Middle School Enrichment

Middle School Art

The seventh grade art class is an introduction to drawing, painting, and sculpture. Students work on the development of art skills that are both technical and intuitive. In the drawing and painting sections, students experiment with a variety of media, including pencil, charcoal, oil pastel, and watercolor. Through the study of everyday objects, students learn the difference between drawing from perception and drawing from observation. Proportion, values, and color relationships are key skills. For the sculpture section, students are inspired by Eastern Woodland Native American traditional pottery techniques. Hand-built coil and pinch pots are the focus. Students are assessed according to behavior in class, skill development, and project completion.

The eighth grade art class is an introductory course in two-dimensional design. The lessons focus on pattern, repetition, contrast, rhythm, movement and balance. Projects include observation drawing with texture, still life drawing with pattern and various exercises in composition and design. The course culminates with a unit of relief printmaking. Students are assessed according to behavior in class, skill development and project completion.

Middle School Dance

In seventh grade dance, students learn basic technique exercises and steps. They work on developing body alignment, balance, flexibility, and strength. Two assignments are given: the first is to find, summarize and present a news article about dance; the second is to create and perform a short dance piece, choosing the music and incorporating phrases taught in class. Dance grades are based on class work, preparation, progress, effort, and the completion of the assignments.

In eighth grade dance, students work on the development of strength, flexibility, technique, and basic steps. Two assignments are given. The first is to research and present a brief biography of a well-known person in the field of dance. Students choose a name at random from a list provided by the teacher. The second is to choose accompaniment, create and perform a short dance piece. Dance grades are based on class work, preparation, progress, effort and the completion of the assignments.

Middle School Drama

The seventh grade drama class plays charades and discovers pantomime. The students develop skills in observation, concentration, strengthening the imagination, and improvisation. The grade is based on class participation, effort and the completion of all assignments.

The eighth grade drama class develops a practical knowledge of basic stage directions and body positions and applies them to the staging of an open-ended scene. The students also learn and apply basic vocal skills for oral interpretation. The grade is based on class participation, effort, behavior, and the completion of assignments.

Middle School Citizenship

Students explore and discuss ideas surrounding the role of informed and ethical citizens in the communities to which they belong. Topics include digital citizenship, building and maintaining healthy relationships, the influence of media and advertising, current events, and historical perspectives. 

Middle School Debate

Students select, research, and debate topics in science, history, and current events. Particular attention is given to choosing reliable, unbiased sources. Students are encouraged to take sides on issues to which they don't agree or have prior knowledge.

Middle School Health

Students participate in a variety of discussions and interactive activities to foster physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavior skill development. The goal is to improve self-awareness, understand the factors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle and decision-making. Particular attention is given to topics, which students deem as relevant to their lives.

Middle School Music

The seventh grade music course exposes students to some of the basic elements of music composition. Students clap rhythms using short and long durations, sing melodies using pitches of the pentatonic scale, and then sing melodies in rhythm. The students then write their own rhythms, melodies, and finally, melodies in rhythm. During each class, emphasis is placed on performing rhythms, melodies and the combination of these elements. The components of the grade are participation, homework, quizzes, and a test.

The focus of the eighth grade curriculum is American music. Students cover the blues through a project in which pairs or trios of students learn to play a basic accompaniment pattern, create a riff (a repetitive melodic fragment), and write a set of lyrics, all based on the 12-bar blues. A second project involves researching the life of a famous American musician then making an oral presentation to the class, accompanied by an informational poster and a recorded excerpt of that musician’s work.

Middle School Study Skills

Topics covered in the study skills program include the use and management of FirstClass, the writing and editing process, evaluating websites, listening skills, oral presentations, note-taking, and test preparation.