TeachersFirst's American Presidents Related Resources

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Whether you are celebrating Presidents Day or learning about the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, this collection of reviewed resources about presidents provides a rich starting point for research, class study, or multimedia projects. If this list is too broad, use the search tool at the left of this page to find resources on a specific president or within a certain grade range. You may also be interested in TeachersFirst's Resources for U.S. Elections or TeachersFirst's Resources for U.S. Presidential Inaugurations.

 

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The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation

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1 to 12
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This one's just for fun, but it's an eloquent statement about the dangers of technology used inappropriately. Technology teachers and those who help teachers with technology will likely...more
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This one's just for fun, but it's an eloquent statement about the dangers of technology used inappropriately. Technology teachers and those who help teachers with technology will likely find this a great illustration for questions about when technology is appropriate.

tag(s): lincoln (86)

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First Ladies - The White House

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4 to 6
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This section from the White House web site offers short histories and biographies of America's First Ladies. These include attention to twentieth century women who made their own accomplishments...more
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This section from the White House web site offers short histories and biographies of America's First Ladies. These include attention to twentieth century women who made their own accomplishments while living in the White House. Elementary students may find this one useful as part of a women's history study, or while learning about the presidency.

tag(s): first ladies (2), presidents (130), white house (14)

In the Classroom

This site would be extremely useful during an American History class. Use this site to provide students with knowledge of the too often forgotten members of the White House - our first ladies. Towards the end of the semester, use this site as a spring board for research projects on the first ladies. Students can use this site as a beginning in their quest for information.

Another use would be to show the ever-evolving role of the First Lady. Review with students the information found on one of the initial first ladies - Martha Washington is an interesting one, and have students compare her role with that of a more recent First lady. To compare the two,use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).

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Jimmy Carter - PBS

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6 to 12
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The Carter presidency's tone ranged from the lows of the Iran hostage crisis to the highs of the Camp David peace accords. This site from the PBS American Experience series ...more
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The Carter presidency's tone ranged from the lows of the Iran hostage crisis to the highs of the Camp David peace accords. This site from the PBS American Experience series offers time lines, sound clips, images, and a teacher guide containing lessons based on the issues with which Carter grappled. Curiously, the site takes only passing notice of Carter's numerous activities and achievements since leaving the White House.

tag(s): iran (13), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Use the Teachers guide to help identify ways to incorporate this site into your classroom, both through lesson plans and classroom activities. This would be a helpful resource for a US government or history class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Civil War Classroom Activities - PBS

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6 to 12
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Based on the Ken Burns PBS production that aired in 1990, this collection of lesson plans is complete, thought-provoking, and covers a wide range of topics whose relevance extends well...more
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Based on the Ken Burns PBS production that aired in 1990, this collection of lesson plans is complete, thought-provoking, and covers a wide range of topics whose relevance extends well beyond the war itself. Designed for use in grades 7-12, these one- and two-period lessons are well-annotated, include lots of web links, and come complete with downloadable PDF files. Students will find these an interesting set of source ideas for reports and the like, and teachers will be able to take this content in many different directions. Well worth a look!

tag(s): civil war (144), lincoln (86), slavery (71)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities offered in this site! The majority are somehow tied into the video, but there are some that also are broad enough that showing the video is not necessary.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Charters of Freedom - National Archives

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6 to 12
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Though part of a larger site about America's historic documents, this collection of biographies of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention will find plenty of use by itself....more
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Though part of a larger site about America's historic documents, this collection of biographies of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention will find plenty of use by itself. These delegates wrote our Constitution, but today's students know very little about any of them. Find the details of each man's life here!

tag(s): american revolution (89), constitution (86), evolution (101)

In the Classroom

This is a great site to introduce the American Founding Fathers, or for reference around Presidents Day weekend. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, during a lesson on the individual fathers. Have students look at the site, and select one image that they think represents a particular Founding Father. Have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here. Have them report a story on the founding fathers as if the issue of the constitution is a current one, and they are informing the public of its happenings.

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Lessons from Rediscovering George Washington - Claremont Institute

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6 to 12
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Here is a very thoroughly prepared, standards-correlated set of lessons about Washington and the formation of the United States. History teachers working with AP or advanced students...more
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Here is a very thoroughly prepared, standards-correlated set of lessons about Washington and the formation of the United States. History teachers working with AP or advanced students will appreciate the variety of opportunities these lessons offer for open discussion. Those working with younger students will find great ideas that they can use in a less intense fashion

tag(s): american revolution (89), evolution (101), presidents (130), washington (35)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free and incredibly detailed lesson plans about George Washington and the Revolutionary Period. There is an amazing of information within these, so be sure to browse all of them before selecting the right one for your classroom.

