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. The information included here would be included in the “class experience” section of the listing. For more information about our class listing requirements, please consult our standards for class listings.
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.
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.
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 breathe 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!
These classes meet on a 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. You must list a minimum of four weeks of content in order to be approved unless your class is learner-directed or dictated weekly based on current events/happenings.
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 continuously be updated so you know what we will be studying and choose classes that most interest you.
Week of March 1: Ludwig von Beethoven and Classical Music
Week of March 8: Aretha Franklin and Soul
Week of March 15: Bob Dylan and Folk Music
Week of March 22: Louis Armstrong and Jazz
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 your 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! Students will choose the character at the start of each session. No additional materials or supplies are necessary to join this class! 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!
In a flex class format, teachers conduct the class by posting in the Outschool classroom and creating ways for learners to interact with each other and with the teacher asynchronously, such as through pre-recorded lessons, announcements, assignments, and other learning resources. Outside platforms can still be used to enhance learning but all major communication as listed above will be in 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.
Introduction to French (ages 8-12)
There are NO live meetings for this class. The material will be posted weekly and you can view it during the week at your convenience. Each week for 8 weeks students will be guided through a variety of vocabulary with videos that I have been pre-recorded, along with games, flashcards, songs, and much more. Students will also receive access to the PowerPoint presentations used in class.
Students will learn basic vocabulary including numbers, colors, greetings, etc. Together we will travel to Quebec and France and use our new vocabulary with locals (through the magic of the internet, no airfare required).
Homework will be a combination of written and video assignments. I will always reply by video to your submissions, with feedback on pronunciation and progress. Students will also practice their vocabulary skills with each other in the Outschool classroom by posting introductions (in French), playing bingo together, playing broken telephone, pet show and tell, etc.
Week 1 Introduction - Exploring French
Week 2 Greetings, simple sentences
Week 3 Numbers, Days of the Week, Months of the Year
Week 4 Weather, Colors, Shapes
Week 5 All About Animals
Week 6 At the Grocery Store
Week 7 At School
Week 8 Around the House
Writing a Book Report (ages 7-12)
This is a flexible schedule version of the live class. Students will create a unique book report by breaking down the writing into small, easily worked on "bites." This sandwich shaped book report contains seven different writing elements. When completed, students have covered traditional book report topics: Plot, Character, Setting, Rising Action, Conflict, Falling Action, Solution, Personal Summary/Review.
Our Outschool classroom is used during this flex class. Classroom assignments (postings) will be made by 8 am (EST) each Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday during our flexible schedule class. Thursdays and Fridays will serve as classroom discussion, review, class activity, and writing day for your Sandwich Book Writing.
‣ Introduction of our Sandwich book report project
‣ Classroom introduction and class discussion of Book Choices
‣ Video instruction with moderated Outschool class discussion on these story elements: Genre, Fiction-vs-Nonfiction, Parts of a Story, and Setting
‣ Introduction to our Plot Diagram and interactive web activity
‣ Outschool Classroom Brainstorming and pre-writing session (Instructor supported via our classroom page)
‣ We will write the: Bread - Title and Name and Tomato - Setting
‣ Video instruction and class discussion on these story elements: Character traits, Problem and Rising Action.
‣ Complete an interactive web activity on the four main types of characters. Students will post their character types in our Outschool Classroom.
‣ Outschool Classroom Brainstorming and pre-writing session (Instructor Supported via our Outschool Classroom page)
‣ We will write the: Onion - Characters and Lettuce - Problem
‣ Video instruction and class discussion on these story elements: Story Climax, Falling Action and Resolution.
‣ Interactive web activity on story climax -vs- problem. Students will post results on our Outschool Classroom page.
‣ Outschool Classroom Brainstorming and pre-writing session (Instructor Supported via our Outschool Classroom page)
‣ We will write the: Cheese - Story Climax/Conflict and Meat - Solution and Conclusion
‣ We will write the: Bread - My Favorite Part
‣ Outschool Classroom discussion on "Why it was your favorite part."
‣ It's here! Final Video Report presentation of Sandwich Book Reports.*
* Students will use our classroom "Record Video" feature, or upload to Youtube (link pasted in our classroom page) or submit a photo montage of their final Sandwich Book Report. Students are required to submit their video presentations in one of these or other approved formats.
Students are guided individually on how to improve on their work and are encouraged to submit their revised writing for review. Students are highly encouraged to submit their final book reports for review. This allows for one-on-one instructor feedback to the student. Prior knowledge of book report writing is helpful, but not necessary, as these are skills we will be working on within our sessions.