I recently brainstormed for some ideas for classes for our homeschool coop for 2nd-4th graders. Here is the list of ideas I came up with. Maybe some of you can use it for a unit study or class with your own cooperative.
Magic School Bus Science Class - gStudents read the book ahead of time and the class will be science experiments and info digging deeper on the topic presented in the book.
American Girl History Class - Visit the town and time of each of the American girls.
Little House on the Prairie class - We could do a Little House unit based off the Prairie Primer (LHP curriculum) - can include (but would not require) the reading of one of the books. The Praire Primer curriculum outlines lessons to go along with different chapters. I also have compiled some LHP lessons that can be found here. If done in the spring this could be combined with a field trip to one of the little house sites. Two are relatively close (Peppin and Walnut Grove).
Country Class - Spend six weeks in a country studying different aspects of it. Go deep into the culture, history, food, dress, animals, government, customs, geography of the country. Crafts can include, making a flag from the country, a detailed geographical map, and even making a welcome to my country type page of a child that lived in that country and contrasting it to the child themselves.
We did a geography coop where we spent one month in each country and my kids loved it. Here is a summary of some of the things you could cover, could easily add more. Countries of the World Lesson Plan. If you scroll down the page on the left hand side you will see a section that states all the countries we did and some of the lessons we did. If enjoyed it could be easily repeated over and over again with different countries. You could also make it two contrasting countries on the same continent if you wanted less time in each country but I honestly think you could spend 6 sessions in one country.
Illustrated Bible Class - Have kids make their own illustrated bible, or atleast part of it. Take one or two stories each week and the kids draw or paint an illustration of the story and write a short summary of the story. It is compiled together into a book. Teachers could also extend or discuss the bible stories being done as the kids work on their projects. Here is a sample of Rhia's from this year, the class one could be more extensive or keep it simple and try to do more pages.
Make a Book Class - Have the children make a hardcover book they illustrate and write. Do that with a class and let them have an author party. Have them present their books to the group.
Citizenship Class - How to be a good citizen. How to make a difference in your community and state. Roles kids can take including in church, politics and volunteering. The importance of patriotism and respect for those in authority. Hands on volunteer or community service projects included. During an election year you could take a political proccess focus and even volunteer for a campaign. Though parents would need to know that upfront as political parties vary. Next year our governor and senator seats will both be up. Might even be better for Seniors but I really believe it could be offered for both. Of course I campaigned with real little ones!
Minnesota Class - Learn all about Minnesota. There is a curriculum called Minnesotans for Minnesota available at MACHE, maybe someone has it. Entire class could be pulled from that. Easy tie ins for a end of semester field trip or suggestions for families to do on their own. Probably can get a speaker from MNHS as well.
Nature Class - Learn how to create and maintain a nature notebook. Collect leaves, acorns, flowers, etc and use field guides to identify. Kids could collect items outside of class and identify them together in class with field guides. Nature notebooks are treasures to keep through the years and show both an increased appreciation for God's creation and improved art and writing skills. One sketch made each class. In the case of inclement weather items could be brought inside to sketch.
Famous People in History class - each child dresses up and presents about a famous person in history. Could do two or three people per class. Teacher could have one planned in addition to what students did.
Presidents Class - Pick a few of the presidents and dive deeper into their lives in an interactive way.
Famouse Athletes - A way to show students the rewards of athletics and teach the basics of each sport as you learned about each famous athlete.
Whittling - soap or wood
Folk Songs and Folk Dance