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Rediscovering George Washington - Claremont Institute

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6 to 12
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This companion site for the PBS program of the same name offers well-written text about Washington's life and times. The content is nicely divided between information on Washington,...more
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This companion site for the PBS program of the same name offers well-written text about Washington's life and times. The content is nicely divided between information on Washington, the man, and Washington, the public figure. The absence of images and effects is noticeable, but the content shines through.

tag(s): american revolution (89), evolution (101), presidents (130), washington (35)

In the Classroom

Use the timeline on the interactive whiteboard or projector to provide perspective about Washington's life for students. Use the timeline to provide some context for the period - it is a great way to highlight the important events before you yourself provide more details on each one.

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How Air Force One Works - Howstuffworks

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4 to 12
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For the fans of Presidential gadgets, Air Force One is the ultimate. Here's a site that really does explain how the president's jet functions and what it looks like on ...more
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For the fans of Presidential gadgets, Air Force One is the ultimate. Here's a site that really does explain how the president's jet functions and what it looks like on the inside. Lots of text, images, and animations will make this one attractive for curious airplane fans.

tag(s): air (146), aircraft (23), flight (34), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a starting point for students working on research projects or papers concerning the President and one of the many services surrounding him. This site has a lot of great information and would be a great springboard for further research. Make sure to include this site on any resource sheets concerning their research!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Middle East Media Research Institute

Grades
9 to 12
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The Middle East Media Research Institute has assembled a fascinating collection of translated opinion and articles related to the middle east. Since much of what the Arab world is saying...more
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The Middle East Media Research Institute has assembled a fascinating collection of translated opinion and articles related to the middle east. Since much of what the Arab world is saying never makes it into English translation, this site could offer an interesting glimpse of opinions in the Arab world. Students will be interested in the range of opinions offered.

tag(s): arab (17), israel (17), palestine (8)

In the Classroom

Use the MEMRI translations as a resource for a current events themed assignment. Using this site and a US news organization such as the New York Times or Washington Post, have students find articles of similar subjects and compare the coverage between that of a Middle Eastern Country and American media sources. Have students note items such as bias, focus, information used as well as differences in coverage. Students can do this as a long term research project or as a quick in class activity with a Venn diagram. If completing it in class, use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).

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Eleanor Roosevelt - National Park Service

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6 to 12
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This National Park Service site documents the life of the first First Lady who really had a career of her own. The site covers Mrs. Roosevelt's life before and after ...more
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This National Park Service site documents the life of the first First Lady who really had a career of her own. The site covers Mrs. Roosevelt's life before and after her time in the White House, and it has a particularly strong collection of artifacts, memorabilia, and other objects from the First Lady's life.

tag(s): new deal (6), roosevelt (16), women (94)

In the Classroom

If looking for a way to introduce Eleanor Roosevelt, try the slideshow of scenes from her life on this site! Eleanor Roosevelt is an interesting character in history as the slides show, and this could be used during a unit on her husband or during Women's history month. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard in order to show your students a brief slideshow representing who she was.

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George Washington - A National Treasure

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6 to 12
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This site, designed to accompany the Smithsonian's traveling exhibit by the same name, offers a collection of information on Washington for both students and adults. ...more
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This site, designed to accompany the Smithsonian's traveling exhibit by the same name, offers a collection of information on Washington for both students and adults.

tag(s): washington (35)

In the Classroom

There is a very complete teachers' section with more than a dozen lesson plans. (How about Washington's Rules of Civility for a starter?) and teachers can order an education kit based on the exhibit. Lots of possibilities at many grade levels for this one.

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Presidents' Day Page - Sheila A. Simmons

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1 to 5
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Here's a very simple pictorial introduction to the lives of Washington and Lincoln, created for California's SCORE program. Primary students will have no trouble navigating these pages...more
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Here's a very simple pictorial introduction to the lives of Washington and Lincoln, created for California's SCORE program. Primary students will have no trouble navigating these pages and reading the simple descriptions. This site offers a slideshow with some authentic pictures of both famous presidents. Includes links to literature, class activities, bibliography, and related information. The class activities are ready to go and easy to follow. Most include standards, and all but two of the outside links were working at the time of this review.

tag(s): lincoln (86), presidents (130), washington (35)

In the Classroom

This site is ideal for research projects or a quick President's day activity. Check out the class activities section for some "ready to go" lesson ideas (with standards). Share the slideshow on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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50states.com

