Sunday, October 21, 2012


Caldecott Winner 2001

Subject Area: Social Studies
Reading Level: 4.2
Book Summary
Humorous and just slightly off-kilter, this book is sure to entertain while it enlightens.
Objective Using nonfiction, students will learn interesting and often little-known facts about the political leaders who have governed our nation from its beginning.
Standards: Students will understand how democratic values came to be, and how they have been exemplified by people, events, and symbols.

Lesson Plan for Presidential Election (Nov. 6th, 2012)
Read Aloud "So You Want to Be President" by Judith St. George Ill. by David Small.
I started off my lesson by choosing about 10 different pages and I put sticky note tabs in the sides because I didn't have time to read it all. I told the kids that this is the 2001 Caldecott winner. It had to be updated for the 2012 Election and to show Barack Obama as our current president.
1. We discussed the White House and why there is a bowling alley, swimming pool and movie theatre there. (Privacy)
2. We talked about the pets presidents have had. Rooselvelt had a zoo.
3. We discussed the previous jobs presidents have had before becoming president, including tailor and sailor and Movie Star.
4. I asked questions like, "Who was the largestor tallest president.
5. We discussed funny facts about certain presidents, such as the fact that a big tub had to be built for William Taft, because he weighed over 300 lbs.
6. We discussed Abe Lincoln and other presidents who were very famous or assasinated.
7. We learned new vocabulary, such as "tidbits, homely, assasinated, Shetland pony, Caldecott Award, Oath", and others.
8. We discussed the pros and cons of being president: being famous is a pro, but then there is little privacy and you can't just go anywhere without taking a huge group of body guards, Secret Service men, etc...
9. We practiced the voting process and the students voted for who they wanted as president and discussed privacy and rules of conduct for voting, at what age you can legally vote, etc...

The lesson was a hit and only took about 15-20 minutes. 
Lesson Plan by Laura B. Smoot

Here is another lesson plan from Scholastic.

Before Reading the Book
The Name Game
Got any history buffs in your class? Test everyone's knowledge with a quick and easy name game.

  1. On your blackboard, write the numbers 1–42.
  2. Ask students to pick their brains and see how many presidents they can name.
  3. Using the list at the back of So You Want to be President? (if necessary), write each president your class can name in his proper spot.
  4. Try to spot any trends or patterns in the list - lots of men named James, some relatives, etc.
  5. You may want to fill in the list, as a class, after you've read the book.
Teaching Plan
My Legacy
Even United States Presidents started out as regular kids! You can help students understand presidential legacies by imagining their own.

  1. Ask students to think about any interesting or important facts about their own lives.
  2. On a piece of paper, ask each to create a time line of his or her life to this point. (For example, born on this day, little sister arrived on this day, started piano lessons on this day, etc.).
  3. Next, have your class think about what they'd like their future to hold. Ask them to record these anticipated future events in a different color pencil or ink.
  4. When each has finished, have students share their "legacies," both current and anticipated, with the class.
  5. Post timelines on a classroom bulletin board.
My Favorite President
So You Want to Be President? is chock-full of interesting tidbits about our Presidents; use them to captivate your students.
  1. Using the information gleaned from the book, ask each student to choose a favorite president. The choice should leave aside political associations; it should be based solely on the trivia presented.
  2. Have students create a list of facts about their chosen president.
  3. Ask each student to give an oral presentation about his or her favorite. The very brief report could begin with a list of facts about the president and conclude with reasons why the student found these qualities interesting or appealing.
  4. As a class, discuss each student's choice; were some presidents chosen more often than others? Analyze the outcome.
Other Books About the Electoral Process  Presidential Elections and Other Cool Facts
By Syl Sobel
This handy resource book outlines the legal requirements for electing a president, discusses the Electoral College, campaign rules and practices, and much more!
Landslide! A Kid's Guide to the U.S. Elections
By Dan Gutman
How does a voting machine work? Who belongs to the Electoral College? What happens if there's a tie? Find answers to these questions, and many more.

Other Books by Judith St. George
To See With the Heart: The Life of Sitting Bull
Crazy Horse

Teaching Plan written by Rebecca Gómez.

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