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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March on Washington Lesson - PBS Newshour

Grades
6 to 12
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This lesson, from the web site for the PBS Newshour, offers both a set of structuring questions about integration and racism and a set of resources that documents Dr. King ...more
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This lesson, from the web site for the PBS Newshour, offers both a set of structuring questions about integration and racism and a set of resources that documents Dr. King and the struggle for equal rights in America. The lesson includes links to important documents (some PDF files, others require Flash), extension activities, thinking questions, audio and video footage, and correlations to National Standards in history, civics, culture, and more. This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (180), civil rights (117), martin luther king (37)

In the Classroom

This lesson plan is ready to use and easy to follow! The extension activities offer some excellent higher order thinking questions. After sharing video footage with your students, why not project one of the extension activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create a blog answering the questions in the extension activities.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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From Greece to Main Street - Kennedy Center

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5 to 8
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Introduce characteristics of Greek architecture with this lesson plan that draws comparisons between The Lincoln Memorial and the Parthenon, then challenges students to identify elements...more
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Introduce characteristics of Greek architecture with this lesson plan that draws comparisons between The Lincoln Memorial and the Parthenon, then challenges students to identify elements of Greek architecture within their own communities. Nice opportunity for a low-cost, high impact field trip! Downloadable worksheets, standards, detailed activity instructions, and an assessment rubric are provided. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): architecture (83), greece (26), greek (41), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Use this ready-to-go lesson plan with your students. Share the visual interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students work with a partner to research other famous monuments and present multi-media presentations to the class.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Growth of a Nation - Peter Mays

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5 to 8
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Introduce or review the high points in America's history from westward expansion to the post Civil War era with this 10-minute animated movie and interactive atlas, complete with narration....more
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Introduce or review the high points in America's history from westward expansion to the post Civil War era with this 10-minute animated movie and interactive atlas, complete with narration. Roll your mouse over each state to reveal its name, or click to reveal historical information. An interactive timeline at the bottom of the map allows students to scroll to a particular year and play the movie from that point forward. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): lincoln (86), presidents (131), states (162)

In the Classroom

Don't forget some headsets! Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have groups investigate various historical aspects of specific states (and their history). Why not learn more about their home state?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe Center - Harriet Beech Stowe Center

Grades
9 to 12
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This informative site explores the life and works of Harriet Beecher Stowe - whose political and literary influences spurred the abolitionist movement and contributed to the outbreak...more
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This informative site explores the life and works of Harriet Beecher Stowe - whose political and literary influences spurred the abolitionist movement and contributed to the outbreak of the Civil War. You have to dig a bit, but there are some interesting gems here that would add a spark to a class discussion on causes of the Civil War, or depth to a literary unit on Mark Twain. There are lesson plans (see Teacher and Student Resources). Some of the printables at this site require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Have students compare Harriet Beecher Stowe to a powerful woman (of their choice) of the 21st century. Challenge students to create a wiki between Harriet Beecher Stowe and the woman that they learned about from today.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Toys and Games Timeline - History Channel

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5 to 12
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Take a unique and delightful approach to history with this site that examines the evolution of toys and games. To get the full benefit from this site, some creative teacher ...more
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Take a unique and delightful approach to history with this site that examines the evolution of toys and games. To get the full benefit from this site, some creative teacher planning is required, but the possibilities are endless. As students discover the origins of some of their favorite toys, as well as those enjoyed by their parents and grandparents, they can explore the cultural and societal influences that affected these diversionary inventions. Learn what goes into the production of some of our favorite toys and games, and meet the industry's most successful inventors. After exploring the site, take the interactive quiz and see how much you've learned. There is also a "Toy Timeline." You'll never look at Lincoln Logs or checkers in quite the same way! This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students further research some of their favorite toys and learn the science (in addition to history) of how some toys work. Why not bring in some of these famous toys that students might not be familiar with?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lincoln Log - Brown University

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9 to 12
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Based on a daily chronology of Abraham Lincoln's public life, this site enables you to enter a date and see what the famous president was doing that day. While the ...more
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Based on a daily chronology of Abraham Lincoln's public life, this site enables you to enter a date and see what the famous president was doing that day. While the result will be a very narrow slice of history, the site could be used to show how Lincoln's approach to issues and events evolved over time. Secondary students learning to use primary sources could find this one useful, but it will take some work to use it effectively. There is also some additional research links at this site.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research projects. Share the "Lincoln Log" everyday in February to celebrate his birthday. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share his daily accomplishments, schedules, and more that occurred in February.

