Presidents’ Day Activities to Fill Your February
Start planning a FUN February by bringing the U.S. Presidents to life with ideas from our Presidents’ Day Activities list! Why celebrate the Presidents for just one day when there are more than enough fabulous activities to fill an entire month. We have compiled the very best Presidents' Day ideas that you will want to use year after year to engage your Kindergarten through 6th graders.
Check out these Fun and Easy President's Day Activities to fill up your February:
The Best Presidential Books!
There are SO many amazing books on Presidents out there! And after being in education for years and years (and more years-yikes!), these are the titles that we come back to time and time again. All sorts of our kids have loved them! Check them out from your local library or grab them from Amazon to add to your educational collection.
If you haven’t had a chance to read Mike Venezia’s Getting to Know the U. S. Presidents series or Roberta Edward’s Who Was series, you are in for a treat! These books are packed with information, well-written, and a great balance of text and illustrations. They are perfect for capturing the attention of the K-6 crowd!
Our hands-down winner here is Magic Tree House books. Several in the series highlight past Presidents! Mary Pope Osborne’s enchanting stories will attract even the pickiest of readers.
🔹Character of Leaders
The Children’s Treasure of Virtues by William J. Bennett is a collection of 3 books: The Children’s Book of Virtues, The Children’s Book of Heroes, and The Children’s Book of America. These short stories and poems highlight the virtues and characteristics of many leaders from history. Your children will be inspired as they read about Washington and Lincoln, as well as other real and fictional heroes. A real favorite!
But WHY should you do more than just read a book?
Books are a fantastic resource to start your exploration but did you realize that the average student remembers just 10% of what they read and only 20% of what they read and hear?
To increase their retention rate to 75%, we need to guide our kids to discuss, interact, and manipulate the material they are learning. Projects and activities are the perfect way to do this!
Boost Research Skills
President's Day is a perfect time to begin exposing or teaching research skills!
Pick a focus on a favorite like Washington or Lincoln (or pick any President) and learn more about them. The information you will gather can easily be organized into a few categories (think early life, adult life, Presidential life), making for a perfect transition to a book or written or oral report.
Check out this President Research Flip Book that can easily guide you through the process!
You can challenge students’ higher-level thinking skills by taking it one step further by comparing 2 Presidents! One of the best ways to organize information to compare Presidents is to use a Venn Diagram.
Did you know that Venn Diagrams encourage kids to:
🔹Think critically about information?
🔹Organize information visually?
🔹Take note of differences?
The best part is you can use them for ANY age or style of learner! The choice is yours--draw pictures, cut and paste facts, use keywords or phrases, or write complete and detailed sentences.
You can download our FREE Venn Diagrams for Presidents Pack and get started today! This set includes several Venn Diagrams geared toward early elementary students as well as an older elementary version.
So how many U.S. Presidents can you name? Your students? 10? 20? Are you able to do ALL of them?!
I taught a United States President’s class to elementary students several years ago. One of the first challenges I gave the kids was to memorize all of the Presidents in order. They originally thought there was NO WAY they would be able to do that.....but I gave them a little bit of help.
You can easily remember all of the Presidents in order once you learn a Presidents' Song. Research has proven that MUSIC is a fantastic way to help you memorize a large amount of information!
Music helps by:
🔹providing structure for the brain through the use of predictable patterns
🔹using more than one part of the brain
🔹and is just plain FUN!
So challenge your kids (and yourself) to learn ALL of the Presidents in order--see how long it takes you. I bet they will know them in just a few days! Plus, they will be able to recall them for years to come!
Another fun challenge is Presidential Trivia! Trivia games encourage kids to learn interesting and unknown facts about these leaders. Professor Noggin is a go-to for kids trivia games. It has an easy and a hard level plus a variety of question types so everyone playing with find the game challenging, but not frustrating. And best of all, it is a fun and engaging way to learn more about U.S. Presidents!
Money, Money, Money
Presidents are all over United States currency! There are so many skills you can teach or practice by taking some time to incorporate money into your President’s Day unit.
🔹Learn which Presidents are on what bills and coins
🔹Practice sorting and counting coins
🔹Identify coin values
🔹Find equivalent values using different coins or bills
🔹Discover how money is made
🔹Find out when bills are printed or coins are minted and figure out how old they are
🔹Learn about the other words and symbols on the currency
🔹Even integrate some science by polishing coins!
Here’s a super fun (and educational!) song about U.S. money and the presidents!
Keep It Engaging! Hands-On Presidents’ Day Activities
These are some of our students’ most favorite memories! Remember that retention rate of 75%, it is time to interact with and manipulate the information they are learning. Hands-on projects and activities are the perfect way to do this! Do a quick online search and you will find an endless list of ideas to incorporate.
Two of our all-time favorites are:
🔹Log Cabin Homes-Always a hit! Probably because they get to eat what they build, but we like to think some serious designing skills were being developed. Many of our first Presidents lived in log cabins. Simple activities such as these awesome pretzels or graham cracker log cabins help kids make meaningful connections and retain information better.
🔹Handmade Puppets–Just a few simple supplies like paper bags, toilet paper rolls, popsicle sticks, and you are ready to go! There are so many ways to create your versions of George and Abe (or any of the other Presidents!)
Let them create today and watch them "play" with the information they learn! It really does make a significant impact on how they will retain. For even more activities and ideas, check out our Pinterest Board to help reinforce your Presidents' Day lessons!
Is your planner now packed with ideas for February? If you still need some help, check out this blog post suggesting even more ideas to fill your February! The projects make great hall or bulletin board displays for the month. We would love to see all of the great Presidential Project your students do! If you are on social media, be sure to tag us and share your amazing ideas!