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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iCivics - iCivics Inc.

Grades
5 to 10
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iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and encourage them to participate in the democratic process. The project is spearheaded by Justice Sandra...more
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iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and encourage them to participate in the democratic process. The project is spearheaded by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and includes law professors and educators from around the country. iCivics.org provides detailed lessons designed for very specific judicial and constitutional concepts as well as for the executive and legislative branches. Some of the lessons have videos and links to other relevant websites. In addition to the lessons, iCivics features several engaging interactives on civics topics, democracy, branches of government, citizenship, elections and campaigns, and the constitution. Several include full teacher manuals (PDF) and a detailed report of student game performance -- very useful for assessment. There are webquests on civics topics, as well. In addition, iCivics.org has a useful feature that helps locate other websites with resources specifically correlated to your state standards. You can also search using grade level. The site continues to grow and add new materials and activities on an ongoing basis. Don't miss the interactive called "Cast Your Vote" to prioritize issues and evaluate candidates! Videos from iCivics reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): bill of rights (29), branches of government (50), congress (34), constitution (87), courts (15), democracy (13), elections (78), game based learning (113), presidents (132), supreme court (23)

In the Classroom

As you study the Constitution or U.S. government, have students participate in the activities, stopping to write blog entries as their legal character discussing the results they have achieved in court or in their role within other interactive simulations. Students can work individually or with a partner. Be sure to demonstrate the activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector so students understand how they work. Another option: Have students create a multimedia guide to one of the constitutional rights learned in the games. Use a tool such as Piktochart, reviewed here, to make an interactive poster or infographic on each right.

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Mt. St. Helens Panoramic view - fullscreen360.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Use this resource to zoom in and turn around panoramic pictures of Mt. St. Helens in 2003, 2006, and show both as a comparison. Find more information about Mt. St. ...more
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Use this resource to zoom in and turn around panoramic pictures of Mt. St. Helens in 2003, 2006, and show both as a comparison. Find more information about Mt. St. Helens by clicking on the link in the upper right. The top of the site also includes several links to more information.

tag(s): volcanoes (65), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Use this when discussing volcanoes and Earth events. Use news accounts, videos, and other materials to identify specific eruption events, detection of potential eruptions, and locations of volcanoes around the world. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations about specific topics presented at this site. Have students create a project that includes a narrated, annotated image, with text boxes, and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students find a Creative Commons photo (with credit, of course), use Compfight, reviewed here.

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Random Facts - Random History.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Random Facts offers exactly what it says, with one featured fact and several lists of "most popular facts" and "newest facts" in the sidebar. Since "popular facts" can include some...more
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Random Facts offers exactly what it says, with one featured fact and several lists of "most popular facts" and "newest facts" in the sidebar. Since "popular facts" can include some classroom-inappropriate topics (love-marriage, kissing, marijuana), you may want to limit your use of this site to the teacher, but you can find many facts to use as ideas for the day, tidbits for research, and more on this site. Familiarize yourself with fact lists that connect to your curriculum, such as health facts, fast food facts, human body, U.S. presidents, and various animal fact lists. The "next fact" button yields both interesting and surprising information, always displayed with a link to a further list of related facts. Advertisements are included on the home page and sidebars of fact lists. Each list includes a complete list of references and footnotes indicating the source from that list.

tag(s): animals (290), politics (100), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Share a current events or curriculum-related fact list or single fact on a projector or interactive whiteboard at the start of class to start the wheels turning. Or list three facts from a list along with a myth, asking students to use clickers or hands to indicate their vote for the bogus "fact." Have students create similar "fact lists" as a first step in researching a topic, before moving to presenting comparisons, connections, or explanations of WHY these facts are true. Use the reference lists as examples so students understand why sources matter. Have them try searching some of the facts and look for further, deeper information from the same sources. Use a class wiki to generate a 99 fact list on your current unit topic once students have seen a few examples.

