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My Own Oval Office

What would it be like to be a U.S. President? Design your own Oval Office in the White House, decorated with your favorite things!

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Research the White House and determine the importance of the Oval Office to the history and government of the United States. Encourage students to find pictures of the Oval Office (in current or past administrations) and the Presidential seal. Gather information about the architecture and living and working areas of the building. Find out about security measures to protect the president. What famous events in history have taken place inside the Oval Office? Students work in small groups during this investigation and be provided various text and electronic resources to view.
    2. Ask each group to brainstorm what it would be like to be the U.S. President and work in the White House. Use a classroom white board and Crayola Dry-Erase Markers to document student ideas. In preparation for making a replica of the Oval Office, groups locate a recycled box with high sides. Cut out the front and half of the side panels with Crayola® Scissors in order to make a diorama.
    3. Cut poster board to fit inside the box. With Crayola Colored Pencils, sketch in three large windows with long drapes and a valance.
    4. Students cover their work area with recycled newspaper. Paint the windows, walls, and drapes with Crayola Tempera Paint. Paint a sheet of construction paper royal blue for the rug. Dry.
    5. Add molding or other decorative elements to the poster board with Crayola Fine Tip Markers.
    6. On white construction paper, draw, color with markers, and cut out a fireplace with a mantle. Create a picture of a favorite president or painting, bookshelves, or any other items the team would like to include in the office. Draw and cut out the U.S. and Presidential flags. Attach them, using Crayola School Glue, to the poster board. Glue the poster board around the inside of the box, curving it slightly.
    7. On white construction paper, sketch the round Presidential Seal of office with colored pencils. Fill it in with Crayola Washable Markers and cut it out. Glue it to the middle of the painted blue paper to form the Oval Office Presidential rug. Add authentic red and yellow details if so desired.
    8. Use recycled boxes and cardboard to create the desk, sofa, and chairs. Cut and glue pieces as necessary. Paint the furniture, dry, and place it in the office.
    9. With Crayola Model Magic, create a globe, phone, and other office equipment. Place them in the office. As a team, discuss what your first presidential act be.
  • Standards

    LA: Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in a text.

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    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: Explain the purpose of government.

    SS: Give examples of how government does or does not provide for the needs and wants of people, establish order and security, and manage conflict.

    SS: Identify key ideals of the United States' democratic republican form of government, such as individual human dignity, liberty, justices, equality, and the rule of law, and discuss their application in specific situations.

    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.

    VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Basher History: US Presidents: Oval Office All-Stars by Simon Basher & Dan Greene; I Wish I Knew That: U.S. Presidents: Cool Stuff You Need To Know by Reader's Digest

    Working in small groups, students research the history of the structure known as The White House. Who were the architects that designed the building? How has it been remodeled and updated over the years of the country's history?

    Students investigate the purpose of the oval office. Find well-known photographs of the room during various presidential administrations. How has the room changed?

    Investigate leader's homes and offices in other countries. How do they compare to The White House?


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