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.
- 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.