U.S. Presidents (Fall Semester)

From: $102.00 / month for 3 months

Grades: 5th–7th

Live class: Mondays at 5:30 p.m. EST

Course dates: August 26th–December 20th

Cost: $275 ($499 for both U.S. Presidents and Our Fifty States)

Instructor: Beverly Graybill

Instructor email: Mrs.BevGraybill@gmail.com

Mrs. Graybill is offering Our Fifty States at the same time during the spring. A discount is given if you register for both classes together.

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Course Description

See Reviews of Instructor Bev Graybill

United States Presidents is a one-semester social studies class for 5th – 7th graders. 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 1050 points will receive a bronze award and 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.

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 completing 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 tests 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 tests.

Course Structure

A typical lesson consists of reading a passage about a President in the text, answering the comprehension questions related to it, and preparing an entry for that President on the Timeline Project. Additional time needs to be devoted to the various projects, but that can be arranged whenever it best suits the student, rather than on a particular day.

All work will be posted on Canvas. A live class takes place each week, but it will be recorded for students that can’t attend at that time.

Who should apply?

The class is open to all 5th through 7th graders that are ready for an online class.

Technology Requirements:

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • headset and microphone (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures

Evaluation and Feedback

This class is very much based on the quantity of work, rather than the quality, as students will earn full credit for completion of the exercises and projects. Students that do especially outstanding work (by quality, not quantity) would earn a “star of distinction” in addition to the bronze, silver, or gold medal. (If a student seems to be not doing his or her best on assignments, I will contact the parent as well as the student.) I do provide feedback about all projects, so that students can learn from their mistakes, but they are not expected to revise or edit any of their work, as they do in my English classes.

Communication

Parents will receive a “welcome” packet from me once they register for the course. I email parents if students seem to be struggling or not staying on top of the work. Parents are welcome to email me at any time.

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.

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.

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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

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Instructor Bio

Bev Graybill

Beverly holds a B.S. in Special Education, a M.S. in Elementary Education, and a Reading Certificate from Millersville University.  She has taught in public/private schools for 6 years, has 10 years of experience teaching middle school English at a weekly homeschool co-op in Pennsylvania, and 20 years of experience home schooling her own four children, three of which have graduated.  Her passion is teaching middle school students that writing, literature, and even grammar can be fun!

Classes:
Middle School Tools: A
Middle School Tools: B
American History Through Literature

Email: Mrs.BevGraybill@gmail.com

All classes taught by Bev Graybill