Presidents Day is observed on the third Monday of February, although that day is designated by Federal law as Washington's Birthday. (See more information at factmonster.com.)
Presidents Day honors both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as well as all past Presidents of the United States of America.
Below are suggestions and resources for learning more about any or all of U.S. President, followed by specific learning activities on Washington and Lincoln.
1. Free Online Unit Studies and E-books
• 40 Unit Studies on individual U.S. Presidents
• Presidents Day Holiday Helper from Living Books Curriculum. Includes stories, great art, and inspiring quotes for copywork. 80 pages.
• Presidents Lapbook and Notebook Resources
• Free printables including timeline figures.
2. The Office of the President
• Read about the Duties and Qualifications of the President as they are stated in The Constitution of the United States, Article II. This online copy provides links to Amendments 20, 22, and 25 that change portions of Article II.
• The U.S. Government Printing Office offers a student-friendly, yet detailed, summary of U.S. presidential duties, including: Executive Branch, The President, Legislative Powers of the President, Requirements and Terms to become President, The President's Budget, The President's Cabinet, Order of Succession, and The Presidents of the United States (chart). Ben's Guide:
• Read "Does character matter in political leaders?"
"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan."
3. Faithfully Pray for the President
"Therefore, I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
"For kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
"For this is good and acceptable
in the sight of God our Savior,
Who desires all men to be saved
and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
(I Timothy 2: 1-4)
4. Meet the Presidents
• Learn about each President. See a painting or photo of all 44 Presidents and read a biographical sketch of each.
• See more information for each of the Presidents, including election results, cabinet members, notable events, and points of interest. You will find links to biographies, homes, monuments, documents, audio and video files, and other sites.
• Read speeches and view documents of all the Presidents, including their Inaugural Addresses and State of the Union messages.
• Listen to the voices of 21 American Presidents.
• Study evaluations of past Presidents. This survey of presidential leadership evaluates each
President on persuasion, crisis leadership, economic management, moral authority, international relations, administrative skills, relations with Congress, vision, etc.
Thought-provoking questions (for parents and older children) regarding the above: Do you agree with the survey? Why or why not? How would each be evaluated as to Christian principles?
• Read quotes from our Founding Fathers on Jesus, Christianity and the Bible and listen to David Barton's interview with Moody Radio on the faith of our Presidents.
• See "Faith in the White House," a film that focuses on faith of U.S. Presidents.
• See a list of historic sites and monuments for various Presidents and click for more detailed information on each.
• Learn about Mount Rushmore with sculptures of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln, or plan a visit. (See fee-free days at more than 100 national parks.)
5. Presidents Day Learning Activities
• Enchanted Learning.com.
Activities, printable booklets, worksheets and crafts
• More than 100 learning activities for Presidents Day.
• Draw or paint your own portrait gallery of our past presidents or some of the ones that you admire most.
Make a presidential timeline (1789 to the present).
• Alternate red, white, and blue strips of paper; each the length of a President's term (1/2 inch per year = 9.25 feet total; 1/4 inch per year = 4.66 feet).
• Label your timeline with dates and Presidents' names.
• Add a small image of each President (printed off the Internet or drawn from their portraits).
• Add major events in U.S. history.
• Listen to a "Hail to the Chief," the tune traditionally played by the United States Marine Band to announce the ceremonial entrance of the U.S. Commander-in-Chief – the President of the United States.
• Read the story of "Hail to the Chief."
Visit the White House
• Take a virtual tour, or interactive tour, of the White House or listen to "The President's Own" US Marine Band conducted by John Philip Sousa as you take a virtual tour of White House at MarineBand.usmc.
• Learn how you can visit the White House in person.
• Order A Spiritual Heritage Tour of the United States Capitol (2 audio cassette set) from Wallbuilders.
• See White House and Washington, D.C. information and activities at EnchantedLearning.com.
Information and learning activities for Washington are included in the section above on Presidents Day. This section contains resources specific to Washington.
1. Free Online Unit Study and E-book
• Simple Days Unit Studies on George Washington (17 pages) free e-book, plus Interactive Questions and Activities.
• Free E-book, Life of George Washington, by E. Cedil: written for children. Published in 1859. 286 pages
online or pdf (can be enlarged online for easier reading) with illustrations.
2. Washington's Life and Testimony
• See the overwhelming evidence that George Washington was a Christian at christiananswers.net.
• "The Faith of Washington" CD and booklet; "George Washington, The Christian"
Message by Dr. D. James Kennedy
• HSLDA's Home School Heartbeat: George Washington. Read online transcripts about Washington's leadership, faith, and education. "Taught at home by his mother, the young George combined academic studies with practical application and character training."
• Learn more about Washington and his home, Mount Vernon.
3. Learning Activities
• Enchanted Learning.com. Activities, printable booklets, worksheets and crafts.
Information and learning activities for Washington are included in the section above on Presidents Day. This section contains resources specific to Lincoln.
1. Free Online Unit Studies and E-book
• Abraham Lincoln, the Boy Who Loved Books. Online literature based unit study.
• Abraham Lincoln: A Presidential Unit.
• Free E-book, The Boys' Life of Abraham Lincoln by Helen Nicolay. 12 chapters, large type, easy to read online.
Excerpt: "What but a lifetime's schooling in disappointment, what but the pioneer's self-reliance and freedom from prejudice, what but the clear mind, quick to see natural right and unswerving in its purpose to follow it; what but the steady self-control, the unwarped sympathy, the unbounded charity of this man with spirit so humble and soul so great, could have carried him through the labors he wrought to the victory he attained?
"With truth it could be written, 'His heart was as great as the world, but there was no room in it to hold the memory of a wrong.'
"So, 'with malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gave him to see the right' he lived and died.
2. Lincoln's Life and Death
• HSLDA's Home School Heartbeat: Lincoln.
Read online transcripts.
Honest Abe had less than one year of formal schooling. Mike Smith draws some homeschool lessons from Lincoln's life.
• Read about Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, including a timeline of Lincoln's presidency and photo gallery of original documents.
• Read all about Lincoln's assassination – the people, motives, and following events.
3. Gettysburg Address
Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is perhaps the greatest (and shortest) speech in U.S. history.
• Learn this famous address by doing the following:
Read and memorize it
Listen to it
See a copy in Lincoln's handwriting
Read the story of the address (can be read by three people)
• Study this address with information and learning activities:
Fill in blanks exercise
Finding parallel forms
"O Captain, My Captain" was written by Walt Whitman about the assassination of President Lincoln.
• Recite or read the poem (see online at www.galegroup.com) with appropriate expression.
• Study the meaning of the poem and see an explanation of the poem at www.galegroup.com.
5. Learning Activities
• Enchanted Learning.com. Activities, printable booklets, worksheets and crafts.
• Abraham Lincoln Timeline booklet.
6. Lincoln's Testimony
• "Was Lincoln A Christian?" Free online video (13 minutes). Also: Booklet; CD; and DVD.
Lincoln and Darwin Compared
Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born on February 12, but their lives had completely different effects.
Whereas Darwin's theory has been used by atheists to explain away belief in God, the last act of Congress signed by Abraham Lincoln before he was shot was to place the phrase "In God We Trust" on all national coin.
• Read the entire entry for February 12 at AmericanMinute.com and sign up for their daily e-mail of notable events in American history remembered on the date they occurred.
• Read articles on the Answers in Genesis website about Darwin and how his ideas continue to impact today's society.
• Order book by Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial, and read some of his articles online.
• Did Darwin recant evolutionism when he died? Read the (unfortunate) answer on ChristianAnswers.net.