TeachersFirst's U.S. Presidential Inaugurations Resources

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Every four years, the U.S. celebrates the peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next. 2009 was an especially historic year in U.S. history, with the juxtaposition of Lincoln's 200th birthday and the inauguration of President Barack Obama, but every inauguration is unique in some way.

No matter what grade level you teach or candidate you support, Inauguration Day is an important event worthy of notice in your classroom. This list of reviewed resources from the TeachersFirst database will help you find ways to include the inauguration and its historical significance in the context of your curriculum.

Since news sources often generate specialized but temporary web resources just in time for Inauguration Day (January 20), you will also want to use a Google News search for the most timely information, such as news articles and images. Combine the news images with the historical background and ideas from this collection to help students gain perspective and a deeper understanding of the importance of a peaceful transition of power.

 

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Amanda Gorman Inauguration Poem Lessons - #TeachLivingPoets

Grades
5 to 12
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Amanda Gorman captured the nation's attention with the recital of her inspiring poem, "The Hill We Climb," during Joe Biden's 2021 inauguration ceremony. This site shares lessons and...more
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Amanda Gorman captured the nation's attention with the recital of her inspiring poem, "The Hill We Climb," during Joe Biden's 2021 inauguration ceremony. This site shares lessons and teaching activities to accompany this poem. Resources include links to a hyperdoc that explores the poem's craft, lessons comparing inaugural poets and poetry, and a black poets video playlist. Scroll through the site to find many ideas for engaging students in poetry.

tag(s): authors (97), inauguration (6), poetry (180)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site as a resource to find many ideas for engaging students in poetry. Use Amanda Gorman's poetry to spark your students' interest in learning about poetry. Start by watching and sharing Gorman's inaugural reading on YouTube. Ask students to share their reactions to the reading using Answer Garden, reviewed here. Post a question to Answer Garden that requires a short student response, such as, "What is the predominant emotion you felt as you watched Amanda Gorman read her poem?" As students add responses, view the word cloud that is created to discuss how poetry is used to deliver emotions. Use a video response tool such as edpuzzle, reviewed here, to enhance learning by inserting questions and comments within the YouTube reading by Gorman. Include questions of your own and those found in the lessons shared on this website. Extend learning further by asking students to create and share poems. This Poem Generator, reviewed here, helps students develop confidence and learn the basics of poetry writing as they start on their poetry journey. Find many more ideas for teaching and sharing at TeachersFirst Poetry Month Editor's Choice Resources.

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WordClouds - wordclouds.com

Grades
2 to 12
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WordClouds generates custom word clouds using your text. Create using their "wizard" with step-by-step directions to add documents or text and personalize features. Another option is...more
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WordClouds generates custom word clouds using your text. Create using their "wizard" with step-by-step directions to add documents or text and personalize features. Another option is to use the dashboard at the top of the page to add and customize the look of your word cloud. Choose colors, type of display, and font. The most frequent words appear larger and darker. When finished, select file to save in your choice of format or share online.

tag(s): editing (80), proofreading (20), speech (70), vocabulary (231), word choice (15), word clouds (13)

In the Classroom

WordClouds is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create word clouds of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize text, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language.

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History and Politics Out Loud - WyzAnt Tutoring

Grades
6 to 12
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Listen to famous speeches by influential leaders of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Choose from the list of leaders including Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon, and Martin...more
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Listen to famous speeches by influential leaders of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Choose from the list of leaders including Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon, and Martin Luther King, Jr, and many others. View a short biography and background along with links to a famous speech (or speeches) given by that person. Some speeches are audio only, others are YouTube videos. If your district blocks YouTube, videos may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): churchill (7), declaration of independence (12), inauguration (6), kennedy (23), martin luther king (32), persuasive writing (51), presidents (115), roosevelt (10)

In the Classroom

Share speeches from this site on your class webpage or blog for students to view at home. Share them with your class using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president, famous scientist, or nearly any other real or fictitious person after viewing and listening to speeches on this site. Use the text of speeches to create a word cloud; try Wordle, reviewed here, to analyze a leader's priorities and emphasis. Use these examples as students prepare their own persuasive (or propaganda) speeches in English or civics classes. Teachers or ELL students can offer speeches with accompanying texts to help build vocabulary and listening skills.

