Mill Creek Electives

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Archaeology

Do you ever wonder about times past? Are you curious and creative? In this course, you will study ancient civilizations and the cultural universals that make them unique. Students will work in groups to make artifacts and create a unique culture of their own. Groups will also analyze and attempt to discover and decipher a culture created by previous students.

Band (7th Grade)

It’s time to expand upon the musical skills we learned in 5th and 6th grade band. Students will study and perform a variety of music in 7th grade band. Students will participate in Solo and Ensemble Festival and Band Festival. Festivals provide a great educational opportunity to showcase your individual and group musical talents.

Band (8th Grade)

You will continue to perfect your musical skills, participate in performances and attend festivals. 8th grade band will provide new and exciting challenges.  We will play tougher music, but it becomes easier. The last four weeks of the year, you will be outside learning to march. This will prepare you for band camp and the high school band!

Beyond Books

In this class, you will be encouraged to stretch your mind in new ways as you examine alternatives to the traditional book structure. You will create books that fold, books that have layers and maybe even books you can walk through. You will also write about your creative process and study a few folks who don't believe all books have pages. Creativity, the ability to think abstractly, and a willingness to try new things are required!

Book Club

Are you excited about reading? This class is for you. Book Club is an opportunity to meet with students who share your love for reading. You will read a variety of books in small groups and then share what you’ve read in discussion and through creative projects. Class members will choose many of the books read throughout the quarter. Please note that there will be daily reading and assignments both in and out of class.

Cadet Teaching

Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation required

You will have the opportunity to assist a teacher or staff member at Cornerstone, Bates, Wylie or Mill Creek. The work will vary depending on your placement. You may assist with small groups of students, students whose native language is something other than English, file papers, create bulletin boards or classroom materials, or assist in the library or office. The supervising teacher will try to match an available placement with your request. You must have excellent attendance and citizenship to participate in this class.

Ceramics

Students will explore clay to create functional and non-functional art. Using hand building techniques students will create a variety of objects such as tiles, bowls, mugs, sculpture, and jewelry. Students will be introduced to the potter’s wheel. Glazing and firing will be part of this course. Daily studio clean up is a shared responsibility vital to the function of the studio and safety of all students.  Writing assignments will be included in the course as a way for students to critique  their own work and demonstrate their understanding of the process and ceramic vocabulary.

Civil War

Civil War class will focus on three things: causes of the war, the war itself, and the positive and negative outcomes of the war. Special emphasis will be placed on slavery and what it was like to be a soldier. The way life was for all Americans during the war will also be explored.

Comics

Comics! is a class where we will learn by reading comic books and graphic novels.  Students will learn about elements specific to the comic genre and read comic books of their choice, including fiction and non-fiction based graphic novels.  Students will also create one or more original comics.  Artistic talent might be helpful but is certainly not necessary!

Community Service and Leadership (CSL)

We need you! If you are interested in making a difference and gaining leadership skills, Community Service and Leadership is for you! You will be asked to plan and participate in special activities such as athletic pre-game festivities, spirit week activities, after school dances, staff recognition activities, and school and community service projects. You will be required to perform ten (10) hours of community service outside the regular school day. This class takes the place of a traditional student council program. Students are only allowed to take this class once a year, unless special advisor permission is granted. (May be repeated in 8th grade)  Students wanting to serve as a "Junior Advisor" their 8th grade year must have this class as a 7th grader, along with meeting other summer requirements.

Computer Programming

This course introduces the fundamentals of computer programming and computer science. Part 1 of the course focuses on computational thinking and problem solving skills. In Part 2, students apply what they've learned to program a computer game of their own design. Languages covered in the course include Blockly (a visual programming language that is very accessible to beginners), HTML with cascading style sheets, and JavaScript. Students work in Code.org and Scratch for much of the initial portion of the class. Students who progress very quickly may tackle additional languages such as Ruby and Python. This course is not intended for very experienced programmers.

Creative Writing

If you like to use your imagination, this is the class for you. Creative writing is for the student who enjoys writing original pieces and sharing them with others. You will examine various creative writing selections, learn some techniques of writing, and then write your own poems, stories or plays. You may also have the opportunity to illustrate your work. This is a class for students who like to express themselves!

Design Drafting

In this elective, you will be introduced to the fundamentals of design and design drafting. You will explore the concepts and techniques utilized by design and engineering professionals in the preparation of technical drawings and plans that are used by production and construction workers to build everything from manufactured products to structures. A variety of topics will be covered, including freehand and applied sketching, basic drafting techniques and equipment, architectural drafting, and Computer Aided Design (AutoSketch and Pro/Desktop).

