It’s February when teachers everywhere turn to thoughts of… presidents. A few years ago I was fortunate to attend the Hall of Presidents attraction during a trip to Disney World.
The video portion of the presentation appears on a panoramic screen. It tells how the Founding Fathers had a new idea to establish the office of a president elected by the people. At that time, the idea of a president was unique to the world. Yet, these leaders had the remarkable foresight to write our constitution with the president leading one of the three branches. In true Disney fashion, the presidents on stage came to life one by one. I was thankful for the hundreds of years of history captured there.
Ohio: The Mother of Presidents
Here is a free presidential activity that teachers in all states can use. This passage on the use of editorial (political) cartoons as primary sources has an accompanying question set. Although written for fourth graders, the cartoon makes an interesting social studies discussion topic for older students, as well. It also highlights Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft—two presidents who might get lost in the shuffle of Presidents’ Day.
If you use Simple Solutions Ohio Studies in your classroom, check out the final eight passages of the book. You will find biographies and accompanying question sets of all eight United States presidents from Ohio. Teachers can use these at any time during the year. Perhaps February is a good time to get to know the presidents from Ohio.
The Log Cabin President
One of the presidents born in February and honored on Presidents’ Day is Abraham Lincoln. He lived in three states (Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois) before becoming president and moving to Washington D.C. But Kentucky residents know he was born in a log cabin in Larue County, Kentucky. Follow this link to a free download of a passage and question set about the man who many consider Kentucky’s most famous native son. We were excited to include this passage about his early years in Grade Four Simple Solutions Kentucky Studies. Kentucky educators interested in a digital sample can contact us at [email protected].