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Make Word Mosaic - Image Chef

Grades
K to 12
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Make any quotation, passage of text, or poem into a "word mosaic" (graphical display). Paste in any text to create a word image. Choose your own colors, background, and shape/symbol:...more
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Make any quotation, passage of text, or poem into a "word mosaic" (graphical display). Paste in any text to create a word image. Choose your own colors, background, and shape/symbol: star, smiley faces, initials, and more. Print creations or share via email, Facebook, or Twitter. Play with options under Layout, Color, and Font menus to change the look. There are links on this site to public galleries of remixes and symbols associated with another application.Save the image in one of three sizes using the export option. Be sure to preview before sharing from the homepage or Gallery.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bulletin boards (15), posters (43), vocabulary (231), word clouds (13), word study (53)

In the Classroom

This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create word mosaics of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize text, especially visual learners. Make Dolch word/sight word mosaics for students to take home for practice. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings (such as different ways to say "walk"). Have students make mosaics for each part of speech to help them remember examples. Decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. Another idea: use this site during the first week of school. Have students create word mosaics about themselves and create a bulletin board introducing your students (and yourself). In elementary grades, create greeting cards for holidays and special occasions using spelling words and holiday words.

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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 (115), 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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JFK 50 - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Grades
7 to 12
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This web site honors the legacy of President John F. Kennedy in recognition of the fifty years that have passed since his inauguration on January 20, 1961, when he first ...more
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This web site honors the legacy of President John F. Kennedy in recognition of the fifty years that have passed since his inauguration on January 20, 1961, when he first captured the hearts of Americans and memorialized a moment in history with his words, "Ask not what this country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." JFK50 is filled with cutting-edge multimedia that inspires and invites students to explore the themes of public service, civil rights, leadership, and more to discover how relevant they remain to social and political issues today.

tag(s): kennedy (23), presidents (115)

In the Classroom

Use this website as your online destination for teaching, researching, and starting a conversation about the primary people, changes, speeches, and events of the John F. Kennedy era. Do not miss the links at the upper left corner of the home page for the Legacy Gallery, Downloads and Resources, and "History Now" which provides an interactive timeline that links today's date to details of what transpired during JFK's presidency. Highlight the ideals articulated fifty years ago to serve as a springboard for today's students to become actively involved in public service by projecting the authentic broadcast reports, videos, newspaper accounts, and other media on your classroom whiteboard or projector. Team up with colleagues in other departments to engage in interdisciplinary learning projects. You may want to have students collaborate to put a new spin on a research report. Challenge them to create a newspaper article about the domestic affairs, foreign policies and diplomacy, the arts, or any of the other extensive topics found on JFK50 by using the Newspaper Clipping Generator. Polish it off by having students create magazine covers that reflect the content of their articles, essays, or reports by using Magazine Cover Maker reviewed here.

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WordArt - WordArt.com

Grades
4 to 12
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This site takes any quotation or poem and creates a "word cloud" (graphical display) of the words in a passage of text. Paste in any passage or the URL for ...more
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This site takes any quotation or poem and creates a "word cloud" (graphical display) of the words in a passage of text. Paste in any passage or the URL for any blog entry or web page (including newspapers online) to create a word cloud of the text. This resource is currently free while in beta and intends to keep it free for NON PROFIT only. Enhance basic word clouds by using this site to create clouds in various shapes, use mouse rollover options, use font effects, and more. Elevate your word clouds into an art form. Once registered, change your password by clicking on the profile tab and entering your changes. Before creating a word cloud, agree to their terms that includes only using appropriate content. Copy and paste series of words or use the URL of a page where the words can be found. Choose a shape such as a heart, cloud, or geometric patterns. Choose a font as well as other options, and then click "Build the Cloud." Preview your cloud before saving.

tag(s): images (254), vocabulary (231), word choice (15), word clouds (13)

In the Classroom

You must be able to copy and paste text or provide a url to a page of text as well as determine parameters of more advanced word clouds. Alternately, these word clouds can be kept very simple. After creating the word cloud, be sure to save the image (or use a screen capture) to share with others. Another idea, use the url of the cloud or embed into a place to share such as blog, wiki, or site.

This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Help students develop creative fluency by creating their own WordArt and ideas from scratch. Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create WordArt of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize text, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. Collect thoughts about the class subject at the beginning of the year and then again at the end of the year to determine changes in thoughts about the subject matter.

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Tagxedo - Hardy Leung

Grades
K to 12
15 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Want a word Cloud with Style? Create one here! A word cloud is an image of words that show the most frequent word in a larger font than the others. ...more
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Want a word Cloud with Style? Create one here! A word cloud is an image of words that show the most frequent word in a larger font than the others. Create a visual representation of a passage to pull out and identify important words or show the text in an interactive, visually appealing way. The resulting cloud pops out the words as you roll over them, so viewers can "see" each word separately. Explore the gallery for many inspiring examples, including some that use the customizable image shapes uploaded from your own computer (premium feature).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): firstday (17), vocabulary (231), word choice (15), word clouds (13)

In the Classroom

NO membership required to create a cloud, though saving may require a (free) membership in the future, according to developer Hardy Leung. Click "Create" and then "Words." Paste URL to "cloud" words from a web page or copy/paste (or type) a passage of words into the given field. (Repeat words to make them larger). Experiment with various settings and "themes" to create the different colors and shapes of the word cloud. Change the theme, shape, direction, layout, and other parameters easily. Click SAVE to easily download a static image of various sizes or take a screenshot using shortcut keys. Saved images do not have the cool "pop-out" feature (rats!), though the developer tells TeachersFirst that users will be able to download animated versions in the future. You can also save and obtain the direct URL to your animated cloud. Be sure to bookmark it or copy/paste the URL for safe keeping in a document, wiki, etc. During beta, the tool allows you to save and copy embed code, but this feature will cost money later.