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4 to 8
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This site offers metalists (most of the content isn't theirs) for each state, including bios of presidents from that state, attractions, public records, and more. There's much more...more
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This site offers metalists (most of the content isn't theirs) for each state, including bios of presidents from that state, attractions, public records, and more. There's much more than history items at this site, which may or may not be an advantage.

tag(s): states (165)

In the Classroom

There are a lot of ads from this site, so if using be sure to forewarn students not to access any of the side links. Use this site if creating state profiles during an American History class. This activity works best if accompanied by a guided graphic organizer or worksheet - we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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The Afghan Taliban - Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

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9 to 12
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A 1998 article from the Washington Report on Middle East affairs authored by a former professor at the University of Kabul. ...more
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A 1998 article from the Washington Report on Middle East affairs authored by a former professor at the University of Kabul.

tag(s): afghanistan (8), terrorism (47), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Although this is more than ten years out of date, there is a lot of reliable information here that can be used to establish a background for the current conflict in Afghanistan. Use this site as an activator for a unit on the modern conflict today. Have students read the article for a class discussion on it's accuracy and whether or not the events have played out as the author predicted. This would be useful in a Government or Cultural Geography classroom.

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Biographies of current and past Presidents and members of Congress

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1 to 12
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Presidential Biographies - IPL

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4 to 12
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Though the title is probably misleading, this site's collection of information about the presidencies of our nation's leaders has plenty of facts, but little context. One of the more...more
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Though the title is probably misleading, this site's collection of information about the presidencies of our nation's leaders has plenty of facts, but little context. One of the more interesting features are the links to historical documents from different presidencies. This one's useful for very basic research, but it lacks the "who did what" aspects that can make history really interesting.

tag(s): presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Because this is a very organized presentation of the presidents, it would be extremely easy to compare presidents about very specific points. This would be useful in a class discussion of political party differences, campaign spending & finance, and legislation decisions. For comparison purposes, we recommend using an online Venn Diagram to be used on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).

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This would be good for students doing their own research. Dan, OR, Grades: 0 - 6
This would be great for students doing their own research. Dan, OR, Grades: 0 - 6

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Truman Presidential Library

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6 to 12
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The Truman Library site contains resources from the Truman administration, including photos, documents, and links to other resources dealing with the Truman presidency. ...more
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The Truman Library site contains resources from the Truman administration, including photos, documents, and links to other resources dealing with the Truman presidency.

tag(s): presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Within the "education" section of the site are several lesson plans, for both elementary and secondary teachers. Lessons aren't solely excluded to Truman, but ran the gamit for U.S. history or government. Be sure to save this one as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on.

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The Pentagon Papers Case - George Washington University

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9 to 12
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Remembered today primarily for its First Amendment implications, the Pentagon Papers case helped alter the relationship between America's press and president. Much of this extensive...more
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Remembered today primarily for its First Amendment implications, the Pentagon Papers case helped alter the relationship between America's press and president. Much of this extensive collection at George Washington University is beyond the scope of high school curriculum, but the contents provide ample material for a term paper or a lesson on the political events of the 60s and 70s.

tag(s): newspapers (96), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of Watergate. The site has some excellent audio clips of the Watergate trial, in addition to comments from the editor of the New York Times. Use the clips to illustrate to students the immediate effects of the event. The clips are a bit long, so it is probably most beneficial to preview them before and time them to see what portions would be the most useful in your classroom.

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Watergate - The Washington Post - Washington Post

Grades
9 to 12
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The Washington Post offers a 25-year retrospective from the newspaper that broke the story. The site includes archival materials, interviews with the principals, and links to other...more
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The Washington Post offers a 25-year retrospective from the newspaper that broke the story. The site includes archival materials, interviews with the principals, and links to other official and unofficial resources. No discussion of Watergate should omit the Post's involvement and perspective.

tag(s): presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Use portions of this site for a jigsaw activity, allowing students to teach each other about the different events in Watergate as well as the various perspectives. Put students into groups of 4, with each group focusing on a different portion on Watergate covered in the Post site. Have each group study their portion in depth, eventually creating a presentation that would allow them to teach the content to their peers. After students have prepared, split up the groups, creating at least 4 new groups, with every member representing a different perspective of coverage. Have the students teach their group members - making sure to be in chronological order. Activities like the Jigsaw model are a great way to both get students interested and allow for more autonomy. To finish it up, have the class take a quiz on the material - graded or not - to insure that students are accountable for actually teaching their peers something.

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