7th Grade Elective Course Descriptions



Below are descriptions of the potential elective courses being offered at PJH next school year. When selecting an elective, be sure to pay close attention to all the requirements for the course, such as applications, auditions, fees, prerequisites, length of the course, etc. This is not a guaranteed list and can change based on student demand, teacher availability, district requirements, and other unpredictable factors.

Advanced Band A & B (Fees vary): Students will continue to learn to read music from an intermediate to advanced level and work in a group setting. It is expected that students at this level have taken one year of Intermediate Band. If a student has had band and/or instrument experience from another band program, they need to visit with the director before selecting the class. There will be required performances throughout the year and opportunities to participate in and travel to clinics and festivals. Some of the Advanced Band students will be invited to play with the summer Marching Band program, the High School Jazz Band and Pep Band. Students and parents will be responsible for obtaining and caring for an instrument and purchasing a method book. The School District has a limited supply of instruments that can be rented for the year. Most students will need to either rent or purchase an instrument through a local retailer or obtain one through family or friends. If you have further questions, please email the Band Director, Mr. Manning at wayne.manning@psd201.org.

Art Ceramics I ($16.00 fee): Ceramics is an exploration of art forms not created strictly on a 2-D paper or canvas. The art we create in this class is based on objects that occupy space and have form. We will learn the basics of hand building and the differences between functional and an aesthetic forms. We will create works of art using clay and glaze.

Art Ceramics II ($16.00 fee and Selection Process): Ceramics II is a continuation of Ceramics I. Students must pass the Ceramics class with a semester grade of “C” or higher. Teachers and staff will review the requests and select students that will best fit with the available positions.

Basic Woodworking: ($25.00 fee) Students will learn about using hand tools, operating portable and stationary power woodworking machines, constructing wood joints, using mechanical fasteners, measuring, drilling and boring, introduction to turning, along with sanding and finishing techniques.

‚ÄčBeginning Band A & B (Woodwind & Brass) & Band Percussion A & B (Drums) – (Fees vary): Anyone is eligible to sign up for beginning band. Previous musical experience is not required. Students will learn to read music and work in a group setting. The instruments offered will be Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium/Baritone, Tuba, Bass Guitar and Band Percussion which includes Drums like; Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Timpani and Keyboard Instruments like; Xylophone, Marimba and Bells. There will be required performance opportunities throughout the year. Students and parents will be responsible for obtaining and caring for an instrument and purchasing a method book. The School District has a limited supply of instruments that can be rented for the year. Most students will need to either rent or purchase an instrument through a local retailer or obtain one through family or friends. If you have further questions, please email the Band Director, Mr. Manning at wayne.manning@psd201.org.

Choir Advanced A & B (Audition Required): This full year course is for students that understand the basic fundamentals of vocal group melody and harmony. All students interested in participating, must see Ms. Durrant about an audition.

Choir Intro: All students are invited to come and sing to their heart’s content. Students will learn to read and understand music. They will have the opportunity to participate in performances displaying their newly discovered singing skills. Students will learn to sing separate parts in harmony with their peers.

Drawing Comic Strips ($10.00 fee): Students will build upon realistic drawing skills by learning how to design memorable characters, facial expressions, story-boarding, body language, prop and background design, and learn the unique language of the cartoon artist. The class will also incorporate some writing skills with an emphasis on humor as students learn to tell entertaining stories using words and art. Earning a "C" grade or higher in either Realistic Drawing class is recommended, but not required.

Electronics I ($5.00 fee): Students will learn basic electrical theory, sources of electricity, simple devices, basic circuit theory, and basic skills in soldering, including printed circuit board assembly, electronic kits, and wire splicing. Course can be counted as science credit.

Exploration of Ag Industry and FFA: A basic introductory course designed to introduce beginning students to Agricultural Education. This course includes classroom instruction and hands on student labs and activities. Students will also be eligible to join and participate in the FFA organization. 

Graphic Design: Have you ever wanted to tell a story only using technology? You can now with the skills gained in this graphic design class. Learn how to use words, art work, designs, and patterns to express yourself and tell stories through Adobe software. So let your imagination soar to new heights. Adobe Illustrator software will give you the skills to bring ideas to life.

Intermediate Band A & B (Fees vary): Students will continue to learn to read music from a beginning to intermediate level and work in a group setting. It is expected that students at this level have taken one year of Beginning Band. If a student has had band and/or instrument experience from another band program, they need to visit with the director before selecting the class. There will be required performances throughout the year and opportunities to participate in and travel to clinics and festivals. Students and parents will be responsible for obtaining and caring for an instrument and purchasing a method book. The School District has a limited supply of instruments that can be rented for the year. Most students will need to either rent or purchase an instrument through a local retailer or obtain one through family or friends. If you have further questions, please email the Band Director, Mr. Manning at wayne.manning@psd201.org.

