (8 1/2" x 11") (please, no composition books)
Students should also have the following items available, but these supplies should remain in their lockers unless I ask that they be brought to class:
  • Roll of transparent Scotch tape
  • A folder with pockets to hold papers (or a section for Science in their binder)
  • Glue stick
  • Colored markers
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
We will provide a Science textbook and hand-outs for in-class use and we will try to make these materials accessible online.

Lab Fee Donation: This year we are requesting a lab fee donation of $20 per student. We believe that using inquiry and hands-on science is the best way to learn abstract concepts. The lab fee will allow us to purchase materials that support this type of learning. Please contact me individually if you are not able to provide the lab fee at this time.

Weekly Check-in: We encourage you to help your student keep track of their supplies and notebooks. Please go through their backpack with them once a week to locate important forms, missing homework, and to keep their papers correctly placed in their notebooks. Students should have a folder or notebook at home where they can keep older work that they may need to refer back to during the year. Thank you for your help with organizing!
California State Standards Covered
All academic courses are aligned with California State Standards, which are now called the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). For a comprehensive listing of state standards, visit the California Department of Education website at http://www.cde.ca.gov/pd/ca/sc/ngssstandards.asp

Student Assessment

Homework                        20%
Participation                   20%
Class Work/Labs                 20%
Quizzes                         20%
Tests                           20%

Class Expectations

Students will be assigned homework approximately once per week. Homework assignments will be posted on the teacherís website at
The homework will be due on the day after it is assigned. Any missing homework will become a zero on the studentís grade report. When students miss school due to an excused absence, they will be allowed one day make-up time for each day they were absent. A quiz will be given periodically to serve as a review of the current topic. Several times during the year, students will be assigned a longer project to work on at school and at home. In general, students will not have homework over the weekend.

                                                Course Outline

What is Science?
Plant Kingdom
What is Life?
Characteristics of Plants
Cell Processes
Growing Plants
Cells & Genetics
What is an Animal?
Sponges, Cnidarians, Worms, Mollusks, Insects
Vertebrates, Fish/Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds
Humans and Human Physiology
Protists & Fungi

Top of Page