Middle School Electives: Arts and Humanities Electives: Art: Art Appreciation, History of Art (grade 7), Art in the Digital Age (grade 8); Music: Survey of Music, Travel the Musical World, Songwring (grades 7-8); Business and Technology Electives: Business: Business Technology and Critical Thinking, Travel and Tourism; Technology: Technology Exporation 1 (Fall), Technology Exploration 2 (Spring); Computer Science: Fundamentals of Computer Science, Coding in HTML; Health, Safety and PE: Personal Fitness, Study of Team Sports, Health (grade 8); World Languages: Introduction to Spanish (grade 6), Middle School Spanish A (full year), Middle School Spanish B (grades 7-8, full year); Introduction to French (grade 6), Middle School French A (full year), Middle School French B (grades 7-8, full year), Rosetta Stone (full year); Leadership: Career Awareness (grade 8, full year)
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Art

1 semester

This is an introductory art class that will cover the elements and principles of art. Students will learn, explore, develop and be challenged in the exploration of the fundamentals of art, critical theory and art history.

In this course, students will:

  • Learn and apply the elements of art and principles of design.
  • Review various art media techniques.
  • Recognize and analyze nature, animals, people, places, and objects while applying appropriate responses in a specific art vocabulary.
  • Identify works of art with an understanding of significance.
  • Develop an informed critical and aesthetic response to visual art.

Manipulatives/Kits:
Art Kit

1 semester | Grade 7

Students will learn and understand the history of art, from the past to the present. This class will learn about major artists, periods, and movements from Prehistory to Modernism.

In this course, students will:

  • Discuss differences between periods of art over time.
  • Identify common forms of prehistoric art, including painting, sculpture, etc.
  • Understand the influence of earlier art on later artists.
  • Learn about the development of artistic traditions in Western culture.
  • Understand the philosophical influences on the Renaissance and their impact on art.
  • Explore, develop and be challenged in the exploration of the fundamentals of art, critical theory and art history.
  • Learn how artists have used elements of art and principles in the creation of art for centuries.

Topics covered in History of Art:

  • Ancient Art
  • Medieval Art and the Renaissance
  • Baroque and Rococo
  • Modern and post-modern
  • Contemporary art
1 semester | Grade 8

1 semester

Students will learn the key aspects of design, and demonstrate their knowledge of basic principles. This course will prepare students to use a broad range of technology programs like Paint.net, GIMP, and Adobe Photoshop. Students will understand how to identify, analyze and create various forms of graphic art.

Topics covered in Art in the Digital Age:

  • Graphic Design Introduction
  • History of Design
  • Visual Communication
  • Manipulating images
  • Aesthetics: Color, Shape, Space, Balance, etc.
  • Pop Art
  • Image and Logo Design (Andy Warhol)
  • Design Found in Visual Culture
  • Messages in Art
  • Typography (Paul Rand)
  • Graphic Artists (David Carson, Saul Bass, Milton Glaser)

Music

1 semester

Survey of Music is a general music class that covers basic musical concepts for middle school students, regardless of skill or talent level. Emphasis is placed on developing music listeners in all styles and genres of music.

Topics covered in Survey of Music:

  • Reading music
  • Musical expression
  • History of music
  • The voice
  • Orchestra instruments
  • Programmatic music

1 semester

Students will dig deep into other countries musical traditions, instruments and cultures. Emphasis is placed on developing responsible and critical listeners of various musical styles.

In this course, students will explore North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America.

1 semester | Grades 7-8

Prerequisite: Survey of Music.

Students will learn the basics of songwriting through the use of music technology. The course will culminate with the creation of a final project in which students will compose and perform an original song.

Topics covered in Songwriting:

  • Inspiration and creativity
  • Styles of music
  • Rhythm
  • Melody
  • Harmony
  • Lyrics
  • Form
  • Expression
  • Recording
  • Composing in Noteflight

Business

1 semester

Middle School students are moving into an advanced world that will require the ability to communicate, make informed decisions, and problem solve effectively. This course will cover verbal, written, and electronic communication and the importance of using proper etiquette in social situations, including greetings, dress code, and behavior expectations. Problem solving through brainstorming techniques and an ability to understand the big picture beyond yourself will also be covered as well as techniques for making informed, educated decisions as part of a team and from a leadership role.