Drawing

Students will have an opportunity to explore their creative side. You will learn basic drawing techniques and how proportion plays a critical role in establishing accurate sizes and angles of the subject matter.  Students will have the freedom to choose a wide range of projects and practice their skills.  The final culminating project for students will be a realistic self-portrait.  Students will be expected to acquire a sketchbook and complete work outside of class and it will account for 15% of the final grade.

Drawing and Painting

Students will explore a variety of drawing and painting techniques as well as materials. Creation of depth, form, and composition will be taught using materials such as pencil, charcoal, pastels, watercolor and acrylics. Students will learn techniques to create the illusion of form on a flat surface.  Finished pieces will be created in a range of materials and subject matter. Weekly sketchbook assignments completed outside of class are required and will account for 15% of the final grade.

Ecological Restoration

What did this area look like before it was settled? How did Native Americans use the land we now call home? Which plants are native to our area? Which plants are exotic? Which are considered invasive? What can we do to control them? How can we help our local watershed and the earth by acting locally? These are the questions the Ecological Restoration course will address in a hands-on, field-based approach. You will learn about the natural consequences of land development while focusing your energy on creating and maintaining small natural areas on school grounds. You will make a difference in your community and teach others about your work. (May be repeated in 8th grade)

Flight

Students will learn about the many aspects of flight.  We will investigate the history of flight and how an aircraft functions.  Students will experiment with flight using paper airplanes, paper helicopters, parachutes, and potentially many more models.  The final flight investigation will be to construct an air pressurized bottle rocket.  It is important for students in this class to be able to work with others as part of a team, accurately record data, and reflect on data obtained to formulate conclusions.

Food

If you want to learn basic cooking skills, you should sign up for this class. You will plan, prepare, and serve various foods. You will learn how to maintain a clean working area. You will also be required to do a home cooking project. Students will be expected to taste all of the foods prepared in class unless they have allergies to particular ingredients.   Meat products may occasionally be used throughout the quarter, modifications for students with special dietary restrictions and specific food allergies will be made.

Forensics (Speech & Acting)

Forensics is a public speaking and interpretative speaking activity in which you will have the opportunity to learn and practice various speech styles.  This elective is open to everyone who enjoys performing for an audience and winning awards. It is also for those of you who are nervous about performing but would like to gain experience and confidence.  You will also have the opportunity to meet with students from middle schools all around the state to present your pieces during a competition. All students are encouraged (but not required) to participate in these fall and spring state forensics tournaments. Students who take this class must enjoy reading and memorizing. (May be repeated in 8th grade)

French One -- Year-long Course

Prerequisite: Must be an eighth grade student.

During this high school-level course, students will explore the French-speaking world. If you have a serious interest in the French culture, people, and learning to speak French on a daily basis, this class is for you. This is a year-long course with the option of entering French 2 in 9th grade upon showing mastery at the end of both semesters. Students successfully completing the course can earn up to one high school credit. Students should expect to dedicate extra time to studying at home and to complete homework on a daily basis.  Due to a large demand for this course, there may be more students who sign up than we have spots for. If this is the case, students will be selected by a random drawing.

Future Entrepreneurs

Students will be introduced to the many aspects of what it takes to become an entrepreneur.   All students will be expected to participate with class sales as well as develop their own business and sell a product of their choosing.  Therefore, students will be required to work before school, at lunch, or after school on multiple occasions.  Class time will be spent learning about types of businesses, developing a business plan, naming a business, running a business, and many other aspects to be successful as an entrepreneur.  Money made by students will go back into the class as well as a portion will be donated to a charity determined by the “best” entrepreneurs.

Hollywood Hype...or History?

Prerequisite: Parental permission to watch teacher-approved PG-rated films.

Do you enjoy movies? Are you intrigued by key moments in world history? In this elective, you can pursue both these interests! After choosing two or three movies based on historical events, you will learn about the reality they portray by formulating questions, conducting research, and presenting your findings in a paper, PowerPoint, or oral presentation. Near the end of the quarter, you will evaluate the accuracy of Hollywood's portrayal of history. Please note that there will be research and writing assignments, which will require focused work both in and out of class.

