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15 Presidents’ Day Classroom Activities

Jacqui Murray

Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February -- this year, February 19, 2018. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still unofficially called “Washington’s Birthday” by many. The holiday became known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. Several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and other figures. Here are 15 classroom activities to celebrate in your classroom including websites, games, activities, printables, quizzes, audios, songs, interactive maps, crafts, flashcards, videos, webquests, books, posters, trading cards, lesson plans, word searches, puzzles, speeches, articles, animations, biographies, and more:

1. Classroom Activities

From Apples 4 the Teacher, a well-known resource site for teachers and homeschoolers, this site provides links to president-themed coloring pages, stories, biographies, word searches, word jumbles, puzzles, and book reviews that can be used to reinforce learning about all of America's presidents.

2. Classroom Activities for Presidents Washington and Lincoln

Sponsored by Schools of California Online Resources for Education (SCORE), this site provides a variety of holiday-related links that address the background on President Lincoln and President Washington's birthdays, the holiday, a Presidents' Day Web Museum, and a Presidents' Day WebQuest.

3. Activities for Grades K-5

This National Education Association (NEA) site includes lesson plans, background materials, activities for families, printables, games, quizzes, videos, and audios to support K-5 teaching of America's President's Day.

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4. Activities for Grades 6-8

Also by the NEA, this site includes middle school lesson plans on the Lincoln-Douglas debates and slavery, background resources, interactive maps, games, quizzes, video, and audio.

5. Activities for High School

Again by the NEA, this site includes Presidents’ Day activities that are age-appropriate for high schoolers, including interactive maps, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, speeches appropriate for higher-level analysis, cultural background of the times, quizzes, video, and audio.

6. More Activities

Created by Family Education, this site includes Presidents’ Day quizzes, crafts, and flashcards, as well as patriotic activities.

7. BrainPop President videos

With the quality and ease-of-understanding teachers expect from BrainPop resources, this link provides classroom resources on 15 presidents, including Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Madison, Adams, Jackson, Nixon, Clinton, Kennedy, Reagan, and Obama. It also includes videos on the presidential election and presidential power.

8. Enchanted Learning Activities

From Enchanted Learning, one of the most respected names in classroom printables, find crafts, printables, short printable books, a general collection of activities, spelling and writing activities, math worksheets, U.S. symbol activities, quizzes, and more.

9. Games and Online Activities

From Primary Games, popular home of a wide variety of edutainment for kids, this link includes a Presidents’ Day word search, games, coloring pages, worksheets, jokes, stationary, and mobile games.

10. Google Explores Presidents

This site is part of Google's Arts and Culture, reputed to be well-done, visual, and immensely enticing to viewers. It is a curation of websites and web-based resources on each president, as well as general information on life in the White House. Each president's archive is anchored by his official presidential portrait.

11. History and Background

From History.com, this is one of the most comprehensive, engaging collections of Presidents’ Day activities you'll find online. It includes videos, animations, presidential speeches, and articles as well as background on the White House and the holiday itself.

12. Learn About Each President

Curated by WhiteHouse.gov, this site includes links to each President. From there, you get a fairly short though comprehensive biography of each president, interesting facts, and the part he played in creating the nationp

13. President for a Day!

Geared for elementary age children, this PBS site includes Meet the President to introduce children to our current president, well-done videos narrated by youngsters, do-it-yourself Presidential campaign posters, and trading cards.

14. Presidential Timeline

From Education World, this lesson plan guides students and teachers in creating a timeline of events in the life of the president. It includes materials required, time allotted, objectives, lesson plan, assessments, and tie-ins to academic subjects.

15. President videos

On this well-done PBS site, grades 4-12 find 60-second videos that introduce them to each president. They are quick, concise, and hit the high points for each presidency.

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There you are -- 15 highly differentiated activities for students on Presidents’ Day. Do you have a favorite I missed?

-- published first on TeachHUB


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 18 years. She is the editor/author of more than 100 ed-tech resources, including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in ed-tech, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on ed-tech topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning. She is also the author of the tech-thriller series, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days.