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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Election Comic Strip - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 10
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This site features interactive word puzzles about elections, a wordlist of about ten words (perfect for teaching some new vocabulary words), an alphalary of even more Election vocabulary...more
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This site features interactive word puzzles about elections, a wordlist of about ten words (perfect for teaching some new vocabulary words), an alphalary of even more Election vocabulary words, a link to a comic strip activity, and more. The comic strip activity is found in the general "puzzles" section. Most of the puzzles are printable. This site does include some small advertisements.

tag(s): presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share the meaning of a few of their words, by narrating a political picture using ThingLink, reviewed here. Have the groups share the pictures/stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to also check out the interactive word puzzles! They are of varying difficulty levels.

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Presidents in Waiting - National Portrait Gallery

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6 to 12
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Fourteen US Vice-Presidents have gone on to become US Presidents. This site examines the lives of these fourteen men. Navigate the site by using the interactive timeline, and then focus...more
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Fourteen US Vice-Presidents have gone on to become US Presidents. This site examines the lives of these fourteen men. Navigate the site by using the interactive timeline, and then focus in on images of each of these men, along with brief biographies. There is a pull down bar that allows you to specify which president to learn about. In addition, there are video interviews with four of the five living Vice-Presidents: Dick Cheney, George H.W. Bush, Dan Quayle, and Walter Mondale.

tag(s): presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Students might consider how the role of the Vice-President has changed over the course of US history. While the duties of the Vice-President are actually fairly limited, several of these Vice-Presidents became Presidents as a consequence of the death or assassination of the President. Students doing research on any of these fourteen former Presidents might find the information about their Vice-Presidencies useful. The images from this site would also be helpful projected on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations to share with the class. Use a site such as ThingLink, reviewed here. 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 Compfight, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Diffen - Diffen

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2 to 12
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Do you sometimes just want to compare two things and not need a lengthy explanation of either? Diffen offers the simple goal of entering two terms and instantly receiving the ...more
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Do you sometimes just want to compare two things and not need a lengthy explanation of either? Diffen offers the simple goal of entering two terms and instantly receiving the similarities and differences in a table format. View simple definitions under the information table. Need more information? Wikipedia style entries of information area also available on the page. There is a Top 5 list. At the time of this review, the Top 5 included "Gross vs. Net," "Affected vs. Effected," "Meiosis vs. Mitosis," "DNA vs. RNA," and "Fruit vs. Vegetable. While not ALL topics are included, the variety is impressive. You can add your own comparison of terms to the list. You may want to discuss with your class the fact that the information here is only as reliable as the people who submitted it, and ask them whether they agree with the comparisons you find here. NOTE: If you explore some of the ready-mades or requested topics, there are some topics "compared" that are not school oriented, such as comparisons of popular television characters. Preview before turning students loose or simply direct them to a specific "diffen."

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

The options are endless. Search the differences between two types of soils, mitosis and meiosis, presidents or those running for office, of geometric figures, artists or musicians, places to visit. As a way to build higher order thinking skills, this site is ideal, since comparison of attributes requires analysis.

Try creating some lists of your own as a class after using the ready-made ones here. This activity would be easy to do on an interactive whiteboard, with students hand writing the characteristics and dragging them into Similarities and Differences columns before entering them into Diffen. This site could be used in nearly every subject area. Share this site on your class blog or website, for students to access both in and out of the classroom. This is definitely one to save in your favorites.

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American President - Miller Center of Public Affairs

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6 to 12
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A great, concise, focused site on the American Presidents. Click on any President (including Barack Obama), and you get a thumbnail sketch of that President, as well as a more ...more
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A great, concise, focused site on the American Presidents. Click on any President (including Barack Obama), and you get a thumbnail sketch of that President, as well as a more in depth resource list of primary documents and essays. There is also a multimedia gallery related to each President. You can access audio recordings of either the President himself, or of others reading his words, and there is a link to oral histories related to the presidents. There are narratives about each first lady and timelines that detail significant events in each administration. The "Ask a Question" feature allows visitors to submit a question to the site's editors and researchers.This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): presidents (130)

