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President's Day Activities and Teacher Notes

Targeted Grade Levels:
H/SS Content Standards:
2.the triumphs in American legends and historical accounts through the stories of such people as Pocahontas, George Washington, Booker T. Washington, Daniel Boone, and Benjamin Franklin
2. national holidays and the heroism and achievements of the people associated with them
6.the lives of American heroes who took risks to secure freedoms


The following activities are meant to be utilized with students in kindergarten through grade 3 in conjunction with the virtual museums of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln linked to this site.  These activities will be cross-curricular in nature but the instructor may need to adapt the activities to meet the needs and levels of the students.   Designed to stand alone, the activities may be combined with each other and be implemented over a period of one to three weeks.

Student Activity One - KWL Comparing Washington and Lincoln

1.  K - What students already know.  Before studying the president(s), ask your class what they already know about Lincoln and Washington.  (You may decide that you want to concentrate on one president at a time.)  Write down ALL of the statements of "knowledge" on the first chart.  Be sure that students know this is a brainstorming session.  There are no wrong answers and the teacher needs to write down all of the input.

2.  W - What students want to learn.  Next ask the students what they would like to learn about the president(s).  Be sure to record all of the comments again.  Depending on the level and age of your children, you may need to ask some leading questions to help them develop this skill.

3.  It is now time to study the president(s).  Read some of the books found on the Literature Page or visit some of the links in the table below.  When visiting the sites, you will need to decide if you will read the information to the class or if you will paraphrase.  Be sure to question the students as you go to check for comprehension.

4.  L - What students learned.  Upon completing the study, ask the students what they learned.  Record their responses on the third chart.  Go back to the original two charts and correct misconceptions.

5.  Ask students to go back to their seats and write in their journals.  Depending on their level, have them write a number of facts they learned and/or draw a picture that represents the fact(s).

An Overview of Abraham Lincoln An excellent one page summary of Lincoln's life with many links to sites containing information about Lincoln, his family, and the history related to his life.   This information could be read and explained by the teacher or a cross-age tutor.
Abraham Lincoln: A Timeline A detailed timeline of the life and times of A. Lincoln.  This information could be read and explained by the teacher or a cross-age tutor.
Abraham Lincoln's Beard An unedited letter from an eleven year old girl, Grace Bedell, prods President Lincoln to grow a beard.  Lincoln's response letter is also included.   This information could be read and explained by the teacher or a cross-age tutor.
Abraham Lincoln Online A wonderful resource of links for the teacher.
Abraham Lincoln Links This huge set of links is part of the Abraham Lincoln Research Site
Washington's Home - Mt. Vernon A wonderful resource for the teacher, this site contains biographical information on Washington as well as pictures and information about his home and presidency.
George Washington's Papers This site contains the copies of the original writings and papers of George Washington.  A superb resource for teachers.
George Washington: A Detailed Biography This biography gives some excellent information about the life of George Washington and the history he helped to shape.
George Washington Biography A short biography, this resource is best used by teachers.

Student Activity Two - Venn Diagram

After studying about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, compare the two presidents.  Draw a Venn diagram on a large sheet of chart paper.  Compare their boyhood, their problems growing up, family life, lifestyles, economic beginnings, road to the presidency, leadership skills, years in the presidency, their death and/or their legacy.

Student Activity Three - The Growth of the United States

Discuss the growth of the United States from the inception.  Explain how the United States was formed and who was responsible.   Visit an animation of the Formation of the United States.  The animated map will show the year and sequence of each state as it was added.

Student Activity Four - Abraham Lincoln:  A Treasure Hunt

Visit this wonderful site created by a first grade class in Indiana.  Visit the site suggested and answer the questions in the Treasure Hunt.   Your students will love it.  Be sure to email them with your evaluation of their site.

Student Activity Five - George Washington Treasure Hunt

Enjoy this treasure hunt with your class.  The questions will lead you in search of those facts that you may not have discovered in your earlier studies.

Student Activity Six - George Washington Quiz

Take this quiz of facts and fallacies about Washington with your class and dispel some of the myths of today and yesterday.

Student Activity Seven -    President's Day Quiz

This quiz will be a wonderful concluding event with your primary students upon completion of your studies of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

Additional Activities - PowerPoint Presentations

Interested teachers are encouraged to e-mail Sheila Simmons for PowerPoint Presentations on Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.  These presentations can be shown whole class, utilized in a computer lab or viewed on individual computers.  Please indicate in your message which version of Microsoft PowerPoint you currently operate under. 

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Please send any questions or comments to Sheila Simmons.E-mail