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Crisis of the Union - Univ. of Pennsylvania

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6 to 12
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The department of history at the University of Pennsylvania developed this searchable collection of primary source materials dealing with the Civil War. The collection includes editorial...more
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The department of history at the University of Pennsylvania developed this searchable collection of primary source materials dealing with the Civil War. The collection includes editorial cartoons, images, and manuscripts, all grouped by subject and time period. While some of the material will require interpretation, this would be a useful site for secondary research that requires the use of primary sources. Some of the sources require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your students while researching the Civil War.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Abraham Lincoln Library Education - Abraham Lincoln Library

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4 to 8
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This site offers information for those visiting the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. However, even if you can't physically go to the museum there are some create resources!...more
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This site offers information for those visiting the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. However, even if you can't physically go to the museum there are some create resources! If you click on the Teacher Resources, you will find several activity guides to use in your classroom. Learn more about the Gettysburg Address, First Ladies, Women's History Month, Black History Month, Christmas at the Whitehouse, and more! Most of the guides require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): lincoln (86), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Use the activity guides in your classroom. Most include printables, higher order thinking questions, and even activities that could easily be displayed and discussed using your interactive whiteboard or projector.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Monitor - Lincoln's Secret Weapon - Nova

Grades
5 to 12
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The PBS Nova site about the Civil War ironclad the Monitor offers some unexpected treats. Students can see whether they can run the steam engine without blowing it up, and ...more
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The PBS Nova site about the Civil War ironclad the Monitor offers some unexpected treats. Students can see whether they can run the steam engine without blowing it up, and the curious can take a simulated 360 degree tour of various parts of the ship. This site includes several lesson plans (most linked to standards), and more. You'll need a speedy connection and the Flash plug-in, but this one's a great Civil War diversion. You can get Flash from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Share the interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students work in cooperative learning groups to try some of the science experiments at this site. Challenge students to create fictitious blog entries (written by Lincoln) about what they learn at this site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Drought Monitor - University of Nebraska

Grades
6 to 12
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Working with NOAA, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln has created one of the best looking drought monitoring sites we've seen. There are maps showing drought severity, crop data,...more
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Working with NOAA, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln has created one of the best looking drought monitoring sites we've seen. There are maps showing drought severity, crop data, rainfall, and related topics over a wide variety of time series, and the quality of the graphics is well beyond that of most similar sites. If your students are studying weather - or just complaining about the summer heat - this site can shed some light on the problem.

tag(s): agriculture (55), climate (92), fall (16), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Share the maps on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

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This Day in the Civil War

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4 to 12
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Those interested in a different take on the Civil War will enjoy this one. Each day offers a different set of events drawn from Civil War history, along with links ...more
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Those interested in a different take on the Civil War will enjoy this one. Each day offers a different set of events drawn from Civil War history, along with links to oddities such as Civil War recipes (tread cautiously), trivia, birthdays, interactive puzzles, and the like. There are also message boards. So if you allow students to navigate independently, be sure to watch carefully!

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

While it's short on pure education, there's a wealth of spice here that could liven up a Civil War unit.

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Civil War Time-Line - A Nation Divided - The History Place

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created by The History Place offers a chronological listing of Civil War events (with pictures) and is easy to navigate. This site features topics such as Fort Sumter...more
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This site, created by The History Place offers a chronological listing of Civil War events (with pictures) and is easy to navigate. This site features topics such as Fort Sumter Attacked, Gettysburg, Shiloh, and several others. The timeline format is easy to understand. The photos are authentic and informative.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research about the Civil War. Have cooperative learning groups research various battles of the Civil War. Or have students create their own interactive timelines using a tool such as XTimeline (explained here).