Holocaust History

This academic elective will give students a basic knowledge of the Holocaust in Europe during World War II. Using the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website as the primary source for information, students will learn about the rise of fascism through Hitler, the power of institutional discrimination and propaganda, the isolation of targeted populations in the ghettos and in concentration camps, and the stories of survivors. The patterns and themes of the Holocaust will be highlighted as students widen their view at the end of the quarter to do research. Research options include studying other genocides through history, recent and long ago, such as in Armenia, Rwanda, Sudan, etc.; international activism focused on human rights;  post-war and current events in Europe. A parent meeting will be offered early in the term. The course includes a field trip to the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills. Students will be required to read outside of class, and writing will be an integral part of the course.

iMovie Magic

You will have the opportunity to work with video media to create presentations. Video related activities will include learning to use video cameras, selecting camera angles, story boarding, conducting on-camera interviews and editing video and audio segments to create a polished presentation. This course requires a high level of student responsibility and self-discipline. Many activities will be performed in small groups. Your group will be expected to exhibit professional ethics, manage resources and meet deadlines. Students will also watch the "making of" portions of films to pick up strategies and tips from the pros.

Individual Learning Hour (ILH)

Prerequisite: Teacher and parent recommendation/approval.

This course is designed to assist you with your studies. It is limited to 10-15 students so that you can receive individual assistance with class work. The class will help you learn to maximize your study time. You will be required to keep an assignment log and to stay in constant contact with your teachers.

Individual and Team Sports

In this elective, you will participate in a variety of activities designed to improve physical skill, strength, and athleticism. Such activities include the team sports of football, tennis, whiffleball, basketball, badminton, volleyball, team handball, lacrosse, ultimate Frisbee, and soccer. Individual sports include track & field, cross-country, table tennis, and tennis. Spring and fall classes will focus on outdoor sport activities while winter classes will be exclusively indoor activities. After school sports activities and Individual and Team Sports should not be scheduled in the same quarter. Individual and Team Sports should be taken only one time per year. (May be repeated in 8th grade)

Introduction to Theater

This class is an acting class. Students will work on different acting techniques through a variety of activities. Students will predominately work in groups and will perform in front of the class and others on a regular basis. Possible topics we may cover include dramatic reading, puppetry, improvisation, monologue, short plays, creative play writing, small-scale production of a play and more. This class is for beginners and seasoned actors alike. A willingness to work with others and perform in front of an audience is a must.

Life in the Middle Ages

This course will give students an introduction to the historical time period known as the Middle Ages. Students will investigate life in a medieval town, castle and manor through web quests and castle building.  Students will experience entertainment, dress and artistry of the times through the use of stories and games and the creation of artifacts, paintings and gargoyles.

Life in the Rain Forest

Life in The Rain Forest is a fun project-based course in which students will learn about the rain forest, why and how it is being destroyed, and what we can do to help save it.  Class time is devoted to project work.

Math Mania

Do you enjoy brainteasers and playing mathematical games, or working on math-related projects? Do you love math? If so, this class is for you! In this class you will experience many math challenges. You will learn math tricks, play a variety of math games, tease your brain with logic and math-related problems, and have the opportunity to use math in some hands-on projects. You will also learn that math can be FUN!

Math Power Hour -- Not a choice elective

Prerequisite: Administration will identify and place students in program.

Math Power Hour (MPH) is designed to increase calculation speed and accuracy, and increase problem solving capability. Topics covered include fractions, integers, rounding, and percents. A significant portion of class time is spent building math fact fluency. Students generally do not work on topics covered in their regular math class, and do not work on assigned math homework in MPH

Mill Creek Singers

Seventh and Eighth graders join together to sing!  In this course you will prepare music for performances for school and parents including the Veterans Day Concert, Madrigal Dinner and the Broadway Review.  Mill Creek Singers also participate in MSVMA Solo and Ensemble Festival and MSVMA Choral Festival. Performances are an exciting and essential part off your class grade.  Your knowledge of music theory, sight-reading and choral singing will improve and prepare you for singing in high school choir.  Students who enroll in Mill Creek Singers take it for the entire year. Students who would like to take the course for a semester only please select S1.  Those who would like to take chorus all year long must select S1 & S2.

Movin' to the Music

This fun and energetic class will give you the opportunity to be creative through a variety of choreographed and student-created music routines. You will learn the Hustle and many other line dances. The class will be tailored to meet the interests of students and may include instruction in the following types of dances: swing, folk, polka and/or dances from Broadway musicals. Activities such as jump rope routines and aerobic dance may also be taught to music. Daily class participation is a must!! (May be repeated in 8th grade)

Orchestra (7th Grade)

Open to all string players with two or more years experience on a string instrument. Also open to any student who wishes to begin a string instrument and is willing to take some private lessons to catch up. This group may participate in the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association’s Solo and Ensemble Festival in January and the District Orchestra Festival in March and possibly the State Orchestra Festival in May. Several concerts will also be performed during the year. First chair players from the 7th grade band may also participate with the string group for special concerts.

