All Electives

Creative Writing             0.5 Credit

This course is for students who wish to further develop their creative writing and thinking skills. The distinctive focus of this class is to encourage students to explore the process of writing as a vehicle of personal investigation, reflection, and expression. With beauty all around us, from the labyrinthine streets of Prague to the dramatic bluffs of the nearby Sarka Valley, students will use the sights and sounds around us for inspiration. Students will read translated selections from a variety of Czech literature as well, and use these works as starting points for their own pieces. Students will be given the opportunity to write in a variety of creative genres including: short stories, poems, personal essays, parodies of children’s stories, screenplays, advertisements and other descriptive forms of writing. In their writings, students will model the styles of published writers, and each student will complete a professional writer's portfolio at the end of the semester to creatively exhibit final pieces of writing.

Note: Unless otherwise approved, this course cannot be used to meet the English Department’s 4-year course requirement.

Open to:          Grades 9 – 12


 Journalism            0.5 Credit

This course practices most aspects of writing and video reporting with which the beginning journalist is expected to be familiar:  inverted pyramid style, news writing style and format, construction of leads, and proper use of quotations and attributions.  Students will be asked to create various types of articles, news reports, editorials, personality features, and field reporting.  In addition, students will practice the fine art of interviewing, and will be able to incorporate information gathered into well-written articles and organized video reports.  Students will also review the importance of libel and ethics as it applies to the communications field.  Integrated technology is essential in the production process, and selected written and video products are carefully edited before being posted on ISP’s Edublog for an online and interactive audience.

Note: Unless otherwise approved, this course cannot be used to meet the English Department’s    4-year course requirement.

Open to:          Grades 10 - 12


Film in Literature                         0.5 Credit

Students study narrative forms, genres and techniques, developing their abilities to analyse literature and film. We look at how stories are told differently on the page and on the screen. The course offers a range of short-form literature and film shorts for close study, with a view to exploring these questions: Which aspects of storytelling are universal? Which medium works best to tell a specific story? Note: Unless otherwise approved, this course cannot be used to meet the English Department’s 4-year course requirement.

Open to:          Grades 9 – 12


Speech & Debate                            0.5 Credit

An introductory course that covers a variety of styles of public speaking and formal debate. Students will become familiar with these styles through instruction, research and practice. Each unit will culminate in performance-based assignments that require students to demonstrate their abilities within the classroom setting. Opportunities to apply skills in real-world settings will be made available. Students may also try out for one of the ISP Speech and Debate competitions and/or join our extracurricular Speech and Debate club.

Note: Unless otherwise approved, this course cannot be used to meet the English Department’s 4-year course requirement.

Open to:          Grades 9 – 12


Academic Writing and Speaking            0.5 Credit

Academic Writing and Speaking is designed for students who want to improve their communication skills for various academic purposes. Those skills include: ideas, organization, voice, sentence fluency, word choice and conventions, as well as oral performance skills such as gestures, eye contact, vocal dynamics, and effective creation. This course, offered for one or both semesters, is open to students with any mother tongue, including English. A main objective of the course is to help students with strategies for preparing, producing and polishing texts in academic settings.  Students will examine the process of exploration and generation of ideas, of seeking out appropriate feedback, and of reworking and revising the expression of those ideas.  Students are provided with the opportunity to practice writing a variety of academic assignments and practice speaking and presenting in a variety of situations.  Although the homework load is not generally heavy, assignments will be completed in the course to show understanding of the different skill sets needed for successful communication. Assignments emphasize developing an objective tone, responding to published material, and incorporating the ideas of other students.  Various readings and journal entries are assigned for idea generation and for forming relationships among ideas. Active sharing of student work and participation in class discussions are essential aspects of the course and are also factored into the final grade. In some cases, teachers may recommend—or even require—a student to enroll in Academic Writing, to improve the quality of the student’s communication. Students are welcome to join the class whether they are generally strong, average or limited writers or speakers; teachers strive to meet the needs of students and help them improve at whatever level they begin the course.

Note: This course cannot be used to meet the English Department’s 4-year course requirement, but can be taken more than once for elective graduation credit.

Open to:  Grades 9 – 12, for students with any mother tongue, including native speakers of English.

Introduction to Business & Marketing            (0.5 credit)

This course introduces students to the types of business structures, elements of creating a business plan, and marketing basics. The goal of the course is to have students master basic concepts of business and marketing through project-based learning. For example, students will use a business plan model to propose their own business; they will also put into practice the "4 P's" of marketing in order to understand how marketing can be an important part of their business plan. The course will include a unit on the stock market, during which students will have the opportunity to "invest" in companies of their choice and follow these stocks over the duration of the class.

