President’s Day, which celebrates the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, will be coming-up next month. And, especially since it’s the two-hundredth anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, I thought a “The Best…” list would be helpful.
You can find additional resources at The Best Sites To Learn About U.S. Presidents.
You can also find these links and more on my U.S. History page.
Here are my choices for The Best Resources About President’s Day (that are accessible to English Language Learners):
Happy Birthday, Mr. President is a simple “talking book” that also describes how President’s Day began.
This Brainpop movie about Washington is good, but you need a paid subscription to view it. Or, you can sign-up for a free trial.
Though this description of Washington’s ownership of slaves is not accessible to English Language Learners, teacher’s could certainly modify it.
Father of Our Country is pretty “schmaltzy,” but it is an accessible “talking book.”
EL Civics has a very good presentation on George Washington.
The History Channel has many online resources on Washington.
Though the language in this story is a bit “old-fashioned” it’s of course important for students to know the popular myth of George Washington and the cherry tree.
Enchanted Learning has a number of accessible materials about Washington.
Here’s an online cloze (fill-in-the-gap) about both Washington and Lincoln.
A student has written a simple and short biography.
Take a short quiz on President’s Day.
Here’s another simple biography.
I have to admit that I’m not all that familiar with how Mayor Bloomberg has dealt with public schools in New York City. However, there’s a great post in the NYC Public School Parents blog titled Lessons For Michael Bloomberg On President’s Day that provides an excellent summary of George Washington’s leadership style. The post’s writer, David Bloomfield, then contrasts that with how Mayor Bloomberg acts in school matters. The Mayor doesn’t come across favorably. But whether or not you know much about what’s going on in New York City, or even if you support Bloomberg, the summary of Washington’s leadership style is grist for an engaging lesson and student discussion. And, because of that, I’m adding the post to this list.
“Discover The Real George Washington” is a brand-new and very engaging interactive timeline from Mount Vernon. I’m not so convinced it shows all aspects of the “real” Washington (some non-flattering but true information may be omitted), but I’m still adding it to this list.
The History Channel’s site on Lincoln is not-to-be-missed.
Beacon Learning Center has a simple “talking story” about Lincoln.
Digital Vaults, the exceptional site from the National Archives, has what they call a Pathway game on Lincoln that is worth checking-out.
Scholastic has a good “Listen and Read” Lincoln biography.
Abraham Lincoln For ESL Students is from EL Civics.
Here’s an accessible Abraham Lincoln timeline.
The Constitution Center has an online game, with audio, about the decisions Lincoln made as president. It’s called Abraham Lincoln’s Crossroads.
Here’s a simple biography.
Lincoln’s Gettysburg address is the focus of these ESL exercises.
The Mask of Lincoln is a new Smithsonian exhibition.
Enchanted Learning has Lincoln resources.
Brainpop,Jr. has its own Lincoln movie (again, you have to subscribe or get a free trial).
The Smithsonian has a neat presentation of the Gettysburg address which includes a “zooming” capability, along with providing audio support for the text.
Portraits of Abraham Lincoln is a slideshow from TIME Magazine.
I’m adding a New York Times slideshow on Ford’s Theater (where Lincoln was shot) to this list.
Birthday Party For An American Icon is a slideshow from The Washington Post covering how Lincoln’s 200th birthday was celebrated.
Georgetown College has some very impressive Teachers Resources For The Lincoln Bicentennial. They include excellent lesson plans for each grade (and I’m not impressed by many lesson plans I find on the Internet).
The National Parks Service has put together a really exceptional interactive on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Abraham Lincoln: The Great Campaigner is from Newsweek.
Why We Love Politics is by David Brooks.
The Lincoln Learning Hub is an official “education” site for the popular movie and has been created by Disney. It has several useful features, including:
What Would Lincoln Do? — this looks at various challenges facing the U.S. after his death (including whether or not to use the first nuclear bomb) and considers…what would he have done?
Team of Rivals — read about each of his cabinet members and guess which one he would place in which position.
Who’s Who Of Congress — Learn about individual Congressmen and guess which ones would support the 13th Amendment.
Rethinkin’ Lincoln on the 150th Birthday of the Emancipation Proclamation is by Bill Bigelow.
If you’re ever in a position where you need to teach about Lincoln’s assassination, the new Lincoln Killing interactive from National Geographic is going to be one of your “go to” resources.
Presidents’ Day: A Life Lesson for Students is from Edutopia.
Feel free to offer additional suggestions.
If you found this post useful, you might want to check out my other “The Best…” lists.
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