U.S. Presidents

From: $73.00 / month for 8 months

Grades: 5th–7th

Live class: Mon 3:00–4:00 p.m. ET

Course dates: Aug 22–Apr 28

Cost: $499

Instructor: Beverly Graybill

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Course Description

U.S. Presidents Syllabus

This course is a project-based, full-year social studies class for upper elementary or middle school students. Using Professor Wise’s Expedition Guide to the U.S. Presidents, an out-of-print curriculum written by Debra Bell, students become Discovery Corps Scouts. Scouts earn points through completing weekly assignments and projects about the Presidents. Scouts that earn a minimum of 1000 points will receive a certificate of completion, and scouts that go above and beyond will earn a bronze (1100), silver (1275), or gold medal (1450), all based on points earned. This is considered a history course, but through completing various projects, students will use numerous English skills, improving their reading and writing along the way.

Students will:

  • Read short biographies about each President in our text, completing comprehension questions.
  • Learn new vocabulary words, as each passage will include 4-6 vocabulary words.
  • Complete a time-line visual project with basic facts about all 46 U.S. Presidents.
  • Prepare a “Presidents and States” map (showing which states were added during which Presidency). Additional points can be earned for also creating a Presidential Landmark map showing Presidential birthplaces, libraries, or historic sites associated with each President.
  • Read nonfiction books (biographies) or watch documentaries about specific Presidents, completing a book or media report for each. (At least one must be completed for the certificate, but additional reports will earn students even more points.)
  • Write at least one short research paper (2-3 pages, the length depends on the grade of the student) about a topic related to the presidency. Additional papers will earn even more points toward the top rewards.
  • Prepare and present at least one oral presentation about a topic related to the Presidency. (Additional presentations will earn even more points toward the top rewards.)
  • Prepare and share one creative project about a topic related to the Presidency, such as a scrapbook, poster, game, or script for a skit. (Additional presentations will earn even more points toward the top rewards.)
  • Students can also earn points by completing “field work” in which they visit a historical site related to a President and prepare a fieldwork report. This can earn additional rewards, or also substitute for the paper, speech, or project with parental permission.
  • Reviews for vocab and Presidential facts are provided for each section, with an option to take a vocab quiz or Presidents test.

*Note: Students can substitute any project with parental permission for one of equal point value.

Course Structure

A typical lesson consists of reading a passage about a President in the text, answering comprehension questions related to it (either as a worksheet the parent prints or directly on Canvas) and also preparing an entry for that President on the timeline project.  Additional time will be spent on the various projects, but can be done to suit the student’s schedule.  Optional reviews and tests in vocab and social studies are also provided.

Who should apply?

This class is open to all fifth through seventh graders who want to learn American history though the lives of the Presidents.

Technology Requirements:

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Headset and microphone (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
  • Microsoft Word and Power Point is extremely helpful. If using a different word processing program, the document should be saved or exported as a pdf in order to submit it on Canvas.

Evaluation and Feedback

The majority of work in the class is based on effort, as students earn points for completing work rather than percentage grades. Feedback is given on all projects so that students can learn from their mistakes, but usually full credit is earned for projects. Optional tests and quizzes are the only assignments that earn percentage grades. A student that completes “stellar work” in both quality and quantity may earn a “gold star of distinction” in addition to their medal.

Communication

Parents are welcome to contact me with questions before registering at my email, but it is not necessary before enrolling a student. Once I know a student has registered, the family will receive a welcome packet with additional information about the course. I regularly will stay in contact with parents and students through Canvas with updates on how the student is progressing through the modules. Also, I will contact parents if there is a concern that a student is not keeping up with the work.

 

 

Required Texts

Our Country’s Presidents: A Complete Encyclopedia of the U.S. Presidency by Ann Bausman. 2020 Edition. National Geographic. 2021. ISBN 978-1426371998

As students prepare the various projects, they will need additional resources that could come from their local library, as well as some basic office or art supplies.

4 reviews for U.S. Presidents

  1. Parent

    It exceeded our expectations in the excitement our son had towards this class. Mrs. Graybill has always brought a great curriculum with both my kids they have learned so much. It truly takes something special to keep them engaged and eager for her class. All expectations exceeded!

  2. K.S.

    I can’t tell you how much this class has grown Joshua! It has definitely challenged him in so many ways! He has grown not only in knowledge but improved in reading, spelling, learned to do a book report, research paper and power point! You are an awesome teacher and I really appreciate you!

  3. Susan Habacivch

    This is an awesome, fun course for middle schoolers. Both my children took this course and the Fifty States course at a local coop and loved it! They enjoyed learning about the presidents and how the US grew under them as well as the variety of reading and projects available to earn points. They each received a badge at the end and really enjoyed the goal of obtaining it! I highly recommend both the course and the teacher as each of my four children took a course with Mrs Graybill and learned a lot in her classes.

  4. S.S.

    The U. S. Presidents and 50 States course was a great way to get my child interested in learning more about our country. The projects were interesting and provided a number of ways to earn points that made the work a fun challenge. While my daughter took this class at a home school co-op, she used the same material that will be used for this AIM Academy course. My daughter also had Mrs. Graybill for an English class and just loved her. She is an encouraging and thoughtful teacher who inspires the best in her students.

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Instructor Bio

Bev Graybill

Bev has known since she was in elementary school she’d become a teacher, having taught her one-year-younger brother everything she knew! After attending Millersville University and earning a B.S. in Special Education, a M.S. in Elementary Education, and a Reading Certificate, she taught for several years in both public and private schools and then left the world of teaching to start her own family.  From there, she discovered the amazing world of home schooling, teaching all of her four children for at least some of their years of school and teaching for more than 20 years at several different co-ops.  She currently also serves as a home school evaluator in Pennsylvania.  With a goal of visiting all 50 of the states, she and her husband have just a few more to go!   She also looks forward to becoming a grandma some day, but for now, her only “grandchild” is a pet pig!

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Email: bgraybill@aimacademy.online

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