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The Presidency



Your Government, Your Voice!

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Scholastic News Edition 1 motivates children to read nonfiction as they build literacy skills.

Grades 1-2: Lessons and Printables

Your Government, Your Voice!

To introduce students to basic current-events analysis


  • Test prior knowledge. Ask students if they know who runs our country. Do they know what that person’s job is called? Can they name the current U.S. President? Do they know when he was elected? Explain that this happens once every four years, and President Obama started his job in January.

  • Ask students what they think might be some of a President’s responsibilities as the leader of a country. What are some things a President must help or fix? Put specific or personal responses from students into the correct abstract context. Some suggestions: translate concepts like families as “managing the country’s economy so families can stay safe and happy,” animals as “protecting the environment,” safety as “health care to make sure Americans who are sick can get better,” and schools as “improving education to make sure all American children learn as best as they can.”


  • Continue the conversation about the presidency by passing out the skill sheet “The President’s Hats” for the class to complete individually. Students will read about some of the different “hats” Presidents wear in politics and match those hats with simple examples of presidential power. Then ask students to draw and create names for different hats that a teacher wears when governing the classroom.

  • It’s difficult to get students to understand that Presidents may not always be right—even the good ones—much less understand the President’s role in their lives. To broach political analysis lightly, use the skill sheet “First Dog.” This drawing and writing exercise puts the student in President Obama’s perspective, and intimates that Presidents work hard to make constituents happy, maintain trust by meeting goals, and keep their word on earlier promises—in this case, that means keeping a campaign promise to buy a dog for the presidential family.


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