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

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?

A Note about "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

Frequently Asked Questions about Seventh Grade by Gary Soto

What genre is "Seventh Grade" by Gary Soto?

"Seventh Grade" by Gary Soto falls under the genre of realistic fiction. The story draws from Soto's own life experiences growing up as a Mexican American in California, providing a realistic account of a boy's first day in seventh grade.

Why is "Seventh Grade" a good choice for a lesson plan?

"Seventh Grade" is a great choice for a lesson plan because of its relatability and realism. Students can easily connect with Victor's experiences and emotions, making it a powerful tool for teaching character development. Furthermore, the story introduces students to realistic fiction, a genre that portrays characters and situations that could exist in real life.

What themes does "Seventh Grade" explore?

"Seventh Grade" explores themes of growing up, navigating adolescence, and personal identity. It's a relatable story for young readers who may be experiencing similar emotional highs and lows in their lives.

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