Eighth Grade Electives Offered at Holdrum

Holdrum Middle School
Eighth Grade Elective Course Offerings
During this elective, students will draw with pencil, pen, charcoal, ink and digitally on tablets.
The creative exploration done by students during this class will be representational, imaginative
and allow for student’s personal interests to be investigated artistically. In addition to our
physical and digital art-making this class will compare and reflect on the form, function and
relationship between digital and physical drawing.

This course is designed for the student interested in building design. This class aims to give
students a basic understanding of drafting and design through hands-on projects and activities.
Students would learn about how to draft blueprints, survey buildings, build models, and about
the different architectural styles.

This Course is open to all 8th grade students, regardless of previous musical experience.
Students will create original musical recordings in a variety of musical styles. Through this class
students will acquire basic digital music production skills, develop piano keyboard and
percussion skills, and learn how to record both digital music and live audio using various types
of microphones.

Students will focus on learning what goes into creating a successful business through a variety
of activities. From brainstorming, researching, developing and preparing a business plan,
product pricing, marketing and advertising, you will learn how to organize and promote your
business and its products and services.

In this course students use clay in a variety of building methods: hand building, coil, slab and
some students use the potter’s wheel. Once ceramics students have grasped the fundamentals
of these techniques they will be required to create a large scale final exam piece that explores
function, expression and symbolism through the act of art-making.

“I have the best idea for a story. If only I had enough time to write it!” If you’ve ever made such
a statement, this elective is for you. Working in conjunction with the teacher, you will develop
your own ideas for short stories—or even begin a novel! We will also look at the important
features of short stories by reading some of the genre’s masterworks. You will then incorporate
those features into your own work. End the year by exploring great works of fiction…and your
own creativity.

Students will learn to see photographically through an exploration of the basic tools, techniques
and aesthetics of modern digital picture making. Emphasis is placed on the creative use of
camera controls and image editing using Photoshop. Students will be encouraged to discover
the joys of the artistic investigation by exploring individual expression, communication and
craftsmanship. There is no requirement for a student to have a digital camera to join this class.

What machine, company, or idea are you passionate about? If you are willing to do a deep dive
into learning how “it” works through active, responsible research, building/creating a model and
presenting your newly understood concept in an inventive way, this course is for you.

This course is open to all 8th graders who are interested in learning more about the properties
of flight and want to learn the basics of flying an aircraft. Through virtual hands on experience,
students will learn the science of aviation and understand why objects can fly. We will explore
the history of flight and look at the pioneers who paved the way for the modern technologies we
have today. Through physics, we will explore the conditions that allow planes to fly, factors that
cause planes to stay aloft, move, navigate, and land. Throughout the course, students will be
using virtual flight simulators that mimic flying an airplane. They are complete with steering
wheel, throttles, pedals, and instruments that are part of an actual cockpit. Students will apply
concepts learned to successfully take off, fly, navigate, and land an aircraft.

The areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) all rely on computer
programming. This course is an introduction to computer programming and looks at game
design and development. The game industry is one of the fastest growing segments of the
entertainment market and an excellent field for career advancement. In this course you will be
introduced to the world of computer science. You will learn mathematical and computational
concepts while thinking creatively, reasoning systematically, and working collaboratively to
design and program your own game. Using Scratch, a graphical programming language
developed at MIT, you will learn the fundamental programming concepts such as variables,
loops, conditional statements, sequencing, iteration, and event handling. By the end of the
course you will have developed an idea for a game and used your problem-solving and
project-design skills to develop your own game.

If you’ve ever wondered how to make your own stop-motion animated shorts, this class is for
you. Students will learn basics of writing a script, storyboarding, taking photos, uploading
photos, and creating a movie by stringing together still images using Microsoft MovieMaker.
You will learn the difference between 2D and 3D animation, and will collaborate with classmates
to create short animated movies of each type. You will be getting creative and using different
mediums—paper, ink, and real life objects like gummy bears or your classmates—for each mini
movie you make.

This course is designed as an introduction to journalism and layout design. You will learn
techniques for writing news articles, features, reviews, and opinion editorials. You will learn the
basics of journalistic responsibility and importance of fair, impartial, and meticulous press. You
will be asked to consider the role of the world-wide-web and other media in constructing news.
Journalism will provide a collaborative learning environment. You will have the opportunity to
work with Google Sites to build an online and real-time edition of the Hawk’s Eye school

Focusing on an overarching theme of Tolerance, this class will learn the elements of film and
film analysis while exploring films about difficult periods in history, from the Civil War, to the
Holocaust, segregation in the U.S., and apartheid in South Africa. Using these films, the class
will discuss: Does film reflect society? Can film influence society? Can we learn more about
ourselves through film?

