TeachersFirst's American Presidents Related Resources

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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.  Explore all of our resources tagged for presidents. 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 (28), branches of government (51), congress (34), constitution (88), courts (15), democracy (14), elections (73), game based learning (137), presidents (123), supreme court (24)

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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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 (123)

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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Our Fading Heritage: Civics Quiz - Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Grades
5 to 12
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Share this Civics Quiz with your students. Are your students more knowledgeable than the average U.S. Citizen? The site says the average score is a 55%! The quiz consists of...more
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Share this Civics Quiz with your students. Are your students more knowledgeable than the average U.S. Citizen? The site says the average score is a 55%! The quiz consists of approximately 30 questions, all related to the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence, the three branches of the government, the roles of the president, and much more. A final score is provided at the end of the quiz.

tag(s): constitution (88), supreme court (24)

In the Classroom

Have students complete this quiz on individual computers or with a partner (if there are not enough computers). Why not have your older civics or government students create their own interactive surveys using Google Docs (reviewed here), or quizzes using Quizschool (reviewed here). Or create one together as a class. Have students share their quizzes/surveys with the class on an interactive whiteboard or projector or as links from your class wiki or web page for use outside of class. Be sure to invite parents and other teachers to respond! What is important for citizens to know, in your students' view?

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Presidential Biographies and Portraits - The White House

Grades
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 (123)

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

Grades
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 (123), speech (87), speeches (19)

In the Classroom

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

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American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc. - The American Heritage Education Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - ...more
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - WOW! The highlight of this site is ready-to-go lesson plans (with standards) divided by age level (elementary, middle, and high school). These FREE lesson plans are available online via a PDF file or you may order a FREE CD (they say it is a $150 value).

The elementary topics range from Colonial America to U.S. Presidents (with a focus on George Washington) to the History of Thanksgiving to The Pledge of Allegiance and MANY others. The middle school topics include the Declaration of Independence, Our National Documents, The Gettysburg Address, Religious Expression in School, and several others. The high school topics vary from the Mayflower, to Federalists 47, the First Amendment, and more. Each grade level also includes lessons on character education.

In addition to the wonderful lesson plans, the site also highlights the four themes of the foundation: Unity, Progress, Freedom, and Responsibility. There are also links to some fantastic social studies sites and a wealth of research information about America. Some of the lesson plans and printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): colonial america (108), constitution (88), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), presidents (123), thanksgiving (34)

In the Classroom

Obviously, the lesson plans are useful for all grade levels. Take advantage of these free resources. Many include printable activities for your students to try out. Although the site isn't highly interactive, it does have some great ideas to incorporate into your class to bring history alive.

Make the lesson plans more "technologically advanced" by having students create a wiki or blog entry. Have your high school students complete the lesson on the First Amendment and then have them have a virtual debate about the First Amendment via a class wiki. Have your elementary students complete the lesson on U.S. Presidents and then have each student write a blog entry pretending to be one of the presidents (a great mini-research project). Have your middle school students complete the lesson on the Gettysburg Address and then try to create their own "Address" to talk about the current state of our nation. Have them share their "Address" on a video using YouTube or or TeacherTube (explained here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The History of the Supreme Court - PBS and New York Life

Grades
8 to 12
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This site has been designed as a companion to an upcoming public television series on the Supreme Court, but it stands on its own for classroom use. Information on ...more
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This site has been designed as a companion to an upcoming public television series on the Supreme Court, but it stands on its own for classroom use. Information on the site indicates that further content will be added. The site is divided into several main themes: The history of the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court and basic rights, the Supreme Court and gender, the Supreme Court and young people, and the Supreme Court today. Promised further content will cover the Supreme Court and race and the Supreme Court and economics and commerce. Each theme is highlighted with an introductory essay and questions for discussion. Themes also have a set of teacher resources, links to other web sites and lesson plans. Don't miss the interactive time line and comprehensive encyclopedia of terms. The theme on the Supreme Court and gender includes rich resources for Women's History month.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), courts (15), supreme court (24), women (96)

In the Classroom

Use this site or specific themes as the basis for an entire unit on the Supreme Court or for focused lessons: Japanese internment camps, the conflict between the Federalists and the anti-Federalists, child labor laws, and many more. You can assign different students to different sides of issues for research on the site or use it as an overview with a projector in a teacher-centered discussion.

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