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Sites to See: U.S. Presidents

Web sites about U.S. Presidents provide information, lesson plans, activities, and insights into the office of the presidency as well as the character of the men who have served in that office. Explore online biographies, facts, photos, videos, and sound clips for a picture of those U.S. presidents and the country they served. Included: More than a dozen sites about U.S. presidents and the Presidency.

With Presidents' Day just around the corner, teachers and students alike are demonstrating an interest in past and current U.S. presidents. Whether you're interested in learning more about the office of the presidency or in exploring the life of a particular president, the sites below offer a variety of resources about the people who have held the highest office in the land.

POTUS
An acronym for Presidents of the United States, POTUS is the Internet Public Library's offering on all 42 U.S. presidents. For sheer reference value, you won't find anything better online. Election results, cabinet members, historical primary resources, and links to additional materials combine to make this a comprehensive treatment of the presidency.

The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden
The American Presidency introduces each former U.S. president and discusses his presidency in the context of the relevant historical era. The site includes hands-on activities for students and a wealth of resources for teachers who want to use the site in their classrooms. Lesson plans are available for grades 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12

White House Historical Association
Where better to start a study of the presidents than at the White House? Take a virtual tour of White House history. Explore a timeline to immerse yourself in the country's rich history. Read about White House visits -- or write about your own. Be sure to visit the Classroom area, offering lessons and activities on five different themes for three different levels.

American Presidents: Life Portraits
C-Span provides this rich multimedia learning experience containing information and resources about all U.S. presidents. Student resources include biographies, presidential portraits, videos, photographs, a tour of presidential gravesites. A comprehensive set of lesson plans, suggestions for student projects, and ideas for activities for learning about individual presidents are provided for teachers.

Life in the White House
This new addition to the Whitehouse.gov site explores the rich history of the White House and the West Wing with video tours and essays. These video tours give viewers a glimpse of life in the White House and the vice president's residence. This would make an excellent virtual field trip for students who are studying the U.S. government or the U.S. presidency.

From Revolution to Reconstruction...and What Happened Afterward
This site provides basic information on all periods of American history taken directly from "An Outline of American History" distributed by the United States Information Agency. Each period is broken into a separate chapter link and each of those links is broken down further still with its own graphic head to identify it. The site includes a presidents' page, with links to each U.S. president, from George Washington. to George W. Bush.

Project Vote Smart
Project Vote Smart provides fact sheets on candidates for current elections. As a national library of factual information, Project Vote Smart covers candidates and elected officials in five basic categories: biographical information, issue positions, voting records, campaign finances, and interest group ratings. Contact information is also provided -- in case students have additional questions!

Who is That?
This Funbrain game is actually an interactive quiz in which visitors identify U.S. presidents based on a sketch and a number of clues. Each quiz focuses on 20 presidents, randomly generated to keep things interesting. This is a great activity for students in upper elementary and middle school.

The Presidents' Hall
This is the Presidents page on the official White House Web site. It includes bios of the presidents (as well as bios of the First Ladies), links to a tour of the White House, and much more.

ALSO WORTH A LOOK

  • Inaugural Addresses of Presidents of the United States
  • By Popular Demand: Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies
  • Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States
  • The American President
  • Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids

    For even more great sites for online reference materials, visit the Reference area of Education World's Site Reviews Archives.

     

    Updated 1/20/2012