Technology

1 semester | Fall

In Technology Exploration I, students explore a variety of technological topics based on the PA Standards for Technology Education. The course begins by looking at the advancement in innovations and invention from the stone-age to the modern era. Next, students learn about processes such as the engineering design process, communications, energy and power, and constructing structures. Finally, students become designers and problem solvers while they learn to use SketchUp 3D modeling software. Using this program, students have the opportunity to create his/her own three-dimensional models and designs such as towers and houses. The class also discusses leadership by learning about key contributors to the field of technology and the positive impact that their advancements had on society.

1 semester | Spring

Prerequisite: Technology Exploration I.

In this course, students will learn about the evolution of automation, robotics, and manufacturing and its impact on the modern world. Students will learn about biotechnology and its influences on the medical and agricultural fields. Additionally, students study more advanced design techniques using SketchUp 3D modeling software. This provides them with the opportunity to create realistic models and problem-solve. Students will also have a chance to use Homestyler to create 2D and 3D drawings and designs. The class also discusses various career and areas of study related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Computer Science

1 semester

The focus of this course will be the practical uses of the Google Drive suite of products, including Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Sheets. Students will produce documents and presentations that are useful in education and business settings, while increasing their organizational skills through the use of multiple step instructions for planning and production of projects. The course will also investigate the fundamentals of how computers function and the importance of responsible digital citizenship as current citizens and future leaders. A brief introduction of computer programming languages will round out the course and allow students to decide on future participation in computer science courses in the Middle School and High School levels.

1 semester

Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Computer Science.

Following an exploration of the fundamentals of the Internet and Internet browsers, this advanced elective course will provide students with an opportunity to design and produce web pages utilizing basic Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML). HTML tags and code that allow students to add backgrounds, text, graphics, images, lists, links, and tables to a web page will be taught through demonstration and practice culminating with the production of a final webpage on a topic of their choice. Students will learn the importance of attention to detail and organization in this fun and challenging course.

Health, Safety & PE

1 semester | Grade 6

Students will learn rules and regulations of team sports, equipment needed, mechanics, strategies, scoring, common techniques, and anything they need to know to play the sport. They will also be able to understand the connection that the sport has with living a physically active lifestyle. Variations of the sports will be provided when applicable, such as different games that can be played to help practice that sport. Videos of the sports will also be shown so students can see the game/sport in action. Students will be assessed on their knowledge of the sport, and how it can be beneficial towards living a healthy lifestyle. They will also be responsible for teaching a skill from a sport of their choice as an assessment.

1 semester | Grade 7

Students will learn how to achieve and maintain personal fitness. Students will not only learn how to live a “fit” lifestyle, but why it is also important to maintain physical fitness. In this course, students will be taught how to make a proper fitness and nutrition plan and it will culminate with the completion of a personal fitness plan. After successfully completing this course, students should have a solid understanding of how proper diet and exercise can positively affect their lives.

1 semester | Grade 8

In this course, students will learn about healthy lifestyles and how the human body works.

Topics covered in Health:

  • Nutrition
  • Drug & Alcohol Use/Abuse
  • Tobacco Use
  • Body Systems (Skeletal, Nervous, Circulatory, Respiratory, Digestive, Urinary, Reproductive, Endocrine)
  • Non-communicable/Communicable Diseases
  • First Aid
  • Stress Management

World Languages

1 semester | Grade 6

In this course, students will:

  • Be introduced to the Spanish sound system.
  • Develop listening, speaking, writing and reading skills through various online lessons, projects and stories in Spanish.
  • Explore a variety of topics such as greetings, numbers, months, weather, family, food and more.
  • Learn to appreciate the global Spanish speaking world and how other cultures compare to their own.
  • Have an opportunity to use the language in both synchronous chats and voice recordings.

Introduction to Spanish is recommended for 6th graders who have never studied a foreign language.

