By Lani deGuia, Guest Blogger and Curriki Member
This week, classrooms across the country have the opportunity to pay tribute to contributions and legacies of U.S. Presidents as we prepare to celebrate President’s Day on Feb. 20.
Whether looking back or witnesses today’s presidency firsthand, the role of the head of the United States is one that students need to understand as paramount for guiding the country to progress and prosperity. It’s an opportunity for students to learn about leadership, responsibility and historical change. There are multiple ways you can integrate dialogue on the presidency into your classrooms.
Introducing the Presidency to the Youngest of Students
Learning About U.S. Presidents – Get kids started on researching their favorite U.S. President! Curriki member Lexi Kuch offers a lesson plan on researching and creating a presentation for students in grades 3-5.
On Top of Mt. Rushmore – This curriculum unit from Andrew Doyle guides students in learning about each of the presidents carved onto Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota, and discovering their contributions to American history.
The President’s Roles and Responsibilities: Understanding the President’s Job – This curriculum unit reviews the structure of the U.S. government, discusses the different tasks undertaken by the president, and offers an interactive online activity simulating a typical day on the job for the president.
The President’s Roles and Responsibilities: Communicating with the President – This resource encourages students to consider the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. president and their own roles as citizens of a democracy. They learn about the different means the president uses to communicate with the public and then express their views on a particular issue in a letter to the president.
Civic Discussion for the Middle Years
The Presidency – This free app for iOS devices is designed as an easy reference for elementary and middle school students for facts on all of the U.S. Presidents.
Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents – Here’s an opportunity to read the first sentiments for the nation from George Washington through to Barack Obama.
The President’s Job – Students will review the roles of the presidency by using objects, images, and documents in this section of the online exhibition The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden.
Defining the Presidency – This resource teaches students about the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the election of our first president, George Washington.
Leadership Studies for High School Students
George Washington – Studying the first leader of our nation? This collection on George Washington includes videos, biographical information, historical archives, artifacts, transcripts and lesson plans to support an in-depth analysis of his leadership.
Abraham Lincoln – This collection on Abraham Lincoln helps enhance studies on the Civil War, examining the president who ended slavery and unified the North and the South. The collection includes his famous Gettysburg Address, lesson plans, online games, curriculum units, and documents from Lincoln’s presidential library.
Communicating the Presidency – This resource from the Smithsonian Institute helps students learn how mass media, the entertainment industry and consumer products are all used to conduct a national dialogue between the president and his constituents.
Lani deGuia is a Norfolk, VA-based Educational Consultant with experience writing and developing curriculum and managing school technology. Learn more at Curriki.org.