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.

Each course is offered for a marking period, with the exception of Band, Chamber Choir, and French.

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.

Art

A more in-depth study of the elements of art and the principles of design.  Projects include watercolor painting, illustration, portraits, contour drawing, and mixed media. Students have opportunities to design and create their own projects and will have a chance to explore famous artists in history.

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 BandAid 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.

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.

Computers

This self-paced, project-based class is designed to continue the development of basic keyboarding skills and fluency with Microsoft programs such and Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher.  Students use the Internet regularly, and proper terminology is part of the curriculum.

Drafting 

This course covers basic techniques used to complete the drawings that are used by engineers and designers to communicate information to others.  Instruction will focus on neatness, accuracy, and precision.  Topics include lettering, creating lines, sketching, drawing an object from different viewpoints, isometrics, detailing a drawing, and adding dimensions.

Fictional Performance

The goal of this class is to help students become more comfortable with public speaking through a variety of simple performance opportunities in drama, broadcasting, lip-syncing, writing, and other fun activities, "shows," and games. Mrs. Ingalls works hard to make this class enjoyable and will work with any students willing to learn and try new things.  She is sensitive to and works well with students with different comfort levels.  Some performances in the past have included the telling of a folk tale, hosting a "talk show," writing and answering a letter to an advice column, giving a sales pitch, and a trash bag fashion show!

Foods 

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. 

Industrial Arts

This hands-on class meets in the shop room, where students will work with various tools to accomplish work and create projects.  We will design and construct a CO2 powered Race Car, then run races in the hallway using a specifically designed track.  Students will learn basic drafting techniques as they design the car, and will also explore how engines produce power and how to maintain them.

Life Skills

The course will cover:

  • Career Exploration (Job Applications, interviews, work permits)
  • Basic Sewing Skills (including completion of a project)
  • Basic Food and Nutrition

Literature and Film Study

In this class, students will analyze messages conveyed in movies through both technique and storyline.  They will write about various themes while exploring different film genres and discussing all the different ways directors can manipulate the medium to explore ideas.

Physical Education

1st Marking Period 

  • Basketball/Volleyball:  Four weeks of each unit which include skills, team play, and tournaments.
  • Football/Softball:   Four weeks of each unit which include skills, team play, and tournaments. 

2nd Marking Period

  • Rec Games/Introduction to Strength & Conditioning:  Take your performance to the next level!  In this 8th grade elective course, which rotates every other day with full court Team Handball, students can expect to be introduced to the fundamental movements of Bench Press, Squat, and Deadlift as a part of the “Workout of the Day” in our brand new training facility at PMS.  Great emphasis will be placed on technique and safety while we help create the foundation for the transition to high school.   This class is intended for overall general conditioning of the entire body.

3rd Marking Period

  • Circuit Training/Floor Hockey:  Four weeks of hockey (skills, team play, and a tournament) and four weeks of weight training and aerobic exercise.
  • Volleyball/Fitness Fun:  Four weeks of volleyball (skills, team play, and a tournament) and four weeks of various fitness activities such as yoga, pilates, tae-bo, weight training, and aerobic exercise.

4th Marking Period

  • Archery/Outdoor Team Sports:  Archery, soccer, softball, agility ball, Frisbee gold, Ultimate Frisbee, Capture the Flag, and more!

STEAM (like STEM)

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 thirty second to five minute 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 Northmen News 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 .

Woods 

This hands-on class in the shop will introduce students to a wide variety of woodworking machinery and equipment.  Emphasis will be on working safely and creating projects with fine craftsmanship (such as a checker/chess set).  In the Architecture unit students will learn about designing plans for buildings.

Writing Comedy

A study of a variety of comedic genres: Sit-coms, movies, sketch comedy, and stand-up comedy.  Students will learn about the underlying structures that writers use to create comedy.  Students will then be tasked with writing some comedy of their own.  By the end of the quarter, each student will have generated a comedic writing portfolio that will contain several of the different genres within comedy.