Merrill Middle School

Incoming Students’ 18-19 Course Selection Process

Posted 04/10/2018

If you will be attending Merrill next year and have not yet filled out an enrichments/electives choice selection form, please do so as soon as possible. Most student schedules have already been completed so we may not be able to fulfill all of your preferences. We will do our very best to honor your requests.




Families, you may visit the  Enrichments video  and  Electives video. We do offer both music and band classes and apologize that those are not featured in the Electives video.



Publication: Yearbook (semester long)

In this course you will put your best writing, organization, and visual strengths to use as you help build our school’s 17-18 Yearbook.

Prerequisite: writing skills assessment and teacher references


Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! This year-long enrichment prepares students to participate in the annual DPS Shakespeare festival in late April. Quarter 1, we will learn about Shakespeare’s life and history (interspersed with fun theater games). Quarter 2, we get to read a play as a class and understand how to make meaning out of Shakespeare’s brilliant language. Quarter 3, students will divide into their groups to start preparing for the festival by memorizing, getting costumes, staging, and perfecting their scenes. Quarter 4 brings us to the festival in late April, and then more fun theater workshops at the end of the year.


Intro to Woodcarving & Origami

This will be a 100% hands-on class where students will learn how to use woodcarving tools and then design and carry out various woodcarving projects. About halfway through the course, we will switch gears and get into the ancient art form of origami.


TaeKwondo (year-long)

Sure it’s pretty cool to be able to chop a wooden slab into two pieces, but TaeKwondo is so much more than just fist-pounding glee. Indeed, students will hone the skills of Focus and Discipline, which will benefit them in all academic and life pursuits. Along the way of earning the much-revered and greatly feared Black Belt, students will learn some Korean— can you say Kŏk-tchŏng ma-se-yo!–and also receive encouragement in writing essays and participating in community service projects.

Tutoring/Homework Help

This is an opportunity to get strategic support with one or more of your core classes and gives you a quiet, supportive environment to complete your homework.


Lego Robotics “Everything is AWESOME” is the theme song of Lego Robotics. This course will engage students in the introductory methods of robotics and programming while practicing collaboration through interactive, inquiry-based exploration. Students will build and program robots from the Lego Mindstorms NXT platform to complete various tasks and missions, and compete in various competitions.

Broadway, Jr. (semester long in Spring) Ready to sing, act and dance on stage in a musical? Interested in learning about set design, costumes, props and make-up? This is your time to take the stage in a Merrill Broadway, Jr. production! Open to all students at Merrill. Prerequisite: Singing assessment with instructor


One Act Play Production (semester long in Fall)

This is a new Semester I offering by our new drama teacher that will engage you in a comedic play. Yes, we need folks who are comfortable performing on the stage but also people who are interested in lights/sound effects, stagecraft, costumes and make-up.

Prerequisite: try-outs with instructor




The popular course is back!! Students who qualify for the course will be those who have shown supreme responsibility in the past and deserve another opportunity to have fun on the boards.


Mathletics (year-long) Let us put the rumors to rest: Mathletics is not about leaping over hurdles while reciting all prime numbers backwards. Er not usually. Instead it is an opportunity to engage students in problem–solving, which extends and builds upon their present knowledge of mathematics.  Many of the problems can be solved by the creative application of traditional school mathematics topics.   There has been a strong correlation among students who participate in the program and their success on college entrance exams.


MTV This course will engage students in a wide variety of film making techniques, along with being a part of our school News Team. Students are given a choice with their film projects, but are expected to integrate storyboarding, film editing, and camera techniques into each project. Students will have the opportunity to create Public Service Announcements, movie trailers, short videos, music videos, commercials, etc., to improve their knowledge of film production and to create a wide range of experiences.  Students use professional editing equipment and HD cameras to produce their work.  The News Team will rotate throughout the course, and each group will have an opportunity to write scripts, operate the equipment, and be the on-camera talent.  The videos created during the class will then be integrated into each broadcast for the entire school to enjoy.


