Recorded Books Listen and Learn

So You Want to Be President? By Judith St. George, illustrations by David Small

David Small took home the Caldecott medal for his whimsical illustrations of presidents past and present in this comical overview of Oval Office perks, responsibilities, and trivia, presented with the angle that someday you might become Commander-in-Chief. Author St. George’s sense of humor also sparkles from the understated first line: “There are good things about being President and there are bad things about being President.”

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In this audio portion, perfect for piquing students’ interest in the months following this year’s presidential inauguration, children will learn about the families and pets of presidents throughout history.

After you listen, ask children to pick one fact they find the most interesting from the recording. Then discuss the questions below.

  1. What did you think was the most interesting fact? Why?
  2. Which presidents have been related? How many presidents have also had sons who served as president?
  3. How many more brothers and sisters did Benjamin Harrison have (11) than the students in your class do?
  4. Where do you think presidential pets live? Who takes care of them?
  5. If you were president, what kind of pet would you choose?
Next, try this activity:

Barack Obama: How Does He Compare?

Distribute the Barack Obama reproducible to students. Ask a volunteer to read aloud the facts about President Obama along with the comparison questions. Play the audio sample again, encouraging students to listen for the answers to the questions. Help them to use the presidents listed to complete the reproducible. You may need to listen to the recording more than once.

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