DebraBell.com

U.S. Presidents and Our Fifty States

From: $72.00 / month for 8 months

Grades: 5th–7th

Live class: Mondays at 2:00 p.m. EST

Course dates: August 27th–May 3rd

Cost: $499 (semester only options for this course are available for $275)

Instructor: Beverly Graybill

Instructor email: Mrs.BevGraybill@gmail.com

Note: This course is a full year option. Students can also register for just U.S. Presidents or Our Fifty States.

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Course Description

This class covers the U.S. Presidents in the Fall and Our Fifty States in the Spring.

U.S. Presidents

United States Presidents is a one-semester (Fall) social studies class for 5th – 7th graders.  A live class will take place on Zoom, and further instruction and assignments will be designated through the Canvas website.  We will use Professor Wise’s Expedition Guide to the U.S. Presidents, a curriculum written by Debra Bell, in this project-based course, as 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 the call of duty will earn additional rewards.  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.

 

Course Goals:

Students will:

 

  • Read short biographies about each President in our text, completing comprehension questions.
  • Learn new vocabulary words as each section will include 4-6 vocabulary words, and students will complete review exercises to practice these words.
  • Complete a time-line visual project with basic facts about all 45 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 (1-2 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.)

Note:  Students can substitute a different project with parental permission, rather than doing a                paper, speech, and creative project during the semester.

  • Students can also earn points by completing “field work” in which they visit a historical site related to a President and prepare a field work report. This can earn additional rewards, or also substitute for the paper, speech, and project with parental permission.
  • During class, we will have discussions and play games to review facts about the Presidents covered each week.
  • Lastly, students will have opportunity to take quizzes in which they must have memorized the order of the Presidents, along with a few basic facts about each. It’s up to the parents to decide if their student will be required to take these quizzes.

Our Fifty States

Our Fifty States is a one-semester (Spring) social studies class for 5th – 7th graders.  A live class will take place on Zoom, and further instruction and assignments will be designated through the Canvas website.  We will use Professor Wise’s Expedition Guide to Our 50 States, a curriculum written by Debra Bell, in this project-based course, as students become Discovery Corps Scouts and learn both the history and geography of the U.S. states.  Scouts earn points through completing weekly assignments and projects about the fifty states.  Scouts that earn a minimum of 1000 points will receive a certificate of completion, and scouts that go above and beyond the call of duty will earn additional rewards.  This is considered a social studies course, but through completing various projects, students will use numerous English skills, improving their reading and writing along the way.

Course Goals:

Students will:

  • Read short passages about each state in our text, completing comprehension questions.
  • Learn new vocabulary words as each section will include 4-6 vocabulary words, and students will complete review exercises to practice these words.
  • Complete a visual project with basic facts about all 50 states, divided into regions.
  • Prepare a “States and Capitals” map. Additional points can be earned for also creating a State Landmark map showing the three largest cities (by population) of each state,  major rivers and bodies of water, major mountain ranges, and top U.S. landmarks, including national parks and historic places of interest.
  • Read nonfiction books or watch documentaries about specific states, 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 (1-2 pages, the length depends on the grade of the student) on a specific state or from the list of general topics. Additional papers will earn even more points toward the top rewards.
  • Prepare and present at least one oral presentation on a specific state or from the list of general topics. (Additional presentations will earn even more points toward the top rewards.)
  • Prepare and share one creative project, such as a scrapbook, poster, game, or script for a skit on a specific state or from the list of general topics. (Additional presentations will earn even more points toward the top rewards.)
  • Optional: prepare a “My State Notebook” or slide presentation (such as Power Point) with information about the state where the student lives; this notebook/slide presentation would be shared in class.

Note:  Students can substitute the state project or a different project with parental permission, rather than doing a paper, speech, and creative project during the semester.

  • Students can also earn points by completing “field work” in which they visit a historical site such as a state museum, state historical site, or state natural resource or geographical site and then write a field work report. This can earn additional rewards, or also substitute for the paper, speech, and project with parental permission.
  • During class, we will have discussions and play games to review facts about the states covered each week.
  • Lastly, students will have opportunity to take quizzes with basic facts about the states by region, including memorizing the capitals for each state. It’s up to the parents to decide if their student will be required to take these quizzes.

Required Texts

Course Materials: 

Our Country’s Presidents by Ann Bausman.  National Geographic. 2017.  ISBN 978-1-4263-2685-1   Be sure to get this edition, as it is republished every four years to include the latest President.

United States Encyclopedia: America’s People, Places, and Events by National Geographic Kids. 2015.  ISBN 978-1-4263-2092-7

(Don’t let the word “encyclopedia” in the title scare anyone off!  This is a full-color, fully illustrated, engaging work written specifically for students.)

Reviews

  1. 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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