Intro to Computer Science with MakeCode for Microbit ($10.00 fee): This is an introduction to coding and computer science by way of making and design, using the revolutionary new micro:bit microcontroller board, and Microsoft's easy and powerful MakeCode block-based coding environment. It is a project-based curriculum with a maker philosophy at its core; the idea is that by making physical objects, students create a context for learning the coding and computer science concepts. When students complete this course they will have a good understanding of computer science concepts that can serve as the foundation for future study. They will develop powerful design skills that they can use in future projects of all types, whether they are designing 3D printed prototypes or creating apps that serve a real world purpose.

Music Appreciation: This is a course where you can explore various music forms and mediums, experience the history and current use of music in pop culture, learn how music can affect your mood, and find out for yourself if music is a field you would like to pursue in school and possibly beyond.

Office/Library Aide (Application Required): Students desiring to be an Office or Library Aide at PJH may fill out an application. Just  because a student submits an application does not mean that they will have the opportunity to be an aide. Teachers and staff will review the applications and select students that will best fit with the available aide positions. An application is available at the main office and must be returned to the office by May 1st.

Orchestra Advanced A & B (Fees vary): This class is for students that participated in Intermediate Orchestra. If you have orchestra experience that did not occur with Ms. Durrant, please visit with her before selecting this class. Students will be responsible for providing and caring for the instrument. One can be rented through the school. Choir Intro: All students are invited to come and sing to their heart’s content. Students will learn to read and understand music. They will have the opportunity to participate in performances displaying their newly discovered singing skills. Students will learn to sing separate parts in harmony with their peers.

Orchestra Intermediate A & B (Fees vary): This class is only available to students with previous orchestra experience. If you have orchestra experience that did not occur with Ms. Durrant, please visit with her so she can assess your abilities. Students will be responsible for providing and caring for the instrument. One can be rented through the school.

Photo & Graphic Creativity:  Continue with your creative side; this class looks at the best of Photoshop and Graphic Design (Illustrator). The class reintroduces the basics of bothso no worries if you had only one of the two prerequisite classes. The fun really begins once we have the skills. And then your imagination can really be turned loose. Look for projects that unleash your unlimited creative potential. Your work will blow your friends and family away! It is the next step into an exciting world of graphic and digital creativity. Remember, this will have an awesome impact on your learning experience, to affect the rest of your life!

Photoshop: Gain technical skills with the use of Adobe Photo Shop software. Create a fun mix of imagination and artistic skills to bring original photo images to life. Let your imagination tell the story of photographs brought from home. You will be the master of the story. Adobe Photo Shop software allows you to manipulate photographs, embellish borders, and add sayings. Every photo has a story so become the narrator to your own personal photographs.

Realistic Drawing – Animals ($10.00 fee): Do you want others to say, “Wow!” when they see your artwork? Then this may be the class for you. But making artwork—takes work. Realistic drawing takes time and attention to detail—especially detailed shading. This means that this class might not be for everyone. Although students start out by drawing step by step with the teacher—it will advance to cover the high state and national visual arts standards—including those for 6th grade. Crafts, doodles and flat abstract ‘art’ will not be emphasized since students could do that at home without qualified and experienced guided instruction. If you like a challenge—if you care more about really learning and improving your drawing, than getting an easy ‘A’—this class is for you!
 
Realistic Drawing – Manmade Objects ($10.00 fee): This class is similar in design to the Animals class. In this course the drawings will focus on structures such as buildings and other manmade objects.

Spanish Language & Culture: ¿Hablas español? In this beginning class, students will explore the Spanish language and cultures. You will learn important skills to help you understand and appreciate different Spanish-speaking countries. Students are not required to have any previous instruction in Spanish to take this class.

Special Needs Aide (Selection Process): This elective is for students who are serious-minded and have a strong interest in 
helping students with special needs. Teachers and staff will review the requests and select students that will best fit with the available positions.

Student Government A & B (Election Required): Students elected by their peers to be student body officer representatives for the next school year are placed in a class for the entire school year to allow them to perform their student council duties. This class takes the place of other elective choices.

Study Habits A & B (Selection Process): These are typically students who struggle to maintain good grades and need the extra time at school to complete daily assignments. Enrollment is limited to provide a small group setting and to allow for some one-on-one assistance. Teachers and staff will review the requests and select students who will be the best fit for the available positions.

Teacher Aide A & B (Selection Process): Students who request to be a Teacher's Aide are welcome to reach out to specific teachers. Others teachers will review the requests and select students that will best fit with their needs. 

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?: This class is designed to teach students how to build wealth, budget with intention, invest early, and avoid debt so they can live generously. With the Foundations team as the experts, this curriculum facilitates students' learning and brings this engaging curriculum to life. 
 
Yearbook A & B (Application Required): Students in yearbook learn to use computer software to organize, design, and edit the Preston Junior High yearbook. They will also be involved with taking photos of school activities, clubs, sports teams, etc. To apply for the Yearbook course you must complete a paper and an online application. Mr. Coburn (Yearbook Advisor, todd.coburn@psd201.org) will review each application (both the paper and the online application) and pick the students that fit best with the class requirements. Not all of the students that turn in an application will be selected for the class. If you are picked for Yearbook; it becomes your #1 elective choice for the entire school year and takes the place of your other elective choices. Submit the Yearbook application to the office by May 1st of each year.