1st Semester – World Geography (Model UN)
Students will study a survey of World Geography to better understand the globe. In this, we will discuss each continent, understanding the physical regions and the cultures within them. Throughout the semester, we will discover the many climates, landmarks, languages, government systems, and some of the challenges facing the nations.
The semester culminates in participation in the YMCA Model UN event, organized by the Tennessee YMCA Center for Civic Engagement (CCE). The YMCA CCE is a statewide leadership development program designed to allow students ages 11-19 to experience the processes of government in a hands-on way. At the one-day conference, middle school students learn about the real-world operation of the United Nations. Students form delegations and represent member countries’ interests in the General Assembly by drafting and debating resolutions. These resolutions cover a wide variety of topics of international concern.
Participation in the Model UN event is not required, but all students will be able to work together in class to represent an assigned country and learn how to research, discuss, and develop solutions to real world problems. If you do want your student to participate in the Model UN one-day event, it usually takes place in mid-November in the Memphis area. We prepare resolution and practice UN protocols in class so that all students feel prepared. All TCT teams won awards in my last event!
2nd Semester – American Government (Youth Legislature)
Students will receive a foundational overview of American Government with emphasis on the 3 branches of government. Understanding the legislative process will greatly help them to prepare a proposed bill to present at the YMCA Youth Legislature, an event organized by Tennessee YMCA CCE.
Students will, once again, work together in teams to research and develop a legislative bill that addresses an issue facing the state of Tennessee. This YMCA program teaches civic involvement, understanding of the process of government, writing, research techniques, parliamentary procedure, debating and oral speaking skills. Students present their bill in committee at the YMCA conference with students from other Memphis schools. Participation in the one-day Youth Legislature event is not required. If you do want your student to participate, the event is held in the Memphis area, usually in March or April.
While the Model UN and YL components of this course provide great opportunities in themselves, the other course material is a wonderful foundation for future required high school classes like World Geography and Government/Econ.
Required Materials: There is no required textbook for either semester; all notes will be provided by the tutor in class and will also be available online.
Homework Requirements: Short weekly assignments for review of material covered in class
Grades: 6 – 8
Class Fee: $375
Supply Fee: $25 (additional registration fees for Model UN and YL will be collected separately from parents whose child will participate in the events- usually runs about $25 per student per event).
Tutor: Jamie Reed
In the event that the COVID-19 pandemic affects our ability to meet in person in a classroom, I will make the following adjustments to this class. Tutor and students will meet at the scheduled class time via a video chat service. Assignments can be submitted electronically, and feedback will be provided electronically. Our goal is to meet in person as soon as it is feasible. We may begin classroom meetings at any point during the school year as the COVID-19 situation resolves.