Eighth Grade Elective Classes

Eighth grade students have the opportunity to receive high school credit by enrolling in either French I or Chamber Choir. Students in this grade are invited to select their elective courses.


Academic Lab (teacher recommendation required)

Academic Lab offers a smaller group setting designed for students with a desire to work toward personal academic success. The class is staffed by both a teacher and an academic aide who assist students with classwork, organization, and studying for tests.  The purpose of ac lab is two-fold: to provide not only academic support, but also remediation in math and/or reading.  Ac Lab is a privilege; therefore students who enroll must be on-task, willing to accept help, and committed to completing work at home as well during the ac lab hour.  Enrollment in this course requires teacher recommendation.

2D Art

Though two-dimensional art focuses on a more in-depth exploration of drawing and painting, students will also be given the opportunity to continue to create other projects through collage, mixed media, and printmaking. Fridays are designated free choice days where all artistic decisions for a project are left up to each individual student.

3D Art

With an emphasis on ceramics, students will explore other three-dimensional materials, such as paper sculpture, paper mache and cardboard creations.  Fridays are designated free choice days where all artistic decisions for a project are left up to each individual student.

Band (year-long course)

This is the most advanced musical group in the middle school. Students continue to refine their skills and perform music at the advanced level in a winter concert, District Band Festival, spring collage concert, and Band Aid concert. In addition, the jazz band and steel drum band continue to play more challenging music.  Students learn to march and perform with the Petoskey High School Marching Band in the Memorial Day parade.

Career Exploration/Life Skills

During this 9-week course, students will engage in hands-on learning experiences through which they will study and practice important life skills and explore career pathways and future opportunities and planning.  Soft skills will be incorporated into the curriculum which is focused on lifelong practical skills including, but not limited to: culinary arts and food safety, sewing/textiles, financial literacy, resume building and job applications, interview coaching, and more.

Chamber Choir (high school credit - semester or year-long course)

This class, which is taught 1st hour at the high school, teaches students the basic aspects of singing: breathing techniques, good vocal production, and stage presence.   Students do not have to audition for this group. There is one required concert per marking period.


In Middle School Coding you will get an introduction to the basics of computer science, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Python. You’ll leave the course with a portfolio of work you can show off.


This self-paced, project-based class is designed to continue the development of basic keyboarding skills and fluency with Google programs such as Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides.  Students use the Internet regularly, and proper terminology is part of the curriculum.


This hands-on class meets in the shop room, where students will work with various tools to design and create a hands-on project.  For example, students will design and construct a CO2 powered Race Car, then run races in the hallway using a specifically designed track with the goal of speed and precision.  Students will also learn basic drafting techniques to create drawings used to communicate technical information to others.  Emphasis in this course will be on neatness, accuracy, precision, and craftsmanship. 


The course will cover:

  • working safely in the kitchen 
  • preparing foods
  • making informed decisions regarding food choices 
  • Emphasis is placed on working skillfully and efficiently in the kitchen, preparing taste-tempting, nutritious foods

French I (year-long course earning one high school credit hour)

This course is designed to develop the audio-lingual (listening-speaking) skills in the French language through dialogues and conversational sequences. Students gain oral command of vocabulary, sentence patterns, and grammar, as well as study the culture of the French people.  Recommended for college preparatory students.

Full Value Seminar

This course focuses on the Full Value Agreement: working as a team, speaking up, and being safe.  Students will do team-building activities and work collaboratively on improving their communication skills through various projects. 


This course covers an introduction to marketing, business-to-business marketing, services marketing, branding, and marketing ethics. Students will learn about marketing plans and strategies businesses use to market their products.

Novel Study/Film

This is a 10 week long elective split into two five week sections.  The first five weeks will be spent reading a popular, high interest Y.A. novel.  During this portion of the class, we will read and discuss the book.  This is an elective for students who already consider themselves readers and would like an opportunity to do a “deep dive” into a challenging novel.

The second five weeks of the class will be spent learning about film.  We will discuss why movies look and sound the way they do and watch several movies where we will discuss technical details as well as important themes covered by these films.  In past semesters we have watched World War Z, The Peanut Butter Falcon, True Grit, and The Green Book to name a few.  There will be a few short writing assignments to pair with the films we watch.

Personal Finance

This course will teach students how to manage their  money. Students will learn important skills, such as creating a budget, building an emergency fund, paying off debt, and investing money.  

