The third Monday in February is the annual observance of Presidents' Day. This week, Education World offers five excellent activities to teach students about the presidents of the United States! Included: Activities in which students create a picture book of presidents, design a new presidential monument, imagine they are president for a day, and more!
Presidents' Day is a holiday honoring past presidents of the United States. What is the history behind Presidents' Day? Take a look at our brief time line.
1796 -- The country first celebrated the birthday of George Washington during the last full year he was president.
1866 -- One year after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, both houses of Congress gathered for a memorial address on his birthday, February 12. Although Lincoln's birthday became a holiday in many states, it never became an official federal holiday.
1885-- President Chester Arthur made Washington's birthday a federal holiday.
1968 -- Congress passed legislation moving the observance of George Washington's birthday from February 22 to the third Monday in February.
1971-- The legislation passed in 1968 took effect in 1971. Some people think that the legislation combined the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington to create Presidents' Day. Congress never combined Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays. The holiday is still officially called Washington's Birthday.
Use these five terrific classroom activities from Education World to help you teach your students about the U.S. presidents! Read the brief descriptions below for each lesson. Click any headline for a complete teaching resource!
Presidential Time Line
Students create a time line about the presidents of the United States. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)
Students create a new monument for a U.S. president! (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)
President for a Day
Students imagine they are president of the United States for one day! What would they do? What would their day be like? (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8)
Students study the section of the Constitution that refers to the executive branch and write a proposal for a new power for the president of the United States. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)
Presidents Picture Book
Students create a picture book of the U.S. presidents. (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8)