We believe that elective classes offer exciting and enriching opportunities for all middle school students. Students partake in two different elective classes per semester, with each meeting twice a week.
Explore our elective offerings
Green TeamTheaterRock BandUkelele ClubTwo-Dimensional ArtThree-Dimensional ArtEntrepreneurshipRoboticsPhilosophy & DebateWoodshop
Green Team spearheads our commitment to a greener school through work with many environmental items around campus. In addition to planting and upkeep of the greenhouse in the backyard, our team runs the school’s initiative to recycle plastic bags and wrapping. Composting is an ongoing project and one we plan to bring to all divisions. We also design mini lesson plans and push into elementary school classrooms to teach our younger students and inspire the next cohorts of Green Teamers.
Theatre at Evergreen Country Day consists of games and activities that help students with public speaking skills, creative thinking, team building, and self-confidence. Each grade performs for the school community a few times over the course of the year. Some of the most popular activities and performances are our Halloween haunted house, A Christmas Carol, and the annual middle school musical.
The Middle School Rock Band offers the chance for all musicians (and future musicians), new and experienced, to perform as a group throughout the fall semester. We culminate our study of an often-brand-new instrument, with a performance at the annual Holiday Fest concert. Students choose to sing, perform on piano, guitar, drums, or a myriad of other instruments to showcase their hard work and musical skills. Always a popular elective, we are thrilled to see our musicians develop their talents and perform together.
In our brand new Ukelele Club, our students began by learning the names of the 4 uke strings, a few chords and two strum patterns. We then started playing songs such as “Lime in the Coconut,” “Happier,” and “Count on Me.” During Halloween, we played “Monster Mash,” “Zombies Just Want to be Loved,” and “Ghostbusters” along with composing our own Halloween songs to share with the class. Finally, we practiced some finger-picking patterns and learned our two Holiday Fest songs, “One Day” by Matisyahu and the traditional, “Silent Night.” This group has a blast playing and singing together!
In the fall semester, students study 2D art disciplines like drawing, painting, and book arts. We began the year with a unit on value. Students first created colored pencil drawings of Lego blocks with carefully observed highlights and shadows. The colored pencils allowed students to also accurately color mix through blending and layering. We completed this unit with the addition of watercolors and watercolor-colored-pencils in the awesome trompe-l’oeil-style candy compositions. Students learn how to use a grid system to get accurate proportions and took their own photographs of candy compositions. We loosened things up with expressive charcoal drawings of Halloween skulls and favorite animals. Then we turned to abstract art in the form of explosion books, which allowed students to work freely with the tools and materials in the art room, first through wet media and then by layering on dry media. We finish the semester with beautiful, whimsical winter tales that gained inspiration from children’s book illustrators. Using transparency film, students created three layers of space and combined drawing and painting to create winter stories driven by their vivid and humorous imaginations.
In the second semester, students study 3D art topics that include building in cardboard, papier-mâché, clay, and foam core. Students study the work of artist Naum Gabo to create cardboard head sculptures using linear planes to indicate volume. Next, students chose an animal to sculpt in paper mache that became a head bust to mount on the wall. We then move on to a large clay unit, where we explore building in clay with slabs, coils, pinch pots, and stamping to prepare us to design our own personalized clay projects. We end the year building geometric gemstones from foam.
This course offers students the opportunity to take an idea from inception to market. “Shark Tank” style classes bring in real entrepreneurs to speak to and provide feedback to students and the course culminates in student pitches of their products to real “sharks.” Throughout these projects we empathize using these design skills for the greater societal good and utilize the design thinking process to teach students to iterate (and iterate and iterate), to accept and use feedback in a positive manner and to empathize with their target market.
The middle school robotics team provides students the opportunity to learn about Java and robotics programming from an early age. Fifth and sixth grade students participate on our practice team and our seventh and eighth grade Robo Eagles compete in the FIRST Lego League Challenge competition each fall, qualifying for the state competition the last two years and bringing home second place in Robot Design. In the second semester, students are offered the chance to take their skills further by practicing advanced robotics using the FIRST Tech Challenge curriculum in-house and building their own robot from scratch using the Rev Robotics software. As one of our most popular electives, we are excited to inspire the engineers of the future!
In the Philosophy and Debate Elective, students learn to question the world around them and create effective arguments. This class aims to have great discussions, based on great books. In the first half of the course, we talk about Western and Eastern Philosophy, Art, Music, Math, Science, Finance and Literature. Through relatable lessons, students tackle questions about who they are, why they are here and what it means to lead a good life. In the second half of the semester, students learn to analyze different points of view and construct persuasive arguments through mock trials and debates.
The Woodshop class starts with the basics of safety and maintenance of many power tools, including drills, orbital saws, sanders, finishing. With an understanding of the craftmanship required for strong wood working skills, the students then focus on their individual table project for the semester, creating a beautiful piece to take home and enjoy.