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Teaching Kids about the Presidents: Activities, Books, and Fandex

Current events and kids old enough to ask about history and interested in the world around them, leads to interesting dinner conversations in our house about ALL the presidents not just the ones running in the 2012 election. A trip to the library fills our house with books about past presidents with interesting facts about their pets, their running mates, the issues of the time, term lengths and new vocabulary words like electoral college, confederates, federalist, incumbent, underground railroad, and civil (when it refers to a war which my questioned how a war can be “civil”?

Current events and kids old enough to ask about history and interested in the world around them, leads to interesting dinner conversations in our house about ALL the presidents not just the ones running in the 2012 election. A trip to the library fills our house with books about past presidents with interesting facts about their pets, their running mates, the issues of the time, term lengths and new vocabulary words like electoral college, confederates, federalist, incumbent, underground railroad, and civil (when it refers to a war which my questioned how a war can be “civil”?

ACTIVITIES

  • Make a Museum: Create a space at home (a shelf or table) for books and resources about the presidents. Kids can invite family members/friends to visit the museum, peruse the books, ask questions about presidents.
  • Dinner Talk: Share fun facts about the presidents or ask trivia questions such as, “Which president was stuck in a bathtub?” or “How many presidents had a dog?”

RESOURCES

  • FANDEX: Presidents: Fandex Family Field Guides by Steven M. L. Aronson
  • FLASH CARDS: U.S. Presidents Flash Cards by Brighter Child
  • DVD: So You Want to Be President… and More Stories to Celebrate American History (Scholastic Storybook Treasures) with Stockard Channing (Actor), Senator Edward Kennedy (Actor), Scholastic (Director)
    Rated: NR
  • Our Country’s Presidents: All You Need to Know About the Presidents, From George Washington to Barack Obama by Ann Bausum (Author)
    Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books
    Reading level: Ages 10 and up
  • I Wish I Knew That: U.S. Presidents: Cool Stuff You Need To Know by Christopher W. Davis
    Publisher: Reader’s Digest Juvenile
    Reading level: Ages 9 and up
  • Time for Kids: Presidents of the United States by Editors of TIME For Kids
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Reading level: Ages 8 and up
  • The New Big Book of U.S. Presidents: Fascinating Facts about Each and Every President, Including an American History Timeline by Todd Davis and Marc Frey
    Publisher: Running Press Kids
    Reading level: Ages 8 and up
  • If I Were President by Catherine Stier and Diane DiSalvo-Ryan
    Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
    Reading Level: Ages 5 and up
  • Smart About the Presidents (Smart About History) by Jon Buller, Susan Schade and Jill Weber
    Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
    Reading level: Ages 5 and up
  • Abe Lincoln’s Dream by Lane Smith
    Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
    Reading level: Ages 5 and up
  • John, Paul, George & Ben by Lane Smith
    Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
    Reading level: Ages 3 and up
  • WEBSITES:
    WayBack . Presidents: The Secret History (PBS KIDS GO!)
    Fun Facts About U.S. Presidents
    (National Geographic Kids)
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Written by Anisa Raoof