6 Great President's Day Ideas for Upper Elementary

Well, February is flying by! Tomorrow is the day of love (or heartbreak) and President's Day will soon be upon us.  Being an upper elementary teacher, I know that by the time kids reach 4th or 5th grade they think they know everything about President's Day (or at least about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington) and all the cute craftivities and plays that go along with it.  This is exactly why, last year, I had my students each research a different President and record their research on a research pennant.  The kids were amazed to find out things about many of our U.S. presidents that they did not know.  We took all of our pennants and hung them out in the hall to show off our research!  The kids had a blast and it was a welcomed change from all the "George" and "Abe" they have seen since pre-K.  Here are some other great ideas for helping your upper elementary students celebrate President's Day.  

2.  Study The Electoral Process  

I understand that given last year's election, the electoral process is not something many people want to study right now.  But, it is a great idea to study how we elect our presidents any year for President's Day.  You may also want to consider studying the inauguration!   

3.  Grandparent Interview 

Have students interview a grandparent about who they feel has been the most influential president in their lifetime.  They can take notes from the interview and write a paper summarizing their conversation. 

4. Study The Constitution 

I know Constitution Day is in September.  President's day, however, is a great time to review the U.S. Constitution.  It is Article Two of the United States Constitution, after all, that establishes the executive branch of our government.

5.  Complete a Project Based Learning Activity

Kids love project based learning!  Spend the day or the week completing a project based learning activity!  I am nuts about this President for the Week PBL activity from Digital Divide and Conquer!  It is amazing!  Check it out! Use it! 

6.  Geography and Presidents 

Place a giant map of the U.S. up in your classroom.  Have students put a pin, mark, or sticker on the state each president is from. Which states have produced the most U.S. presidents?  Which states have never had a president come from that state? 

These are just a few ideas for how to make President's Day special with your big kids!  Hope your February is off to a great start! 

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