Physical Education

1st Marking Period

In this marking period only, students can take P.E. during both 1st and 2nd hours.

  • Basketball/Volleyball:  In an extension of 6th and 7th grade volleyball, this volleyball unit moves at a faster pace with a review of the skills and then quickly moves into regular season games played on bigger, regulation sized courts.  The unit concludes with a tournament, and if there is time a second season takes place.  Also offered in this class is a full basketball unit with an introduction to skills, drills, and offensive and defensive strategies.  Students are then placed into teams for either half-court 3-on-3 or full court 4-on-4.  This unit concludes with a tournament as well.
  • Football/Softball:   In an extension of 6th and 7th grade units, these units are also faster-paced.  The football unit moves from smaller vortex football fields to larger fields with a first down and flags to down ball carriers.  Games are played with an intermediate-sized football, and kickoffs, punts, and extra-point conversions are utilized to strategize.  The softball unit is very similar to the 7th-grade unit but is also played with more strategy and advanced plays.

2nd Marking Period

  • Introduction to Strength & Conditioning/Handball:  Take your performance to the next level!  This class alternates every other day between a "Workout of the Day" in our top-notch training facility and a fun, back-and-forth game called Handball.  In the Strength and Conditioning portion of the class, students will learn how to create and progress through a well-balanced workout that will target the entire body.  Great emphasis will be placed on technique and safety while we help create the foundation for transitioning to the high school.  In the Handball portion of the class, students will learn the game of handball, practice skills used in handball, be placed on teams, and compete in a regular season and a tournament similar to our other middle school sport units.  This class is intended for overall general conditioning of the entire body.  It is highly recommended for any students participating in athletics or wanting to improve themselves and increase their self-confidence.

3rd Marking Period

  • Circuit Training/Floor Hockey:  This class alternates every other day between Circuit Training and Floor Hockey.  In Circuit Training, students will continue to build upon their gains from 2nd marking period Introduction to Strength and Conditioning or they will be introduced to various exercises in a circuit training manner.  Again, moving and lifting safely with proper technique will be emphasized as students gain confidence and familiarity in a strength training setting.  The Floor Hockey part of the class is an extension of 7th-grade floor hockey, but again, the unit moves much quicker and games are played on the full length of the gym floor.  
  • Volleyball/Circuit Training:  This class alternates every other day between Circuit Training and Floor Hockey.  In Circuit Training, students will continue to build upon their gains from 2nd marking period Introduction to Strength and Conditioning or they will be introduced to various exercises in a circuit training manner.  Again, moving and lifting safely with proper technique will be emphasized as students gain confidence and familiarity in a strength training setting.  The Volleyball part of class is exactly like 1st marking period in which we quickly move through a review of volleyball skills before placing students on teams and play regular season and tournament games.

4th Marking Period

  • Archery/Outdoor Team Sports:  In this class, students will spend half of the marking period in Archery and half of the marking period in Outdoor Team Sports.  In Archery, students will learn over 100 pieces of information that will help them learn to be safe, disciplined, focused, and pay attention to detail as they prepare to practice archery skills.  In Outdoor Team Sports, students will participate in mini-units consisting of agility ball, softball, football, ultimate Frisbee, Frisbee golf, capture the flag, kickball, and more!


In this class, students will work on STEM-type projects with a focus on science, engineering, and math with an infusion of teamwork and problem-solving. 

Video Production 

Video production is a fast-paced class where students produce weekly videos.  Students follow through on their projects from pre-production to filming to final editing. Throughout the course, students will learn the basics of photography, camera functions, and video editing, as well as key vocabulary of cinematography. Student projects include producing the Friday Show broadcast which contains short films like PSA's, commercials, music videos, and news stories.  Although there are some individual assignments, success in this class requires all students to work in cooperative, small groups. 
*Please note: there are a limited number of slots available for this class, therefore student behavior, attitude, and academic effort may be considerations for enrollment .


This hands-on class in the shop will introduce students to a wide variety of woodworking machinery and equipment. Each student will construct an assigned project of their own.  Emphasis will be on working safely and creating projects with fine craftsmanship and creativity. Project examples include chess/checker set, cutting boards, etc.  


In this course, students will gain skills in the following areas: page design, publishing techniques, copywriting, editing, photography, record keeping, time management, teamwork, marketing, and leadership skills. Students are tasked with producing a timeless, creative, and innovative publication which will record our school’s community, memories and events.