Grade 8 Program

Eighth graders are ready for concentrated immersion in two semester-long arts courses, which meet four times per week. Exposure to a wide variety of artistic expression in the Middle School helps students discover an area in which they can flourish. Students indicate their interests at the end of grade 7 and the Arts Department places the students in visual and/or performance arts courses for each semester.

Visual Arts Course Offerings

Wheel Thrown Pottery

• Centering and trimming on the wheel.

• Creating two basic forms ­ bowls and cylinders.

• Construct plates, mugs, teapots, pitchers and more.

• Explore a variety of glazing and surface design techniques.

• Visit local galleries, museums and public art displays.

Hand Formed Clay

• Learn a variety of hand­building techniques for functional pottery and clay sculpture: pinching, coiling, soft slab, hard slab & use of molds.

• Create a unique pottery set: bowls, cups, and/or plates.

• Create a sculptural boat metaphorically showing how you move through life.

• Explore a range of glazing and surface decoration techniques.

• Final project: Independent student driven and inspired.

Sculptural Self-Portraits: A Course in Imagining Oneself.

• Through observation and imagination students will explore different ways of creating a portrait, exploring the animal, human and mythical parts of ourselves.

• 3D techniques include casting, decoupage and wire manipulation.

• Materials include cardboard, wire, paper mache and plaster gauze.

• Historical and contemporary figurative sculpture will inform thinking about the figure.

• Museum and gallery visits.

3D Fiber Arts

• Establish and use principles of design and color theory.

• Projects include wearable art, soft sculpture fabrication, wire mesh installation, fabric collage and found object integration.

• Develop skills in fabric printing.

• Collage techniques include photo transfer, layering, stamping and embellishments.


• Explore five printmaking techniques: dry point etching, linocut, stencil, monoprint, and collograph.

• Compare and contrast the aesthetic qualities of each technique.

• Use imagery and color in symbolic and personally meaningful ways.

• Make connections to art history and contemporary art.

• Participate in group critiques as a means of sharing ideas and learning from others.

Art & Technology

• Combine traditional methods of art­making with contemporary technologies.

• Some examples include: stop­motion animation, Photoshop, circuitry and LED lights, and 3D drawing pens.

• Experiment through a series of mini­projects.

• Make connections to art history and contemporary examples.

• Work independently or collaboratively with peers to design a final project.

• Participate in group critiques as a means of sharing ideas and learning from others.

Doodle Class

• Explore the art of working in a sketchbook.

• Develop technical and expressive skills.

• Explore ways professional artists use a sketchbook (place for collecting, documenting, experimenting, studying, practicing, expressing).

• Use wide variety of drawing and painting media.

• Explore imagery, content, and artistic decision making in personally meaningful ways.

• Make connections to art history and contemporary examples.

• Participate in group critiques as a means of sharing ideas and learning from others.

Art & Food

• Investigate connections between art and food, looking at cultural, historical, and personal influences.

• Learn from art history and contemporary examples.

• Make art as a response to these explorations.

• Make food as a response to these explorations.

• Participate in group critiques as a means of sharing and learning from peers.

Performing Arts Course Offerings


This group will explore and perform a musical from the Broadway repertoire. Skills include:

• In-depth character development,

• Interpreting text through acting, music and movement,

• Vocal expression and healthy stage vocal technique,

• Understanding the rehearsal process,

• Tools and techniques for the stage,

• Stagecraft and design, prop, and costume design.

• Some students will fill the positions of stage manager, lighting technician, and stage crew, learning the appropriate skills for the position.

Filmmaking Class

The class will write, direct, and star in several short films. The class will culminate in a “Film Premier Night” for friends and family. Elements of the class will include:

• The study of famous films and directors,

• Viewing student films,

• Screenplay writing,

• Camera shot techniques,

• Storyboarding,

• Acting for the camera,

• Editing.

Knight Music (Show Choir)

• Combines singing, choreography, and costumes to create a 15 minute themed set presented at a concert. Students may suggest repertoire for performance.

• Focus on singing in an ensemble, with the possibility of singing in small groups or solo.

• Work with a professional choreogrpher to learn a variety of dance styles.

• Piano or rhythm section instruments accepted to play with previous permission of the department head/teacher.

Songwriting/Musical Composition

• Advanced skills in musical notation and harmonic theory allow students to write their own songs or instrumental pieces.

• Build individual musical style by composing melodies, harmonies and rhythm sequences. Write an original rap song and write percussion parts to accompnay it. Set favorite quotation to music.

• Explore lyric writing through journaling and artistic projects in order to develop lyrics to set to music.

Use of chatterpix and other apps to highlight compositions.

• Learn song form and other classical forms as a basis for composition.

• Discussion of music as a business, listen to music to compare to current classwork.

• Focus on individual projects and possible performances of music composed during class.

M3: Music Media and Me

• Explore music and media as it relates to today’s culture, both in the world and online.

• Explore storytelling and music through a study of movie musicals and create a powerpoint project where students choose a story and retell that story with their own images and music.

• Explore music as a sensory tool in animation. After viewing examples of animation from various points in animation history, students will use apps to create their own animation and choose music to highlight their created work.

• Explore the power of youtube and itunes, as media, culture and business. Students will discover laws of intellectual property and copyright and participate in a debate, using recent court decisions as a basis for argument.

• Explore.

Rock ’n Roll Is Here To Stay

• Exploration of Rock Music and American History.

• Examine the roots and influences or Rock within a social history context, from 1920-1950 and follow the development of Rock from the 1950's to the 1980's.

• Listen and explore the music through activities, games and guided song maps.

• Games include Blues Blocks, Concentration, British Invasion Bingo, and Fantasy Rock Band.

• Dance party activity where students learn dances from various eras and watch experts from the past.

Singing Sensations

• Students learn to sing in three styles: Classical, Broadway and Pop.

• In classical studies, students learn proper body positions, breathing, other vocal technique and stage craft. The use of Italian art songs aid the technical work and provide students with a formal recital experience.

• Stage techniques and expression in literature are the focus of the Broadway unit, with students choosing pieces from the Broadway repertoire for a cabaret performance.

• In the pop unit, students choose songs from the pop genre in which to explore pop singing and are accompanied in performance by a small rock combo.

• Students who play instruments are welcome in this class with prior permission of the instructor.


• An audition only 8 member group focusing on a cappella singing.

• Focus on ensemble building and part singing.

• Beat box/vocal percussion encouraged.

• Choreographic elements may be used with student approval. Students can suggest repertoire for performance.

• Students auditioning should be able to read music and some previous choral experience suggested.

Drama Festival Play/Spring Play

• In­-depth character and script analysis.

• Developing character through voice, movement and personal history.

• Deeping ensemble skills.

• Stagecraft and design.

• Prop and costume design.

• Understand the rehearsal process.

• Performance technique.

• Understanding the role of theater in the community.

• Performance in April at the METG Middle School Drama Festival.

Improv and One­ Act Comedy

• Building on skills learned in 7th grade, students will learn long form improvisation.

• Character development through voice, attitude, object work and physicality.

• Explore improvisation through status work, listening, active listening and games.

• Culminates in a comedy show comprised of improvisation and short scripted comedy.

All School Arts Calendar

Pratt Chorale Room
US Theater
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