While I love a good school holiday, there’s also a part of me that really loves being in school on holidays so that students can learn about them. There are many holidays that we seem to have lost the significance of and they have become nothing more than just a Monday off. Presidents’ Day is one of those holidays. These Presidents’ Day activities will help you teach your students about this holiday and the important position of the president. Consider adding a few of them to your lesson plans during the week of Presidents’ Day!
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Engage them with Video
Video is always a great way to engage students and sometimes when we don’t have a lot of time for a topic a video can make a great mini-lesson. This video by Homeschool Pop is a great overview of the holiday, how it began, and more!
In addition to the holiday, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are often focal points taught about on this day or during February. But it would also be exciting to teach our students about more Presidents, too! Here’s a couple of good videos your students would enjoy about these Presidents.
- Biography of George Washington
- Biography of Abraham Lincoln
- Biography of Thomas Jefferson
- Biography of Theodore Roosevelt
And why not finish your study of Presidents with this fun, video-based trivia game. Your students are sure to learn some new facts about our Presidents.
Connecting President’s Day to Reading
If you have been following me for a while, then you probably know how much I love close reading. It’s such an incredible way to teach important reading skills and strategies in a very intentional way. You can find out more about how I use close reading in the classroom here.
This President’s Day Close Reading passage is an excellent way to connect reading instruction to this holiday. Using this differentiated reading passage, students will learn about the holiday while focusing on reading for understanding, vocabulary, and reading for details. Finally, students will apply what they have learned from the reading passage by completing a writing prompt on the topic. It’s a great activity that can be done in one day or divided up and completed over 3 or 4 days.
A Presidential Book Study
Another fun activity to do on or around President’s Day is a book study on the book So You Want to be President? by Judith St. George. This Caldecott award-winning book is a great way to teach kids about some fun and quirky parts of this important position. Grab the book or watch the video read aloud then set your students out on a Presidential adventure.
Designed to be a 4 – 5 day book study, students will dig into vocabulary from the book as well as a variety of reading skills and opinion writing throughout. This resource also includes a book quiz, a vocabulary quiz, and a final writing activity where students write about what they would do if they were president. Students are also challenged to think about how their life would be different. This fun book study comes with a print and digital version!
These printable and digital activities are perfect for Presidents’ Day. You can also use them for a government unit or as a mentor text for your opinion writing lessons. Fill a week of lessons, or pick and choose what to do if time is limited.
Why does this resource not require a book?
This book is available as a read-aloud with video on the websites listed below. You can search: So You Want to Be President on any of these websites to share the video read-aloud version with your students. Many schools have subscriptions to Book Flix and/or Epic Books. If your school does not have a subscription, I suggest doing a quick search on YouTube where you’ll find several great read-aloud options. I’ve linked my favorite below.
- Book Flix (requires a subscription)
- Epic Books (requires a subscription, but FREE for educators)
More Books for President’s Day
Whether you are looking for a read-aloud or books to add to your classroom library, these are great books for Presidents’ Day.
- Ellie May on Presidents’ Day by Hillary Homzie
- Let’s Celebrate Presidents’ Day by Barbara deRubertis
- Presidents’ Day by Anne Rockwell
In addition to these Presidents’ Day books, there are also lots and lots of great books for kids about presidents.
Some Presidents’ Day Fun
It’s so easy to get focused on all the skills that we forget to add some fun into the day. Over the years I have found that students really love some extra activities that aren’t directly related to the main curriculum areas. BUT . . . that doesn’t mean you can’t connect them. In fact, by connecting them student engagement is often increased.
Here’s some extra President’s Day activities your students would love.
- How to draw George Washington and How to draw Abraham Lincoln – Have students watch one or both drawing lessons and then complete a writing activity about the president. The writing assignment could be related to a read aloud, reading from a textbook, or through some basic research.
- Practice Counting Money and Identifying Presidents at the same time. Money is usually taught with a focus on value. But, Presidents’ Day is a great day to connect it to the presidents that appear on each coin or bill.
- Take a virtual field trip to the White House and get a sneak peek inside without ever leaving your classroom. You can also take a virtual trip to visit Mount Vernon or the Mount Rushmore National Monument. These virtual field trips are a great connection to social studies.
Save these Presidents’ Day Activities
Save these President’s Day activities! Pin this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can quickly come back when it is time to fill your lesson plans.