Electives and Exploratories

 Electives at Deer Creek


 

Index of Courses
 
6th Grade
 Art 6 Theatre Exploration
 Communication Technology World Languages & Cultures
 Cultures & Commerce Choir 6
 Intro to Family & Consumer Science Concert Band 6
 Intro to STEM Orchestra 6
Physical Education 6
   
  7th and 8th Grade
Applied Arts Family & Consumer Science
History Alive
Cultural Cooking 
Media Literacy & Production Culinary Creations
Yearbook
Family & Consumer Science

Foods & Nutrition
Art
Digital Design 1   Performing Arts
Metal Jewelry Advanced Choir 
Visual Arts 1 Choir
 Visual Arts 2  Concert Band
Theatre Arts
Communication Orchestra 
   Creative Writing 
   Symphonic Band   
Literature & Film
Mythology & Folklore
Short Stories
Physical Education
Engineering & Technology Advanced Team Sports 
Audio/Visual Production Fitness & Conditioning 
Engineering & Technology    Physical Education for Girls
Exploring Computer Science  Recreation Sports 
Mechanics of Engineering 1  Team Sports
Robotics 
Video Game Design 
World Languages
School Service  French 1 & 2 
Mentorship  Spanish 1 & 2 
Teacher Aide World Languages & Cultures 7 
         
7th Grade ELA Options
8th Grade ELA Options 
Awesome Literature Phor Adolescents (ALPHA) Around the World in 60 Days - World Literature
Dystopian Worlds  Debate
Fantasy - Conquering Worlds  True Crime and Mystery 
   

 

6th graders have two exploratory classes each trimester, giving students six different exploratories for the year.  6th graders also have the option of choosing band, orchestra, or choir during one of their exploratory periods for the year, in exchange for other exploratory classes.

6th grade 12-week Exploratories

Art 6 Students create artwork within drawing, painting, ceramics and sculpture genres using previous knowledge and new techniques explored in this class.  All projects will be sent home when complete.

Communication Technology
Technology is everywhere!  In this class students learn how to use all different kinds of digital tools while exploring video, audio, and image editing. Cultures & Commerce Students learn about world cultures, international business, trade, currency exchange, diplomacy, and responsible credit card use with hands-on activities.

Intro to Family & Consumer Science
Students will be introduced to different topics within Family and Consumer Science, such as learning about personal development, sewing by hand, and basic kitchen skills during various cooking labs.

Intro to STEM
Students will be introduced into the fun world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).  Using the engineering design cycle, they will design multiple projects and have the opportunity to see their projects in action.

Physical Education 6
Physical Education provides students with the opportunity to learn about sports, fitness, and health through a variety of activities including team & individual gameplay, fitness & conditioning, and health-related curriculum.

Theatre Exploration
This course has students explore different eras of Theatre through observation (videos and, when possible, live examples with visitors or through a field trip), improv games, and interactive group projects.  Examples of projects:  recreating a Greek Chorus in performance, creating an original podcast, and writing and performing their own comedy sketches.

World Languages & Cultures
This exploratory language class will introduce students to French, Spanish, German and Mandarin Chinese. Students will learn to use the vocabulary for basic greetings, the classroom, people, and animals as well as celebrations and customs of the people who speak the languages.

6th grade year-long Exploratories

Choir 6
Choir is open to all interested students—no prior experience is needed.  Students learn to sing in a fun, energetic working environment.  Curriculum focuses on developing proper technique and singing skills in a variety of music styles. Students perform throughout the year in school concerts, festivals, and contests. 
Concert Band 6 Concert Band 6 is available to students with at least one year of experience playing a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument. Beginners may also sign-up, with Mr. Sudano’s prior approval and a commitment to taking private lessons. Students learn proper techniques and develop musical skills through a variety of musical styles. Students perform throughout the year in school concerts, festivals, and contests.

Orchestra 6
Orchestra 6 is open to students who have previous experience with a string instrument (i.e. violin, viola, cello, bass, and piano). Beginners may also sign-up, with Mr. Sudano’s prior approval and a commitment to taking private lessons. Students learn proper techniques and develop musical skills through a variety of musical styles. Students perform throughout the year in school concerts, festivals, and contests.



7th and 8th graders have two exploratory classes each trimester and can choose from a wide selection of 12-week and year-long courses.  

