TeachersFirst's Resources for American Presidents

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

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.

 

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Discover the Real George Washington - Mount Vernon Ladies Association

Grades
3 to 12
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Discover the Real George Washington provides an interactive timeline of George Washington's life. The video/animation is clever, informative, and engaging. The timeline includes...more
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Discover the Real George Washington provides an interactive timeline of George Washington's life. The video/animation is clever, informative, and engaging. The timeline includes videos, images, and even battle maps. You can narrow down the timeline events by choosing a category from the drop down menu (e.g. family life, slave owner) or slide the bar to a date on the timeline. Click on images included on the timeline to view a short description of the event. Be sure to check out the list of timeline highlights included on the site's homepage.

tag(s): american revolution (89), presidents (132), slavery (72), washington (36)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) when studying presidents or to include with your President's Day unit. The reading levels, however, will require adult help or more able partners for many elementary students. Have students create magazine covers of George Washington using Magazine Cover Maker, reviewed here, and include information from the timeline. Have students use a mapping tool such as Click2Map, reviewed here, to create a map of events included on the timeline. They can even include display markers featuring text, photos, and videos!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Picturing America - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
5 to 12
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Picturing America brings masterpieces of art into classrooms and libraries. Click to "Enter the Gallery." or choose from many lesson plans from art available on the site. However, the...more
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Picturing America brings masterpieces of art into classrooms and libraries. Click to "Enter the Gallery." or choose from many lesson plans from art available on the site. However, the link is a little hard to find. Look on the bottom left-hand corner of the main site above the yellow bar to see the link to lesson plans and more. View a list of lessons by poster number and name. Enter the image gallery from the home page to view images along with a short description and biography of the artist. Choose View Resources for a list of resources to accompany the image. Move your mouse along the timeline at the bottom of the gallery to find images by date. Note: Posters of artwork were available for free to classrooms and libraries 2008-2010, but are no longer available. You can, however, download the "images for the Classroom" PowerPoint file to be used offline. Find it at the bottom of the Educator Resources page.

tag(s): 1800s (48), 1900s (37), african american (114), american revolution (89), art history (72), artists (76), civil war (145), industrial revolution (25), lincoln (86), native americans (78), north america (19), painting (65), presidents (132), war of 1812 (15), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Share artwork and descriptions on your interactive whiteboard or projector to accompany or introduce Social Studies units on the presidents, American Revolution, the 20th Century, and more. Assign different images to groups of students as a starting point for an artist study or biography of the portrait's subject. Have students create "talking pictures" to illustrate or discuss content of an image using Fotobabble reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Electing the President - How Do You Make Up Your Mind? - History News Network

Grades
5 to 8
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History News Network offers this lesson plan challenging students to analyze election issues, compare and contrast opinions, and think about the process of choosing a president. Download...more
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History News Network offers this lesson plan challenging students to analyze election issues, compare and contrast opinions, and think about the process of choosing a president. Download the lesson in PowerPoint format using the link provided, as well as the accompanying worksheet for student use. The worksheet is in Word format. Modify it as necessary to meet your own needs. If you are unable to download the PowerPoint, find procedures and information for teaching on the lesson's main page. That should provide enough information for planning and presenting the lesson. Common Core standards are included.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (78), electoral college (17), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Select components of the lesson as a supplement to your current election unit. Print the worksheet for students to use to identify topics that are important to them. Use information from this lesson to study and consider the influence of Social Media on elections, Have students use Screenr (reviewed here) to make narrated recordings about the use of social media, political advertisements, or any other election topic after completing the lesson on this site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Civil War Trust - Civil War Trust

Grades
6 to 12
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The Civil War Trust website is a comprehensive collection of all things related to the Civil War. Find battlefields by searching by state, year, or name of the battle. Each ...more
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The Civil War Trust website is a comprehensive collection of all things related to the Civil War. Find battlefields by searching by state, year, or name of the battle. Each battle listed includes a short recap with pertinent information such as dates, union and confederate commander names, number of forces engaged, casualties, and end result. Links to maps and other articles are also included. There are lists of sites offering many lesson plans for elementary through high school level, a glossary of civil war terms, links to primary sources, coloring book and crossword puzzle pages, and overviews of the Civil War. The student section contains links to photos, books for kids, and websites geared towards kids. Be sure to also check out the links to photos, battle apps, news, and more located under the site title at the top of the home page. Another great portion of the site is the gallery of pictures in 3-D. Click the link provided to receive a free pair of 3-D viewing glasses! There is so much more to see on this site. It is a must-see for anyone interested in Civil War resources.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): battles (19), civil war (145), emancipation proclamation (12), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as an excellent resource for Civil War materials. Display different battle information on your interactive whiteboard to discuss as a class. Share this site with students to use as a resource for class projects. Have students use a mapping tool such as Google Earth (reviewed here) to create an audio (and visual) tour of pertinent battle sites. Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeRime reviewed here to create an interactive timeline of important battles. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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The White House Tour - Google Maps

