These sample class listings are designed to introduce new teachers to the four most common Outschool class formats: semester, flexible schedule, one-time, and short-term. For more information about our class listing requirements, please consult our standards for class listings

Semester Class
Outschool defines any class that is 8 weeks or longer as a semester class. Parents invest a larger amount of time and money into these classes, so it is important to clearly show how the class will be taught and what will happen each week.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (ages 14-18)
When students study literature, they not only learn about the story and characters but also gain an understanding for the times the book was written about.  As students read about Lennie and George, will not only learn about the characters, plot, and themes of the book, but also gain an understanding of the struggles that people endured through the Great Depression.  In this class, we will be reading the book Of Mice and Men to gain a better understanding of the Great Depression and the classic book by John Steinbeck

To better understand the book and period, we will be melding a traditional literature class with the historical context behind the book so students gain a well-rounded understanding and deeper appreciation for the literature.   Students will do most of the reading outside of class time and we will spend our time together discussing the book, applying the historical background and doing activities.

Below is a rough breakdown of what we will cover over the course of the class:

Week 1: Background information on Steinbeck and themes of the book

--activity that will help kids understand complex themes of the book

Week 2: In-depth look at the Great Depression and what it was like for people who lived it, including photo analysis of WPA photos from the time period.

--Read chapter 1 for next week.  

Week 3: Discuss the background of Lenny and George; students will create a profile of the two characters for their lives before the Depression.

--Read chapter 2 for next week

Week 4: Activity about Migrant workers from the 1930s and comparisons to those in the book

--Read chapter 3

Week 5: Students will learn about and make a found poem from ch 3.  Share and discuss their poems and the reason they chose the words “found.”  We will share and discuss these poems and how they represent this chapter.

--Read chapter 4

Week 6: Discuss some New Deal programs and how they may have helped individuals in the book.  There will also be analysis of the symbolism of the various characters and even animals from the book.

--Read chapter 5

Week 7: Discuss foreshadowing that led to the events of Chapter.  Students will predict the conclusion of the book.

--Read chapter 6

Week 8: Discuss the end of the book. Go back to the activity from week 1 and discuss it in relation to the book.   

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Flexible Schedule Class
Flex classes are asynchronous classes that use postings in the Outschool classroom that include pre-recorded lessons, announcements, assignments, and other resources. Classes should have assignments posted at various points and deadlines for the students to follow.  Outside platforms can still be used to enhance learnings but all major communication as listed above will be on the Outschool classroom effective January 1, 2020. Because the absence of a live meeting can make flexible schedule classes less clear-cut than live classes, it is important to be explicit about how the students will interact with the material and with you during class. For more information on what we look for from these listings, please consult our guide to flexible schedule classes.

Constructing a government (ages 15-17)

In this flex schedule class, students will learn about forming a new government much as Founding Fathers did during the Constitutional Convention. Students interact through the Outschool classroom to construct a new government.  They will be guided through the process by the introduction of scenarios at the beginning of each week by the teacher.  As the students discuss, debate and form the new government, the teacher will add to the conversation by helping the students look at the issues from different angles, point out potential problems, and moderate the conversation helping students come to a consensus.  

Since this is a flex class, students can participate during the days and times that work for them, but will still be required to be an active participant in the process.  This class will work best only when students are active participants in the process.  The student will need to check in and participate at least a couple of times a week.  

At the conclusion of the class, there will be a brief presentation on how the Constitutional Convention was similar and different to this activity.  

The themes that will be introduced each week will be posted every Sunday.  Students are expected to participate in the discussion at least 2 times throughout each week and come to a consensus with the guidance of the teacher.  The themes introduced each week will be:

Week 1: What type of government? 

Week 2: Philosophies to guide the structure and form of government

Week 3:  Choosing a leader

Week 4: How laws are made

Week 5: How do we enforce laws?

Week 6: Protecting rights

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One-Time Class
One-time classes are a great way for new teachers to get started on Outschool. Because these classes only meet once, the description can be much sparser than that of a longer class, but you'll still want to make clear what students will learn, how they will learn it, and if they must bring any materials to class. 

Let’s Bake Cookies (ages 11-14)
During this class, students will learn how to make chocolate chip cookies.  We will discuss the ingredients, how to measure them properly if they are dry or liquid, why the order of ingredients matter in recipes, what role different ingredients play and finally, how to safely use the oven to bake the cookies.  So, this class will not just be about learning how to bake, but students will also learn math and science concepts as they do so!  As the teacher, I will guide the students through the process of preparing the dough and baking the cookies through modeling and describing what I am doing.  
In the materials section below, you can find everything that you will need for this class. The students will be baking as I teach the class, so parental supervision is a must.  

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Short Term Class (3 weeks)
Think of short term classes as a happy medium between one-time classes and semester classes. These class listings should clearly describe what will occur in class and should include a breakdown of each class meeting, similar to semester listings.

Just Breathe! (ages 6-10)

Have you ever wondered what happens to all that air you breathe in when you take a big breath or why we even need to breathe in the first place?  Together, we will take a look at the respiratory system and learn about the body parts that make it up, what they do and why it’s important.  

During the first meeting, we will go over the body parts that make up the respiratory system and play a game to demonstrate how air gets into the the respiratory system and the path that it takes.  The students will also label a diagram as we learn about the parts.  The next meeting we will discuss the mechanics of breathing.  How does our body know when to breath without us telling it to or while we are sleeping?  We will take a look at how the body knows when to inhale and exhale and what happens to the oxygen in our body.  We will use diagrams, videos and an experiment to understand how this works.  Finally, in the last meeting, we will look at ways to keep our respiratory system healthy including exercising and what things to avoid to protect the system.  The meeting will conclude with a review of the respiratory system and all the fun things we have learned about!

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Ongoing Class

These classes meet on regular basis with a repeating weekly schedule. Parents can enroll and withdraw their kids at any point, and are charged weekly like a subscription. The content of these classes should be accessible to new learners who join in any given meeting, so each meeting must stand on its own and information must not build upon information from previous weeks.  

Music Appreciation (ages 12-16) 

Each week in this ongoing class, we will listen to, discuss and analyze a different form of music and at least one new composer.  We will study the composers past, style of music and contributions to their art form.  We will also consider why that style of music was popular at the time and how it influenced future composers or genres of music.  

You are welcome to join any week that interests you or stay with us for several weeks to gain a broader understanding of music appreciation.  Below is a list of composers that we will study for several weeks.  That list will consinuously be updated so you know what we will be studying and choose classes that most interest you.

March 1: Ludwig von Beethoven and Classical Music

March 8: Aretha Franklin and Soul

March 15: Bob Dylan and Folk Music

March 22: Martin Luther and Choral Hymns

March 29: Barry White and R&B

April 5: Louis Armstrong and Jazz

April 12: Reba Mentire and Country 

Pokemon Club (Ages 5-8) 

Do you love Pokemon?  Do you annoy your parents by constantly bombarding them with your extensive knowledge and love of different Pokemon characters?  Give mom and dad (neighbors, friends, or even pets) a break and share you love of Pokemon with a group of like minded friends.

In this ongoing class, we will choose a new Pokemon character to delve into each week!  We will discuss things like their personalities, attacks, defenses, how to best use them in the game, roles in various cartoons and movies and simply share our enthusiasm and knowledge with others who feel the same way.  Sharing with new friends who have similar interests can be an exciting and invigorating experience and push us to learn more about what we love.  Come join us and geek out on Pokemon!

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