Full Year

Prerequisite: Students must maintain a C in their core classes to remain in this course.

In this course, students will:

  • Be introduced to the Spanish language.
  • Learn vocabulary and phrases to express themselves on the subjects of family, pets, friends and school life.
  • Discover the culture of Spanish-speaking countries.
  • Practice beginning grammar concepts through interactive games and activities.
  • Develop necessary skills to listen, read, write and speak at a basic level.

Students will be expected to record their voices. Students successfully completing Middle School Spanish A & B will receive one high school credit in Foreign Language.

Full Year | Grades 7-8

Prerequisite: Spanish A or teacher recommendation.

Middle School Spanish B is a continuation of Middle School Spanish A.

In this course, students will:

  • Continue to look at the mechanics of the Spanish language.
  • Learn vocabulary and phrases to express themselves on topics related to school, food, health, clothing, shopping and holidays.
  • Discover in-depth various Spanish speaking countries and places.
  • Acquire necessary grammar skills and concepts to improve the ability to listen, read, write and speak at a basic level.
  • Appreciate the cultural complexity of the language through interactive websites.

Students will be expected to record their voices. Students successfully completing Middle School Spanish A & B will receive one high school credit in foreign language.

1 semester | Grade 6

In this course, students will:

  • Be introduced to the French sound system.
  • Have an opportunity to use the language in both synchronous chats and voice recordings.
  • Discover how to express who they are, what they like and where they are from through engagement in playful activities.
  • Develop listening, speaking, writing, and reading skills through various online lessons, projects, and stories in French.
  • Make voice recordings for submission, engage in natural exchanges with peers and construct authentic conversations.

Introduction to French is recommended for 6th grade students who have never studied a foreign language.

Full Year

This is an introductory level French class. Students can expect 2-4 lessons per week and should plan to spend approximately 2 hours per week on the assignments. Students will learn how to record their voice and will be expected to do frequent recordings. Students can expect 3 lessons per week.

In this course, students will:

  • Learn basic structures and vocabulary to describe themselves and others.
  • Learn about French culture and the country of France.
  • Explore about areas in the world where French is spoken.

Students successfully completing Middle School French A & B will receive one high school credit in Foreign Language.

Textbook:
McDougal Littell: Discovering French Nouveau Bleu 1a Premiere Partie

Full Year | Grades 7-8

Prerequisite: Middle School French A or teacher recommendation.

Middle School French B is a continuation of Middle School French A. Students can expect 3 lessons per week. Students will make voice recordings.

In this course, students will:

  • Build upon structures taught in French Middle A.
  • Learn basic grammar concepts such as conjugating verbs.
  • Be able to express what actions they perform and what actions other people perform.
  • Create authentic projects and interact with their peers.

Students successfully completing Middle School French A & B will receive one high school credit in foreign language.

Textbook:
McDougal Littell: Discovering French Nouveau Bleu 1

Full Year

Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation; students must maintain a C in their core classes to remain in this course.

The Rosetta Stone program allows students to select a foreign language to study through use of self-paced Rosetta Stone software. There are many languages available upon request and interest. Please see rosettastone.com for a list of all available languages.

Students selecting Rosetta Stone German or Rosetta Stone Japanese may receive additional assistance or content from PALCS teachers.

The Rosetta Stone program has limited availability and continued enrollment in the program requires active student participation.

Leadership

1 semester | Grade 8

Career Awareness is the basic Career Course for students in grade 8 who are beginning to think about the world of work and how they will fit into this matrix in the future. Students will begin to look at their interests and values. They will investigate the sixteen career clusters, by conducting research into those areas of interest. They will understand why planning ahead for a career is important and how to design the steps of the career plan. Also, they will understand how to organize a job search and how to apply for a job. At the end of the course students will have a beginning portfolio documenting community service, coursework and other experiences relevant to a future career. Students successfully completing Career Awareness in either the fall or the spring will receive ½ high school elective credit.

Workbook:
McGraw Hill: Exploring Careers

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In addition to the course information presented above, the full course catalog is available as a .pdf download, showcasing all courses and programs for the 2019-2020 school year.