Have you ever celebrated two holidays in one before? Presidents Day is actually a birthday celebration of our most well-known Presidents: George Washington, born on February 22nd, and Abraham Lincoln, born on February 12th (this year it falls on February 17, 2014.) Washington’s Birthday became a Federal Holiday in 1885 and was formally changed to the 3rd Monday of February in the 1960s. In the 1980s, most states renamed Washington’s Birthday Observed as “Presidents Day” as a way to also honor Lincoln and other Presidents. I wanted to teach my class about this day in a new way, getting a closer look inside the role and home of the President.
The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the United States, and makes important decisions for the entire country. Our Current president is Barack Obama, who is our 44th President. He lives with his daughters: Sasha and Malia and his wife Michelle (also known as the First Lady) in a special mansion called the White House. This mansion is also the President’s office, where many powerful people come to meet and stay, as well as a museum about the presidency which is visited by up to 6,000 people a day!
The President’s House
Our country’s first President, George Washington, chose the land where the White House sits in Washington DC back in 1791. It then took 8 years to build. Our second President, John Adams, moved into the White House in 1800 with his wife Abigail. In 1814 the British Army set fire to the White House. It was rebuilt and has looked the same outside ever since, despite being renovated inside many times. There are now 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms inside (along with 3 elevators, a pool and a movie theater!) The President’s family has private quarters on the second floor and gets to decorate this area to their own liking. The White House hosts 1,000-guest State Dinners, which are elegant meals for Kings, Queens and Presidents from countries around the world.
In 1902, the offices of the President moved to the West Wing by President Theodore Roosevelt, which includes the White House’s most famous room: the Oval Office. This is the President’s office and important decisions are made here that change the world. We discussed how making choices affects others and how this magnifies when you are the “leader of the free world!”
Being the President
What does it take to become the President? You must be a U.S. born citizen, 35 years or older. A new Presidential Election takes place every 4 years and a President can only hold office for 2 terms. They are voted into office by citizens who are at least 18-years-old on an official form or ballot on Election Day. This vote takes place on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. The next year in which it will take place is 2016!
We thought it would be so much fun to see what it would look like if we were the President! I printed out special pictures of the White House and took digital photos of all the children (they can also bring in a small photo of themselves). The class decorated corrugated frames with stickers and stick-a-licks in red, white and blue. We affixed the photos of the children in the center of the White House’s entrance and attached the White House background to the frames. We then wrote “Future President” atop the White House with metallic marker, and each child wrote their name below. We can’t wait to show our families how exciting it would be if we were President one day!
White House Frame Craft
You will need:
A Digital Camera and Printer
Mini stick-a-lick strips
Star sticker strips
Metallic Silver Marker
- Take digital photos of the children, upload and print them.
- Print color copies of our White House Vector Background.
- Have children decorate frames with stick-a-licks in red and blue, or a combination of red, blue and silver stars.
- Cut out photos of the children to fit inside the White House entrance.
- Affix White House picture to inside of frame. Tape photos of children in the center.
- Have children write in marker (or write for them): Future President (Child’s Name).
- Let dry and enjoy!