President's Day Toolkit
President’s Day is coming up on February 18, and while many schools are closed that day, the holiday offers an opportunity for valuable discussion in the classroom about the importance – and the fragility – of democracy now and throughout history. Here are four Facing History resources that can help you plan an exciting lesson.
This classroom activity is a great way to get students writing and responding to primary source documents from important moments in history. Having a written conversation with peers slows down students’ thinking process and gives them an opportunity to focus on the views of others. Try using quotes from different presidents over time, or newspaper articles that cover stances taken by political leaders.
“For me, as an individual citizen, I have not only the right to vote, but the requirement to vote.” – Terrence Roberts, one of the students that integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957. When we study presidents and government around the world, it’s helpful to plan a conversation about voting. Who has the right to vote? Why do we vote? This video is a great way to introduce the subject to students. Watch Roberts speak about his experience in the fight for civil equality and voting rights.
Free lesson plans crafted for middle and high school humanities teachers that examine the nature of citizenship, religious freedom, and equality in a democracy using primary source documents. In this exchange of letters, America's first president makes a bold statement about the nature of citizenship in a democracy. How much power do leaders have to define a nation's values?
Facing History offers online and in-person professional development year-round. In the Memphis area? Join us March 21, 2013, for a free, day-long workshop exploring Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), a document that, as Eleanor explained, “sets standards and puts things down for which we want to strive.” It was Eleanor Roosevelt’s hope that the UDHR would be comparable to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the United States Bill of Rights.
Facing History's Julia Rappaport edited this article. For questions or tips on how you’re using Facing History in your classroom, email her at Julia_Rappaport@facing.org.