As a social studies teacher, I’ve learned Presidents’ Day offers an enormous number of potential learning possibilities. One of my students’ all-time favorite activities is reading the medical problems each president had and how they overcame these adversities.
The potential learning possibilities of President’s Day make it ideal for Common Core lessons in both math and language arts. For example, I have students graph the height of the presidents. I also have students make a timeline of presidential terms and research which political parties held power the longest in each century. I’ve also emphasized critical thinking by asking students to research the amount of education a president had and relate it to his political party and even his length of time in office.
I suggest younger students work on making graphs and even creating baseball-type cards with a drawing of a president's face and major facts about him on the other side.
Browse through the following resources to create plans for your students. No matter your subject or grade level, you should find what you need to turn Presidents’ Day into some great teachable moments.
Alan Haskvitz teaches at Suzanne Middle School in Walnut, Calif., and makes staff development presentations nationwide. He serves as an educational consultant, curriculum developer and author.