Orchestra (8th Grade)

Full participation in M.S.B.O.A. events will continue and a full year of performances and concerts is also included. The music performed here is much more challenging and demanding than in previous years, with an emphasis on skill building, vibrato and music repertoire. This course is designed to prepare you for high school orchestral performances. Band members may continue to participate in this group on a weekly basis.

Personal Fitness

This class does NOT revolve around sports playing. Instead this class is designed to help you become a physically educated person: one who can apply the concepts learned in the class to make wise lifestyle choices while participating in physical activity. You will examine your own lifestyle and learn how exercising and eating right can become and remain important parts of your life. Required weekly assignments will include health-related written work and an active lifestyle log. Each day of the week will be designated for different categories of physical activities. A variety of fitness equipment will be used: therabands, dumbbells, medicine balls, jump ropes, balance boards/discs, swiss balls, aerobic steps, videos. It is lifetime fitness-based for all ability levels. (May be repeated in 8th grade)

Photojournalism

Calling all photographers! You are needed for an extremely important mission. The mission is to document the school year using photography. In this course students will learn the basics of photography with an emphasis on how to tell stories through pictures. Students will also learn how to display their work using different types of programs and media. The final project is to help complete a Mill Creek Memory Book that will be sold to any Mill Creek student who would like to purchase one. *Note: Students will be responsible for a school camera and MUST attend some events after school hours (ie. band concerts, Poetry Slam, or sporting events). Parents are responsible for transportation to and/or from these events in Dexter. (This course is a nine week course)

Power Typing

Does it take forever to type a paper because you have to find the right keys? If so, this class is for you. You will learn to type without looking at the keys, using proper fingering with speed and accuracy. This will dramatically increase your ability to type papers and reports.

Reading Buddies

Learn how to work one on one with elementary students in reading. You will study the development of kindergarten through 2nd grade students while learning some specific reading skills to reinforce what is being taught in the elementary classrooms. You will prepare at least two books to share with young readers and then walk to Cornerstone and/or Bates to read with individual students. You do not have to be an expert reader to take this class. Reluctant readers may discover a new desire to read.

Reading Support -- not a choice elective

Prerequisite: Administration will identify and place students in program.

Reading Support is a class designed to help students whose reading ability is not as high as is expected for their grade level. Class activities will vary depending on the needs of the group, but students can be certain they'll be doing plenty of reading of both fiction and non-fiction as a whole class, in small groups, and individually. There will be an emphasis on building understanding of what is read. Fluent reading, decoding strategies, use of punctuation cues, and how to sustain attention while reading will also be covered.

Reel to Real

Prerequisite: Parental permission to watch teacher approved PG-rated films.

Do you love getting "real" about the latest movie you've seen? REEL-TO-REAL will challenge you to become thoughtful, active viewers, and give you the opportunity to talk and write about films in new and exciting ways. We will examine many aspects of film genres, as well as focus on young adult themes (families, belonging, moral dilemmas, and fulfilling dreams). Small group discussion and written reflections will be required.

Robotics

Have fun building Lego robots.  This course is a hands-on introduction to the field of robotics which brings together computer science and engineering. Students will work in small teams to build robots using Lego robot building kits. They will program them to navigate their environment and complete various tasks. They will build skills which include working in a team, creative problem solving, construction, communication and engineering design. Students will have the opportunity to complete multiple investigations integrating math, science, and technology as it relates to programming robots, using NXT software and hardware.

School Newspaper

After learning about the kinds of writing that go into a newspaper, you will gain practice being a reporter as you brainstorm story ideas, interview students, staff and other community members, and use computers to write, revise and edit stories which are published in the school newspaper, Mill Creek Mariner.  You may also take pictures for  the school paper or illustrate stories.  (May be repeated in 8th grade by students who earned a "C" or better in 7th grade)

Science Olympiad

One of the primary goals of Science Olympiad is to increase your interest in science and provide recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. Throughout this elective course, you will use technology as you develop problem-solving skills to explore science concepts, processes, and applications. A major component of this course is problem-solving activities that encourage learning in the various science disciplines of biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computers and technology. Example activities include bottle rockets, bridge building, egg drop, experimental design, mission possible, mystery architecture and robo-billiards. In addition to this course, an after school club may be offered to provide an opportunity to participate in a regional competition.

