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Seventh Grade Lesson Plans

Gary Soto’s “Seventh Grade” is a wonderful text to begin the school year. A simple account of a boy’s first day in seventh grade, the story contains a realism that resonates with young readers. Students connect with Victor’s emotional highs and lows making this a wonderful story for teaching literary character development.

Student Activities for Seventh Grade

As a Mexican American who grew up in California, author Gary Soto bases many of his stories on his own life experiences. While “Seventh Grade” is not strictly biographical, it draws from Soto’s memories and surroundings. Like most of Soto’s writing, it includes details that reflect his heritage. For this reason, “Seventh Grade” is considered realistic fiction. For more information on Gary Soto, check out

Essential Questions for “Seventh Grade”

  1. How does Soto use direct and indirect forms of characterization?
  2. In what way do small events affect a person’s outlook and attitude?
  3. What makes “Seventh Grade” an example of realistic fiction?
  4. How is Victor’s school experience similar to or different from your own?

Image Attributions
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  • French House In The Hills • A Guy Taking Pictures • License Attribution (
  • French Mother Road • decar66 • License Attribution (
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Find more lesson plans and activities like these in our English Language Arts Category!

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