7th/8th grade 12-week Electives


- Applied Arts - 

History Alive

History Alive gives students time to engage and participate in social studies simulations that cannot always be offered during regular social studies classes. Social Studies simulations could include Model UN, mock trials, mock congress, Nobel Peace Prize, civilization simulations, and virtual tours of historical sites and events.  


Media Literacy & Production
This course exposes students to various types of social media and how it can influence society. Students will learn skills to critically evaluate and creatively produce media—not just the printed word, but visual and audio media too – and put their skills into action by creating content for the Deer Creek social media accounts.
Publication: Yearbook

In this two-trimester course, students will learn layout methods, graphic design, photography skills, and basic computer technology in designing the Deer Creek Yearbook. In addition, students will gain a foundation of basic journalism through researching, interviewing, and writing for publication. Interested students must complete an application form expressing their interest and applicable skills.

 

- Art -

Digital Design 1

Students will use professional software the Adobe Photoshop for photo editing and Adobe In-Design for layout. Other topics will include copyright, career possibilities and digital citizenship. Grades will be based on projects, work habits and a short projects list. Students cannot repeat this class. The fee covers a pair of wired headphones that students will keep in the classroom.

Metal Jewelry

Students will learn how to saw, enamel, cold connect, polish, engrave and mold metal into jewelry pieces, working with nickel, copper and brass. Grades will be based on projects, work habits and a portfolio list.  Students cannot repeat this class.

Visual Arts 1

This trimester class will focus on two- and three-dimensional art. Some of the projects will include drawing, painting or printmaking, ceramics/clay, sculpture, fibers and mixed media. Grades will be based on projects, work habits and the portfolio list. Because the projects change each year, students may repeat Visual Arts as 8th graders.

Visual Arts 2

This is an Art Independent Study class. Students must be able to prove that they are focused on the study of Art and can create their own projects within a framework. Visual Arts 1 is a prerequisite for this class. Only 2 students per trimester will be allowed to do this Independent Study class.

 

- Communication -

Creative Writing The Creative Writing course provides students an opportunity to develop their technique and style in the genre of fictional writing. Assignments could include: fictional narratives, short stories, picture books, plays, and poetry.

Literature and Film

In this trimester course students will examine films with books as their source. Students will read a variety of texts including short stories and novels and then analyze the film versions of them. Parent permission is required to participate in this elective for PG-13 rated films.

Mythology & Folklore

Mythology & Folklore gives students the time to read and write myths and folktales. Students will analyze and then write a wide variety of mythical genres that could include world mythology, folklore, fairy tales, legends, tall tales, and urban myths.

Short Stories

Short Stories gives students the time to read and write short stories. Students will analyze and then write a wide variety of fiction genres that could include mysteries, realistic fiction, fantasies, action/adventure, and science fiction.

- Engineering & Technology -

Audio/Visual Production Students will use the professional software Adobe Audition to edit and manipulate sound and Adobe Premiere for video editing.  Most projects will be group work. Grades will be based on projects, work habits and a short projects list. Students cannot repeat this class.  The fee covers a pair of wired headphones that students will keep in class.

Engineering & Technology

Turn your dreams and ideas into real-world solutions as you put your imagination to work in Deer Creek's maker lab. Whether you are into building with your hands, making art, crafting or programming your interests drive the learning. Work in small groups or alone to solve real-world, community-based problems. Build and apply skills with high tech and classic tools from hand saws and drills to laser cutters, 3D printers and micro-controllers.

Exploring Computer Science

Knowing about computers has never been as important as it is today in the world of technology we’re living in!  In this class we’ll create unique websites, apps, and games while learning about programming, physical computing, and data.  Computers science opens allows us to be creative, communicate, solve problems, and have fun!

Mechanics of Engineering 1

In this trimester-long course, students define problems and constraints then design and test solutions. They employ processes of engineering design while also building critical thinking, collaboration, computer-aided design, manufacturing and motor skills. Project topics may include mousetrap and electric cars, water rockets, coding, renewable energy along with projects of personal interest and choice.
Robotics 

Robots are everywhere from our cars to our home, and it's important to understand how and why they work.  In this class we'll explore different types of robots and how to program them to perform tasks. We will follow the design process to design, build, and test robots to complete challenges and solve real-world problems.

