Free History Activity for President’s Day
George Washington once said, “Heroes have made poets, and poets heroes.” With this in mind, what better way to celebrate President’s Day than to write poetry?
I created this free history activity for President’s Day in which students write a nine-line biography poem about a president of the United States of America.
President’s Day Poem Lesson Plan
1. Students Select a President
Students select a president to write their poem about.
- Option 1: Students pick between George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (since their birthdays are in February).
- Option 2: Students pick from any current or former U.S. president.
If you pick option 2, this two-minute-long music video is a fun way to quickly review the US presidents.
2. Explain the Format of the Poem
Discuss the poem expectations with students:
(Line 1) First name
(Line 2) Three adjectives that describe that person
(Line 3) One important relationship (father of, husband of, etc.)
(Line 4) Three things, people, or ideas that person loved
(Line 5) One major accomplishment
(Line 6) One thing that person hoped for
(Line 7) One quote from that person
(Line 8) Where that person lived
(Line 9) Last name
3. Read the Sample Poem About Abraham Lincoln
Have a student read aloud the example poem about Abraham Lincoln (available in the free download at the end of this post).
Abraham Lincoln, 1863
Ambitious, eloquent, and generous
Son of a Kentucky frontiersman
Who loved unity, learning, and freedom
Who issued the Emancipation Proclamation
Who wanted to “bind up the nation’s wounds”
Who said that the “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”
Who lived in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Washington DC
4. Students Write President’s Day Poem
Now, it’s time for students to write their own poems.
- First, students read a quick biography of their chosen president on The White House’s website.
- Then using what they have learned, students fill out the poem planning sheet.
- Next, check off student planning sheets before allowing them to move forward.
- Finally, students write final drafts of their poems on the final draft paper.
5. Optional Extension Activity – President Portrait
You could also have your students draw a portrait of their chosen president. The poems and illustrations would make a great bulletin board display, don’t you think?
Download the Free History Activity for President’s Day
I hope this quick poem activity provides meaning and fun to your President’s Day! This lesson is also Google Classroom compatible. To download, simply click the button below. Happy President’s Day!
Looking for more social studies lessons? In that case, check out these other free lesson plans I have created! In addition, all lesson plans are Google Classroom compatible – perfect for both in-person and distance learning.