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Sporcle - Sporcle, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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Try these interactives, available in a variety of subjects: Geography, History, Language, Literature, Movies, Music, Religion, Science, and others. Sporcle tests memorized knowledge...more
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Try these interactives, available in a variety of subjects: Geography, History, Language, Literature, Movies, Music, Religion, Science, and others. Sporcle tests memorized knowledge against a timer. Accessing the comments below can lead to spoilers that reveal answers. Become stumped during a game? Click on "Give up" to end the game and reveal the rest of the answers. Teachers should preview and provide the DIRECT link to the games or section (such as geography) they wish students to use. The "popular" listings and some advertising on this site may include questionable content for classrooms. . These games would be great study tools for students, both in and out of the classroom!

tag(s): elements (37), literature (276), maps (293), phonics (72), presidents (132), vowels (13)

In the Classroom

Share specific activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teachers should provide the address URL of the actual game to prevent students from accessing other games (or advertisements that you may wish to avoid). Use these interactives as individual activities or in groups to learn a variety of data. For example, play "Element by Symbol" to review the names of the elements of the periodic table by knowing the names of the symbols. This game entertained this science teacher editor and her chemistry student son for fifteen minutes. Enjoy other science games or in subjects such as Geography, History, or Literature. Use the unknown answers that are shown at the end to create study cards in order to improve scores the next time.

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Brainflips - Brainflips, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. There is also a link to "Study Flashcards" that are already ready to go. There are ...more
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Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. There is also a link to "Study Flashcards" that are already ready to go. There are literally HUNDREDS of ready to go flashcard packets: presidents, addition, algebra, music, and more.

If you are creating your own, you can add images, video, or audio. Study flashcards online or share with others in created study groups. Use flashcards to learn new information (question and answer are side by side,) study (shows the question and then the answer,) or quiz themselves by entering answers. Create a game with the flashcards by using a timer and score board on the site. Share flashcard sets with others by sending a URL address or create study groups to share. View public flashcards created by others by using their search feature.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (47), presidents (132), word study (79)

In the Classroom

You can access the already created flashcards without any account, email, or age requirements. However, if you wish to create flashcards, an email and birth date is required to create an account. Users must be 13 years of age or older.

Using Brainflips: Use the Deck panel to enter flashcard deck title and other basic information. Use the Card panel to add, edit, and change the order of the flashcards in the deck. Create text or multiple choice answers for each flashcard and even enter alternative answers. Click "Insert" above the question field to add images, audio, and video to flashcards.

Safety/Security: Since an email and birth date are required, consider creating a class account for teacher use or for groups of students to use. Create teacher flashcards for class use by creating card decks and providing the URL for students to use. You may want to send students to the flashcards via a direct link to the deck.

Facts, spelling words, vocabulary, definitions, foreign language, root words, historical names --- all can easily be typed into this flashcard format for any subject. Plan a system of tags for sets on related material so they can be grouped. For example: tag all geography terms "geography" and all words from the same science chapter using the chapter number or topic. You can use multiple tags, too! In the computer lab, using a projector or interactive whiteboard, walk your students through making their own sets of flashcards or using teacher created flashcards for student and group use. Students or parents can then access their electronic cards at home or anywhere with a specific URL that can be placed on any teacher blog or website. No email address is needed to use the cards, only to create the cards. Include the link to your sets on your web page for students to study before tests. Collaborate with other teachers to create useful sets for all to use. Rotate responsibility each marking period among student groups in your class to create a set for each chapter/unit/week for the rest of the class to use as review. Give a special award (or bonus points) for the most creative, complete set that marking period. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small student groups to create verbal and visual card sets to accompany the chapters they are studying. Involve the students in the process so they can reinforce new content as they create their own "study materials" with color coding, images, and more.

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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 (132)

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

Grades
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 (132)

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

Grades
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 (325)

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

Grades
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 (132)

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 (14)

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 (132)

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 (132)

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 (50), myplate (28), nutrition (158), presidents (132)

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

Grades
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 (132)

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 (132)

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 (132)

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

Grades
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 (132), 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.
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