Exploratory Wheel Staff

Exploratory Wheel

During the exploratory wheel period, 6th grade students cycle through a variety of subjects from the Applied Academics and Visual and Performing Arts to enhancing personal growth or skills for adolescence.  Typical exploratory wheel subjects include Art, Computers, Drama, Family and Consumer Science, World Language, Industrial Technology, and Wellness & Guidance.  These courses provide students with a five‑week sampling of courses, which they may choose as electives in seventh and eighth grade.  The following is a listing of each wheel course and its content.  (Listing and content may be subject to change.)

Wellness & Guidance Wheel

The 5-week Wellness and Guidance Wheel emphasizes growth in emotional intelligence and the deepening of intrapersonal and interpersonal knowledge and skills. Self-discovery topics include growth and fixed mindsets, multiple intelligences, personality types and career exploration. Social and emotional areas of study and personal application include emotions and regulation, stress management and mindfulness practices, relationship building, self-advocacy through communication and conflict resolution, and bullying prevention and cyber safety. Prosocial skills like kindness, gratitude and empathy, gaining confidence as a public speaker, and increasing fluency and self-awareness through journal writing are explored and practiced.

Art Wheel

The wheel course is five-week introduction to art at Greene. Students complete five short projects, the most popular assignment being a ceramic utilitarian container. Other projects include drawing assignments such as Picasso style faces, fantasy Chagall like figures in action, computer art, and Impressionistic pastel drawings in the style of Paul Cezanne. Students learn how to appreciate and evaluate art by learning techniques of analysis and aesthetic perception.

Language Wheel

The Language Wheel is all about exposure to various world languages.  Students will have the opportunity to learn some basic phrases, basic numbers and colors in the four languages offered at Greene Middle School: Spanish, French, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.  High School graduation requirements include 2 years of a world language.  This early exposure will help students decide if they would like to begin formal studies in a world language during middle school.

Computer Wheel

This abbreviated five-week course gives students a chance to experience a variety of computer programs and create projects so that they can better choose their electives for 7th and 8th grade. Students will learn basic computing skills ranging from keyboarding, working with various applications to basic programming. Projects include graphics, animation, video, coding and web page design. A consistent favorite is a short animated "movie" with original art. The cycle includes activities where students can build on skills and use the computer in new ways to enhance their overall learning.  

Drama Wheel

A brief introduction to the fun and challenges of drama, including some pantomime, improvisation, short skits, group and solo projects, oral interpretation and lots of theatre games which promote teamwork and fun! Goals are to give opportunities for creative self-expression and enhance abilities to speak/present before a group while exposing the student to basic elements of drama.


There are year THREE chances for students to participate in after-school productions: the fall musical, a winter play, and the Drama Club produces a student-directed feature. Auditions for the fall & winter plays are open to all Greene students. Students must be active members in the Drama Club in order to participate in the Drama Club play. We have traditionally toured this show to a local senior home. Such productions require the help of many volunteer parents— e-mail Lee Ann Gray (lgray@pausd.org) if you are able to help!!       


Drama Club, run by students, meets in the Drama room (B-3) every Wednesday at lunch-- all welcome!  It’s a great way for students to enjoy theatre activities even if their time is limited, plus they can become members of the International Thespian Society and have chances to participate in statewide theatre and leadership activities. Thank you for supporting Theatre Arts at Greene! – Lee Ann Gray

Explorations in Technology

Level One- The Wheel

Course Description: As part of their program of courses, sixth grade students will be assigned a 30-day section in the Industrial Technology Lab. Their experience will focus on beginning Engineering Concepts. This project-based program includes Research, Development, Testing, and Design.

Unit 1 Introduction

Course Description, class rules and expectations, general safety during school, in the work space, and at home. Team and partner assignments.

Unit 2 Measurement

Quick review of customary measurement using inches and feet. Learning to read and understand the engineer scale and the mechanical size rule. Sample line lengths and measurements will be practiced. Example drawings and plans will be studied.

Unit 3 Bridge Design and Construction

Students design and build a scale model paper bridge. Bridge is tested using both static and dynamic loads.

Unit 4 Tool Box

Students apply the knowledge garnered in measurement unit and lay out a pattern for the tall side of toolbox. Then, after a proper safety review, hand and power tools are used to build their boxes.

Unit 5 Drafting Tools

Students will have the opportunity to explore applications of basic drafting techniques. Lettering, numbers and Gothic print will be shown and practiced. Exposure to use of triangles, T-square, and drafting board will be part of this unit.

Unit 6 Extra and Supplemental

Some time will be used for program opportunities offered next year as well as misc. assignments that might not be offered to all wheel classes due to time constraints such as minimum days, field trips, assemblies, etc.

Family & Consumer Science Wheel

The Family & Consumer Science Wheel is a fast-paced hands-on lab class where students learn about the USDA’s My Plate Nutrition program, prepare simple breakfast foods and delicious snacks, become comfortable safely using kitchen equipment and utensils and mastering their hand dishwashing skills. Students will select fabric to sew either a drawstring bag or custom pillowcase and design, create, and sew several small craft projects. Basic life skills such as sewing on a button, hand hemming, safely using an iron, and simple machine sewing are taught. Student teams will also compete in an online comparison shopping contest. This popular introductory class will stimulate an interest in cooking, fiber arts, personal finance, and leave students wanting more!