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President's Day

January 24, 2012

Confession time. President's Day is one of my favorite times of the year. Now that may sound a little odd, but I'm a history lover at heart. Sometimes I think I would love to be a history teacher. In primary classes there's not a lot of focus on history. We're responsible for getting the social studies ball rolling by teaching communities and citizenship, which is fun but doesn't include much facts-based history. So, when the chance to teach some real history happens, I jump at the opportunity! I LOVE to share all sorts of random knowledge with my little kiddos, so President's Day has always been a BIG deal in my classroom.

After reading 'If I Were President' by Catherine Stier, we make these President Portraits. My students draw a portrait of themselves as President and on the back write what they would do if they were President. I attach yarn to these (to look like hanging portraits) and display them in the hallway.



I also include a fun little activity where we learn about the U.S. Secret Service. After reading about the agency, we create ourselves as agents and fill out an 'application' to be an agent. My class always has a blast with this activity, especially the boys!


I also include a lesson about the U.S. Flag and The Pledge of Allegiance. We begin every school day reciting the pledge, but students often don't know why we say the pledge or what the words in the pledge actually mean. To fix this, we research the 'difficult' words in the pledge and do a little activity to replace those words with kid-friendly terms. After all of our hard work, we complete a flag craft which has some math (skip counting) thrown in.

For our upcoming President's Day unit I also created some President's Day Centers.The first is this Presidential Fact and Opinion Center. Students have to read the fact and opinion cards, decide if it is a fact or opinion, place it under the correct heading on the sorting sheet, and finally record their work on a sheet.


The next center is an Odd and Even Sort, which also includes an activity for ordering numbers from least to greatest and greatest to least.

The third center is a Liberty Bell Math Facts Match-Up. The bells have been cut along the crack. One side has an addition or subtraction math fact, and the opposite side has an answer. Students must match the bells and record their work.


I love I Have, Who Has? games, so I created this cute game for my President's Day unit. It includes all of the United States Presidents.

Finally, I always end my President's Day unit with this adorable activity. As a class we brainstorm what we learned about President's Day, Presidents, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and the White House. Each student then receives a tri-fold White House book. They report on what they learned. They put so much effort into their work, and it's easily one of my top activities of the entire school year!


Due to my love of President's Day, I created my President's Day Unit that I have posted on Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher's Notebook. It includes over 174 pages of math, reading, writing, and social studies lessons, activities, and crafts, as well as an 8-page interactive file for both the SMART Board and ActivBoard. I want to give a huge shout-out to Lauren from The First Grade Diaries for making the AWESOME clip art set I used throughout this unit. Thanks again, Lauren!



Here's a look at what is included:
(Unit Overview, Letter to Parents Introducing Unit, Book and Website Suggestions, List of Presidents, Barack Obama Fluency Sheet and Bubble Map, Making Words with 'President' Sheet, Presidents Can, Have, Are Tree Map, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln Fluency Sheets, Bubble and Double Bubble Maps, Venn Diagram Sort, George Washington Cut and Paste, Teddy Roosevelt/Teddy Bear Fluency Sheet, Ways I Am A Leader Bubble Maps and Tree Map)
(Do You Have Presidential 'Cents'? Book, Money Match-Up, White House Virtual Field Trip Idea with White House Tour Badges, White House Photos Writing Activity, The White House Fluency Sheet and Bubble Map, White House Conference Activity, White House Construction Project Activity, White House and USA Math Sheets, and Presidential Puzzler with Basic Math Facts)


(President When Our Parents Were Our Age Graphing Activity, Presidential Fact and Opinion Center, I Have Who Has Presidential Game, If I Were President Craft and Writing Activity, Presidential Timeline Activity)


(Presidential Biography Reports/Class Book, Secret Service Craft and Writing Activity, Counting Money Sheet, What Does The President Do? Emergent Reader, Class Election Ideas, Voter Identification Cards, Class Election Graphs, Class Election Ballots, Spelling Ideas and ABC Order and Spelling Pictures Activities)

(US Flag Fluency Sheet, The Pledge of Allegiance Craft and Activity, Patriotic Song Suggestions, The Statue of Liberty Fluency Sheet and Bubble Map, The Statue of Liberty and The Liberty Bell Bubble Map, Why I Love My Country Writing Sheet, Air Force One Fluency Sheet and Bubble Map, Presidential Pets Activities - Bo Obama Poem, Bubble Map, and Writing Activity, Presidential Pets Graphing Activity, White House Food Chain)
(Liberty Bell Fluency Sheet, Liberty Bell Math Fact Match-Up, Presidential Odd and Even Sort with Least to Greatest and Greatest to Least Center, All Access to Washington, D.C. Book)
(White House/President's Day Book Writing Activity and Dear Mr. President Writing Activity)

Here's a George Washington and Abraham Lincoln freebie for you that includes a fluency and fact sorting sheet!
Click here to get the George Washington and Abraham Lincoln Freebie.
Click here to get the whole packet!



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