Spanish Heritage (year-long) Los idiomas que hablamos son una parte clave de nuestra identidad. En este curso concentramos en nuestra identidad como hispanohablantes.  Regístrate para este curso si te gustaría aprender más del español y desarrollar sus habilidades lingüísticas en las áreas de lectura y escritura además de expandir tu vocabulario.  Las personas bilingües quienes pueden hablar, escribir y leer en más que un idioma tienen acceso a más trabajos y ganan más dinero que las personas quienes solo hablan un idioma.  Este curso mejorará tus oportunidades e interacciones ahora y en el futuro. 


This class offers students an opportunity to learn about our world full of animals. During this class students learn the 13 different groups animals belong to.  They will study each group and learn the structure of the animals in the group, the similarities between the animals in that group, the types of animals we find in that group, and the places in the world animals in that group live.  Students will also perform dissections on several animals (including a clam, a crayfish, and a starfish) and use that information to complete their understanding of the various groups of animals.


Space STEM Science

This is a STEM-based class that will allow you to engage in awesome hands-on experiments and test hypotheses. Think rockets and a lot of cool times with Mr. Geimer!!


Poetry Slam

Come discover your voice through poetry.  We will be viewing, reading, writing, and speaking in various modes of poetry from classic poems, to beat poems, to visual poems, to slam poems.  This is an excellent chance to explore and express your thoughts, opinions, and emotions in a creative way.


Fun Fitness

This course is designed to give students the opportunity to learn fitness concepts and conditioning techniques used for obtaining optimal physical fitness. It will rotate between yoga, group games, and some dance moves!! Students will be empowered to make wise choices, meet challenges, and develop positive behaviors in fitness, wellness, and movement activity for a lifetime.

Creative Writing

Get your creativity and pencil flowing with this writing class with Ms. Lemahieu. You’ll be given interesting provactive prompts to get new/different/engaging ideas into our heads and into our paper. Ms. L will help you submit to literary sites and also do an in-house publication at quarter’s end.

The Page Turners: The Ultimate Book Club

Do you love to read? Do you find yourself wanting to discuss what you are reading? If so, book club is perfect for you! Come and explore different types of literature from historical novels to young adult to science fiction to mystery. This is a great opportunity to improve your comprehension and analytical skills and of course have some fun!




TYPE Better and Faster!:

Have you ever wanted to type faster or with more accuracy?  Whether you are just starting out and learning the home keys to increasing speed and words per minute this enrichment is for you!  All skill levels welcome!


Animated Movies Through the Ages:

Animated movies have changed A LOT over the years.  In this enrichment we will explore the changes that have happened from the first drawn animated films to be made until today’s computer age films.  Watch as the technology and story telling evolve and advance.



Come join our Astronomy class as we explore our place in space.  We begin with a whirlwind tour of our local neighborhood and discover the various features of our solar system, from the massive storms and explosions on the sun, to the largest volcano in the solar system, to the covered seas of the moons of Enceladus and Europa.  We will then take a tour of our local galaxies discovering such features as Supernovas, Quazars, and Black Holes.  Come to Astronomy and discover a universe waiting for you!


Current Events:

Using current events, this course focuses on world and local issues that affect students’ everyday lives, such as economics, government and conflict. This course uses newspapers, online media, cartoons, and newscasts to support class discussion. Additionally students participate in group discussions/projects, presentations and work with primary source materials and opinion pieces in order to better understand the world around them.


Student Council (year-long):

This is a year-long commitment to gather student voice and act upon it. Depending upon interest, there may be formal elections for it next year. Expect to get some great leadership experience and leave your mark at Merrill, but also expect to put in some extra hours as it is a role of service and integrity.


Orchestra (year-long):

This year-long enrichment is a new offering. This is open to anyone, regardless of past experience. In this class we will learn violin, viola, cello, and put on at least two concerts during the year. We are hoping to build a program similar to the band, but first we need students to sign up and start learning the instruments!


Disc Golf: It’s a Thing!

Join Mr. Fields in this epic adventure of golfing…with a disc. Disc golf is a flying disc sport in which players throw a disc at a target, and is played using rules similar to golf.