Video Game Design 

Do you love playing video games and often wonder how they work?  This course will introduce the concept of game design. We'll learn how the structure, graphic design, and code all play a role in making a successful video game for any audience.


- Family & Consumer Science -

Cultural Cooking (FACS ll)

After learning the basics of food preparation, we will choose a new country each week to study. Students will spend a few days learning about the country, their food-related customs, and foods for which they are famous. After their learning, students will choose a recipe to cook from that country.

 
Culinary Creations (FACS lll)

In this advanced cooking course, students will get the opportunity to plan and prepare meals and be in charge of their own recipe design, while exploring a wide variety of ingredients.


Family and Consumer Science

Family and Consumer Science is an activity-oriented class that focuses on helping students develop and apply important practical skills for independent living. There are four units during this class, Interpersonal Relationships, Child Development, Cooking and Sewing. Students will learn about the basics of child care, how to build healthy relationships, simple sewing skills, and how to practice kitchen safety and sanitation. During this class students will get the opportunity to take care of their own “egg baby”, work with sewing machines, and participate in cooking labs.

Foods & Nutrition 

Foods & Nutrition is an introductory course in food preparation and nutrition. Throughout foods lab experiences, students will be learning the principles of cooking and preparing a variety of foods. Students will also learn the importance of healthy eating habits, safety and sanitation, measurement equivalents, and basic kitchen equipment use.  Students will also participate in a classroom food competition modeled after Chopped or Cupcake Wars.

 


- Performing Arts -

Theatre Arts 

This course allows students to develop self-confidence while learning the basics of acting and directing. Student swill explore different theatre styles, including improvisation, and present a short play during the trimester.


- Physical Education -

Advanced Team Sports 

Advanced version of Team Sports. Students that have been highly successful and experienced in outside team sports, as well as previous Deer Creek PE classes, could participate in a more competitive environment with higher-level fitness expectations. In this course, more time will be spent on specific sports and the advanced competition strategies involved in each. Each sport will include a daily practice skill and strategy, as well as competitive league-based games with a playoff format included at the conclusion of each sport unit. The higher expectations, skill development and in-depth focus on strategy will provide a great introduction to prospective high school student-athletes.

Fitness & Conditioning

Fitness & Conditioning primarily focuses on personal and physical wellness. Students will be provided an environment that includes teacher-led body weight exercises, cardio workouts, and an introduction to weight training. Game play and team sports may also be included to provide another outlet to improve the fitness level of students within the course.

Physical Education for Girls

This class is designed specifically for female students, offering a mix of both individual and team sports. Students will be provided a unique, gender specific, active learning environment that replicates the way athletics are played in high school. Students will play a variety of team sports that will include an introduction to the game, skill development and game play. In addition to team sports, students will learn about effective approaches to lifetime fitness, as well as how to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

Recreation Sports

This physical education class focuses on the skills and strategies of individual and dual sports such as badminton, pickleball, frisbee golf and park games, as well as an introduction to tennis and golf. In addition to games, students will get an introduction to a variety of lifetime fitness activities.

Team Sports 

In Team Sports, students will be provided a competitive environment to learn, practice and perfect their skills in a variety of team based sports. The class will use the platform of team based athletics to help students work on their fitness, sport-based knowledge and sportsmanship. Sports to be played may include, but not limited to, soccer, volleyball, floor hockey, lacrosse, and flag football.

- School Service -

Mentorship “There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” ― Mandy Hale

 

Mentorship provides support to Deer Creek students who have significant disabilities. As a mentor, you will assist in supporting students as they learn social, vocational, and academic skills. Mentors will need to demonstrate kindness and patience, be willing to learn, be flexible and adaptive, follow directions and take initiative. Mentors will need to be willing to consistently be positive role models in our school community. This elective teaches students strategies for helping make lasting connections between students with and without disabilities in the school community. During mentorship, you might work with students in their SSN classroom or in one of their electives classes. Mentors will be asked to write reflections about their learning and experiences. Interested students must complete an application form expressing their interest and applicable skills. Students selected will be notified the trimester before they are enrolled in Mentorship.

Teacher Aide

Students may work with a teacher, counselor, or member of the office staff. Tasks could include clerical work, answering phones, delivering passes, or helping other students. Teacher Aide is a Pass/Fail class and does not count toward GPA. Interested students must complete an application form expressing their areas of interest.


