President's Day: George Washington
by Christine Gorman, Judie Haynes
Have students celebrate George Washington's on President's Day, February 19th. This is also a good time to teach about the first U.S. flag and the American colonies. Teach students to sing <i>Yankee Doodle Dandy.</i>
Grades 3-6 Advanced beginning to intermediate students
Social Studies concepts: The Revolutionary War; beginning of the United States; George Washington as the first President.
“Father of our Country”, first president, Revolutionary War, surveyor, freedom, British, England, general, colony, independance, rebel
Books about George Washington which are appropriate to age of students: Internet resources on Lincoln; Explore America, Level 4
Information should be related to your students' background knowledge. In order to do this, the teacher can have students research what was happening in their native country in 1770. This can be done with their families at home. In order to understand the concept of “Taxation without Representation,” students could act out what was happening in the colonies in the 1770s.
1. Place the Revolutionary War on a timeline. Show events that the students already know about on this timeline. This can be done for students in grades 4-8.
2. Show on a map of the United States in 1776. Have students mark the thirteen original colonies. Discuss why they were called colonies, not states. Locate England on a globe so that students see that it is far away.
3. Advanced Beginners will read George Washington, The First President of the United States by Carol Greene. More Advanced students will read a selection from Enchanted Learning .
4. Visit the Betsy Ross Homepage and have students learn about the first flag. Have students see the flag in different stages of U.S. history on Flag Picture Gallery. They can also visit The Paul Revere Virtual Museum and learn more about that historic event.
5. Play Yankee Doodle for students. Explain that the song was introduced by the British to make fun of the colonists but the colonists adopted the song for their own.
6. Students should sequence events of Washington’s life. Use our PDF Washington Sequence Activity.
7. Download our PDF Washington Questions and Answers. Have students write a question for each answer.
8. Download our PDF Washington Cloze Activity and have students complete it.
9. For more advanced students download our PDF George Washington Web and ask students to fill in the spaces with important facts about Washington's childhood, young adulthood, Revolutionary War, and presidency.
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