Classroom Resources

Monthly Themes

Presidents' Day

Writing Prompt

Persuasion:

Mt. Rushmore is a tribute to four great Presidents—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Ask students: Which four Presidents do you think deserve a monument like Mt. Rushmore? Then have them write a paragraph, persuading President Bush to have it built.

Activities

Grades K–2: Social Studies
Coin Matchup

Have your students match the President to the coin that shows his face.

Grades K–2: Social Studies/Language Arts
Coloring Pages

Have students color a picture of a President and then write a short description of that President.

Grades 1–3: Language Arts
Dear President Bush

Have students write a letter to President Bush.

  • President George W. Bush
  • The White House
  • 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
  • Washington, D.C. 20500
Grades 1–3: Social Studies
The Hunt

Take students on an Abraham Lincoln treasure hunt.

Grades K–3: Social Studies
Build a Log Cabin

Lincoln grew up in extreme poverty and lived in a primitive log cabin. Have students re-create a log cabin.

Grades K–8: Social Studies/Language Arts
The Memory Game

A great way to show students a link to the past is to have them interview an adult—a teacher, a parent, or other relative—and compile a list of the Presidents who served during that adult's lifetime. Students can ask the adult to describe an important memory about each President.

Grades K–8: Social Studies
Through Lincoln's Front Door

Have students take a tour of Abraham Lincoln's home, from the kitchen to Willie and Tad's bedroom.

Grades K–8: Social Studies
George Washington Lived Here

Students can explore all three floors of Washington's beloved home, Mount Vernon, on a tour of the historic Virginia mansion.

  • Mount Vernon
  • http://www.mountvernon.org/virtual/index.cfm/ss/2
Grades 1–2: Social Studies
Find the Matching Pair

One of these Georges is not like the other. See if your students can find the two portraits that match.

Grades 1–4: Social Studies
Who's Who?

Students can try to identify some Presidents by looking at their pictures.

Grades 1–8: Social Studies
Quizzes

Test students' knowledge about Presidents.

  • Presidents' Day Quiz (grades 1–2) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/presidents_1-2_quiz.pdf
  • Presidents' Day Quiz Answer Key (grades 1–2) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/presidents_1-2_quiz_key.pdf
  • Presidents' Day Quiz (grades 3–5) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/presidents_3-5_quiz.pdf
  • Presidents' Day Quiz Answer Key (grades 3–5) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/presidents_3-5_quiz_key.pdf
  • Presidents' Day Quiz (grades 6–8) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/presidents_6-8_quiz.pdf
  • Presidents' Day Quiz Answer Key (grades 6–8) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/presidents_6-8_quiz_key.pdf
Grades 2–5: Social Studies
Presidential Flags

Have each student create a unique flag to honor a favorite President. Students can draw or paste an image of the chosen President in the area where the stars would normally go. Suggest that students add (anywhere on the flag) a number of stars equal to the number of the President (e.g., Washington is one star, Adams is two stars, etc.). Students can then write an important fact about the President on each stripe.

Grades 2–8: Social Studies
Visit the White House

The President's home is, of course, the White House, but how many of your students have actually been inside? Have them take a quick, interactive tour of the White House, narrated by Spotty, President Bush's English Springer Spaniel.

Grades 3–5: Social Studies
Presidential Bill Match

Have your students match the President to the bill that shows his face.

Grades 3–5: Social Studies
You're Elected!

Now what? Have students find out what it's like to be President.

Grades 3–5: Social Studies
White House Pets

What can a President do when his son's goat gets loose in the White House or when his son wants a turkey for a pet? Have students read these stories to find out.

Grades 3–6: Social Studies
Presidential Kids

Have students try to match a quote with a specific Presidential child.

Grades 3–6: Social Studies
Bake a Cake for George

According to a 19th-century newspaper, this cake was one of George Washington's favorites. That makes it a perfect treat for your students to make in honor of his birthday.

Grades 3–8: Social Studies
Word Finds

Have students search for names of Presidents hidden in a puzzle.

