So You Want to Be President? Lesson Plan
Activities to do before and after reading the book by Judith St. George
- Grades: 3–5
About this book
Humorous and just slightly off-kilter, this book is sure to entertain while it enlightens.
- Learn interesting and often little-known facts about the political leaders who have governed our nation from its beginning.
- Understand how democratic values came to be, and how they have been exemplified by people, events, and symbols.
Before Reading the Book
The Name Game
Got any history buffs in your class? Test everyone's knowledge with a quick and easy name game.
- On your blackboard, write the numbers 1–42.
- Ask students to pick their brains and see how many presidents they can name.
- Using the list at the back of So You Want to be President? (if necessary), write each president your class can name in his proper spot.
- Try to spot any trends or patterns in the list — lots of men named James, some relatives, etc.
- You may want to fill in the list, as a class, after you've read the book.
Teaching Plan: Activities
Even United States Presidents started out as regular kids! You can help students understand presidential legacies by imagining their own.
- Ask students to think about any interesting or important facts about their own lives.
- On a piece of paper, ask each to create a time line of his or her life to this point. (For example, born on this day, little sister arrived on this day, started piano lessons on this day, etc.).
- Next, have your class think about what they'd like their future to hold. Ask them to record these anticipated future events in a different color pencil or ink.
- When each has finished, have students share their "legacies," both current and anticipated, with the class.
- Post timelines on a classroom bulletin board.
My Favorite President
So You Want to Be President? is chock-full of interesting tidbits about our Presidents. Use them to captivate your students and encourage them to learn more!
- Using the information gleaned from the book, ask each student to choose a favorite president. The choice should leave aside political associations; it should be based solely on the trivia presented.
- Have students create a list of facts about their chosen president.
- Ask each student to give an oral presentation about his or her favorite. The very brief report could begin with a list of facts about the president and conclude with reasons why the student found these qualities interesting or appealing.
- As a class, discuss each student's choice; were some presidents chosen more often than others? Analyze the outcome.
Other Books About the Electoral Process
Presidential Elections and Other Cool Facts by Syl Sobel
This handy resource book outlines the legal requirements for electing a president, discusses the Electoral College, campaign rules and practices, and much more!
Landslide! A Kid's Guide to the U.S. Elections by Dan Gutman
How does a voting machine work? Who belongs to the Electoral College? What happens if there's a tie? Find answers to these questions, and many more.
Other Books by Judith St. George
Teaching Plan written by Rebecca Gómez.