- World Languages -

World Languages & Cultures

This exploratory language class will introduce students to French, Spanish, German and Mandarin Chinese. Students will learn basic greetings, numbers, colors, objects, people, animals and food as well as celebrations and customs of the people who speak the languages.


7th/8th grade Year-long Electives


- Music -

Advanced Choir 

Advanced Choir is open to students with vocal and performing experience at a more advanced level.  Students must be able to learn music at a faster pace and at the upper middle school/beginning high school level.  Students will continue to develop their vocal technique and musicianship at a higher level in this ensemble. Students will be considered for this ensemble based on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to: vocal skills, tone production, experience, musicianship, and maturity.  Auditions will be held the beginning of April for next year’s Advanced Choir. Additional auditions may be held during the year. Students perform throughout the year in school concerts, festivals, and contests, and community performances beyond those offered for Choir. Attendance at concerts and activities outside the regular classroom setting and school day are a part of being in the choir program.  Choir uniform shirt is included in the course fee.

Choir

Choir is open to 7th and 8th grade students—no prior experience is needed.  Students learn to sing in a fun, energetic working environment.  Students perform throughout the year in school concerts, festivals, and contests.  Attendance at concerts and activities outside the regular classroom setting and school day are a part of being in the choir program.  Curriculum focuses on developing proper technique and singing skills in a variety of music styles. Students with more experience or who have been in choir at least one trimester may audition for Advanced Choir (see course description) in April, or toward their first trimester of Choir in the fall.  Students who elect to take choir as a year-long elective have the opportunity to audition for Jefferson County Honor Choir and Colorado Middle All State Choir. Choir uniform shirt is included in the course fee.

Concert Band

Concert Band is available to students who play a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument at an intermediate level. Students must have at least 1 year of experience on their instrument to join, or have approval from the director. Students will be playing middle school level repertoire, suitable for students that are currently in 7th and 8th grade. Attendance at concerts and activities outside of the regular classroom setting and school day are required as being a member in the band program. Students must also be willing to consistently practice and improve fundamental skills on their instrument. For more information, please visit www.deercreekmusic.com.

Orchestra

Orchestra is a year-long elective open to students who have previous experience with a string instrument (i.e. violin, viola, cello, bass, and piano). Students who wish to begin a new instrument must discuss this option with Mr. Sudano and strongly consider private lessons. Students perform throughout the year in school concerts, regional contests and an overnight trip every other year. Attendance at concerts and activities outside of the regular classroom setting and school day are part of being in the orchestra program. Students must also be willing to practice consistently and improve fundamental skills on their instrument. For more information, please visit www.deercreekmusic.com.


Symphonic Band

Symphonic Band is available to students who play a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument at an advanced level. Students must be able to perform music consistent with late middle school/early high school curriculum. Students will be considered for this ensemble based on a variety of factors including, but not limited to: playing ability, tone production, sight reading capabilities, access to private lessons, and instrumentation needs of the band. Auditions will be held during March for next year’s Symphonic Band. In order to meet instrumentation needs, additional auditions may be offered during the school year. Attendance at concerts and activities outside of the regular classroom setting and school day are required as being a member in the band program. Students must also be willing to consistently practice and improve fundamental skills on their instrument. For more information, please visit www.deercreekmusic.com.


- World Languages -

French 1 Upon successful completion of this course, a student will be prepared to take French 2 in 8th grade or high school. Games, stories and songs as well as simple conversations are used to meet the standards of listening, speaking, reading and writing on topics which include numbers, colors, weather, food, family, places, transportation and pastimes. Students will also learn about the culture of French-speaking countries.

French 2

Building upon the vocabulary and structures learned in French 1, students will learn to communicate authentically about travel, shopping for food and clothing, their daily routines and cultural celebrations. Students will be able to speak, read, and write in past, present, and future tenses, showing an understanding of sentence structure and grammar and comprehend the language when it is spoken slowly. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be prepared to take French 3 in high school if they wish to pursue a third year of language.

Spanish 1

Upon successful completion of this course, a student will be prepared to take Spanish 2 in 8th grade or high school. Games, stories and songs as well as simple conversations are used to meet the standards of listening, speaking, reading and writing on topics which include numbers, colors, weather, food, family, places, transportation and pastimes. Students will also learn about the culture of Spanish-speaking countries.