Grades
K to 12
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This White House tour uses Google Maps street view tools to "tour" the inside of America's home. Use the circle tool in the upper left corner to rotate around the ...more
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This White House tour uses Google Maps street view tools to "tour" the inside of America's home. Use the circle tool in the upper left corner to rotate around the room, and click on objects to get a closer view.

tag(s): presidents (132), white house (14)

In the Classroom

Take your students on a virtual field trip! This is a great way for kids to "visit" the White House. Include it during inauguration week or any time you are studying U.S. government. Show the website using a projector, and have students write a tour script or a tale of something that might happen in the White House. Younger students might want to write a story from the President's dog's (or other pet's) point of view! Before using the site, you should familiarize yourself with how to use the Google Maps street view tools to navigate through the house. Better yet, have a student operate the tour on the whiteboard or projector.

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American Scraps - Jon White Studio

Grades
6 to 12
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Today's Document is an excellent daily history site based on an RSS feed from the National Archives. This specific page comes up on Constitution Day. Cartoons illustrate the history...more
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Today's Document is an excellent daily history site based on an RSS feed from the National Archives. This specific page comes up on Constitution Day. Cartoons illustrate the history of the document, and link each drawing to the original, primary source document on National Archives with an invitation to dig deeper. Search the archives for previous entries or scroll back through daily cartoons. Explanations often include links to further historical information or click on included tags for similar resources. This site includes documents for several days each month. The site seems to have stopped in 2010, but you can browse back through many valuable documents and explanations, since the "originals" being discussed are historic, not current.

tag(s): american revolution (89), civil war (145), constitution (87), jefferson (20), lincoln (86), presidents (132), segregation (15), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Today's Document would make a fantastic discussion starter in any classroom. It is an interesting, visual way for students to acquire background knowledge about American history and/or the Constitution and government. You may want to display a document on your interactive whiteboard as a bell-ringer (opener) activity, or as a story starter in English class. Cover up the cartoon explanation, and ask students to discuss events that they think took place. In U.S.history, government, or civics classes, use the site as an example, then challenge students to create their own comics to explain a topic using comic-creation tools from this TeachersFirst collection.

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Fold U.S. Candidate - Adi Marom

Grades
2 to 12
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Fold a US Candidate is a site that has paper foldable puppets of the US candidates for the 2008 election; however, it is still useful as a resource for templates ...more
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Fold a US Candidate is a site that has paper foldable puppets of the US candidates for the 2008 election; however, it is still useful as a resource for templates for President Obama and Mrs. Obama as well as other famous politicians: Biden, Clinton, Palin, McCain, etc.. Choose a person , click on the name, and the template will open in a new window ready to print in PDF format. There are instructions for cutting and folding, or watch a video demonstrating proper cutting and folding.

tag(s): elections (78), politics (99), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Use the foldable puppets when studying presidents or during your election unit. Share with students who are preparing presentations of political figures. You can also use this idea to create current candidate foldables from photos. If your students have simple movie making software such as iMovie, they could even act out campaign speeches, interviews, or debates and record them on video. Art teachers may want to use the templates as a guide for students who may want to try creating their own foldable puppets.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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John F. Kennedy Presidential Library - JFK Library

Grades
7 to 12
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information...more
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information about these newly released records, as well as transcripts of oral history interviews. For example, you can now download previously secret audio recordings that were made during White House meetings, transcripts of oral history interviews with Jacqueline Kennedy, and a rich archive of other materials related to the Kennedy Presidency. This newly released material gives us insight into Kennedy's brief time as President, including his involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis, his attitudes toward the Cold War relationship with the USSR and the build up of US troops in Vietnam. There are teacher resources and lesson plans that make use of the available archival material.

tag(s): history day (24), kennedy (27), presidents (132), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

All of these topics are of interest to students doing research into 20th century US and international history, and might be particularly useful to students working on in depth projects for National History Day. After researching a specific topic, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Running for Office--Cartoons of Clifford K. Berryman - The National Archives

Grades
7 to 12
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Each Presidential election cycle brings with it a new crop of political cartoons and caricatures of politicians. Clifford K. Berryman drew political cartoons at the turn of the 20th...more
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Each Presidential election cycle brings with it a new crop of political cartoons and caricatures of politicians. Clifford K. Berryman drew political cartoons at the turn of the 20th century and US Presidents from Grover Cleveland to Harry Truman. This site profiles both the cartoons themselves, and the issues and personalities behind the cartoons. Visually attractive, the site also permits downloading cartoons so they can be printed and studied.

