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6th Grade Electives

Sixth grade students are given the opportunity to enroll in one elective course per semester. Some of our electives are full-year courses and others are semester-long courses. Students who enroll in a full-year elective are committed to that elective for the duration of the year.

Semester Courses

Art I

Students will work on two-dimensional projects using pencil, pastel, charcoal,  and pen and ink. Students will also study color theory and may use some color pencils, pastel and watercolor. (6/7/8)  


Computer Graphics 

It's art on the computer! 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will learn to paint, draw, and create using software that digital artists and professional graphic designers use. Students will use Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to create their own works of art, make art mashups, and edit photographs. Graphic design principles while creating interesting and personalized works of art! This all takes place in our beautiful 9th generation retina I-MAC computer lab and students are given access to the Adobe suite of tools. (6/7/8)



Students will explore clay techniques and art expression through a series of introductory clay hand-building projects.  The class also includes drawing and painting and may delve into other alternative art making techniques and materials. Students may repeat this course and will receive new, advanced projects. (6/7/8)


This hands-on class fosters innovative thinking by allowing students to tinker and to use their creativity to solve problems. Students engage in a variety of activities, sharing various materials, tools, and resources. Students seek solutions to problems that may arise in making their prototypes, collaborate to improve their plans, and work to complete their projects. (6/7/8)

Musical Theater 

The Musical Theater elective is designed for students who enjoy singing, acting, and dancing. Performers will practice audition skills for solo singing and monologues, along with ensemble choreography and choral singing. Class will also include instruction on the History of Musical Theater. (6/7/8)


Students will learn basic principles of woodworking including proper use and care of hand and power tools. Students will also learn shop math, measuring, and reading plans. Students will complete assigned projects designed to introduce various tools and processes. Emphasis is placed on safety, responsibility, and cooperation. (6/7/8)

Video Production I

Welcome to the wonderful world of TV and Film!  Fun and learning combine to help beginning video students explore the changing media scene with an emphasis on hands-on work. Students will learn the “language of TV and film” as well as the basics of photography, videography and editing techniques.  This includes an introduction to the professional editing platform, Adobe Premiere Pro.  Students will also work alone and in groups to learn the fundamentals of storyboarding, script writing, performance, and criticism.  Projects include everything from PSAs and news stories to stop-motion and live action movies. Students will be exposed to the elements of visual storytelling, nonfiction writing, public speaking, news gathering, and the tenants of good journalism. (6/7/8)


Full-Year Courses


Bulldog Band

The OIS Bulldog Band is open to students in Grade 6. This course is best suited for students who have at least one year of musical experience on their instrument and are able to read music. Instruction includes the fundamentals of ensemble playing, i.e., technique and tone quality. Students will perform a wide variety of music at assemblies and school concerts.

Beginning Chorus 

Do you love to sing, making friends and being a part of something special? Come join the Orinda Intermediate Choir. OIS choir is an award winning chorus where students will improve singing in harmony, solo singing and reading music. Choristers will perform a variety of concerts including a Winter Concert, Pop Concert, tours to Elementary Schools, performing at Six Flags and  CMEA choral festivals. The class will sing a variety of styles such as Pop, Broadway, Folk, Spirituals, and Concert Selections No prior experience is necessary for a student to participate in Chorus. 

Spanish 1A

Learn to speak in a new language the very first day of school – emphasis is on speaking and conversation. Students will learn to speak Spanish to friends and family about topics of interest to adolescents such as school, hobbies, food, eating, weather, and more. In addition, students will apply their learning through culturally appropriate art projects, music and games, and they will learn to appreciate their cultural studies through food tasting, videos, and the celebration of certain holidays.  Please note: This is an academically rigorous course that is recommended for 7th graders. 


The String Orchestra is open to violin, viola, cello, and bass students in Grades 6/7/8. This course is best suited for students who have at least one year of study experience and can read music. This performance-oriented ensemble performs a wide variety of music at assemblies, concerts, and community events. (6/7/8)