Middle School Elective Course Descriptions
MIDDLE SCHOOL ELECTIVE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS 2023-2024
VISUAL ARTS: Exploring Contemporary Art and Digital Media – Open to 6th grade students. This course uses a variety of media to complete hands-on activities exploring the arrangement of line, color, shape, form, value and texture in both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional design, including drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, digital art and ceramics. This course will enable students to understand the link between Technology and Contemporary Fine arts. It is designed to expand the traditional knowledge of Fine Art, Art History and Design, providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to use digital media to create original artwork. The variety of art media, techniques, and concepts will prepare students for 7th grade art.
VISUAL ARTS: Exploring Aesthetics in 2-D, 3-D and Digital Media – Open to 7th grade students. Students will study a wide range of two-dimensional and three dimensional art, including drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, digital art and digital photography. Students will gain an understanding of the role of the computer and digital media in the creative process of a working artist, exploring career options such as animator and illustrator. The variety of art media, techniques and concepts prepare students for 8th grade art. This course will enable students to understand the link between Technology and Contemporary Fine arts. It is designed to expand the traditional knowledge of Fine Art, Art History and Design, providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to use digital media to create original artwork.
VISUAL ARTS: Advanced Drawing, Painting, Ceramics and Digital Art – Open to 8th grade students. This course offers more advanced study in the art making process, further utilizing the elements and principles of design introduced in 6th and 7th grade art. Students are expected to build upon that prior knowledge to produce more advanced work. Assignments and projects focus on all aspects of drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, digital art and digital photography, utilizing a wide range of materials and styles. Designed as an in-depth approach to drawing and painting skills, the course will provide students with experiences in the development of realistic and abstract art concepts. This course will also offer a more advanced study in order to enable students to understand the link between Technology and Contemporary Fine arts. It is designed to expand the traditional knowledge of Fine Art, Art History and Design. It provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to use digital media to create original artwork. The variety of art media, techniques and concepts will build a foundation for students pursuing classes in the high school art program.
BAND – Open to 6th, 7th & 8th grade students. This course is open to all students who enjoy music and are excited to learn an instrument. Although prior band experience is recommended, students of all levels are welcome. If a student is interested in playing flute, clarinet, trumpet, alto sax or trombone he/she will have to buy or rent their instrument. All students should buy or rent their instruments before the first week of school. If a student is interested in playing tuba, French horn, tenor sax, bari sax, baritone or bass clarinet the school will provide an instrument for the student to use. 6th grade percussion is filled by audition only. 6th grade Band is a continuation of the elementary school band program. The students will be playing more advanced music in a large ensemble. All students are required to attend weekly before or after school rehearsals.
CHOIR – Open to 6th, 7th & 8th grade students. This course explores all areas of the elements of music. Students will learn proper singing technique and sight reading; they will also practice performing and participating in a choral ensemble. 6th grade Chorus classes will focus on general music concepts and choral/vocal technique, and a keyboard unit. These students will participate in a winter and spring concert to showcase their work. Students in the 7th and 8th grade Chorus classes will explore 3 and 4-part singing as well as continue with learning basic skills in keyboard playing. Analyzing and performing many different styles of music are important components of each choir course. Students will have the opportunity to perform at concerts and festivals, as well as in solo, small ensemble and large group performances. All students are required to attend weekly before or after school rehearsals.
ORCHESTRA – Open to 6th, 7th & 8th grade students. Orchestra is a continuation of the elementary school program and gives students the opportunity to learn and understand musical notes, symbols and terms as well as a chance to develop greater proficiency on their musical instrument. While students of all levels are welcome, previous instrumental experience is strongly recommended and daily home practice will be required. Students with no prior string experience may email the middle school orchestra director to discuss class expectations. Students must acquire a properly sized instrument for the first day of class, as well as accessories. Students will have the opportunity to perform at concerts, as well as ensemble and large group performances/competitions. All students are required to attend weekly before or after school rehearsals.
STEAM and DIGITAL LITERACY – 6th, 7th, 8th Grade (HHMS) This introductory hands-on project driven class has students follow the design and problem solving model to develop and create original inventions. Students will use a variety of digital and physical tools to assist them in the creation of their designs. Program goals include understanding systems, building critical thinking skills, embracing failure as part of the design process, and developing and communicating solutions with others. STEM principles of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics powerfully come alive as students design, build, and test towers, propeller cars, explore potential and kinetic energy, rollercoasters and more.
CULINARY ARTS– Open to 6th grade students at TJMS, HHMS. Open to 7th grade students at HHMS, TJMS & JAMS. Open to 8th grade students in all Middle Schools. Do you want to learn to prepare food like a Pro? This course offers an introduction to the basic techniques of food preparation. The overall goal is to enhance your knowledge of foods, work safely in the kitchen, meal planning, and making informed decisions regarding food choices. Emphasis is placed on working skillfully and efficiently in the kitchen, food preparation and plating creatively. “Hands-on” activities are varied to make the course extremely practical as well as academic. Preparing food is the favorite part of this course! You will learn to make homemade pizza, breakfast burritos, cookies, pancakes, biscuits, macaroni and cheese, just to name a few!
COMPUTER SCIENCE DISCOVERY (8TH GRADE ONLY) CS Discoveries introduces students to computer science as a vehicle for problem solving, communication, and personal expression. The course focuses on the visible aspects of computing and computer science, and encourages students to see where computer science exists around them and how they can engage with it as a tool for exploration and expression. Computing is so fundamental to understanding and participating in society that it is valuable for every student to learn as part of a modern education. Computer science is a subject that provides students with a critical lens for interpreting the world around them. Computer science prepares all students to be active and informed contributors to our increasingly technological society whether they pursue careers in technology or not. Computer science can be life-changing, not just skill training.