Lesson This lesson plan encompasses about 3-4 days of S.S. time

  • What Does the President Do?
  • What would make a good classroom leader?
  • Speech Development.
  • Campaign Poster Creation
Content Area  Social Studies
Unit  Our Government
  • Standard 1: Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, themes, eras, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States and New York.
  • People in rural, urban, and suburban communities develop rules and laws to govern and protect community members.
  • Our local communities have elected and appointed leaders who make, enforce, and interpret rules and laws.
  • Students will identify and describe the responsibilities of the president.
  • Students will identify, research, and describe the jobs of the different members of the cabinet.
  • Students will make an illustrated timeline of the steps to the White House taken by various U.S. presidents.
  • Students will differentiate between nonfiction and fiction using a genre flowchart.
  • Students will generate a t-chart list of what makes a good leader for our US country and what qualities would be good for a classroom leader.
  • Students will develop a “Vote For Me” campaign speech

Click on picture to access the Book Flix website

Before Viewing the Video

  1. Elicit students’ background knowledge about the current and former presidents. Guiding questions:
    • Who is our president right now?
    • How long has he been president?
    • Do you know anything about this president that makes him unusual or different from other presidents?
    • What other presidents can you name?
    • Who was the first president of the U.S.?
    • What are some of the jobs that presidents do?
    • Is there anything that all of the presidents have in common?
  2. Preview these other important vocabulary words:
    • cabinet: a group of people who work for the president
    • diplomat: a person who represents his or her country
    • duties: responsibilities; things you must do
    • executive: a person in charge of running a company or country
    • privilege: a special opportunity that not everyone gets
    • Secret Service agent: a person in charge of protecting the president
    • treaty: an agreement between two people or countries in conflict
    • veto: the power of the president to say no to a law
  3. Discuss the idea of a woman president with the students. Ask:
    • Has there been a woman president in the U.S. yet?
    • Why do you think that there hasn’t been?

    Briefly review the history of the women’s suffrage movement. Make a list of things that students think are “boy things” and things that students think are “girl things.” Ask students to explain why they have these views. Ask students if boys can ever do any of the “girl things” or vice versa. Ask students why it would be important for everyone to have a chance to both vote and run for office.

After-Viewing Activities

  1. Ask students what kinds of things they would do if they were president. Encourage them to support their answers with reasoning. Point out to students that presidents are not responsible for making the laws, but are responsible for making sure that laws are carried out. Then use a graphic organizer to help students identify and describe the major responsibilities of the president.
  2. Did they hear the new vocabulary words? Did it help them to know what those words meant before they watched the movie?
  3. Discuss with students how people become the president. What types of qualities do they need? Education? Experience? Training? Use the BookFlix video So You Want to Be President to help guide the discussion. Then have students work in groups of 3-5 to research the paths that various presidents have taken to the White House. Encourage the groups to choose different presidents, with one group focusing on the current president. As the groups collect information about their president, have them write important and relevant facts on individual index cards.

On a separate card, have students illustrate the event. Then, students can use a piece of butcher paper or large construction paper to draw a timeline depicting the president’s path to the White House. Provide students with a picture of the White House that they can affix to the end of their timeline.

“Vote For Me” Campaign Speech Development

  1. Teacher will model writing a speech
  2. Students will be given a graphic organizer which will require them to list 4 reasons they would be a good classroom mayor, governor, or president.
  3. Students will use the graphic organizer to write a well organized speech on special paper.
Materials  1. Fiction Resource

  • Madam President
  • Written and Illustrated by Lane Smith
  • Grades: 2-4; Ages: 7-10
  • Lexile Level: N/A; Guided Reading Level: L
  • Themes: presidency, American government
  • Running Time: 9:45
  • Plot Summary: As she studies about presidents, a little girl imagines herself as the president of the United States. She focuses on the important responsibilities of the president, such as giving executive orders (more waffles!), kissing babies, attending state funerals, and appointing a solid cabinet. She delights in her veto power, especially when the cafeteria is serving tuna casserole. However, she does not take her responsibilities too lightly, even cleaning her room in an effort to lead by example. Students will relate to this young character and her dream to become the most important person in the land.

2. Nonfiction Resource

  • What Does the President Do?
  • By Amanda Miller
  • Grades: 2-4; Ages: 7-10
  • Lexile Level: 450; Guided Reading Level: J
  • Description: Describes the various jobs and responsibilities of the president of the United States.

3. Special Election graphic organizer and final copy paper

4. Construction Paper to make Campaign poster


Formative Assessment  Have the students play the Puzzlers educational games about Madam President andWhat Does the President Do? Review their results to assess their comprehension of the words and events in the story, as well as their ability to distinguish between fiction and nonfiction.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s