In the Classroom

If your students do Presidential biographies, this is a perfect site to save in your favorites for their use in preparing these. In addition, the multimedia gallery could be helpful in providing images to accompany lesson plans or other classroom presentations.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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President Lincoln's White House on Emancipation Day Visit - The White House Historical Association

Grades
3 to 8
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Take your students on this colorful journey to the White House in 1863, the day that Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Tad Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's son, is your guide....more
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Take your students on this colorful journey to the White House in 1863, the day that Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Tad Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's son, is your guide. Learn about the roles of congressmen, messengers, widows, diplomats, and society women/spies. Choose the proper attire from the 1860s. Learn more about famous Americans: Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, Tad Lincoln, William Seward, Noah Brooks, Elizabeth Keckley, and several others. Use your arrow keys to explore the grounds and rooms of the White House. Authentic representations of sounds you may have heard in 1863 are sprinkled throughout the pages of this site. What a fabulous addition to President's Day, a unit on slavery, or any unit on the 1860s. This site does require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): emancipation proclamation (12), lincoln (86), slavery (72), white house (13)

In the Classroom

Share a brief introduction to this rich website on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner and explore the MANY facets of this unique website. Have groups choose to research the roles of a congressman, messenger, widow, diplomat, or society woman/spy. After they have explored the site, have the groups create a fictitious wiki between the role they explored (congressman, messenger, etc..) and President Obama. What would the president say to these people from the past? What interactions would occur?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Inauguration Scrapbook - Inauguration Scrapbook.com

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3 to 12
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This site offers a very eclectic sampling of publicly-submitted photographs (slideshow) from the 2009 inauguration of President Obama. Photographs include captions, personal stories,...more
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This site offers a very eclectic sampling of publicly-submitted photographs (slideshow) from the 2009 inauguration of President Obama. Photographs include captions, personal stories, items created to celebrate the event (for example, a skateboard), ice sculptures, and MANY others. If you plan to print any pictures, be sure to check on the permission to re-use.

tag(s): inauguration (11), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Share this slideshow on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Choose a picture to use as a writing prompt. Share this site around President's Day. Have students find (or create) their own picture or photo of President Obama. Challenge students to narrate the photo using an online tool such as UtellStory, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lincoln Birthday - February 12 - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Abraham Lincoln. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Lincoln-related...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Abraham Lincoln. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Lincoln-related vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): lincoln (86), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check out the interactive word puzzles! Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have students locate a picture of Lincoln. Challenge students to narrate the picture using UtellStory, reviewed here. Have the groups share the photos and presidents on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Let's Move - White House

Grades
4 to 8
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The close relationship between promoting physical fitness and the White House can be followed through the many topics at this site: Learn the Facts, Eat Healthy, Get Active, Take Action,...more
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The close relationship between promoting physical fitness and the White House can be followed through the many topics at this site: Learn the Facts, Eat Healthy, Get Active, Take Action, and Join Us. Some of the more specific topics highlight how to limit TV time, the importance of trying new fruits and vegetables, planting a garden, and more.

tag(s): fitness (49), myplate (28), nutrition (154), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Health and PE teachers can collaborate with classroom teachers and present White House-related health initiatives while students are learning about the presidency in the classroom. Challenge students to explore a specific area of this site and create a project to share with the class using a tool such as Prezi (reviewed here)
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Presidential Baseball - Northwestern University

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6 to 12
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You'll need to be a real baseball fan to avoid striking out at this online game that compares presidents and baseball players. The players are mostly obscure, but even a ...more
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You'll need to be a real baseball fan to avoid striking out at this online game that compares presidents and baseball players. The players are mostly obscure, but even a good guess or two makes this one fun. It's done by the folks who created Northwestern University's Oyez, Oyez about the Supreme Court. Different, but worth a visit. This site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): baseball (36), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Divide your class into two teams and play a round of Presidential Baseball! Share the questions on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Like Father, Like Son: Presidential Families - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
K to 2
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This lesson plan examines America's only two father-and-son presidents - John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Students investigate the role and...more
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This lesson plan examines America's only two father-and-son presidents - John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Students investigate the role and responsibilities of the presidency while comparing and contrasting each father-son pair. Includes suggested activities and links to online material about the presidents. The lesson plan is aligned to standards.

tag(s): presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this "ready to go" lesson plan, perfect for a President's Day celebration.

