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Volume 7, Issue 1
January 5, 2009
Theme: Our New President


Let children listen as you read this rhyme. After reading, engage them in a simple discussion about our new president -- his name, where he will live, and so on.

Our New President

We have a new president
To lead our country and
To help keep us all safe
And protect this great land.

We all will try very hard
To be good citizens,
And love our U-nited States
As true A-mer-i-cans!

Susan LaBella
Editor, Early Childhood Education Newsletter



Explain to students that the new president will be sworn into office, or inaugurated, on January 20, 2009. Help students understand that on that day the president takes an oath -- makes a promise -- to serve the American people. Read aloud to students the presidential oath and show them the presidential seal, explaining that it is a symbol of the president's office.

"I do solemnly swear that I will
faithfully execute the office of
President of the United States,
and will, to the best of my ability,
preserve, protect, and defend the
Constitution of the United States."
Finally, ask students to think about what kind of promises they would make if they were to become president of our country. Help each child write about his her promise. Then ask them to draw a picture to illustrate it.

Let children understand that our presidents have come from different states in our country. Give several examples: George Washington was from Virginia; Abraham Lincoln lived in Illinois when he was elected president; and George W. Bush came from Texas. Our new president, Barack Obama, comes from the same state as Abraham Lincoln -- Illinois. On a large U.S. map, point out the home states of some of our presidents. Then print out for each student a Barack Obama coloring page. After students have colored the page, help them print on a sentence strip of paper the following statement: Our next president is Barack Obama. He is from the state of Illinois. Staple the sentence strip to each child's coloring page and display the pictures in your classroom.

Tell children that our president and his family will live in the White House in Washington, D.C. (Show on a map the location of Washington, D.C.) Explain that the president's family will live in private rooms, or quarters, that are not open to the public. Explain that many rooms, however, are open for people to see. Then let students take an online tour of the White House. As students view the various rooms, ask them to choose one room they like best. Create a picture graph to show results by listing the name and posting a picture of each room on the left side of the graph and posting a smiley face on the right to represent each student's choice. Invite students to use the graph to answer "more or less" questions. (For example: Did more students like the Oval Office or the Red Room best?)

Share with children If I Were President by Catherine Stier. Share, as you read aloud, some of the many duties of the president. After reading, ask students to help you make a list of the president's duties on a sheet of chart paper so they can see that the president "wears many hats." Then give each child a pre-cut shape of a hat. Let each child print on his/her hat a presidential duty: signs laws; meets leaders; visits other countries. Display all hats on a bulletin board titled "Our President Wears Many Hats."

Celebrate the inauguration of our next president with these red, white, and blue snacks. In a small juice glass layer vanilla yogurt, blueberries, yogurt, strawberries, yogurt. You might use fresh or frozen fruits for this activity. Give each child a spoon -- and enjoy!



Check out the following Web sites for additional background and activities.

Portraits of the Presidents
Give children a glimpse into our country's history by sharing these portraits of past presidents.

Children in the White House
Explain that our new president has two young daughters who will be living in the White House. Let children brainstorm what that might be like. Then read aloud these short paragraphs to give students an idea about a kid's life in the White House.

White House Jigsaw Puzzle
Children will enjoy putting together this online puzzle of the White House. The puzzle has 20 pieces, but you can choose "Change Cut" in the menu to present a 6-piece puzzle for young students.

Presidents of the United States of America
You'll find all things presidential here -- information, crafts, and more.

Color the Presidential Seal
An online coloring page of the United States Presidential seal.