It’s February, which means Presidents Day is upon us! These Presidents Day activities for elementary students are a great way to celebrate this federal holiday in your classroom. Learn more about this holiday and get helpful resource recommendations below so you’ll have what you need to celebrate this holiday with your students.
What is Presidents Day?
Presidents Day is a February holiday in the United States to celebrate George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as well as all of the other American presidents that have served. This federal holiday is usually celebrated through public ceremonies in Washington, D.C., as well as throughout the country.
When is Presidents Day?
Presidents Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February. This date was chosen because it was between Abraham Lincoln and George Washington’s birthday.
Why Do We Celebrate Presidents Day?
In the United States, we celebrate Presidents Day to honor all American presidents, but especially George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
Presidents Day Read Alouds and Activities
Below are 6 quality read alouds and activities that are great for celebrating Presidents Day.
- If I Were President
- Grace for President
- If I Ran for President
- Duck for President
- Sofia Valdez, Future Prez
- Looking at Lincoln
1. If I Were President by Catherine Stier
The book If I Were President follows a diverse group of children explaining what their day to day life would be like as president. Students will learn about the events like the State of the Union and presidential duties like signing bills into law. Students will get to hear about the different special experiences that come with being president like throwing out the first pitch at a baseball game or having your own private chef.
This book makes a great read aloud before an election or in honor of President’s Day. I liked it so much that I added it to my Starts With a Story collection. Learn more about the If I Were President activities!
2. Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio
In school, a young girl named Grace is learning about presidents. She is surprised to learn that there has never been a female president. Grace decides that she wants to run for president and her teacher organizes an election.
Grace and Thomas, a student from another class, are running against one another. The students learn about the electoral college and Grace and Thomas both run presidential campaigns. They create slogans, buttons, posters, and come up with promises. Grace works really hard during her campaign and spends a lot of time on it.
During the election, Grace and Thomas are tied when it comes time for the last state to cast their electoral votes. Thomas is certain that Sam is going to vote for him. Everyone is surprised when Sam chooses to vote for Grace and she wins the election. When it comes time for career day, Grace knows exactly what she wants to be when she grows up, president!
This book is also part of my Starts With a Story collection. Learn more about these Grace for President activities!
3. If I Ran for President by Catherine Stier
If I Ran For President is told from the point of view of different children that plan to run for president. Readers will learn what happens when someone first decides to run for president, what happens during a campaign and what happens on and after election day. Students will be introduced to important vocabulary regarding campaigns and elections.
While informative, the book is still entertaining and inspiring. Students will believe that they too can be president someday no matter what they look like or what their gender is. Check out these resources based on the book: If I Ran for President activities.
4. Duck for President by Doreen Cronin
Duck For President is another book from Doreen Cronin’s series with characters from Farmer Dave’s Farm. In this story, Duck is tired of doing chores all day and getting dirty. He decides to hold an election where he will run against Farmer Dave. The animals on the farm register to vote and Duck wins! However, running the farm is much more work than Duck imagined.
He decides to get his friends together and run for governor. He makes speeches and meets a lot of people. On election day, Duck wins the governor. However, Duck soon realizes that being governor is also a lot of work. That night he and his staff start planning his campaign to run for president. Once in office, Duck realizes how hard the job is and sees a help-wanted ad looking for a duck. He takes the position and returns to the farm with his friends and Farmer Dave.
This book is also part of my Starts With a Story collection. Check out these Duck for President activities!
5. Sofia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea Beaty
Sofia Valdez loves helping out the members of her community. She and her Abuelo rake leaves, walk pets and deliver food. Sofia loves walking to her school with her Abuelo and her pup. One day, on their walk home, the dog started chasing a squirrel. Sofia and Abuelo ran through a landfill after the pup. When they got to the top, the landfill crashed down and Abuelo broke his leg. Sofia missed walking to school with Abuelo and came up with the idea to turn the landfill into a park.
Sofia went to City Hall on her own and eventually made her way to the mayor. She explained her purpose and plan for building a park and he told her to start a petition. Slowly, members of the community signed Sofia’s petition and they were able to build the park! Students will love this story about Sofia’s determination and perseverance.
This book is also part of my Starts With a Story collection. Check out these Sofia Valdez, Future Prez activities!
6. Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman
Maira Kalman’s book Looking at Lincoln, tells the story of a young girl who is interested in Abraham Lincoln. One day while walking through the park to breakfast, the young girl sees a man who looks familiar. It’s not until she is paying for her breakfast with a five dollar bill that she realized the man looked like Abraham Lincoln. This inspires the girl to learn more about the sixteenth president so she heads to the library.
Throughout the book, readers will learn about the life and presidency of Abraham Lincoln. He grew up poor and only attended school for one year, but loved reading. When he was older and married, he became interested in government and ran for president. Lincoln was known for being honest and kind. He didn’t believe in salves and fought to abolish slavery. Lincoln lost his life when he was shot while watching a play with his wife.
Lincoln is still remembered at the Lincoln Memorial, surrounded by the cherry blossom trees. Students will love this story that teaches them about Abraham Lincoln through the perspective of a young girl.
This book is also part of my Starts With a Story collection. Check out these Looking at Lincoln activities!
Presidents Day Activities
Below are a list of Presidents Day activities for elementary students you can use in your classroom.
1. Presidents Day Writing Activities
Presidents Day is the perfect time for your students to share what they would do if they were the President. This “If I Were President” writing prompt is a great way to discuss the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. President. It’s so much fun to have them dream big and ask themselves “What would happen if I ran for president?” Learn more about these Presidents Day writing activities!
2. Presidents Day Reading Activities that Go with Any Book
These Presidents Day reading graphic organizer activities provide engaging, meaningful practice to greatly improve your students’ reading and writing skills. They are so quick and easy for teachers to prep. Each of the included graphic organizers can be used over and over and with ANY book you choose. Students love the thematic pages and teachers love the ease in which they can differentiate to meet individual student needs.
3. Presidents Day Activity Packet
This Presidents Day activity packet includes tons of fun and engaging activities to help you celebrate this holiday in your classroom with your students.
In closing, we hope you found this list of Presidents Day activities helpful!