President’s or Prime Minister’s Portfolio

President’s or Prime Minister’s Portfolio lesson plan

How are elections held? What do government leaders do? Begin with a briefcase that opens up new branches of learning.

  • 1.

    Invite students to learn more about their country's leaders. Find out how and when the leaders of the country are chosen. Learn about the jobs that presidents and prime ministers do. What are the names and accomplishments of the country’s leaders since students were born? Organize a variety of text and electronic resources for students to view during this activity.

  • 2.

    When research is complete, students organize their research into a presentation for classmates. Students prepare a visual for their presentations in the form of a portfolio representing the life and career of their national leaders.

  • 3.

    Students begin their portfolios with a large rectangle of construction paper. ake a briefcase. Fold the paper in half lengthwise or use a recycled file folder. On more construction paper, draw two handles with Crayola Twistables®. Cut them out using Crayola Scissors. Glue them to the inside top of the folded paper with a Crayola Glue Stick.

  • 4.

    Keep track of history. On the front of the briefcase, students draw a picture of the president or prime minister investigated. Fill the outside with more pictures to describe the person’s life. For example, a cherry tree could symbolize George Washington, the first U.S. president. Inside the portfolio draw and write information pertinent to the leader, such as years in office and what was accomplished during his/her administration.

  • 5.

    Provide a time for students to present their learning to small groups of classmates using the portfolio as a visual to enhance understanding. Once all presentations are complete, post portfolios on a classroom bulletin board.

Standards

  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
  • LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).
  • LA: Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • SS: Explain the purpose of government.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.
  • VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resource includes: Branches of Government by John Hamilton
  • Invite a local government official to meet with the class to discuss the role of government in their lives. Prior to the meeting, students compose questions for the expert. After the visit, students post learning to a class blog.
  • Students investigate a self-selected government leader and his/her contribution to government. Organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.
  • Students work in small groups to investigate the government of a country other than their own. Organize this research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.
  • Students assume the persona of an individual government leader that they have researched. Prepare an oral presentation for classmates. Also consider writing a poem that describes the leader's contributions to the country's government.