Skip To Main Content

Header Holder

Header Top

Header Bottom

Horizontal Nav


Course Catalog

NHAMS Essentials

  • Come explore 360° views of our facilities! 

Grade 4 and 5 Essentials Class Catalog

At Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School, we are pleased to offer our students a wide variety of essentials classes. “Essentials” are the classes which meet in areas outside of the student’s homeroom; these include the visual and performing arts, Pages Café, technology, and physical education. Our 4th and 5th grade students get to choose which essentials they would like to join for the year. As we prepare to place students in their Essentials classes for the next school year, we will need you and your child’s input. Please read this catalog with your child and note your child’s interests.

We will do our best to honor your child’s class choices. Please keep in mind there may be scheduling and/or class size conflicts that may reduce some options. We will do our best to ensure that every student has their top choices.

Most of our essentials are OPEN TO ALL students. However, some of our advanced essentials have prerequisites based on the following:

Students will receive a link to choose their courses. If you have further questions or need the course selection link, please contact Principal Jason Foster at

Thank you for being a part of our NHAMS Family!



Jazz is a fun and energetic genre of dance that includes such elements as kicks, leaps, turns, splits, and isolations. Classwork includes stretch and strengthening exercises, floor work, and across the floor progressions in addition to center floor combinations. This class will perform in the spring showcase.


Tap classes develop rhythm, style and sound. Tap exercises focus on building flexibility of the knee and ankles, coordination, and speed of movement. The class emphasis is on developing proper tap technique, producing clear tap sounds, and having fun. This class will perform in the spring showcase.

Hip Hop  (OPEN TO ALL)

Hip Hop is a high-energy class that infuses the latest styles of street dancing, break dancing, popping, and locking. Classes will encourage students to step outside of the box by bringing their own individual style and personality to the movements. This class will include warm-up, across the floor, combinations and history. Students will be grouped upon skill level and perform at the spring showcase.


Introduction to ballet technique with an emphasis on posture, spatial awareness and musicality. Students learn details of basic ballet movements and proper execution of steps, while developing flexibility and basic coordination.  Dancers will couple learning proper terminology and reasoning for ballet exercises and positions with the fun of dancing combinations of steps with music.  There is an emphasis on repetition and reinforcement of exercises, increasing in number. These exercises encourage development/strength in the legs and feet, and the coordination between the movements. This class will perform in the spring showcase.

Dance Ensemble (AUDITION ONLY)

Dance Ensemble will be for students who exhibit immediate talent and drive for dance. This class will put emphasis on technique in addition to performance preparation. These students are encouraged to take at least one other dance class at Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School.


4th Grade Theatre (OPEN TO ALL)

Students will learn and practice various techniques to improve as actors.  Students will also learn about basic theater elements such as lighting, costuming, and make-up.

5th Grade Theatre (OPEN TO ALL)

A project-oriented class where students will memorize and present performance pieces. This may include solo monologues, 2-4 person scenes from short plays, and student-written/directed pieces.

Improvisation for the Theatre (OPEN TO ALL)

Students will learn improvisational theatre games and techniques, which will assist with acting skills. This class will also have the potential for in-school or after-school performances.

5th Grade Nathan Hale Showmakers (AUDITION ONLY)

Students will produce a children’s theatre play, learning all aspects of play production from both an acting and technical perspective. Students will work on 2-3 plays throughout the school year, with the potential to perform for their peers, families, and local venues.  The class will contain 12-15 auditioned actors, and 4-5 students who have a keen interest in working on the technical elements of the show.   

Media Arts/Tech

Media Arts (OPEN TO ALL)

Throughout the year, students will learn multiple applications of Media Arts and technology to include production, computer programing, video editing and game design. They will gain an aptitude for logic, creativity and mathematics. Throughout the year, students will learn the roles, operation and technical aspects of the production setting.  They will use iMovie to create presentations for personal and professional use.  Students will also learn basic operations of the program Garage Band. Finally, all students will work in groups to create a final presentation for the class.

Advanced Media Arts (OPEN TO ALL)

Through the program Scratch, students will expand on the basic foundations of computer programming and animation in designing video games. This includes conceptualizing game storyline and character development, as well as marketing concepts.

Animation & Video Production (OPEN TO ALL)

Students will learn basic concepts of stop motion animation and video production. Students will also spend time in the video production lab learning basic functions of production equipment, including cameras, teleprompters and green screen. Students will become familiar with the animation program TupiTube.

Vocal Music


This large vocal ensemble is for all students who LOVE to sing.  In addition to learning repertoire and performing in a winter and spring concert, students will learn proper vocal technique and music theory basics. 

Band/Instrumental Music

Beginning Band (OPEN TO ALL)

For 4th or 5th grade students who want to learn how to play a band instrument and perform as a group. Instruments include flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone, baritone, percussion, and xylophone. Students meet 30 minutes, once a week, outside their regular classroom for small group lessons. This class may perform in the spring concert.

Advanced Band (Grade 5) (TEACHER APPROVAL)

For 5th grade students that have completed at least one year of band. Students play the same instrument they played in 4th grade unless approved by the teacher. Students meet 30 minutes, once a week, outside their regular classroom for small group lessons. 5th grade band students perform in at least two concerts per year.

5th Grade Select Ensemble (TEACHER APPROVAL)

For 5th grade band students that want to play more challenging and modern music. Stage band students perform in at least two concerts per year.

Guitar Class (OPEN TO ALL)

For any student interested in learning the basics of guitar playing. This involves knowing the parts of the guitar, proper playing technique, and learning chords to play many songs.

World Music Drumming (OPEN TO ALL)

In this class, students use tubano drums (similar to congas) and multicultural percussion to learn rhythm ensembles from many cultures.  This class will perform in the spring concert.

Visual Art

Studio Art (4th Grade and 5th Grade) (OPEN TO ALL)

Studio Art is a general art class, open to all students. Students will use a variety of art media to develop 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional artworks. Student work is regularly displayed in the school and at off-site exhibitions. Studio Art 4th Grade focuses on the concepts of form and movement in art. Studio Art 5th Grade focuses on the concepts of balance and space in art.


This class is for students who have demonstrated interest and skills to explore visual art more seriously, independently and with greater depth. Fifth graders should have taken an art class in Fourth grade. Fourth grade students should also select Studio Art. Students that do not meet these requirements will be considered on an individual basis.

Physical Education (Required–all students are placed)

Students develop the physical skills needed for a variety of games and team-building activities.  They also prepare for (in grade 4) and take (in grade 5) a pacer test, participate in Jump Rope for Heart, and enjoy a field day experience in the spring.

Pages Cafe

Pages Café (OPEN TO ALL)

The Pages Café is an artistic makerspace where children can let their imaginations soar through stories and creative learning centers. Class begins with 20-25 minutes of storytelling based on a book the children select and discuss. The second half of class centers around opportunities to build, paint, sketch, explore board games, care for plants, read, and reflect. Pages Café offers a space for children to grow, to nurture and be nurtured, and to make connections with the community through author reach out and school to school projects. Here students can practice the important 21st century skills of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication, flavored with literacy for all and compassion for others.

    • Teacher Approval – The teacher will determine if this class is appropriate for your child.
    • Audition – These are advanced performance ensembles with a limited class size.Your child will need to audition in order to join these classes. Audition information will be sent home by the teacher. If selected through the audition process, students may be required to participate in some activities outside of the school day or school building. These activities may require parental transportation.
    • Required – Physical Education is required. Every student will automatically be placed in a physical education class.