This week schools across the United States are celebrating Presidents’ Day! Do you know the history behind this special holiday? It is celebrated on the third Monday of February. Much like Independence Day, Presidents Day is traditionally viewed as a time of patriotic celebration and remembrance. It falls right between Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12th) and George Washington’s Birthday (February 22nd).
Although it is believed that Presidents’ Day is a day to remember these two influential leaders, it is actually a day to recognize the lives and achievements of all of America’s 45 chief executives.
LightSail is the perfect tool to use when teaching students about Presidents’ Day. From your LightSail teacher account, you can assign this text to all of your students. In addition, you can leave annotations along the way. These annotations will begin a whole class discussion. Students will be able to answer your questions and respond to their classmates’ comments.
Follow the lesson plan below to help students learn more about Abraham Lincoln:
LightSail Antares title: Abraham Lincoln
Lexile Level: 650
Number of Copies: Unlimited
Summary: Some people think Abraham Lincoln was the greatest president in the history of the United States. His biggest contribution was ending slavery through the Emancipation Proclamation. He is well known for his speeches, his warm personality, and his commitment to doing the right thing.
Step 1: Assign this text to all students who will be taking part in this lesson
Step 2: Input annotations throughout the book for students to respond to. This starts a discussion forum for students to read and contribute to.
Presidents’ Day/Abraham Lincoln example thoughts and questions:
Location: 45.5% — Thought/Question:
- What does the author mean when she says that Lincoln has strong character?
- Why is it important for a U.S. president to have upstanding morals?
Location: 54.5% — Thought/Question:
- Lincoln traveled miles to borrow books. What does this show about his character?
- Lincoln had many obstacles in his way from getting a good education. Yet, he found a way to read and learn. How can you find a way around your personal obstacles?
Location: 72.7% — Thought/Question:
- What does it mean to be passionate?
- What is something you are passionate about?
- Why do you think the locals were impressed by Lincoln, even though he didn’t win the first time he ran for Senate?
- Why do you think it’s important to celebrate Lincoln every year on Presidents’ Day?
- What helped Lincoln go down in history as one of the greatest presidents of all time?
Step 3: Pre-teach some President themed vocabulary words/phrases to your class
Example words that show up in the Abraham Lincoln Antares Text:
Step 4: Have students read Abraham Lincoln and respond to your annotations
Note: When you initiate the annotation, all students in your class can see it and respond to it! If a student initiates an annotation from their account, only you and that student can see it and respond.
Teacher Tip: If this book is too difficult for students, they can listen to the book using LightSail’s audio feature. To play the audio of each page, students must click on the three gray dots at the top of the page. Then, click on the play button.
Step 5: Discuss what students learned about Abraham Lincoln today and the importance of Presidents’ Day in the United States!
Extend the learning about Lincoln even further by encouraging students to read more texts about his famous speeches right in LightSail:
Stay tuned, many more presidential themed texts are coming to LightSail soon. This is will be all thanks to our partnership with Rosen Publishing!