Just think how Abraham Lincoln’s words and leadership impacted our country and the path that it would take. Knowing our history and understanding the contributions each of our leaders has made starting with Washington is so important.. In this post, we’ll celebrate Presidents’ Day with a great collection of teaching activities.
Abe Lincoln Loves Animals and George Washington’s Teeth
To begin, I want to share two books that I feel give a pretty decent synopsis of Washington and Lincoln’s presidencies. I looked at quite a few that honed in on a specific period of their lives, but these told the full story in a way that I think young readers can understand. George Washington’s Teeth tells about the various stages in his life as he loses his teeth, and Abe Lincoln Loved Animals explains Lincoln’s life as well as his love of his pets. Did you know that a turkey is pardoned each year because Lincoln just couldn’t shoot a turkey for Thanksgiving. He was also broken hearted about leaving his dog, Fido, in Illinois when the family traveled to the the White House.
Abe Lincoln Crosses the Creak
I also loved the book, Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek. It tells more about his life as a boy, and I think many kids would enjoy hearing some of the silly stories.
Abe Lincoln’s Hat
Finally, Abe Lincoln’s Hat is a nice one to show that even this great leaders had trouble with organization. I think it’s great for showing that you don’t have to be perfect to have wonderful ideas.
John, Paul, Georgia, and Ben
To honor George Washington, two of my favorites are John, Paul, George, & Ben and George vs George. Both give a great explanation of the history.
If you’re working with biographies, I also recommend the picture books by David Adler (A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln and A Picture Book of George Washington). You can easily find one for each of the presidents for class research work.
In my store, I have recently added this resource for Presidents’ Day. It included guided reading materials for George Washington’s Teeth and Abraham Lincoln Loved Animals. There are youtube read alouds for both of these books as well as a few of the others I shared.
In addition to the guided reading materials, teachers can also use the lapbook project for further Presidents’ Day studies and research. Students use other biographies, the encyclopedia, or nonfiction from your library to tell about the lives of Lincoln and Washington and how they compare.
Finally, the unit concludes with a class book option where students write about what they would do if they were the president. It has a cover with it and can be bound for the kids to read later or for parents to view as they’re waiting for your next conference.
Activity Ideas for President’s Day
President’s Day gives us the opportunity to highlight the life events, character, and history of these great men. The lapbook that I created to go with the mentor text lessons can work well as a post reading culminating activity. It includes foldables for life events, vocabulary, quotes, and compare and contrast leaders.
There are many activity options for Presidents’ Day on Pinterest as well as on Teachers Pay Teachers. I started the board below, and I’ll continue to add to it with other freebies and ideas. I just love some of the great art options that you can tie in with any writing project.
Printables from Sweet Integrations
The first is from my friend, Sandy over at Sweet Integration. She just created this adorable resource for students to explore being president for the day. You must hop over and grab this great little freebie from her store.
Presidential Peek Over by Classroom Compulsion
In the second photo is from Classroom Compulsion. I think this idea is so adorable, and I think honestly it could be modified to include other presidents as well. With a change in hair color or clothing shapes.
George and Abe Writing
Books focused on Elections
The last pin is handy as we’re gearing up for an election year. I love learning about new books, and I thought this pin would be a great one to share in case you’d like to weave in the discussion of voting and elections. Grace for President is one I’ve used with my students,and it is nicely done. Of course, Duck for President may be a great comparison book too. No matter which you choose, hopefully you’ll get great discussion about what qualities we’d all want for our leader.
TECHNOLOGY IDEAS AND RESOURCES
For tech resources, I am going to share a few youtube links to the books I mentioned earlier. I know we all like to mix things up, and sometimes, a video read aloud may work better for showing the pictures, right? Just click on the book images to access them.
The resource I created featured Abe Lincoln Loves Animals, but I’ve used all of these books at various times. They all seem to share tidbits of information that you might not know otherwise. Kids are fascinated by the trivia, so I’d try to grab these to share.