TeachersFirst's Resources for American Presidents
Whether you are celebrating Presidents Day or learning about the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, this collection of reviewed resources about presidents provides a rich starting point for research, class study, or multimedia projects. If this list is too broad, use the search tool at the left of this page to find resources on a specific president or within a certain grade range. You may also be interested in TeachersFirst's Resources for U.S. Elections or TeachersFirst's Resources for U.S. Presidential Inaugurations.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThough a bit outdated for a current events class, this would be a great lesson in a US government class looking at the Presidency of George H.W. Bush. Save this lesson as a favorite on your desktop to allow for easy retrieval later on - though be sure to look closely at the lesson and make sure that students have learned enough of the contextual information to be able to make sense of the article. For differentiation, peruse the article before-hand, creating a list of words that students may have trouble with or may not be familiar with. Create a follow-along for the article, defining those words selected to help students as they read. This will allow lower achieving readers to be able to process the information more efficiently and with more comprehension.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plan on this site! The site's plan is connected to objectives and standards of learning alignment.
Grades3 to 5
In the ClassroomUse this site as a learning center or station to supplement a classroom unit on the Civil War. Have students look at all the aspects of the site, as some of the visuals are unique and provide something more tangible to bookwork and lectures.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site would be useful in a Art History or US government class studying the impact of the media on politics. Have students explore the site on the interactive whiteboard, allowing them to be hands on with the material - avoid being the Vanna White of the board! As students are navigating the site, focus their attention on how many presidents and political figures are featured - as evidenced on the link entitled "Most Featured Person." This could lead into a great discussion of how exposure can affect politicians, as well as the difference between good and bad press.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have students explore the site with the intentions of creating a summary of the most important events. Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Students can write the book from the perspective of Nixon or Deep throat...a great way to introduce the topic in a non-lecture format.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. There is enough information in "exhibit" details to provide a starting point for students trying to decide what to base a research project on. Recommend the site to students who are having difficulty picking a project subject.
Grades5 to 7
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plan ideas and activities in this site. There are printable treasure maps and new "fort Sumter Art." Refer to this site if ever looking for activity ideas in a Civil War unit.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on the "teachers" portion of this site. This would be a great way to connect current events to those of past elections - a useful resource for a US government class.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to provide background information for a unit on 19th and 20th century American history, to form the basis of a lesson or unit on the American presidency, or as a stand-alone enrichment activity for your history classroom. Lesson plans in printable PDF formats are available for all grade levels
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to search for primary sources during a unit on the Gold Rush that brought so many people to the Alaskan frontier. Primary sources could be used to teach both the content and historical thinking skills in your classroom. Divide students into 5-6 groups, with each group assigned a different primary source to read and evaluate. (Sources should come from various perspectives to make the game more interesting) Have the groups present quick summaries of their source to the class, making sure to mention who the author is and whether or not there could be bias. After all have presented, have each team pick a representative to argue in front of the class as to why their source is the most reliable and valid. After all have made their argument, have the class vote off the least reliable "survivor style" until you are left with just one!
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomSave this site as a favorite on your class wiki or webpage and refer students to it for reference. It's best use would be to help students compile the executive history of a country and search that way, rather than searching for information on a specific ruler. This would be a great starting point for a student studying monarchy in a particular country such as Britain or Saudi Arabia.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the kids portion of this site as a learning center or station during a lesson on the Johnson Presidency. Based on what they've learned in the site, have students resummarize it in a "breaking news presentation,"using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBeyond the obvious application for comparing treatment of news events around the country and the world, this site could also be used for writing, world language practice, a look at editorial choices, or other social studies applications. Include this resource in a media literacy unit on bias or during Newspapers in Education month. With elementary students, share many newspapers on a projector or interactive whiteboard as students identify the various elements of a newspaper article. The Lesson Plan link above contains and excellent poster link for familiarizing students with the elements that comprise the front page of a newspaper. Download it along with the lesson plan. The poster utilizes a sample front page from The Washington Post to illustrate how a front page is formatted. Have students analyze the sample front page by answering the suggested questions. Once students are familiar with the elements of a newspaper, challenge them to create their own class or school newspaper using Zinepal, reviewed here. Click to "Start with a blank e-Book." If articles are too long for some readers, or if you are teaching summarizing skills consider using Skim.it, reviewed here, a Chrome extension that reduces articles into a 100-word summary.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): lincoln (86)
Grades4 to 6
In the ClassroomThis site would be extremely useful during an American History class. Use this site to provide students with knowledge of the too often forgotten members of the White House - our first ladies. Towards the end of the semester, use this site as a spring board for research projects on the first ladies. Students can use this site as a beginning in their quest for information.
Another use would be to show the ever-evolving role of the First Lady. Review with students the information found on one of the initial first ladies - Martha Washington is an interesting one, and have students compare her role with that of a more recent First lady. To compare the two,use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).