Meeting the Common Core with President’s Day Activities: From our Forefathers to Obama

Common Core State Standards: 
Informational Text
Literacy in History/Social Studies
Instructional Strategies: 
Writing Process
Prewriting
Drafting
Summarizing

President’s Day, is an “inclusive” celebration of all our nation’s presidents.  Teach students about our nation’s leaders this month by incorporating history into all aspects of your classroom.  Get your class interested with an introduction by sharing brief videos; try one on George Washington or Presidential Fun Facts.

Depending on grade level, read with students about the Seven Roles for One President. Make a class chart to summarize the roles, or even try a class wiki post. Using online interactives like the If You Were President: A Scholastic Online News Activity in reading instruction can help further student understanding. With the Scholastic interactive, students get to imagine as if they are president, choose their advisors, learn about the responsibilities of the president, and get to make (and defend!) virtual decisions.

Also mingle history and math with U.S. Presidents: A Math Hunt Activity. Students will learn about U.S. presidents while solving math problems. If students are stumped by a question posed by a history-based word problem, they get to “Hunt for the Answer” on a linked educational website

Washington's Inauguration, 1789
Washington's Inauguration, 1789, Architect of the Capitol

Let’s not forget the significance of George Washington, which is—of course—the goal of this next activity.  Plays about the President: George Washington asks students to remember more than just a few facts about our country’s former leader by acting out a class play. It also includes a Bibliography and three class activities; vocabulary discussion, a writing prompt, and researching/reporting on another related subject.

Read President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address. Students can learn more about President Obama staring his second term by watching thi video.

P072012PS-0025
President Barack Obama holds a conference call with advisors to discuss the Aurora, Colorado shootings, during the motorcade ride to Palm Beach International Airport in Palm Beach, Fla., July 20, 2012. White House photostream

Also use the free Brain Dip Magazine app to help students analyze the President’s speech in multiple subjects, by grade level according to Common Core Standards. By combining reading, writing, and math with history, students are provided with a comprehensive lesson that will enhance their understanding.

Acknowledgment: Special thanks to Rebecca Flynn for helping to prepare this blog post.

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