Do you want to learn how to use electronic tools to create just about anything you can imagine?  From simple LED lights and buzzer speakers to amazing multi-functional robots, Arduinos are tiny circuit boards that can be used to build incredible projects.  In this class you will learn how to wire physical hardware together with circuitboards, resistors and other electronic parts. You will learn how to program your device with a powerful and complex coding language to make it come to life.  Once you learn the basics of hardware and software, the sky is the limit with what you can create! BEST FIT FOR FUTURE ENGINEERS!


Arts & Crafts…For ALL

Arts and Crafts is a chance for students to create something new every month. We will be creating iron together sculptures, holiday decorations, t-shirt brands, and more.

Note: a small fee of $10 or less may be necessary to cover the cost of materials—please sign up if interested!


Documentary/Film Enrichment:

Documentaries and film are an important way in our culture to tell stories and inform people on certain topics! Join the documentary/film enrichment to view different genres of films and learn about a variety of new topics from multiple documentaries. We will spend most of our time viewing films/ documentaries and having short discussions about each narrative.


Money Matters:

Learn from real financial analysts to understand how to make and invest $$. This class will have cool real-world projects and opportunities to play the stock market.



This semester class is open to all students, and can be taken any and all semesters. In this class we practice group singing technique and World Music drumming. We perform songs from all types of genres, like classical, hip hop, and modern rock.


Beginning Band

This is a year-long class, in which students learn traditional concert band instruments. Any student may join, no experience necessary! In this class, we perform upwards of 7 concerts every year. Students have the opportunity not only to perform, but to compose their own music, and analyze performance recordings.


6th Grade Drama

Students will learn acting techniques and  develop characters. Students learn the role theatre played in history and focus on American theatre and its influences in popular culture. Students will learn to write their own scripts and work collaboratively with Music students in a voice-over project. They also have the opportunity to participate in DPS’  and Colorado’s Middle School Days of Theatre where they participate in workshops, compete in various acting competitions, if they choose, and watch professional performances.



Spanish I

Do you want to learn how to Speak Spanish in a fun and engaging class? Then join the Spanish immersion experience at Merrill! In Spanish 1, you will  develop skills in speaking, writing, reading and listening of the Spanish language and culture by creating and dramatizing class-made stories, listening to songs, reading novels, participating in Readers Theater and much more


SmartLabs are 21st century technology labs designed for exploring STEM, digital media arts, and many other academic topics.  6th grade students progress through a series of curriculum-guided and self-directed project engagements.  While doing this they learn essential technology skills and systems, including, mechanics and structures, computer graphics, science and data acquisition, publishing and media, robotics and control technology, circuitry, and computer simulation.  They use technology in many different ways as they design projects, test their ideas, and create online ePortfolios to document their learning.  The SmartLab approach to STEM comes from a real-world perspective by putting students in a project-based context.  The students are challenged to use critical-thinking skills, problem solving skills, and collaboration and communication.


It is our diversity that makes us unique.  English Language Development class provides an inclusive, diverse setting where you will be able to perfect your English language skills collaboratively with individuals from many different cultures and parts of the world.  We practice reading, writing, speaking and listening skills by exploring all kinds of engaging topics from music, immigration, labor issues, sports and the list goes on.  Come join us to increase, share and celebrate our unique cultural and linguistic knowledge and abilities.  

PE 6th Grade

The focus for 6th grade will be on cognitive understanding of rules and strategies and how to self-assess and modify their own skills. We will be using the TGFU Model to promote understanding within modified games. Units will be up to six weeks long but will rotate on a weekly or biweekly basis from one game to the next. We will focus on Striking and Fielding, Net/Wall, and individual games.


GT: The first part of the course is all about Debate and Rhetoric over important and timely issues. The second part of the course will be Advanced Reading which is again students reading four different genres of text: Sci-Fi Dystopian, Non-Fiction Narrative, Graphic Novels and Diverse Point of View (Non-white male author with non-white male protagonist) and the class promotes reading with intention as well deep understanding and thinking in a social setting.

Math Fellows:

If you would like daily math support then Math Fellows for you. You will work in a small group with a math instructor who will help you grow your skills.