Presidents Day

Thursday, February 5, 2015

With President’s Day rapidly approaching, I have been trying to find some fun things with the kids to learn   I wasn’t having a ton of luck finding anything that focused on ALL of the presidents.  Most things I found focused on Washington and Lincoln (who were both very important!), but I wanted to teach the kids about everyone, not just the two they’ve already spent years learning about.

Since I couldn’t find anything, and I was feeling motivated, I got to working making something of my own!  I did tons and tons of research to find information and fun facts about each president.  Along the way, I learned that President’s Day isn’t even the real name of the holiday!  The federal government still recognizes the holiday as George Washington’s Birthday.  All of my research turned into a huge collection of activities for the kids.

I wrote two short reading passages for the kids: Facts about the Presidency and Facts about President’s Day.  Close Reading is a huge thing at our school this year, and I decided that the kids could put their skills to use on these passages, so I wrote close reading questions to go with each one.  I wanted the kids to be creative and use research skills, so I made a template for them to make Presidential Trading Cards.  I’m really excited to see how they turn out.  I am thinking of making them do the lesser known presidents, so we can learn more about them.

Perhaps my favorite part of researching for this packet was for the Presidential Fun Facts list I created.  I learned all sorts of things.  For example, did you know that William Henry Harrison gave the longest inauguration speech of any president (on a cold rainy day), and then died of pneumonia 31 days later, giving him the shortest term as president.  And Zachary Taylor never voted in a presidential election – even when he was running!

I’m really excited to share all of my learning with the kids on President’s Day, and I’m hoping to have photos to share afterward!  If you are interested in these activities, they’re available in my TPT store here.


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