Open to:       Grades 10 -12



Art 1            (0.5 credit)                                                   

This is an introductory course. The emphasis is on basic drawing skills and techniques, which are taught through still life subjects. Students learn about a variety of media and how to apply them. Students will acquire the basic skills needed to undertake the set projects. Projects emphasize an imaginative and exploratory approach. Investigation and development of ideas are documented in the supporting work using the investigative journal. Art works can be produced in a wide range of media and are based upon a personal response to a theme. Related artists are introduced. Click here to see the Upper School Digital Art Gallery

Open to:          Grades 9 - 12
Meets: Arts Credit 
Requirement


Art 2            (0.5 credit)                                                   

Art II is a continuation of Art 1 but at a more advanced level. This course will concentrate on developing a higher level of drawing and painting skills. It will also develop in more depth a creative and imaginative process and the supporting research. Projects are based on a personal response to a theme. Final art pieces may be representational or descriptive, or they may be more imaginative and interpretative. Investigation and development of ideas are documented in the supporting work using the investigative journal. Also included is knowledge of Art and Design from other cultures or history, which is related in some way to their own studies. Click here to see the Upper School Digital Art Gallery

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of Art I at ISP or at a previous school or permission of the Department.

Open to: Grades 9 - 12
Meets: Arts Credit Requirement


Advanced Studio Art           1.0 Credit

The emphasis in this course is on more advanced project work and further development of skills and techniques. Studio art will introduce the concept of a more highly developed journal. This journal will incorporate, investigation and development of ideas, the study of art history, and formal methods of critical writing. Art students will expand projects through more advanced portfolio development and research. It will also prepare students who wish to pursue IB art. Click here to see the Upper School Digital Art Gallery

Prerequisite:  A full year of Art or by permission of the Department.
Note:  Can be taken more than once for graduation credit.
Open to:          Grades 9 - 12
Meets: Arts Credit Requirement


Introduction to Theatre            (0.5 credit)                                                   

Intro Theater offers both experienced and non-experienced drama students the opportunity to explore and create, as well as develop confidence and communication skills. The course emphasizes supportive ensemble work while developing individual skills in the areas of improvisation, voice, movement, characterization, textual analysis and interpretation. Intro Theater is designed to be flexible by working through different approaches to performance and in a wide variety of theatrical styles. The ongoing use of Drama Process Workbooks containing journals, research, reflections, designs, self/peer assessments will enable students to record their work and progress in class.

Open to: Grades 9 - 12
Meets: Arts Credit Requirement


Theatre Production             (0.5 credit)                                                   

Theater Production introduces a practical approach to the technical and production aspects of a variety of performance styles. Students will be introduced to the major areas of Theater Production and the various roles of a Technical Crew. Units of study will cover basic theory and skills required in the areas of stage and set design, set construction and painting, lighting, sound, special effects, prop making, costumes, and character make-up. In addition to in-class assignments, Theater Production students will be expected to apply their skills in a “real life” situation by assisting with one major ISP production per semester as designers, stage managers, construction, and backstage or technical crew.

PrerequisiteIntro Theatre or by permission of instructor.
Open to:
          Grades 9 - 12
Note: Can be taken more than once for graduation credit.
Meets: Arts Credit Requirement


Guitar            (0.5 credit)                                                   

In this course, students will explore music through one of the most popular instruments in the world: the guitar.  Students will first develop proficiency on the acoustic guitar and then choose to continue on acoustic or change to electric guitar or ukulele.  Right-hand techniques will include strumming, fingerpicking, flat and hybrid picking, and adding percussive hits. Left-hand techniques will include open chords, barre chords, and power chords. Additionally, students will learn to play the major scale and both major and minor pentatonic and learn to read guitar tablature. This class can be taken more than once for those students who wish to continue growing as a guitarist and musician.

Requirements: It is highly recommended that each student have his/her own guitar to practice on at home. The instructor will assist you with the purchase of new, inexpensive and/or used instruments

Open to: Grades 9 - 12
Note: This course may be taken more than once
Meets: Arts Credit Requirement


Creating Music with Technology            (0.5 credit)                                                   

In this course students will create music through their choice of different software such as Garageband, Ableton or Logic Pro.  Students will be able to choose the genre of music for their projects and investigate how fundamental music elements such as rhythm, harmony, and melody operate within their chosen genre of music. Compositional aspects such as song form, motif development, and repetition and variation will be studied throughout the development of the music projects. No previous experience is required, but a love for music, technology and creativity definitely is!  For those students interested in going further into Film Studies, this course would arm you with valuable composing and software skills that could help you in the future.

Open to: Grades 9 - 12
Meets: Arts Credit Requirement


Concert Band            1.0 credit

Concert Band is a performance-based class, intended to help an instrumental musician advance their individual instrument technique, their sense of musicality and their ensemble concepts. In Concert Band, students will further develop their technique and musicality through exercises, warm-ups, and a variety of musical repertoire.  They will also have the opportunity to experience the pleasures and the challenges of making music together with others, forming an effective ensemble.  Emphasis is placed on active participation, both in and out of the classroom.  Out of class and in-class performances are a required part of this course. Enrichment opportunities will be offered through after school activities including Jazz Combo, AMIS International Honor Band and CEESA Festival Band.

