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8th Grade Electives


Art: Over the semester, students will be working with a variety of 2D art mediums including pencil, ink, colored pencil and watercolor painting.  Our focus will be on building artistic vocabulary, the principles of design, and exposure to a wide variety of artists, both contemporary and historic, to create a well rounded introduction to art. We will explore Zentangle patterns, drawing realistically from observation, creating art with a social justice message, and learning techniques in each medium.


Yearlong Artists Workshop: Would you like to take an art elective all year?  Dividing our focus quarterly, students will begin with drawing skills and media.  The second quarter will focus on watercolor, tempera and acrylic painting, along with linoleum block printmaking techniques.  Along with 2D arts, students will experience a wide range of sculptural options during the 3rd quarter which may include cardboard sculpture, embroidery, and found objects.  Finally, in the 4th quarter, students will create a series of connected artwork using the media and subject matter of their choice.  


Leadership: Leadership class is a class designed to promote a positive culture at AJHS. Students will organize, lead and participate in spirit days, assemblies, and lunch activities.  Students will also create and participate in Public Service Announcements and community service projects to encourage a safe and inclusive school.  To be admitted for the first quarter, students are required to complete a form.  Please see Ms. Elerick in room 20 to get the form.


Choir: Choir feels like a club and is for 7th & 8th grade students of any skill level.  Beginning singers will develop fundamental skills in music reading, rhythm, and vocal technique.  More advanced singers often perform solos.  All singers will be involved in performing a wide variety of music on and off campus.  During distance learning students will continue to learn music fundamentals and will develop their singing during synchronous online class times.  Singers will learn songs that they collaboratively record to create choral performances. Students will create beginning compositions as well.


Band (two choices): Come join the band!  If you have been thinking about learning an instrument, this is the time to begin.  Our district has instruments available to be loaned to students, so there is no cost for the program.  Come see the exciting musical possibilities!


Beginning Band: Beginning band is designed for ANYONE to learn a musical instrument.  It offers the band experience at the beginning level.  You do not need to know anything about music to enroll in this class.  All you need is the will and desire to play an instrument.  Students will choose an instrument to learn (brass, woodwind, or percussion) and will perform in a winter and spring concert during the year.  We will learn things such as music reading, analyzing/evaluating music, composing simple melodies, etc.  Come join the band!

Advanced Band: Advanced band is designed for students who have already taken Beginning Band or had private lessons on their instrument.  In this class we continue learning and refining the concepts and skills taught in beginning band.  An emphasis is placed on repertoire, reading/technical skills, and expression.  We will perform in a winter and spring concert.  If you are not sure whether or not you are ready for Advanced Band, feel free to email Mr. Asmuth at to discuss it with him.


Culinary Arts: Culinary Arts is designed to be a career-focused, intensive cooking and kitchen management class. The course prepares students with employment skills for entry-level positions in culinary arts occupations and the hospitality industry including food preparation worker, cook, baker and other skilled entry-level positions. Classroom instruction includes topics such as food theory as a foundation for hands-on kitchen lab activities; selecting, purchasing and preparing of quality food and food products; menu planning; safety and sanitation skills; nutrition; use and care of commercial equipment; understanding and management of the different food-style establishments. 


Graphic Design: Students will learn graphic design techniques using software available through Google Classroom during our distance learning semester. Areas of focus include Typography, Iconography, Digital Media, Posters, Book Covers, Brand Identity, Logos, Motion Design, etc. The outcome being a comprehensive portfolio that students will present in a final critique and take with them on their educational journey.

Each week consists of one area of focus – including a project and an overview of a featured designer/technique. Classroom activities will include sketching, concepting, problem solving, computer design work, as well as class critiques. Throughout the course students will have the opportunity to improve each of their projects, just as their knowledge of creative techniques and graphic design standards improve.