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A Sample of Past Electives



Do you find yourself singing in the shower? Singing as you walk down the street? Singing while you’re supposed to be doing your homework? Well, if you join the PLS Chorus, then singing is your homework! How great is that??!! Madrigals, show tunes, Olde English catches, rounds, folk songs, funny songs, popular songs...we’ll sing them all – in harmony! Do NOT join this elective because your best friend is joining. Join this elective because you LOVE to sing...because you MUST sing!  


It's About Time

Is such a topic really worth our TIME? We think so. Time affects our lives in many ways and yet it is rare that we ever take a step back and think about the role it plays in our lives and humanity at large. 


From the mundane What time is it?

to the metaphysical What is time? Where does it come from? What is its importance?

From the mechanical How do timekeeping devices like clocks work? How do we build different time keeping devices?

To the fantastical What if we could time-travel? What if time stopped?

From the historical Have people always kept time? What do old photos tell us about time?

To the cultural How does a society's relationship with time affect how people live their lives?


From the way we talk about time to the way time dictates how we talk and think, together we will explore this multi-faceted idea. Will you join us on this journey of all time?



Parlez-vous français? (Do you speak French?) You’ll be well on your way to being a Francophile if you join this elective! We’ll start at the beginning: What does the French language sound like? (It flows!) Are there any French words that we already know and use? (Mais oui!! Absolutely! What about encore, premiere, journey, dormitory, pastries, hotel, collage, routine, table, éclair, delicious, Grand Prix and chic – to name just a few). We’ll learn lots of nouns and adjectives and how to conjugate verbs. We’ll play games and read stories and, most importantly, EAT! Our culminating activity in January will be un déjeuner français très grand et délicieux (one fabulous lunch).



Adventure through the highlands of Cliveden, the low-lands of Mallery and the far away places of the Wissahickon as you join your classmates in epic adventures of might and prowess! In our LARPing elective (Live Action Role Playing) students work with each other to complete quests and problem solve together. Students will be creating foam armor and swords as part of the roleplay experience. Two Junior High students, Ian and Dylan, will be designing the quest and leading the charge!



In this elective we explore two common printmaking techniques; relief printing, which uses a raised ink surface and stencil printing which uses open areas that ink can pass through. Common relief techniques include rubber stamps, potato prints and linoleum blocks while the most common stencil technique is silkscreen. Common to all print techniques is the creation of multiple versions of the same design. Multiples can mean a collection of notecards, a repeating pattern on a piece of fabric, or a set of posters for a school play. We will try it all. Be ready for a wide range of possibilities.



Looking for inner peace or maybe just a chance to begin a yoga practice? I am just about finished with my 200 hour yoga teacher training and would love to share a weekly practice of yoga and an introduction to meditation with those who are curious and open! Consider this a down to earth beginners yoga series, welcome to anyone who has never taken yoga before in their life or someone who has tried some classes and wants to know more. 



Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Join this elective and learn what it takes to be a part of a working newspaper staff—from developing ideas for articles to writing and publishing the PL Paper, read by the PLS community and beyond! If you ever wanted to interview, write, rewrite, and write some more – join us! For the first class you are to bring in an article from the Inquirer, Daily News, NY Times and/or Internet. This is your first homework assignment. Come prepared!


Crafts Corner

If you are looking to fine tune or begin learning some sewing skills, this is the elective for you. Possible activities may include sewing, needlepoint, cross stitch, patchwork, quilting. In general, if it has to do with a needle, we may try it!! You will get supplies to keep and use during this elective. Bring your ideas and nimble fingers and let’s sew up a storm!


Quick and Delicious Cooking

Do you like to cook? Would you like to increase the number of quick recipes that you can cook on your own? Do you dream of making a meal for your family or friends? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, this might be the elective for you! We’ll spend our Fridays finding recipes and planning our menu, and Tuesdays will be our cooking days. Please come to this elective ready to learn about new ingredients and types of food. We’ll have lots of fun and full bellies.


Ultimate Frisbee

Tired of sitting inside? Feeling ready to exercise your body as well as your brain? Come join our frisbee elective! We'll head over to Cliveden every chance we get. Whether you are an old pro or a first-timer, you're welcome to be a part of the PLS frisbee crowd. 


Still Life

“With an apple I will astonish Paris,” said Paul Cezanne.

Throughout this elective, we will explore what makes the genre of STILL LIFE so interesting to so many artists, young and old. Through our paintings and sculptures, we will explore what makes this style of art so intriguing to so many. 


Comedy Sketch Writing

Do you like Monty Python, Saturday Night Live, the Muppet Show, or just any bits of short, outrageous comedy? Do you love to write funny stories, ideas for crazy inventions, or commercials for fake products? In this elective, you will get the chance to perform sketches by Monty Python's Flying Circus, Saturday Night Live, and various other comedy troupes, as well as write and perform in your own sketches  (a sketch is a short play under 10 minutes long). We will be talking about what makes a sketch funny, how audience expectations can work to make jokes funnier, and how imitating forms that the audience is used to (like commercials) can be used for maximum comic effect. We will also be doing some improv (where you make up a scene on the fly, from audience suggestions), for those of the more daring sort in our group. Our final project will be to have a comedy night at the school, and we will be practicing some of our sketches at PL School Spotlights, then revising them after getting audience feedback, just like a real comedy troupe. Come prepared to laugh, act crazy, think fast, and write!



Are you eager to get out of the building for 45 minutes two times each week? Then join us as we explore our PLS neighborhood and the trails of the Wissahickon through running. We will work on form and build our stamina each week. Running sneakers, a water bottle, and weather appropriate clothing are required. On the days that weather makes it impossible for us to venture outside, we’ll work indoors on strength training. 



In chess one cannot control everything. Sometimes a game takes an unexpected turn, in which beauty begins to emerge.

Both players are always instrumental in this. -Vladimir Kramnik

Learn and play the age old game of Chess! Students will have the option of playing games against each other or practicing chess strategy online and in small groups. This is a great opportunity to learn a universal game played around the world.


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