Prerequisite: Prior instruction on a band instrument and a short discussion with the band director.
Open to: Grades 9 - 12
Note:  This course may be taken more than once
Meets: Arts Credit Requirement


Vocal Workshop            (0.5 credit)                                                   

This course is for all students who love to sing and who wish to develop their voices and themselves as solo and group artists. Students will learn how to accompany themselves on guitar, piano, or ukulele as well as how to sing in harmony with other singers. Choosing songs and their best keys, developing interesting arrangements, and creating a setlist for an evening of music will also be a focus of study in this class. This is a performance-based course, so students need to be prepared to get out of their comfort zone to perform to a live audience!

Open to: Grades 9 - 12
Note: This course may be taken more than once

Meets: Arts Credit Requirement




Rock Band
            (0.5 credit)                                                   

Rock Band is a semester-long, performance-based course in which students will experience what it is like to be in a real rock band, from song selection and developing lead sheets to rehearsal etiquette and proper equipment use, as well as live performance and stage presence. Students should have some experience in singing or playing their instruments. (Please see Mr. Ethridge if you have questions about your ability level). The Rock Band will perform to the school community during the course of the semester.

Open to: Grades 9 - 12
Note:  This course may be taken more than once
Meets: Arts Credit Requirement




Explore Music            (0.5 credit)                                                   

From Beethoven to the Beatles, music is all around us and helps to shape our human experience. This course is for students who want to extend their knowledge of music and discover how it’s put together, how to create it and develop their playing skills on an instrument.  Through individual and group work, students will explore music through a mixture of listening analysis and music history, while also developing their performance and composing skills on an instrument of their choice.  Students who are thinking about taking IB Music are highly recommended to take this course. Students do not need to be able to play an instrument to take this course, but a desire to learn basic proficiency on an instrument is highly recommended!  


Open to: 
Grades 9 - 12
Meets: Arts Credit Requirement



Film Editing (& Motion Graphics)            (0.5 credit)                                                   

This course is based on nonlinear video editing using Final Cut Pro and on motion graphics using Apple Motion. Students will focus on the power of editing rough footage into tightly woven film products. Students will also focus on motion graphics using Apple Motiona software application used to create and edit motion graphics, titling for video/film production, and 2D and 3D compositing for visual effects. Students enrolled in the course will have the opportunity to complete a certification exam at the end of the course and become Apple Certified Professionals in the industry standard video editing software application Final Cut Pro.

Open to: Grades 9 - 12
Meets: Arts Credit Requirement

NoteThis class is very useful, but not required, for those who want to go into IB Film. It may be repeated only by permission of Instructor


Film Production             (0.5 credit)                                                   

This semester class will offer instruction in the basic filmmaking process, including fundamentals of film history and film analysis. Participants will be given overviews in framing, lighting, and sound while producing 2-4 short films throughout the semester. There will be both in-class group shoots involving teamwork plus off-campus individual shoots. There will also be in-class film screenings, both long and short, to be used for analysis. Students are encouraged to use their own cameras/phones, but there will be some equipment in the film lab available for use.

This class is offered to anyone with an interest in films and filmmaking but is especially geared towards those who are thinking of taking IB Film.

Open to: Grades 9 - 12
Meets: Arts Credit Requirement


Photoshop and Computer Graphic Design             (0.5 credit)                                                   

More and more, our exposure to information and visual media takes place on a computer screen. Likewise, the world of photography has become increasingly digital, and image manipulation is done entirely on personal computers. Photoshop & Computer Graphic Design is an entry-level course in digital design where students learn to communicate in the visual language of our digital lifestyle. The curriculum combines elements of design theory and principles (including proximity, alignment, repetition, and contrast) with the capabilities of Adobe’s Photoshop to establish a firm foundation for designing posters, logos, magazine covers, book layouts, 3D designs, creative artwork, and brand identities.

Open to:          Grades 9 - 12
Meets: Arts Credit Requirement


Note: May be repeated only by permission of Instructor



Robotics (0.5 credit)

Students will develop knowledge and skills in Mechanical Design and Construction as they work in teams to build simple and complex robotic devices. We will explore the usage of robotics in modern business and industry and examine how robotic devices are affecting our lives and shaping our culture.

Robotics can be taken as either a year-long pass/fail elective course or as an extracurricular club. Students will also have the opportunity to compete in several FIRST events, including CEESA FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Global Challenge. There will be one mandatory meeting a week, and it will require students to work at other times according to their availability and the availability of their team members.