Spanish 2

Building upon the vocabulary and structures learned in Spanish 1, students will learn to communicate authentically about travel, shopping for food and clothing, their daily routines and cultural celebrations. Students will be able to speak, read, and write in past, present, and future tenses, showing an understanding of sentence structure and grammar and comprehend the language when it is spoken slowly. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be prepared to take Spanish 3 in high school.




ELA options for 7th grade

As part of the English Language Arts curriculum in 7th grade, students choose one specific topic for their 3rd trimester ELA learning.  The following options are available:

 

Dystopian Worlds 

The Hunger Games and Maze Runner paved the way for dozens of books, movies, and TV shows for us to explore together! Fascination with the end of the world is what it means to be human. From apocalyptic natural disasters to man-made problems, nations have plans in place to overcome the seemingly impossible. But what happens when those plans fall through? What will society do? What would you do? Using Project Based Learning, find answers to these universal questions through the study of futuristic Dystopian Worlds, while making connections to our current day lives!

In this trimester long course, students will be exposed to a variety of reading and writing styles through the lens of Dystopian literature. In addition to reading, writing, and watching snips and clips of film, students will collaborate, debate, and participate in a PBL! By the end of the trimester, students will have used design and creative problem solving to meet grade level standards pertaining to ELA curriculum.


Awesome Literature Phor Adolescents (ALPHA) 

In Awesome Literature Phor Adolescents (ALPHA) you’ll be reading a lot of short-format texts - short stories, manga, poems and music lyrics. You’ll be given opportunities to personalize your learning experience and engage in your ever-changing interests. 

What’s so cool about a giant, green monster interrupting the Christmas celebration you’re having with your family and friends to BEG you to chop off his head?  What’s so cool about learning about the icons who challenged themselves by entering the “Death Zone” where so many had fallen before them?  Do you know what a Fisker Karma sounds like when it starts?  How does Sherlock case a crime scene for clues?  The answer to these questions and many, many more await you in ALPHA.  You might even find some answers about yourself along the way.  By the end of the trimester, students will meet grade level expectations in English Curriculum.  Sign up and enjoy reading.

 

Fantasy – Conquering Realms 

“Fairy tales are more than true not because they tell us that that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten”
-Neil Gaiman

Join us on a quest as we dive into imagined worlds that help us learn what it means to conquer evil in all forms. Not only will we read fantasy stories that built the genre, we will explore new fantasy authors from the 21st century. We will come together to fight evil, live in the past, and explore other realms. Perhaps we will redefine what’s real and what’s made up.

Students will be exposed to a variety of reading and writing styles through fantasy stories, poems, and novels. In addition to reading, writing, and watching snips and clips of film, students will explore, create, and conquer worlds!  By the end of the trimester, students will meet grade level expectations in English Curriculum.



ELA options for 8th grade

As part of the English Language Arts curriculum in 8th grade, students choose one specific topic for their 3rd trimester ELA learning.  The following options are available for the 2021-22 school year:


Around the World in 60 Days - World Literature

Do you wish you could hop on a plane and travel the world to exotic places, experience new sights and sounds, and trek new lands? If so, World Literature is just the adventure for you! We will spend our time exploring other cultures across the world through reading, listening, and viewing. We will hone our skills in exploration and becoming empathetic learners as we tour societies through customs, values, and ways of life.

 

Debate 

No one likes arguing more than middle schoolers. The problem is that middle schoolers aren’t very good at it. Well, we will make you better!! This course will teach you how to, not only make an argument, but will provide you the skills necessary to win an argument. Sound reasoning, logic, evidence, and counter arguments will be the foundation of this class as you take these skills into the arena of formal debate, informal debate and speech.


True Crime and Mystery 

Do you sometimes wish you were a detective?  If words and phrases like crime, open case, mystery, and problem solving peak your interest, then True Crime is the selective for you!  Explore a variety of real world and fiction based crimes in the form of miniature PBLs, discussions and debates, and explorations allowing you to become a detective and embrace your critical and creative problem solving skills. After studying different cases, students will create their own mysteries and bring them to life using skills that apply to reading, writing, forensic science, and art, finishing class with a school wide challenge! 



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