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.


  • Learn five printmaking techniques: drypoint, monoprint, stencil, linocut, and collograph.
  • Create a portfolio of prints that explores a theme of personal significance.
  • Gain exposure to art historical references.

Ceramic Dinner Ware and Surface Design

  • Explore techniques such as sgraffito, mishima, decals, stamps, wax resist, and printing methods.
  • Focus on functional pottery: plates, bowls, cups, etc.
  • Hand-building and/or wheel techniques.
  • Final project will be a dinnerware set and a party.

Hand Formed Clay

  • Learn a variety of hand­ building techniques such as coiling, soft slabs, hard slabs, and molds.
  • Projects based on student interest including functional pottery and sculptures.
  • Option to create a pottery set: bowls, cups, and plates.
  • Options to create a sculptural boat, bird bath, masks, and animals.
  • Glazing and surface design techniques.

Drawing and Painting

  • Learn how to use a variety of drawing and painting media: pencil, colored pencils, watercolor, pen, collage, stencil, acrylic paint.
  • Create a portfolio of artworks based on a theme of personal significance.
  • Gain exposure to art historical references.

Performing Arts Course Offerings

Rock and Roll is Here to Stay

  • Explore the roots of rock and roll through games, movies, and videos with lots of MUSIC!
  • Class games include Blue Blocks, Concentration, British Invasion Bingo, and Fantasy Rock Band.
  • Investigate the history of rock instruments and the recording industry.
  • Dance Party! Learn dances and watch past experts.


  • Students will rehearse and perform a fully staged musical production.
  • Past performances: "School of Rock," "Guys and Dolls," "Addams Family," "13," and "Spelling Bee."
  • Mandatory Saturday Rehearsals: 3/3/2018 from 1:00 - 4:00 PM and 5/19/18 from 1:00 - 5:00 PM.


  • Write songs and possibly record or perform them.
  • Use a journal to collect images, text, collages.
  • Play word games to develop vocabulary. Meter and rhyming skills.
  • Possible activity: create Chatterpix animations/raps.
  • Learn to write melody and harmony.
  • Individual projects.

Spring Play —MA Middle School Drama Festival

  • Production of a play for festival.
  • Mandatory Saturday performance (April 28, 2018).
  • Learn acting and character development.
  • Lighting, sound, and stage management.
  • Mandatory Saturday rehearsal: 4/21/2018 from 1:00 - 4:00 PM.


  • Class will write 4-5 original screenplays.
  • Learn acting and directing for the camera.
  • Editing skills will be developed.
  • Class culminates in a movie-screening night for the community.


  • Performance based on a 5 song set drawn from popular music.
  • Show choir which combines singing, choreography, props, and costumes.
  • Community evening performance.

Improv and One-Act Comedies

  • Building on the improv skills learned in seventh grade, this course will explore the basics of comedy improvisation: team building, trust, speed, status, active listening, and agreement.
  • Students will learn to create solid characters (voice, attitude, object work, and physicality) and develop strong scenes.
  • The class will culminate in a comedy show comprised of improvisation and short scripted works.

All School Arts Calendar

US Theater
US Theater