Presidential Character - A Lesson for President's Day
Originally celebrated on George Washington's birthday to honor our first president, the national holiday was later expanded to honor, not one man in particular, but all of our presidents and the office of the presidency - becoming known to most as President's Day. Having the school year coincide with a presidential election year, your kiddos are likely to have more experience with and knowledge about the role of Commander in Chief. However, President's Day is a great opportunity to discuss why we should honor our president, both past and present, and what it takes to lead a country.
We found several books that provide a great introduction to the holiday and the many men who have shaped our country...
- President's Day by Anne & Lizzy Rockwell
- Celebrating President's Day: What Is a President? by Kimberly Jordano and Trisha Callella-Jones
- What Presidents Are Made Of by Hanoch Piven
While the first two books are informative, Piven's book truly does offer a unique way to learn about our presidents. "Building" a portrait of each influential man, Piven portrayed each president's character and personality through the objects he used to create their pictures. A memorable way to learn about history, we know your kiddos will enjoy the colorful book and really get into figuring out what each object might mean!
After reading these selections, you might consider completing one of the following activities...
- Review what you've learned. To go along with Piven's book, Mary over at Pitner's Potpourri put together a fun FREE matching game to play as a class. The game includes both president cards and fact cards, and will help your kiddos review and remember fun facts about our presidents!
- Presidential character chart. Invite your kiddos to think about what they've learned about the presidents of the United States, compiling a list of character traits needed to be a leader.
- Presidential circle map or tree chart. Help your kiddos compile a map of all their learning - i.e. what a president does, why we should honor our presidents, presidential character traits, etc. - using a circle map or can/do/are tree map.
Hope these ideas and activities help with planning! Happy learning!