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Presidents’ Day Activities, Grades 6-8

Presidents’ Day Is February 17, 2014

Found In: language arts, social studies, 6-8

On this Presidents Day, celebrate the lives of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, their contributions to the United States, and the lives and contributions of all our 44 Presidents.

Lesson Plans

Of Human Bondage: George Washington and the Issue of Slavery
Students interpret four documents George Washington wrote regarding his slaves and slavery. The site provides lesson versions for elementary and middle-high school.

George Washington: Center Piece of a Nation ( PDF, 1.45 MB, 6 pgs.)
Students in grades 4-6 discuss the leadership characteristics that made Washington a good president and whether these characteristics are still important.

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858: Interactive Map Activity
Students in grades 6-12 use an interactive map to explore the 1858 Senate campaign in Illinois and how population, transportation, and party strongholds affect campaign strategies.

Looking for Lincoln’s Views on Slavery
Students in grades 5-8 examine Abraham Lincoln’s views on slavery and race, which evolved both throughout his early life and throughout his presidency.

The Anti-Slavery Movement
Students in grades 6-12 write a constitution for an anti-slavery society.

More Lessons & Background Resources

George Washington: A National Treasure
Explore the life and Presidency of George Washington through this online exhibit from the National Portrait Gallery. Find puzzles, quizzes and fun historical features to learn about the life and times of George Washington.

Under His Hat
A K-12 thematic resource on Lincoln using some of the 52,000 Lincoln and Lincoln-era artifacts and documents the Lincoln Collection. Each resource includes activities that can be correlated with objectives in the National Common Core Standards.

Presidents Day
Is it Presidents or President’s or Presidents’ Day? Is it an official holiday?

Activities

PBS Kids WayBack: Presidents: The Secret History
Three online features help kids decide if they would run for President, discover the secrets of previous Presidents, and learn what it takes to run a campaign.

Games & Quizzes

Games

Abraham Lincoln’s Crossroads
Advanced middle- and high-school students explore Lincoln’s political choices. An animated Lincoln introduces a situation, asks for advice, and prompts players to decide the issue for themselves, before revealing the actual outcome. At game’s end, players discover how frequently they predicted Lincoln’s actions. A Resources Page provides links to relevant Websites, permitting students to explore issues in depth.

Interactive Timeline: Lincoln over Time
Place events and images from the life of Abraham Lincoln in chronological order.

Portrait for Kids
Explore the Landsdowne Portrait of Washington in this interactive feature.

Quizzes

Quiz: Lincoln Myths and Misconceptions
Answer all 15 questions and submit for a grade.

Video & Audio

Video

Presidents Day Video
11 videos about selected Presidents from History.com

American Experience: The Presidents
Complete documentaries of seven Presidents can be watched online.

Lincoln’s Legend and Legacy (60 minutes)
3-part online video, transcript, readings.

Looking for Lincoln
Online video in chapters, plus 9 other clips. Teachers should preview, as language has been questioned.

American Experience: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Watch online. Approximately 90 minutes.

Audio

last updated January 28, 2014

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