As an important primary source, political cartoons provide an important insight into the issues and controversies of their time period. More than simply who did what, and what happened where, these drawings show us the emotions and conflict involved in the ugly and messy business of politics.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (69), elections (78), politics (99), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Students can gain insight into the events of the first half of the 20th century as well as draw parallels between the issues of that time and today. How are Presidential campaigns different and how are they similar? Challenge students to create their own political comics using one of TeachersFirst's many comic/cartoon tools reviewed here.

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Biography Read-alouds - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This readaloud collection is part of theHelp I lost my library/media specialist series, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although nothing can replace...more
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This readaloud collection is part of theHelp I lost my library/media specialist series, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection of biographies to read aloud and accompanying activities will teach information literacy skills about what biographies are while exciting students to read some on their own. If your library does not have the books you want from this list, try using the ISBN numbers to borrow them on interlibrary loan from a public library nearby.

tag(s): biographies (90), famous people (21), independent reading (129)

In the Classroom

Mark this readaloud in your Favorites for use when studying famous Americans or as a wonderful lead-in to Martin Luther King Day or Presidents Day.

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Social Studies Foldables - Susie Orr

Grades
4 to 8
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Find downloadable pdfs and templates to support US History social studies curriculum. An extensive list of offerings includes items from maps to events to documents etc. The site also...more
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Find downloadable pdfs and templates to support US History social studies curriculum. An extensive list of offerings includes items from maps to events to documents etc. The site also includes limited suggestions on how to use the offerings. There are also links to other maps at this carefully documented site. Scroll down to see the letter from the person who created the originals, as the "Read Me First" note suggests.

tag(s): abolition (7), american revolution (89), bill of rights (29), black history (61), colonial america (108), declaration of independence (13), history day (24), inventors and inventions (95), louisiana purchase (7), maps (293), native americans (78), politics (99), presidents (132), slavery (72), states (164), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Even if you do not have time to explore all the offerings, check the list of activities often to enrich your background information on U.S. historical events and people and your lessons. Search for templates or maps that are useful to what you are currently studying.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The History of Thanksgiving and its Celebrations - Holidays on the Net

Grades
K to 6
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Welcome to your one stop holiday shop filled with a plethora of Thanksgiving ideas. Information, stories, recipes, blogs, crafts and Ecards fill the site. Fun facts and folklore give...more
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Welcome to your one stop holiday shop filled with a plethora of Thanksgiving ideas. Information, stories, recipes, blogs, crafts and Ecards fill the site. Fun facts and folklore give the extras you might not even know about. Presidential proclamations from the past five presidents give insight into our country historical perspectives and first hand information. Videos of recipes from the appetizers to the desserts help give a detailed explanation to make the perfect dish. An interactive fun game of Turkey Bowl puts you in the Thanksgiving spirit. This is a great site for much needed Thanksgiving information and celebrations.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (90), crafts (43), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Lead your students to this site filled with information. Research can determine the many myths and true information about Thanksgiving. Allow students to plan and make parts of their Thanksgiving feast. Find fun activities, crafts, decorations to make your celebration perfect with your students and families. Add at a center for timely fun information and research time. Link this to your class website or wiki for parent information and extensions at home.

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Aaron's Awesome Adventure - Metmuseum.org

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2 to 7
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This interactive story revolves around a young boy's reactions each time he visits the Metropolitan. Sara Bradshaw, the winner of the Metropolitan Museum of Art story-writing contest...more
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This interactive story revolves around a young boy's reactions each time he visits the Metropolitan. Sara Bradshaw, the winner of the Metropolitan Museum of Art story-writing contest in 2007, is the author. The story focuses on Aaron's fascination with; Ancient Egypt's "Temple of Denbur", the painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware," ancient funerary masks from Peru, and European coats of arms. Additional links provide students more background information and reference materials about the pieces mentioned in the story. You can choose to read the text themselves or have it read to them.

