7th & 8th Grade Electives

Middle School Electives

Band – 
Middle school band seeks to develop comprehensive musicianship. There is an emphasis on music reading, instrument technique and ensemble skills required for successful band participation in high school. The band performs an annual Christmas concert, spring concert and participates in the March ACSI fine arts festival (other performance opportunities may be required). Select middle school students may also be eligible to participate in NCCSA all-state bands and the NRCA marching band.

Choir
– 7th and 8th graders combine to sing in a choral setting. At this age, students concentrate on fostering their evolving voices including the boys’ changing voice. The course also includes review of music theory basics with opportunities to advance those skills.

Computer Science Discoveries­ – Computer Science Discoveries is an introductory computer science course that empowers students to create authentic artifacts and engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun. Computer Science encompasses far more than just coding, and CS Discoveries will provide students with opportunities to explore the many facets of CS, both in terms of how they are personally relevant as well as how they impact society. The course takes a wide lens on computer science by covering topics such as programming, physical computing, HTML/CSS, and data. The course inspires students as they build their own websites, apps, games, and physical computing devices.

Creative Writing
– For the student who loves to write as well as the student who wants to improve writing skills, this workshop class gives middle school authors the opportunity to compose works in a variety of genres. Creative Writing students will write poems (narrative and lyrical), short stories, short plays, and personal essays. Using creative activities designed to sharpen writing technique, students will generate their own portfolios and submit their best pieces for publication and/or competition.

Drama–Dance – 
This elective builds on the sixth grade elective and enhances higher dramatic skills including technical theater (lights, sound, stage) as well as technical dance skills. Time is given to the study of proper stage communication and creativity. Various forms of dance are introduced as well as improvisational, worship dance. Discipline in form is stressed as the student becomes more aware of his or her body and ability to communicate with it.

Drawing, Pen & Ink, and Ceramics
– Drawing: Students will be introduced to elements and principles of Art that will teach them how to draw and produce desirable artwork. 
Black/White: Students will study the mediums of Charcoal, Pen & Ink, Scratchboard, and commercial design – areas requiring precision drawing.
Sculpture: Students will study 3D artwork and be able to create designs in clay.

Engineering Technology­ – Engineering Technology will introduce students to the concept of Engineering Design Process and STEM principles through hands­on projects. Students in this course will be required to participate in several web­based STEM competitions that promotes inquiry and allows students to recognize the real­life applications of STEM. Students will work in cooperative learning groups throughout the school year, teamwork is a must. (Limited to 16 students)

Introduction to Computer Programming­ – Introduction to Programming is designed for students interested in learning more about programming at an introductory level. The goal is to develop in students the computational thinking practices of algorithm development, problem solving, programming within the context of problems that are relevant to the lives of today’s students, and creative computing. Creative computing supports the development of personal connections to computing, by drawing upon creativity, imagination, and interests. Engaging in the creation of programming supports student’s development as computational thinkers – individuals who can draw on computational concepts, practices, and perspectives in all aspects of their lives, across disciplines and contexts. Students will learn several different programming applications at an introductory level. Topics will include control structures, objects, classes, inheritance, looping, simple data structures, and basic concepts of programming. No prior programming experience is required.

Introduction to Graphic Design and Illustration is a beginning middle school art course focused on the basic principles of design while exploring the commercial aspects of art. Students will investigate each of these principles and their importance to various fields of graphic design and illustration. They will use various media, including digital, to create projects that reflect each of the principles. Techniques taught will include freehand drawing, lettering, painting, computer-enhanced art for advertising, posters and illustrations. Students will join in peer discussions about their choices of design, subject matter and the Christian influence and implications of those choices.

In this beginning course one of the key objectives is for students to begin to analyze different graphic elements and illustrations based on the principles of design. They will begin to compare those principles with the elements of art to create their own designs which reflect their ideas. Peer reviews will allow us as a class to discuss those basic concepts and seek out the best practices.

Photo Journalism
– The course explores various aspects of the media in American culture and how photography plays an important role in conveying information to our society. Students learn about the history of photography and photojournalism, how cameras work, proper photography techniques, as well as take a look at current events through the eyes of a photojournalist. They have hands-on experience with cameras and journalism, conduct interviews and see their work in print. They also assist the high school yearbook and newspaper staffs throughout the year, writing articles and submitting photographs.

Physical Education
– Students in seventh and eighth grade physical education focus on teamwork and developing a personalized, lifetime love for physical fitness activities. Students learn to work cooperatively with each other while also being placed in leadership positions. Students develop movement and sports-specific skills that are used in a variety of individual/dual and team sports. Frequent net type of activities and strategic games provide an opportunity for students to problem solve and demonstrate advanced strategies.

Robotics Engineering – Students learn how to program basic robot behaviors using motors and rotation, sound, light, touch, and ultrasonic sensors. The class will start by learning basic robot building instructions, programming, and movement; then move on to working with sensors and more complex robot behaviors. After mastering these basic functions, students will start guided research investigations where they will be challenged to build and program the LEGO Mindstorms NXT robot using the engineering process to simulate three real-world robots. Finally, students will complete directed projects, in which they will build robotic solutions for three open-ended engineering problems. (Limited to 16 students)

Video Production – 
Video Production focuses on integrating media with other school subjects. Students participate in videography and filmmaking. This course helps students hone their research, writing, video shooting, editing, and storytelling skills. Students working in small, cross-disciplinary groups produce broadcast quality, character-driven documentaries.