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Landmark Leaders

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

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. During an unit of study on types of governments, pose questions to students such as: What is a government? What skills do national leaders need to run a successful government? What are some national symbols? How are your country's values and actions represented?
    2. After researching their country's government and its leaders' actions, students choose several significant events in their country's history in which a leader played an important role. Write a list of leaders' names and their accomplishments with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. Or choose just one leader and identify numerous accomplishments.
    3. On large paper, students use colored pencils to outline a government building or another structure that symbolizes the country. Outline several windows and doors. Fill in details with Crayola Metallic FX Crayons.
    4. How could each selected moment in history 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. Prime Minister 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, students cut out three-sided windows and doors in your government edifice. Cut enough holes for each of the leaders honored, or for the number of accomplishments of the individual.
    6. Ask students to put another sheet of paper under their drawings. Trace the cutouts on the second paper. Inside these spaces, students draw symbolic representations of their 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 windows open from the top, make and glue tiny flaps to keep the windows from flopping down.
    9. Students share their findings with small groups of classmates. Discuss the similarities and differences in choices of leaders and their accomplishments.
  • Standards

    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.

  • Adaptations

    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.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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