Seventh and Eighth Electives

art elective

Seventh and eighth graders include electives in their daily study. Each students takes two electives per trimester.

Acting Showcase

In this elective, students work together to create and perform original pieces.


In the first trimester, the art elective begins by focusing on drawing in its many forms: pencil, charcoal, pen and ink, among others. Mid-trimester, students begin working on print-making. In the second trimester, students focus on painting in its many forms: water color, tempra and acrylic painting. And in the third, they use the lost-wax method to make a ring, and they also sculpt with clay.

Art Portfolio

This class is for those serious about their art. Students not only produce more independent work, but they also learn to mat and install their work for a special eighth grade portfolio show.


Students prepare the Crusader Live video broadcast. In addition to anchoring the daily news show, students create feature stories and work to master technology and communication skills.


As an introduction to chemistry, this course shows that chemistry is everywhere. Students perform simple experiments, and each participant produces a lab journal. Laboratory safety and proper lab techniques are reinforced.


This course will introduce students to the fascinating and exotic world of insects.

Environmental Science

This required elective gives students the opportunity to assess an issue and make a difference in their environment. Activities vary from depending on the season. When possible, one day a week is set aside for off-campus work around the White Rock Lake area.


Students cover basic rhythm and lead guitar, exploring fundamental chord progressions, modern rhythm patterns and a few lead riffs – everything needed to start playing their favorite music. They compose and perform their own music. The class is also open to students who have some expertise in guitar.

History: Conflicts in the 20th and 21st Centuries

This course is for the history buff who wants to know more about the major wars and battles of the 20th and 21st centuries. Students complete a research paper on a topic of interest.

Marine Biology

Students study Texas marine life and related ecosystems as they dissect and compare the anatomy of several marine animals. Students also study the effects of pollution on a marine coastline and problem-solve how to save wildlife from oil spills. Proper dissection techniques and lab safety are reinforced.

Musical Theatre

Musical Theatre is a production-based elective in which students rehearse and perform a classic Broadway musical.


All students must take at least one of the following courses in seventh or eighth grade:
  • Introduction of the Old Testament provides a general introduction to the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament). Students learn about the history of God’s relationship with the Israelites from Abraham to the time of Christ. Units include: Navigation and Structure of the Bible; Creation – Tower of Babel; The Patriarchs; Moses, Exodus and the Law; Joshua and Judges; The United Kingdom; The Divided Kingdoms and the Prophets.
  • Introduction to the New Testament provides a general introduction to the New Testament. Students learn about the life of Jesus Christ as they journey through the Gospels. Acts and the Epistles are used to provide an overview of the early Christian church and Paul’s missionary journeys. Units include: Navigation and Structure; Gospels Overview; Christ’s Birth; Baptism – Calling of the Apostles; Early Ministry in Galilee; Teachings; Miracles; Parables; The Passion Week; Acts of the Apostles; Paul and the early Christian Church; The Epistles.
  • Christian Ethics examines the principles of good moral behavior found in both the Old and New Testaments. Students compare and contrast different ethical theories and learn about important Christian philosophers. They engage in lively discussions about current worldviews and ethical issues, while learning to think critically about making difficult moral decisions. Units include: What is Ethics?; The Law; The Sermon on the Mount; Virtues and Character; Ethical Theories; Christian Philosophers; Ethical Dilemmas (Macro Level, Micro Level); Making Good Ethical Decisions.

Robotics and Computer Fun

This course introduces students to a variety of computer technologies.


This course introduces the martial arts with an emphasis on self-defense.

Space Exploration

Students learn to distinguish between fact and fiction in today’s media. They read Space Odyssey 2001, create a model of a space colony and learn how robotics are used in the space program.


This course is required of all eighth grade students and is an introduction to communication. Topics include verbal, vocal and non-verbal messages; interpersonal, group, public and mass communication; extemporaneous speaking and speeches; as well as job and high school interviewing. Students work on a mock high school application.

Theatre Making

This course is a production-based elective in which students learn basic theatre skills by writing and performing their own theatre pieces.

World Drumming Ensemble

Students learn to play drums and percussion instruments as they explore the rhythms and cultures of Africa and Latin America. A classroom set of drums is available for student use.


While creating the annual yearbook, students participate in a variety of artistic and technical activities. Photography, editing, layout and design responsibilities are shared by all members of the yearbook team.