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If you were President - Scholastic

Grades
5 to 8
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Students can have a taste of what it's like to occupy the highest office in the land with this clever, interactive activity. The site guides them through the process of ...more
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Students can have a taste of what it's like to occupy the highest office in the land with this clever, interactive activity. The site guides them through the process of selecting a cabinet, balancing a budget, responding to questions from the press, and reading reactions in the daily papers! A very thought provoking and enlightening site for helping kids understand the complex issues faced by America's presidents. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Have students work on individual computers and try out being the president. Can they balance the budget? Choose the ideal cabinet members?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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George Washington - American Presidents - University of Virginia

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6 to 12
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This George Washington page includes a quick fact sheet, a short biography, and links to additional information on Washington's advisors, administration, and accomplishments. It is...more
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This George Washington page includes a quick fact sheet, a short biography, and links to additional information on Washington's advisors, administration, and accomplishments. It is part of a very complete collection of presidential resources that could be a staple of an American history curriculum. Some of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): presidents (130), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research projects about the United States first president! Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to this unit or as review. On the site are copies of some of Washington's speeches that the Miller Center has put in transcript form. One that would be especially useful is the "Farewell Address," that came to influence US Foreign Policy through WWI. Share the speech on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and have students either read it aloud in pieces or individually. Even parts of the address incorporated into a lecture would help illustrate to students US isolationism and the resonating effect of the speech in other areas of Foreign Policy.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Presidential Biographies and Portraits - The White House

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4 to 12
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The "official" biographies of the nation's presidents, as contained on the White House web site. This site is up to date, easy to use, and includes a wealth of information. ...more
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The "official" biographies of the nation's presidents, as contained on the White House web site. This site is up to date, easy to use, and includes a wealth of information. There is an interesting picture slide show of all of the presidents.

tag(s): presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Share the slide show or other information with your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for great research information directly from the White House.

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The Presidents - George Welling

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4 to 12
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This Dutch site is an index of information on the presidents of the United States. Included are speeches, writings, and biographical information. Excellent resource for creating research...more
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This Dutch site is an index of information on the presidents of the United States. Included are speeches, writings, and biographical information. Excellent resource for creating research reports.

tag(s): presidents (130), speech (92), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Share the inauguration speeches with your students on President's Day.

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Mr. President - Smithsonian Institution

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4 to 12
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The Smithsonian's presidential biographies resource offers basic biographical information and images on all American Presidents, along with highlights of their administrations. Useful...more
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The Smithsonian's presidential biographies resource offers basic biographical information and images on all American Presidents, along with highlights of their administrations. Useful for both its content and its comprehensiveness. The site offers some basic information about all presidents (Washington through Obama).

tag(s): biographies (86), politics (99), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a starting point for research projects. If you are teaching about the presidents, this site would be great on your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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The American Presidency - A Glorious Burden - Smithsonian Institution

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6 to 12
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The Smithsonian has created a nice, technically up-to-date introduction to the presidents which can be useful for middle and high school students. Middle schoolers can work directly...more
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The Smithsonian has created a nice, technically up-to-date introduction to the presidents which can be useful for middle and high school students. Middle schoolers can work directly with the time line and individual biographies, while older students may want to examine the presidents in the context of the historical eras which are also available on the site. Our link starts at the collection of Adobe Acrobat lesson plans that accompany this site; full navigation is available from the menu at the left. If you click on Activities you will find some great interactives. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): biographies (86), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

This site is great to use for research projects or to find activity ideas for the entire class! Share the interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Biographies of the Presidents - The White House

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4 to 12
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The White House web site includes short biographies of all the American presidents, suitable for introductory use or to compare presidencies. There are also a few facts about the presidents,...more
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The White House web site includes short biographies of all the American presidents, suitable for introductory use or to compare presidencies. There are also a few facts about the presidents, presidential "firsts," and the various administration. The site includes several video clips, some require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): presidents (130), white house (13)

In the Classroom

Share the historical video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for research projects on the U.S. Presidents. This site is a perfect addition to your Presidents' Day celebration!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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