Grade Level: 3-6
Story Preview: Penny shows her lack of understanding of and knowledge about the presidency when she e-mails to her teacher a joke about the president. Her teacher's reaction spurs Penny to go online to learn more about what a president does. There, she discovers a Web site at which former presidents chat about their accomplishments, and learns what those men consider to be the important qualities of a president.
Roles: Narrator, Penny, Ms. Abbington (teacher), I_Like_Ike (Dwight Eisenhower), Honest_Abe (Abraham Lincoln), Gentleman_Farmer (George Washington), Monty_Cello (Thomas Jefferson), New_Deal (Franklin D. Roosevelt), Pillbox_Hat (Jacqueline Kennedy), PT_Boat_Commander (John F. Kennedy), Great_Communicator (Ronald Reagan)
Setting: present day, school and home
Theme: Presidents' Day
Props: none required
Separate students into small groups and ask each group to research a president in this script: I_Like_Ike (Dwight Eisenhower); Honest_Abe (Abraham Lincoln); Gentleman_Farmer (George Washington); Monty_Cello (Thomas Jefferson); New_Deal (Franklin D. Roosevelt); Pillbox_Hat (Jacqueline Kennedy) and PT_Boat_Commander (John F. Kennedy); or Great_Communicator (Ronald Reagan). Have students look for information that explains the alias used by each speaker and comments he or she makes. (For example, why does John F. Kennedy call himself PT_Boat_Commander and the "man who accompanied Pillbox Hat to this chat"?) Next, have students create a profile for the speakers that includes the years that each president served, place of birth, and other key facts. Reconvene to share their findings as a class and put the presidents on a timeline based on the events they discuss and their years in office.
Click here for a printable script.
Article by Cara Bafile
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