Open to:      Grades 9 - 12



Interactive Technology             (0.5 credit)     

Design and creativity meet electronics and programming in the interactive technology elective, where projects sense, move, and respond to the world around us. Students will learn the skills to design, build, and program their inventions, using tools that are used by professional designers every day. The skills learned in this course are easily transferable to many fields: design, engineering, coding, and art. Final project possibilities range from giant kinetic sculptures to tiny environmental sensors, from robotic musical instruments to light-responsive clothing. No previous programming or building experience is required.

Open to:          Grades 9 - 12
Meets: IT Credit Requirement


Wearable Technology             (0.5 credit)                                                   

In this course, practical electronics and programming (Python and Arduino) meet the creative worlds of fashion and design. Wearable Tech will explore the design, programming, and construction of  interactive clothing and accessories. Students will learn real-world engineering and programming skills while prototyping and designing a series of projects that respond with lights and sensors to their wearer’s surroundings. The course will use Circuit Playground Express - a microcontroller which can be either soldered or sewn into a project. Students will have the opportunity to use a variety of fabrication tools and processes, from handwork to 3D-printing and laser cutting.  No previous experience is needed with either sewing or electronics.

Open to:  Grades 9 - 12
Meets: IT Credit Requirement


Web I: Design            (0.5 credit)   

                                            

This course introduces the student to the inner workings of the world wide web. Students will gain the skills to create professional-looking websites using both online tools such as Wix.com and Wordpress.com and also designing websites in code. Students will learn to code in HTML, CSS, and also feel comfortable using design-based editors to design both traditional websites and mobile apps.  We will also explore the social implications of emerging technologies, including globalization, privacy, and copyright law.

Open to: Grades 9 - 12 Meets: IT Credit Requirement


Web II: Development          (0.5 credit)                                                

This course is intended to continue the learning of those students that have taken Web I, or have a background in web science. Students will gain the skills to create and manage professional websites. Topics include Network Administration, using the Linux operating system, PHP and MySQL. We will also explore the implications and ethics of hacking.

Open to: Students who have taken Pro-IT Web I or with Teacher approval Meets: IT Credit Requirement


Introduction to Coding             (0.5 credit)                                                   

This course will introduce students to basic programming concepts, using Python as the language of instruction. Students will learn to write professional programs and develop an understanding of the fundamental concepts of programming, including variables, conditionals, loops, lists, etc. They will also be introduced to the concept of software engineering and development by creating desktop or web applications. Python is a popular, general-purpose, multi-paradigm, open-source, scripting language. It is designed to emphasize code readability – has a clean syntax with high-level data types. It is suited for interactive work and quick prototyping while being powerful enough to write large applications in.

Open to: Grades 9 - 12
Meets: IT Credit Requirement


Art and Code             (0.5 credit)  NOTE: NOT OFFERED IN 2020/21. EXPECTED IN 2021/22 

Students in this course will develop an understanding of computer science principles while exploring coding from an aesthetic perspective. Students who are curious about computing or art and want to explore these subjects in a supportive atmosphere will find this course a good match. Topics of study will include an introduction to programming using the Processing language, with special attention given to creating interactive art, generative art, and exploring topics in interactive installation art/physical computing. (Processing is a variation of Java, originally developed for the use of artists, but now also used by journalists and scientists for data visualization.) The course will follow a workshop format, with a final portfolio of project work to be assessed. The course is entry-level, though students with more programming (or more arts) experience are welcome

Open to: NONE


Yearbook            (0.5 credit)                                                   

Yearbook is an elective class for students interested in the production of the ISP yearbook. In addition to the practical task of publishing a permanent document of the school year, this course also explores many elements of photography, design, graphic manipulation, theme development, and layout. Because this is an independent study course with only a single organized meeting session per week, the construction of the yearbook needs to also take place during free blocks or during a student’s own time. At the present, the plan is to continue the tradition of mandatory Thursday afternoon meetings (15:15 – 16:45) to plan, discuss, and critique the ongoing work. 

Performance in the course will be based on the ability to create punctual and effective pages that reflect the design, copy, and other skills reviewed in class. Engagement and participation (including attendance and punctuality at every meeting) are absolutely imperative for success.

Open to:      Grades 9 - 12

Note: This class needs to be taken twice consecutively, first semester and second, either as a class or an activity. This course is graded pass/fail.


Independent Study (in all subject areas)            (0.5 credit)                                                   

Students may petition to fulfill up to one credit requirement with an independent study course. Interested students should talk to their counselor about the process and receive the form, which requires finding a faculty sponsor and submitting a proposal to the Principal. Proposals must outline a rationale, list the course of study, and state the evaluation process. In order to enroll, Independent Study must be granted at least one week prior to the beginning of the semester.  Independent Studies are graded pass/fail.

Open to:          Grades 9 - 12

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