Sculpture

Students will focus on three-dimensional forms.  A variety of art materials and some surprising everyday objects will be utilized to create sculptural work.  Molding, carving and fabricating techniques, to name a few will be covered. Creations will be both realistic and abstract in form. As a way to critique personal work, students will be required to do at least one writing assignment describing their process and results.

Sewing

The Sewing class is designed to help sudents express their creativity, develop their math skills and learn to interpret and follow written and verbal directions. Each student will make a nine square pillow and one to two other projects depending on how complex the projects are.  Students may make stuffed animals, shorts, pants, pillows, sports pillows, gym bags, wall art, etc.  Students have the option of purchasing kits for their projects or purchasing supplies from a fabric store.  This class is designed for students of all ability levels.

Spanish One -- Year-long Course

Prerequisite: Must be an eighth grade student with strong homework completion rate and good work ethic

During this high-school level course, you will explore the Spanish-speaking world. If you have a serious interest in Spanish speaking countries, culture, people, and learning to speak Spanish on a daily basis, this class is for you. This is a yearlong course with the option of entering Spanish 2 in 9th grade upon showing mastery at the end of both semesters. Students successfully completing the course can earn up to one high school credit. Students should expect to dedicate extra time to studying at home and to complete homework on a daily basis. Due to a large demand for this course, there may be more students who sign up than we have spots for. If this is the case, students will be selected by a random drawing

Sports Medicine

This course will offer students an introduction to sports medicine related fields and careers. It will also give students a hands-on experience for injury prevention, treatment, and first aid. Many unique and interesting guest speakers will make an appearance throughout the quarter and present their knowledge about their career in relation to Sports Medicine. As a bonus, students will also have an opportunity to learn the lifesaving skills of adult CPR/choking/AED.

TED Talk - Pending Board Approval

The TED Talk course would give students myriad opportunities to quench their curiosity about hundreds of different topics.  Unlike most other elective courses, in which the content is focused on a convergent topic, the TED Talk course would be divergent.  Students would be able to pursue any topic of interest.  Students will script and present their own "TED" talk that connects content standards to meaningful practices of effective storytelling.  Students will use their passions and interests when deciding a topic and how they will present their talk.  Students will spend much time in this elective watching various examples of TED talks and uncovering what exactly these presenters do to ensure an engaging and powerful message is delivered.  Students will be charged with developing a rubric and evaluating the TED Talks of their peers.

Transportation Technology

In this elective, you will explore and learn how various methods of transportation are utilized in the environments of land, water, air and space in order to move or deliver passengers and/or goods from one place to another. Topics explored will include technological resources, transportation processes, propulsion and control systems, industrial applications, and the technological impact of transportation systems. Design and problem-solving projects are a major component of this course. Actual models of a variety of transportation vehicles will be designed, constructed, tested, and assessed in the laboratory. Example projects include CO2 racecars, mousetrap powered vehicles, hot air balloons, magnetic levitation vehicles, boat hull design, and aircraft design.

Twentieth Century Culture and Conquest

This is a survey course of the major events of the 20th century. It is designed to equip you with a more in-depth understanding of events that have affected the United States and the rest of our modern world. At the conclusion of the course, you will be able to successfully link the role of the United States in world affairs and be equipped with a working vocabulary and understanding of these events and the effect they have on your life and the world. You will also be able to understand 20th century events from a non-American perspective.

Web Page Design

Would you like to have your very own web page? Would you like friends and family from all over the world to have access to your web site? If so, this class is for you! In addition to creating a personal web page, you will have the opportunity to work on a variety of other types of web page designs such as a business web page, a web page for a teacher, or a web page highlighting one of the many elective courses offered at Mill Creek.

Write Design: Expression through Language and Art

Students will develop connections with making art and creative writing. Papermaking, bookmaking, writing poetry, haiku, clay tablets and book illustration will be focused in depth. If you're interested in exploring the meaning of the book as an art form, take this class.

Write it Right!

Prerequisite: English Teacher and or parent recommendation required

Is writing a chore for you? Do you dread class assignments that require complete sentences, paragraphs, or longer papers? In this elective, you will receive extra help on these tasks. You will improve your writing skills as you write in response to prompts, review writing conventions (such as grammar and spelling), and edit your previous work. You may also be given time to complete writing-based homework.  ILH and Write It Right cannot be taken at the same time.

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