Presidents Unit Study Resources
by Laura Carter
In a year of a Presidential election, it’s the perfect time to discuss with your children the history of Presidents, and basic information about the Presidency. There are many different things you can study that will pique your children’s interest in things regarding Presidents. And for the older children, it will prepare them with knowledge for when they, too, will be able to vote for the President of their country.
Some things that would be fun to study are famous Presidents, Presidents with quirks or interesting stories, and basic information about the requirements of a President and what the President’s responsibilities are. You can adjust the information to your specific age group, and find resources that are colorful and interesting.
This list of websites, books, and articles should help you form a Unit Study that will not only be interesting to your children, but will also teach you something new about Presidents.
- The Presidents at WhiteHouse.gov
Biographies of each of the Presidents.
- Presidents of the United States
A comprehensive collection of information and resources about each of the US Presidents, their terms in office, and historic sites.
- US Presidents – InfoPlease
Resources for learning about the Presidents including pictures of the children and pets.
- Social Studies for Kids – US Presidents
A listing of resources for studying the Presidents.
- Animaniacs Presidents Video
Animanaics cartoon characters sing their way through all the Presidents through Clinton.
- The American Presidency: Glorious Burden
To tell the story of the American presidency, the National Museum of American History, featured an exhibition displaying more than 900 artifacts on view in "The American Presidency," most drawn from the museum’s holdings of more than 3 million objects, by far the largest collection of its kind in the nation.
Among the exhibition’s highlights are Thomas Jefferson’s wooden lap desk on which he wrote the Declaration of Independence; the carriage Ulysses S. Grant rode to his second inauguration; the top hat worn by Abraham Lincoln the night of his assassination; George Washington’s battle sword; Bill Clinton’s military case—used to contain the topmost national security information; a 1999 script from the TV drama "The West Wing"; and the suit worn by Harrison Ford in the 1997 movie "Air Force One."
This site provides videos, images, teacher materials, and other resources from this exhibition .
- American Presidents Life Portraits
The Peabody Award winning series profiles the men who have served as chief executive of the United States. This website, created as a companion to C-SPAN’s 20th Anniversary television series, provides an in-depth look at each of the presidents, their lives, families and administrations.
- America’s Story: US Presidents
This Library of Congress website for kids includes a timeline and interesting information about 14 US Presidents.
- National Archives Presidential Libraries
This site is a gateway to each of the Presidential libraries and includes links to a presidential timeline, audio files of Presidential speeches, and links to various libraries children’s and teacher websites.
- Elections Unit Study Resources - EHO
Places to get resources
You can find resources for a unit study on Presidents at many places. The most obvious place would be the internet. Here you can find websites, games, books, and multitudes of other things. But if you would like to go to different places to find ways to learn about Presidents, there are other options. One fun thing would be to go to the library and have the children pick one or two books about Presidents that you could read together. You could also find a Museum in your area, or see if there is a national park near you. They generally have information not only about the park, but also about US History and resources pertaining to the park’s main focus. Some even have short movies you can watch. If you want resources to keep, a bookstore would be a good place to look. Don’t think that you have to find your information in one place, there are several ways to get information and resources that will help you teach and learn.
- Mock Campaign- Pretend you are running for President. What kind of platform would you run on, what would you promise to do and change? Would you have a slogan?
- Pick a favorite President- Write a report, do an oral report, make a collage about your favorite President and why he is your favorite.
- Interesting Fact- (for older children) Use the internet or books to find an interesting fact that is not well-known, something that you can share with your family that they didn’t know about a President or the Presidency.
Books About the Presidency and Biographies of Presidents
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