tag(s): egypt (70), pyramids (29), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Project this story onto an interactive whiteboard or projector for shared reading or have students listen to it in small groups at a computer station. Ask students to explore the "About the Art" tab, and research one of the four artworks featured in the story. Afterwards, have them present their findings to the class. Integrate the study of Art with writing lessons by inviting the class to compose an additional chapter and research page to this story. Let students decide what additional awesome adventures Aaron might have with other pieces of art in the Metropolitan. Let students choose artwork found in their database collection. If you are lucky enough to live within field trip distance to the Metropolitan, have students select a work of art while touring the museum. Consider having students post their stories on Thinglink, (reviewed here), or create a comic strip version of their chapter with Comic Creator, (reviewed here). Include a link to this site and the class stories on your class webpage.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Maps of War

Grades
9 to 12
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This site offers a collection of Flash presentations that illustrate geopolitical aspects of war and religion. It's an eclectic mix: one animation traces the spread of world religions...more
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This site offers a collection of Flash presentations that illustrate geopolitical aspects of war and religion. It's an eclectic mix: one animation traces the spread of world religions over time and over a world map. Another looks at the American death tolls associated with each U.S. conflict and associates the President and political party associated with each war. A third examines the various political entities that have held territory in the Middle East. Visually, the animations are fabulous, but in order to be more than good looking, they would need to be paired with significant teacher context-setting, which is not presented on the site. For example, what does it mean that there have been more U.S. casualties in wars under Presidents who were Democrats than in wars under Republican Presidents? That factoid is the subject of one of the animations. The creator of the site does not name him/herself, saying only that the animations are intended to be unbiased and factual.

tag(s): iraq (32), middle east (35), religions (68)

In the Classroom

The animations would be stunning on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and teachers doing a unit on world religions or trying to backfill a history of Iraq would find certain presentations very useful. Be sure to click "View Full Screen" to fill your projector or whiteboard screen. American history teachers could use the animation on U.S. wars and casualties as an overview. The animations can be streamed from the site, or the whole package can be downloaded for use locally. On the whole, however, the site still leaves questions: Why these topics? Despite claims to the contrary, is there a political message here somewhere? Be sure to open this discussion with your students, as well. Since the site has "professional looking" glitz, should we believe it without any knowledge of its creator? If not, how can we check its accuracy?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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African Odyssey - Kennedy Center

Grades
6 to 8
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Appropriate for students High School and above as well as a resource for educators. This site is divided into three sections. The first lists African and African American arts and ...more
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Appropriate for students High School and above as well as a resource for educators. This site is divided into three sections. The first lists African and African American arts and cultural events at the Kennedy Center, in Washington DC and around the world. Another sections contains information and resources for learning and teaching about African arts and culture. The Interactive Opportunities section contains links to online discussions, events and educational projects. A very valuable site to those studying African Art and Culture! This site is maintained by the Kennedy Center and sponsored by American Express.

tag(s): africa (176)

In the Classroom

The K-12 Teacher's Resource has many links to organizations dealing with these topics.

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This Day in History - A&E Television Network

Grades
5 to 12
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This historical site features short videos (1 minute in length) that highlight "This Day in History." Topics include a mix of everything: government, world geography, world history,...more
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This historical site features short videos (1 minute in length) that highlight "This Day in History." Topics include a mix of everything: government, world geography, world history, health history, discoveries, and much more. The video clips highlight several events from each day. They span the past few centuries and include various subjects and topics. Be aware with the videos, if you stay on the site and do not click "pause" or click on another link, you will automatically go to the video for the following day. So if you don't want your students to "peek ahead," be sure to click "pause." There is a short advertisement when you arrive at this site, so you may want to click on the site before you use it with your students and then click "pause" at the start of the video clip.

Although the videos are the highlight of this site, there is much more to explore! On the right side bar you will find text boxes to enter ANY date and choose the category. Some examples of categories include Civil War, Cold War, Presidential, Sports, Old West, World War I and II, Entertainment, and several others. On the left side bar there are even more topics and links to explore. Once you click on the subject area, specific "story topics" are provided under the subject. Both of the features on the right and left side of the site display text information, not video clips. This site does require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): presidents (132)

In the Classroom

You can add this in your RSS reader. Why not use the RSS feature to remind you of the day's events? Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The topics on the left and right side bars make excellent research references.

For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Perfect resource for stimulating interest on a variety of topics. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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TeachersFirst's Presidents' Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Presidents' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. Choices include information about various presidents, the White House, inaugurations,...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Presidents' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. Choices include information about various presidents, the White House, inaugurations, first ladies, elections, and more.

tag(s): holidays (151), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Presidents' Day to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons. This collection would also be useful during a unit on the three branches of government, specifically investigating the Executive branch.

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