Tuesday, January 3, 2017

President's Day in Kindergarten

President's Day activities can be fun with kindergartners.
Before we know it, it will be President's Day.  I'm sorry. Our kindergarten curriculum starts introducing the role of our president in the fall. As we teach the students the Pledge of Allegiance, we also introduce our president. Students need to know the president is "the leader of the United States of America." Of course this is just a rudimentary understanding, but it's their first exposure to the president. This year will be interesting because the election has certainly had polarizing effects on our country. Students will undoubtedly hear about the president before President's Day, because the Inauguration will be in January. I truly believe it is my job as a teacher to teach about the role of president without my personal opinions ever coming into play. So, with that in mind, here are a few activities for President's Day.

Books

President's Day activities can be fun with kindergartners.
There are many books published about President's Day. Some are very in depth, some are just about Washington or Lincoln or about both. There are many choices for teachers. The book above is my new favorite. This Little President is published by Scholastic and I love it. I'm sort of a sucker for the four line poem (I've blogged about this before). This book contains a 4-line poem for each of the presidents. One of my favorite things about this book is that it isn't just for kindergartners. I would think this could be a fun activity for older students, either guessing which president matches the poem or making an additional 4-line poem to compliment the first. That being said, I would only share a few of the poems with my students and not try to read all of them.
Poetry and Art
President's Day activities can be fun with kindergartners.
My 4-line poem for the week is called Presidents. Our state standards require me to teach about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Trying to keep the poem short and not focus on either the poem focuses on the job of the president: to "make America good for me and you." I know, I know...think like a kindergartner, not an adult. The poem focuses on names, sight words, and a basic understanding of the job. During week 1, students read the poem for understanding and fluency. Week 2, as described in earlier posts, I move the poem to the poetry and art centers. This art center is a choice center: students can choose to make a George Washington poster or an Abraham Lincoln poster. The George Washington poster allows the students to paint cherries on the tree. The Abraham Lincoln poster allows them to create a log cabin and glue on a real penny.  It's a big decision. If you would like the Sample President's Day Set, click the highlighted link or the picture below.

President Can Have Are

President's Day activities can be fun with kindergartners.
I like making a President Anchor Chart and the can-have-are chart makes the most sense. It's interesting to get their ideas about what belongs on the chart. It's easiest to make an anchor chart to look like Abraham Lincoln's hat.

Other Activities

There are many more activities I use in my classroom. We have vocabulary cards, a secret code using beginning sounds, and easy readers with sight words. The entire set for President's Day is in my TPT store.  The entire set is 42 pages and contains: President Definition Activity in both full-color and black and white, 3 poem alternatives, poem concept of word order activity, a sort, pieces for art activities, small poem for art activity, 4 sight word readers, counting by 5 and counting by 10 activity cards, 30 vocabulary cards in both full-color and black and white, an ABC Abraham Lincoln activity, a February Secret message sheet, and two word making activities.  If you are interested in the full President's Day Set, click the link or the picture below.

I know I'm early for President's Day, so make sure you Pin this for Later:
























Fun Facts about President's Day:
1. President's Day isn't really a holiday. It was originally designated at George Washington's Day to celebrate and honor our first president. Richard Nixon decided all presidents, including himself, should be honored and celebrated, so he changed the name unofficially when he was in office.
2. If you look up the correct spelling you'll find Presidents Day, Presidents' Day and President's Day. Basically, they are all acceptable. If you are celebrating all presidents, there should not be an apostrophe. If you are celebrating a president, like George Washington, it could be with an "apostrophe s." AND finally, if you are celebrating two presidents, like Washington and Lincoln, it could be with a "s apostrophe." It is suggested you pick one spelling and stick with it.

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