In the classroom: This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. In primary grades. Enter a group of related words into the text box, such as sight words, words with the same spelling cluster, or vocabulary terms. Then have students roll over the words to read them aloud as they pop out (only works in the ONLINE version of the clouds). Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create word clouds of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize terms and important vocabulary, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. Use themes and shapes that coordinate with the word cloud (for example, use a bird shape when creating a cloud about flight or a heart when interpreting a love poem. Consider using a word cloud as a first week of school activity where students discuss summer vacation or what they did over the summer. As a first day activity, students could also make a cloud with words about themselves, then have classmates guess which cloud matches which person.

For a free gift for special occasions, make word clouds about mom for Mother's Day or Thanksgiving "I am thankful" visual poems. Share them by emailing the URL or in printed form.

Comments

Very versatile, creates word clouds in specific shapes. Adds another dimension. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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I Do Solemnly Swear...Presidential Inaugurations - The Library of Congress

Grades
4 to 12
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The Library of Congress has created this excellent resource that features over 400 images and 2,000 digital files related to the inaugurations of George Washington through George W....more
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The Library of Congress has created this excellent resource that features over 400 images and 2,000 digital files related to the inaugurations of George Washington through George W. Bush (in 2001). There are video clips, references, diary entries, letters, and more. This site requires Real Player and/or QuickTime. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): inauguration (6), washington (22)

In the Classroom

Why not feature an "inauguration a day" during the week prior to the current inauguration? Use the many images to create a Lino, reviewed here, of inauguration information for students to dig though. With older students, have cooperative learning groups create their own Lino. All of the Library of Congress resources are in the public domain, so students can USE these images to create new products, such as a photomontage of an inauguration topic: bands, dress, buzzwords, etc.

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Online NewsHour: Inaugural Fashion - PBS

Grades
4 to 12
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Are you looking for a new way to get your students attention in history class? This site is perfect for those students who view fashion as the only thing worth ...more
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Are you looking for a new way to get your students attention in history class? This site is perfect for those students who view fashion as the only thing worth their attention! The site focuses on the gowns that the first ladies wore to the inaugural ceremony (from a variety of time periods). The significance of the gowns is discussed. Several photos are included. The video clips date back to 2001 and no longer work. For commentary and speculation on what Mrs. Obama and the Obama children will wear, see this article from Womens Wear Daily

tag(s): fashion (9), inauguration (6)

In the Classroom

Share the pictures of the gowns on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students research an inaugural ceremony and write a blog entry (from the first lady of their choice) discussing the inaugural ceremony (and what they wore). Or have your budding journalists write a mock-commentary on the political "message" sent by a chosen first lady via her fashion choices.

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Presidents of the United States

Grades
3 to 8
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Although TeachersFirst doesn't typically review hotlists, this one provides a great deal of information on the presidents, Inauguration Day, the White House, and other "presidential"...more
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Although TeachersFirst doesn't typically review hotlists, this one provides a great deal of information on the presidents, Inauguration Day, the White House, and other "presidential" topics. There are printables, lesson plans (many with standards), photos, video clips, and more. The link Presidential Inaugurations lists countless resources to use in your classroom.

tag(s): inauguration (6)

In the Classroom

Have students use this site to investigate one aspect of the presidency as an Inauguration Day or Presidents Day project. Cooperative learning groups could choose a topic of interest and then create a wiki page or Bookemon book reviewed here on their topic.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Inauguration Day Events - Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies

Grades
3 to 10
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This site shares Inauguration Day events: Morning Worship Service, Procession to the Capitol, Vice President's Swearing In Ceremony, President's Swearing In Ceremony, Inaugural Address,...more
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This site shares Inauguration Day events: Morning Worship Service, Procession to the Capitol, Vice President's Swearing In Ceremony, President's Swearing In Ceremony, Inaugural Address, Departure of the Outgoing President, Inaugural Luncheon, Inaugural Parade, and the Inaugural Ball. Each topic has a Learn More link and provides authentic photos and historical information.

tag(s): inauguration (6)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector on Inauguration Day. Divide your class into nine groups and have each group learn about one of the "events" of the day. Have the groups share their "event" with the class on a PowerPoint.

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