We’re trying something different for my younger kids. Homeschool in the Woods has quite a few studies available for purchase which include numerous projects and a final lapbook. I’ve written something similar for my kids to get a basic introduction to the Presidents of the United States.
It is recommended that kids be given access to interesting presidential biographies throughout this study.
Materials for every student:
- one file folder (dark blue recommended)
- four sheets of colored cardstock (red recommended)
- thirteen sheets of white cardstock
- seven sheets of plain white paper, plus paper for president’s pictures
- clear packing tape
Note: for all projects, fold on dotted lines, cut on solid lines
Lesson 1 – Qualifications to the Presidency
Qualifications are set by Article II of the U.S. Constitution. Wikipedia has a decent summary – scroll down to Selection Process>Eligibility.
Project – Print cover on cardstock; fold on dotted lines, cut on solid lines. Print inside page on plain white paper and cut on solid lines; glue slips of paper under the appropriate flap.
Lesson 2 – Successors to the Presidency
What happens if the president dies in office? Who takes over? What if that person dies? In addition to discussing the line of succession, also discuss the Presidential Cabinet.
Option 1 – print both sheets; cut the words and pictures from the plain paper and glue it to the cardstock after cutting/folding white cardstock
- Successors – print on white cardstock; cut on black lines only, not grey
- Successors words and pix – print on plain white paper
Option 2 – print front-to-back on white cardstock; cut & fold as indicated
- Successors (preprinted cabinet) – print on white cardstock
- Successors (preprinted seals) – print on reverse side of front
For the extra-ambitious: color the front of the flaps to look like a cabinet.
Lesson 3 – The Oval Office
Read the White House’s page about the Oval Office. Additional information and photographs can be found at the White House Museum website (credit: that’s where I found the pictures used for this booklet).
- (1) Oval Office Booklet Cover – print on white cardstock
- (2) Office of the President – print on plain white paper
- (3) The President’s Floor – print on reverse side of Office of the President
- (4) Oval Office Pictures – print on plain white paper
Cut and fold (1). Repeat with 2/3 – Office of the President facing out. The pictures on (4) should be cut out and glued to the blank insides of (1). Tape or staple (2/3) inside (1) to make a small booklet about the Oval Office.
Lesson 4 – Air Force One
Kids like airplanes. Introduce them to the presidential jet! One source of information is The White House Museum.
- Air Force One – print on plain paper
Lesson 5 – Presidents
If you do not already have books about the presidents, POTUS and the White House both have free information. Wikipedia also has a basic list, including pictures. Print, cut, and fold the booklets. Kids will get to do some research to discover the information needed to complete their booklets.
- Presidents Booklet – print 8 on white cardstock
This is a good opportunity to teach your children to right-click on a picture in order to save it to your hard drive or copy it to a document. They will need to find pictures of every president, re-size the pictures to fit the booklets, print the pictures, cut them out, and glue them to the fronts of their presidential booklets. The aforementioned sites have pictures of the presidents. Another good source of pictures is American Presidents: Life Portraits.
Make sure booklets are complete and stored in a safe location.
Lesson 6 – Died in Office
While making lesson 5’s president’s booklets, students will have noticed that eight presidents died in office. List those men, and give their cause of death. Credit: tombstone is from wpclipart.com.
- Presidents Who Died In Office – print on plain white paper
Lesson 7 – Character & Conduct of Leaders
In contrast to the presidential qualifications set forth in the United States Constitution, what does the Bible say about those who would lead? Print the sheet for this project, cut out the verses, refer to them in lesson 8, and save them for the final project.
- Character & Conduct – Scriptures for Leaders – print on plain white paper
Lesson 8 – Favorite President
Based on biographies that students have read, and information discovered while completing the booklets for lesson 5, kids sometimes become interested in one specific president. If not, now it’s time for them to choose a favorite. It is recommended that students draft their paragraphs on separate paper, and copy the final version onto the page provided.
- My Favorite President – print on plain white paper
- Favorite President Envelope – print on white cardstock
After writing a favorite-president paragraph, fold the paper so that it fits into the envelope.
Lesson 9 – Presidential Seal
There is a full-color Presidential Seal on the Favorite Presidents envelope. Using this as an example, students can color their own Presidential Seal. This seal will be on the front cover of the final project.
Print only one of the seals:
- Presidential Seal to be colored by hand – print on cardstock
- Presidential Seal – Full Color – for parents/older students who want to do the project, but don’t want to spend time coloring (still print on cardstock)
Lesson 10 – Review
Review all lessons while assembling the final project.
1) Use a file folder with the tab in the center. Open folder completely and fold both sides in so that they meet in the middle.
2) Orient the folder so that the tab is on your left, and the cut-out is on your right. Glue the left-half of lesson 9’s Presidential Seal to the left flap of the folder. The right half of the seal will overlap the right folder flap, but is not attached.
3) Open folder and glue Qualifications to the Presidency from lesson 1 to the inside of the left flap. Glue Successors to the Presidency to the right inside flap.
4) Print Presidents’ Pages. Completed booklets from lesson 5 will be glued to these pages later. Not yet!
- Presidents’ Pages – print these four pages on red cardstock
Carefully position the pages so that they are oriented correctly:
Fold the first sheet (#1-12) down so that it is face-to-face with the third sheet (#25-36). Tape the top edge together. The first sheet should be able to open up and close down.
Glue the back of sheet 3 (#25-36) to the center of the file folder.
Fold the second sheet (#13-24) down so that it is face-to-face with the fourth sheet (#37-44). Tape the top edges together. The second sheet should be able to open up and close down.
Open the second sheet back up out of the way, and carefully tape the left edge of the fourth sheet (#37-44) to the left edge of the right flap of the file folder.
Glue in place all president booklets from lesson 5.
Fold the first and second sheets down.
5) Glue the Air Force One information from lesson 4 in place.
6) Glue the My Favorite Presidents envelope from lesson 8 in place. Make sure the student includes the essay.
7) Glue the tombstone from lesson 6 in place.
8) Glue in place the Leadership – Character & Conduct header, plus corresponding verses from lesson 7.
9) Fold the right-hand pages (sheets 2 & 4 which are taped together at the top) in. Glue in place the Oval Office booklet made in lesson 3.
Your folder is now complete!
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
Temporary permission is granted for homeschoolers to print the pdf’s provided for use within their families and co-ops for the 2012-13 school year.
Feedback is appreciated.
Bonus: Royal Rangers will complete all the requirements for the blue Presidents merit while doing this study.