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I Do Solemnly Swear:
Presidential Inaugurations


  • Social Studies
    --Current Events
    ----U.S. History


  • 3-5

Brief Description

Students read about the most recent presidential inauguration, and then use primary online resources to answer general and specific questions about U.S. presidential inaugurations.


Students will
  • Summarize the Constitutional requirements for inaugurations and the oath of office.
  • Identify at least three historical examples of inaugural exceptions or precedents.
  • List other activities that occur at inaugurations.
  • Describe the purpose of an inauguration.
  • State an opinion about what they believe should happen at an inauguration


inauguration, presidency, civics

Materials Needed

  • Student access to a computer with Internet access
  • Pen and paper
  • Newspaper clippings (or viewing of TV coverage) of the recent Presidential inauguration.

Lesson Plan

This lesson plan was created by EDSITEment, one of the free and rich Web sites of MarcoPolo. See the original Edsitement I Do Solemnly Swear: Presidential Inaugurations for all the procedures and activities involved.

This lesson plan provides five possible activities to do with your class:

  • Look at three inaugurations in history and explore that happened.
  • Determine and discuss the required elements of an inauguration. Researching what the Constitution says must happen
  • Read the Oath of Office and discuss what duties the President is promising to perform.
  • Explore inaugural traditions, precedents, and exceptions.
  • Learn what events occur at and surrounding inauguration in addition to the swearing-in ceremony.
A number of links to primary resources are provided, as are several ideas for extending the lessons. The first lesson can be altered for use during an actual inauguration month. A link to worksheets to help students learn how to use primary sources also is provided.


Students will be evaluated by their
  • ability to express, verbally or in writing, what the Constitution requires from the inauguration and about the oath of office.
  • ability to express, verbally or in writing, the nature of inaugurations.
  • ability to express, verbally or in writing, their opinion of how inaugurations should be held in the future.

Lesson Plan Source


Submitted By

Lorrie Jackson

National Standards

NSS-C.K-4.1 What Is Government?
NSS-C.K-4.2 Values and Principles of Democracy
NSS-C.K-4.3 Principles of Democracy
NSS-C.K-4.5 Roles of the Citizen

NSS-USH.K-4.3 The History of the United States: Democratic Principles and Values and the People from Many Cultures Who Contributed to Its Cultural, Economic, and Political Heritage