  • Presidents (grades 3–5) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/presidents_med_wf.pdf
  • Presidents Answer Key (grades 3–5) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/presidents_med_wf_key.pdf
  • Presidents (grades 6–8) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/presidents_hard_wf.pdf
  • Presidents Answer Key (grades 6–8) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/presidents_hard_wf_key.pdf
Grades 3–8: Social Studies
Lincoln's Time

From Abraham Lincoln's first day in the White House, he faced the irreconcilable conflict between slavery and abolition. Bring students back to this time period to view slaves' living quarters.

Grades 3–8: Social Studies
My, How We've Grown

Have students watch an animated growth chart of the United States, from President Washington's time to 1907.

Grades 3–8: Social Studies
Where in the Country Are the Presidents?

One way we keep the memory of our Presidents alive is by naming places after them. Have students find such places anywhere in their state or country.

Grades 4–6: Social Studies/Mathematics
Presidential Home States

States take great pride in the claim that one of their residents reached the White House, and a candidate's home state plays a big role in calculating his or her chances of winning the Presidency. Do your students know which state can claim the most Presidents over the years? Have them find out with this graphing activity.

Grades 4–8: Social Studies/Language Arts
The Emancipation Proclamation

Have students read the first page of Lincoln's handwritten Emancipation Proclamation, issued January 1, 1863. Lead a general discussion about freedom. Then ask students to list specific freedoms they have in their home, school, and community. Next, brainstorm a list of freedoms denied to slaves. Have students write a short personal response to the proclamation from a slave's point of view.

Grades 4–8: Social Studies/Mathematics
Decisions, Decisions

Pose a question of interest to your students, such as “Should we have a class president?” or “Should we have a school mascot?” Then explain that politicians often take polls to determine public opinion before making key decisions on issues. Take a class poll to determine everyone's position on the selected question. Discuss any surprises that may result from the poll and what would make students change their minds in a follow-up poll.

Grades 4–8: Language Arts/Social Studies
Presidential Mix and Match

Test students' knowledge about Presidential facts.

Grades 5–8: Social Studies/Language Arts
Power to the President

Students will read Sections 1–4 of Article II of the United States Constitution, learn more about powers granted to the President of the United States, and write a “Help Wanted” advertisement for the job.

Grades 5–8: Social Studies
Guess the Meanings

The Presidential seal comprises many symbols. Have students find out what they mean. Students can also create a new Presidential seal.

Grades 5–8: Mathematics/Social Studies
You Do the Math

How much does the President earn an hour? Have students use the information below to figure his hourly rate of pay, before taxes.

  • Approximate yearly income, including expense allowance: $400,000 (in 2003)
  • Average work week: 75 hours
  • Vacation time: 2 weeks
Grades 6–8: Social Studies
Presidential Challenge

How familiar are your students with U.S. Presidents? Have them see how few clues they need to recognize our nation's leaders.

Grades 6–8: Social Studies
Where in the Country Are the Presidents?

We honor our Presidents in many ways, from casting their images on coins to naming places and monuments after them. Challenge students to find the obvious and not so obvious places where Presidents' names and images appear. Ask students to cite their sources.

Grades 6–8: Social Studies
The Speeches of Abraham Lincoln

Have students read some of Lincoln's most famous speeches.

Grades 7–8: Social Studies/Language Arts
Name That President!

Have students test their Presidential recall with an online game of hangman.

  • Hangman
  • http://www.mce.k12tn.net/us_presidents/hangman.htm
Grades 7–8: Social Studies
What Did You Call Me?

Can your students match the Presidents to their nicknames?

Grades 7–8: Social Studies
Toward Democracy

This lesson addresses George Washington's leadership in forging a new government for the United States after the break from England in 1776. The lesson uses Washington's own words to illustrate the events leading to the establishment of our national government, and the crucial roles he played throughout that process.

Grades 7–8: Social Studies
A Presidential Site

Have students design a mock Web page for their favorite President. Features might include sound clips, photographs, current events of the time, family news, and fun facts.


Houghton Mifflin