Learn about the heroes, gods and monsters of the ancient world in this elective. Using Ancient
Greece as a starting point, you will explore other cultures that interest you as well. We will cover
creation stories, the hero’s journey, the Trojan War, and other famous stories of mythology. In
addition, we will have discussions on the deeper meanings of myths and their role in our society

This course is designed for the student interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle. Students
will have many opportunities to explore topics such as sustainable energy, waste management,
global warming, and sustainable gardening from hands-on activities and experiments including
composting and growing your own plants!

During this full trimester elective students will immerse themselves in the fine art making of
painting; with a physical and digital brush. Students will create a series of paintings with
watercolor and acrylic paint that allow for skill and creativity to grow. Half of the trimester will
focus on these traditional wet painting techniques, and the other half students will use digital
painting techniques using photoshop. In the digital process students will see how they can build
layers of color and form with ease and correct and undue all of their work through the benefit of
the computer processor. The class will culminate in a final exam project where students will
choose what medium will best work for a final creative design of their personal creation.

Djembes, bongos, xylophones, claves, tambourines, boomwhackers, and more! This class will
allow students the chance to learn and experience the many ways that percussion instruments
can be used. We will learn to play and record familiar and new songs using these instruments.
Both experienced and new percussionists will be successful in this course. Get ready for a fun
and interactive experience as we turn HMS students into a drumming ensemble!

In this elective, students in grade 8 will have the opportunity to explore concepts in musical
theater. They will experiment with the art form of playwright and physical theater while
developing locomotive skills and learning creative expression. Students will discover acting,
playwriting and cooperation skills as they create an original theater piece. In theater, the
creative experience originates from a collaborative, improvisational process. Students will
engage in a theater performance that showcases the targeted skills learned through this

In this class, you will have the chance to learn both the keyboard/piano and the guitar/ukulele!
All students will learn both instruments to start the trimester, and will later be given the choice to
focus on either instrument or an equal combination of both. You will learn the music of your
choice as individuals as well as in acoustic pop/rock bands, where there will also be the option
to include vocalists and percussionists. We will have opportunities to record music individually
and in bands so you can take your accomplishments with you to share with friends and family!
**Prefer classical or jazz music? There's a place for all music styles here!

Did you know that your voice is as distinctive as your fingerprint? Researchers are finding that
the human voice print is so unique to the individual that it can be used to distinguish between
even identical twins. Your voice is YOURS. Join us in Singer’s Workshop as we learn how the
voice works and provide opportunities to use it. This course focuses on group singing, but the
option of singing/rapping solos is also open to anyone interested. All styles of music are
welcome here!

Have you ever wondered how your favorite songs were written? Are you curious about how
songwriters get their inspiration to create the music that you know and love? In this class, we
will spend time exploring the stories behind the songs, getting basic training to use the piano
and guitar/ukulele as songwriting tools, and using what we learn to write your own songs. You
will learn songwriting strategies using classroom instruments as well as music-writing programs
such as Noteflight and Soundtrap. Join us as we turn HMS students into songwriters!

Students will learn about what is involved in television production including camera shots and
angles, scriptwriting, interviewing, researching, working a digital video camera, switcher and
sound mixer, editing videos and if time, even create and produce the WHMS news show.

An elective class for 8th grade students that aims to offer students tools to help them balance
the many facets of their lives in an effective and focused manner. Life can be stressful and
overwhelming, and this course aims to offer tools to deal with the challenges that life presents.
Through yoga, mindfulness meditation, breathing techniques, and music listening, students will
learn how breath, sound, and movement have the possibility to reduce stress, enhance focus,
and improve personal wellness. The class will also encourage students to investigate other
elements of their lives, such as organization, sleep and diet, empowering student choice.

What music do you connect with? Who wrote the songs you love, and why? How does music
benefit you in your life? This elective will explore all this and more as we listen to music, find out
more about the people and stories behind the songs, and build playlists full of songs you
connect with. Don’t be surprised if you find new artists and music that appeal to you! If you love
to listen to music, this course is for you.
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