Middle School Electives

Paramount to the Middle School experience is the opportunity for students to explore their interests and find new passions through the elective system and after-school club choices. Students select two electives per quarter from a wide variety of choices. Most courses are quarter classes; however, band and orchestra require a full-year commitment, and art and choir require a full semester.


Featured Electives

Country Day’s elective program encourages students to explore subjects not generally found in the core curriculum. Among the wide-variety of electives we offer, here are a few your student will love!


What do automatically-opening doors, supermarket self-checkout machines, thermostats, and NASA’s Mars Rover all have in common? They’re all types of robots! Students in the robotics elective course will have the opportunity to design, build, and program a robot of their own in order to overcome a variety of challenges. Students will learn the fundamentals of engineering and prototyping, as well as learning to program using the Lego Mindstorms software package. Don’t be fooled by the colorful block exterior — Lego robots are the real deal, and the Mindstorms kits have powered everything from US Defense Department research to MIT’s autonomous Solar Racers.

Book Club

Book Club is a place where students get to follow their own reading interests, share good reads recommended by peers, or indulge in a favorite author. So, fire up your Kindle and/or explore the stacks in Matthews Library! Reading is the single most important thing students can do to enrich vocabulary and language development (as well as raise verbal test scores)—so why not do something that is so good for the brain and fun. The formula for this class is simple: read and share books. Today’s readers are tomorrow’s leaders!


This class will be a space to learn and play the game of chess. Topics will include learning about the playing process, thinking strategically, the history of the game of chess, and famous chess champions and matches. Open to beginners who know nothing about chess as well as experienced players.

Farm to Fork

Learn the basics of organic farming by sowing seeds, transplanting seedlings, and using sustainable harvesting techniques.  We will make simple and healthy snacks from the vegetables and fruits of your labor.  We will also care for flowers to promote pollinators and help create more habitats for Monarch Butterflies by planting milkweed.  We also value our connection to the community, so we will grow food to donate to the local River City Food Bank.

Loom Weaving

Loom weaving is a relaxing activity that encourages creative thinking and problem solving, develops a sense of esthetic, and strengthens fine motor skills. Weaving together as a group is a lovely social activity that strengthens bonds between the students and creates a sense of community.

In this introductory class, we will be working with small individual wooden looms. We will create tapestries, bracelets, bandanas, scarfs, coasters, and collectively work on blankets to donate. We will start with yarn and explore the usage of other materials, such as paper and upcycling fabrics (such as old clothes) into usable thread. Some individual purchases may be necessary.

Maker Lab

Do you like to build? Come unleash your engineering and creative talents in the Maker Lab! In our elective, we’ll learn the principles of good design while completing challenges like building toothpick towers, aluminum foil cargo boats, and balloon-powered race cars! Quarter highlights include taking over the classroom with a 10-foot-tall free-standing dome and an egg drop from the top of the lower school. Space is always given for students to pursue independent projects also — if you want to spend a few weeks tinkering with an Arduino or Rasberry Pi, this is the elective for you. Come explore!

Strength Training 101

This elective will teach the fundamentals of weight lifting and agility training to help students grow as athletes. Strength training includes utilizing your own body weight or equipment, such as resistance bands or dumbbells, to develop muscle strength, speed, and resilience. We will learn how to squat, deadlift, and bench press properly so we know how to avoid injuries and maximize our time. Classes will take place in the weight room or out on the fields, depending on the day’s activity.

Creative Writing

Explore and develop different types of creative writing. From word choice and character development to fiction and storyboarding, this is the class to set your imagination and stories free. Each class will include fun and collaborative writing activities, but individual writing projects will be based on student’s own interests and ideas.

Video Making

Write, film, and edit short videos. In this elective, we will work in rotating groups and aim to complete several short videos over the quarter. The goal will be to expose different styles of videos, but each group will choose the style for each project. We’ll create short videos, including short documentaries, throughout the class. Occasional viewing parties will allow us to celebrate each other’s work.


List of Electives

Electives are subject to change depending on teacher availability and student interest. Other electives we offer on a rotating basis include:

Advanced Programming

Art Studio


Board Games and Strategy

Book Club


Chess Choir Creative Writing
Drama Drawing Dungeons and Dragons
Ethics Farm to Fork Fashion Styling
Introduction to Computers and Software Introduction to Digital Photography Introduction to Web Design
Knitting Loom Weaving Maker Lab
Newspaper Orchestra Podcasting
Robotics Strength Training 101 Study Hall
Video Making