Landmark Leaders

Landmark Leaders lesson plan

Celebrate national leaders! Open the doors and windows of a government building to reveal memorable accomplishments of presidents and prime ministers.

  • 1.

    What is a government? What skills do national leaders need to run a successful government? Flags, languages, faiths, animals, and even buildings are used as national symbols. How are your country's values and actions represented?

  • 2.

    Create a building poster to share your understanding of your country's government and its leaders' actions. Choose several significant events in your country's history in which a leader played an important role. Write a list of leaders' names and their accomplishments with Crayola® Colored Pencils. Or choose just one leader and identify numerous accomplishments.

  • 3.

    On large paper, use your colored pencils to outline a government building or another structure that symbolizes your country. Outline several windows and doors. Fill in details with Crayola Metallic FX Crayons.

  • 4.

    How could each moment in history that you chose be portrayed in a visual way? For example Canada's Prime Minister (PM) Lester Pearson guided Canada through the process of designing a maple-leaf emblazoned flag. PM William Mackenzie King is called Canada's first citizen. These images are embedded in the Canadian Parliament building in Ottawa, Canada's capital city.

  • 5.

    With Crayola Scissors, cut out three-sided windows and doors in your government edifice. Cut enough holes for each of the leaders you will honor, or for the number of accomplishments of an individual.

  • 6.

    Put another paper under your drawing. Trace the cutouts on the second paper. Inside these spaces, draw symbolic representations of your leader's important actions with colored pencils and crayons.

  • 7.

    Place the second piece of paper under the first, matching the holes with the drawings. Attach with a Crayola Glue Stick.

  • 8.

    Fold open each window or door. Write the name of the leader honored inside the flap. Include dates, too. If your windows open from the top, make and glue tiny flaps to keep the windows from flopping down.

  • 9.

    Share your findings with other students. What are the similarities and differences in your choices of leaders and their accomplishments?


  • LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of grade level text's complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • SS: Explore factors that contribute to one's personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • SS: Explain the purpose of government.
  • SS: Demonstrate an ability to use correctly vocabulary associated with time such as past, present, future, and long ago; read and construct simple timelines; identify examples of change; and recognize examples of cause and effect relationships.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.


  • Possible classroom resources include: America : A Patriotic Primer by Lynne Cheney; A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women by Lynne Cheney; If You Lived With The Iroquois by Ellen Levine; The Look-It-Up Book of Presidents by Wyatt Blassingame; Who Was Ben Franklin? by Dennis Brindell Fradin
  • In Canada the Prime Minister is called "first among equals." Students analyze the meaning of this phrase and debate whether this concept is possible.
  • Students work in small groups to explore various systems of government. Compare parliamentary, democracy, monarchy, and other systems. What components are the same? Which are different? What are the roots of these types of governments?
  • What qualities are essential for leadership in any government? Students brainstorm in small groups to create a list and discuss why each is necessary for successful leadership.
  • Students focus research on a leader from a country other than their home country. What makes this person a leader in his country? If this person was to move to your home country, would he possess the skills necessary to be a leader there? Organize an electronic presentation that includes a look into the leader's childhood, education, etc. Be prepared to present findings to classmates.