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The life of Abraham Lincoln - History Place

Grades
4 to 12
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Although this site is "plain vanilla," it offers some nice research information and photos of five "Lincoln" topics: Lincoln Becomes President, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle...more
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Although this site is "plain vanilla," it offers some nice research information and photos of five "Lincoln" topics: Lincoln Becomes President, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle of Gettysburg, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the Dred Scott Decision. Nearly all of this site is displayed in a timeline format. There are some basic advertisements at this site, nothing too distracting.

tag(s): emancipation proclamation (12), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Have students recreate their own "Lincoln timeline" highlighting one are of Lincoln's life and legacy. Have students work in cooperative learning groups to create interactive timelines using a tool such as XTimeline (explained here).

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Raising the Hunley

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4 to 12
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This site provides information on the Civil War Confederate submarine "Hunley" and the efforts to find, raise, and restore the vessel. Used to attack Union ships blockading the Charleston,...more
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This site provides information on the Civil War Confederate submarine "Hunley" and the efforts to find, raise, and restore the vessel. Used to attack Union ships blockading the Charleston, SC harbor, the Hunley successfully sank the USS Housatonic, then mysteriously disappeared. This site is worth a look for both its scientific and historical possibilities. This site requires QuickTime. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Use this site during an "Unsolved Mystery" units with gifted student. Share the photos and "tour the Hunley" using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students investigate the Hunley in cooperative learning groups.

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Abraham Lincoln Online - Abraham Lincoln Online

Grades
K to 12
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An extensive online collection of Lincoln information. This site has nearly everything you could want to learn about Lincoln. Some of the highlights include speeches, lesson ideas,...more
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An extensive online collection of Lincoln information. This site has nearly everything you could want to learn about Lincoln. Some of the highlights include speeches, lesson ideas, "This Week in History" (Lincoln history, that is), and more. Be sure to check out the Education link to find many classroom resource. Some of the links require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these ready to use classroom resources. There are lessons available for grades K-12. Use this site to share the speeches of the famous president. Have students dissect the words of one of the speeches, break it down into "today's language."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lincoln, Douglass, and Black Emergence (Literature and Politics, 1840-1865) - Yale University

Grades
10 to 12
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This site (although very "plain vanilla") does offer some interesting research information about the Civil War. This is basically a lesson plan (designed for grades 11-12). There are...more
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This site (although very "plain vanilla") does offer some interesting research information about the Civil War. This is basically a lesson plan (designed for grades 11-12). There are no interactive elements. But details, research, and review exercises are provided.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research about the Civil War. Have students investigate the site independently and then create a multi-media presentation (of their choice) to share the topic they have researched.

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African-American Soldiers in the Civil War - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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The Library of Congress demonstrates the depth of its archival image and documents collection in this site, which records first-hand accounts of the accomplishments and difficulties...more
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The Library of Congress demonstrates the depth of its archival image and documents collection in this site, which records first-hand accounts of the accomplishments and difficulties of African-American soldiers during the Civil War. Although rather "plain vanilla" this site is definitely one to explore if you or one of your students are interested in the Civil War.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

The site could be the basis for dozens of lesson ideas, as well as an ideal starting point for a research paper. Have students view authentic letters from Abraham Lincoln on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge students to write a letter (or a blog) in response to Lincoln's letter.

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Held accountable - New York Times

Grades
6 to 12
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The lesson plans are frequently updated; include McRel standards, links to more information, and lots of detail! ...more
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The lesson plans are frequently updated; include McRel standards, links to more information, and lots of detail!

tag(s): africa (180), black history (59), civil war (145), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Teachers can pick and choose easily from among several strands of thought among these lesson plans, either to supplement a unit on the Civil War, for use during Black History observations, or in an English class focused on story telling and personal voice. It could also provide interesting materials for reading comprehension practice using content area materials. All the plans follow a pretty regular format: link to the Times article, read it and discuss, but this kind of break from the use of a standard textbook can be refreshing. Many plans include a vocabulary list, ideas for extension activities and focus on making the lesson as interdisciplinary as possible. As you celebrate Presidents Day (especially Lincoln's 200th birthday in 2009), check out this site for Lincoln resources!

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