Presidents Day is a great opportunity for elementary ESL teachers to engage their language learners in a fun, meaningful activities. This holiday honors the past presidents of the United States and provides a perfect platform for English language learning. I hope you can use some of the ideas listed here!
Explain the Purpose of Presidents Day
I like to start by introducing students to the vocabulary, history, purpose, and why we observe Presidents Day. I explain that the holiday is celebrated on the third Monday in February each year and that this federal holiday. We talk about how this holiday honors all past presidents of the United States. It’s also a way for Americans to honor the contributions of our founding fathers and their commitment to democracy.
Once students understand the importance of Presidents Day, I provide them with opportunities to gain more information about past presidents.
Here are some great Presidents Day resources: 🤗
🌹 Internet resources
❣️ field trips
These resources offer students a chance to explore topics such as historical significance, accomplishments, or even personal stories about each president.
Exploring different presidential biographies with students can be a great way to teach about the holiday. Most elementary school libraries have books written for children which provide brief summaries of various U.S. presidents’ lives and accomplishments. Reading these stories aloud and discussing them with students will help build their understanding of what makes a great president. As well as, how character traits like honesty, responsibility, courage, and integrity contribute to making good leaders.
Grammar and Presidents Day
Presidents Day offers the perfect setting for teaching ESL. By celebrating the life of past presidents while reinforcing some key grammar concepts.
For example, teachers can use Presidents Day as an opportunity to discuss active and passive voices. I have students analyze famous speeches or quotes from past presidents. We then discuss how they used active voice when speaking about their vision or beliefs.
Additionally, by studying past presidential speeches students can get a better understanding of how certain grammar rules were applied. We can also explore how certain language was used during important events in U.S. history. This can help further develop students’ analytical skills. It can also encourage them to think critically about how language shapes our lives today.
Moreover, Presidents Day also presents a great opportunity to explore topics such as interjections and conjunctions. Looking through some of the presidents’ famous inaugural addresses or State of the Union addresses. Looking at these speeches helps English learners gain insight into how word order can create effective sentences with maximum impact.
Engage students on Presidents Day
Here is an activity that will garner more engagement from your students. Students create a quiz based on what they learned about past presidents during previous lessons. One student acts as a quiz master. The others answer questions related to specific achievements or important moments in their presidencies. This will not only reinforce prior learning but also measure comprehension levels among your English learners.
I like to add fun activities like coloring sheets featuring famous presidents. Students can create timelines that detail crucial moments in American history. Furthermore, explore how different presidents have shaped our country over time. Online quizzes or memory games featuring information about different presidents are another way to engage students.
Another exciting activity you could try is having your class recreate a presidential inauguration ceremony. Complete with costumes or props like hats or sashes that represent each president they read about! You could even get creative and assign certain roles related to an inauguration ceremony. Roles such as “Chief Justice” or “First Lady/Gentleman” add realism during this re-enactment.
Finally, take some time during classroom discussions around Presidents Day to talk about what makes a good leader today, too! I like to ask ELL students questions like “what qualities do you think leaders need in order to be successful?”
This kind of dialogue not only reinforces lessons from earlier readings but, also helps build critical thinking skills. By having students consider current events through a historical lens, we can deepen understanding.
Overall, Presidents Day offers an excellent chance for elementary ESL teachers to spark interest and enthusiasm. English learners engage in a way that promotes both historical knowledge and critical thinking skills. All the while learning about our government’s leaders now and throughout history.
In conclusion, by using educational materials along with interactive exercises we can excite our students to learn. Teachers can lead their students through a meaningful exploration of this holiday while building English proficiency at the same time!