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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lesson Resources for Presidents' Day

This coming Monday is Presidents' Day in the United States. Here are some Presidents' Day related resources for students in elementary school, middle school, and high school students.

ReadWorks.org has created a collection of eighteen articles and primary source documents about Presidents' Day. The collection is organized according to grade level (K-8) and lexile level. Each article is accompanied by a set of comprehension questions and discussion questions.

The Google Earth Showcase offers a kmz file containing images and links to information about each former President of the United States. You can download the file and launch it in Google Earth or view it here using the Google Earth browser plug-in. The file shows where each president was from, offers an image of each president, provides a link to more information about each president, and shows how many states were in the Union when each president was elected. Google offers the following suggestions for using this file as a part of your Presidents' Day lesson plans.
  • Explore the White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and other historical monuments in 3D and have students explain how architecture is used to honor people, concepts and establishments.
  • View a 3D model of Valley Forge National Park in Google Earth.
  • View a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln and map the areas where slavery ended, as well as the areas that were not initially covered by this executive order.
  • Discuss the famous painting “Washington Crossing the Delaware” by German American artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze and use the ruler tool in Google Earth to measure the width of the Delaware River.

And here's a fun overview of the US Presidents courtesy of the Animaniacs. The video ends with Bill Clinton so have your students try to make up a rhyming addition to the song to include George W. Bush and Barack Obama.