Encourage Civic Engagement With Videos & Activities This Presidents Day

Presidents Day is Monday, February 19th!

Presidents Day is the third Monday in February each year. On this day, we celebrate the leaders of our nation, both past and present – from George Washington to Joseph R. Biden, and each executive in between.

This Presidents Day, learn about the role and responsibilities of the President while exploring the histories of past presidencies using the lesson plans, book recommendations, and videos below.

And don’t forget – you don’t have to be the head of state to be a historic change maker! Try the activities from our curated list to encourage children’s civic engagement in and outside the classroom.

Learn About the Role & Responsibilities of Presidents

Picture Books About Presidents and Voting

Grades PreK-4
How are you and your kids recognizing Presidents Day? From “Duck for President” to “George Vs. George,” explore PBS Kids for Parents book recommendations about the history of our presidents and system of government!

The U.S. Presidency Collection

Grades K-12
Explore the rich history and the institution of the U.S. Presidency—from George Washington to Barack Obama. Understand the duties and powers of the President of the United States and the First Lady, gather important background information with our Presidential biographies, and engage with videos and primary sources that place you back in time at some of the most pivotal turning points in American history.

What Exactly Is The State of the Union? | Politics on Point

Grades 3-8
Do your students know the history behind the “State of the Union” address? Or that it’s actually written into the Constitution? Learn more in this lesson on the President’s biggest speech of the year!

The 7 Roles of the U.S. President | On the Campaign Trail

Grades 6-12
In this episode of On the Campaign Trail, learn about the seven main roles of the United States president and the responsibilities attached to each one. 

Activities to Encourage Civic Engagement

Letter to the President

Grades K-3
What would you like the President to know? Write a letter to the President of the United States of America with this worksheet from PBS Kids for Parents.

Celebrate Presidents’ Day by Writing an “I Will Make a Difference” Speech

Grades K-3
What would your child do if they were in charge? Support your child in writing a Presidents’ Day speech inspired by Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum: I am Madam President movie. Then, invite friends and family to listen to your child as they give their speech.

Presidents Day Vocabulary Word Search | All About the Holidays

Grades 3-5
Learn the vocabulary of Presidents Day with this fun word search from All About the Holidays.

Five Steps to Make Your Own Political Art | KQED Art School

Grades 6-12
For hundreds of years, artists have used their work to spread messages about important issues. Eye-catching artworks can help start a dialogue about social justice, as well as raise awareness for political candidates, activists, and others who see room for improvement in their community and beyond. Watch this video for a formula to make political art in five easy steps. Then create your own political art, and let your work shout a message from the rooftops!

Should We Have a President? | America From Scratch

Grades 6-12
We spend a lot of time thinking, worrying, debating—and, yes, fighting—over who should be our president. But is that the best use of our political energy? In this episode of America From Scratch, we explore the idea of eliminating the presidency entirely—and some other alternatives to our current political structure. Experts share how you can make the biggest difference in government today, regardless of how the political pendulum is swinging. Using the associated Support Materials, students will brainstorm and evaluate if a president is the best way to handle executive power or if there are other systems that would be better.