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Presidential Plates

Bring in some fun and ‘kitschy’ design into your presidential study! Use the Caldecott Medal book So You Want to Be President? as a jumping-off point and have your students create a series of limited edition plate décor for your classroom.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 30 Minutes or Less
  • Directions

    1. Read the book So You Want to be President? by Judith St. George with your class. Have each student choose a president to focus on either by first-come-first-serve or by choosing a name out of a hat, so that none are duplicated.
    2. After students have researched basic information about their president, look back through the book, pointing out several characteristics about the illustrations. Explain what a ‘caricature’ is and have students brainstorm appropriate features to exaggerate for their president. Note how basic lines of one color accentuate parts of each portrait and demonstrate how easily this can be done with the wide side of Crayola Washable Broad Line Markers, while the thin facial lines are best created with the tip of those very same markers.
    3. Have students practice their presidential images a few times on their Crayola Marker & Watercolor Pad. Also discuss or show examples of decorative plates created to hang on walls. Invite the class to brainstorm together what type of border they would like their series of plates to have, so all will look like a complete set. Discuss what type of format and brief information will be included, and refer to fractions of the whole so that images are similar in proportion to each other.
    4. After students have practiced their images, have them draw them directly on a paper plate, and complete with same-style border and including the same information.
    5. Have students present their plates to classmates, sharing information about their president and why specific information was included.
    6. Display all plates along a hallway or around your classroom!
  • Standards

    LA: Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

    LA: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

    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.

    MATH: Extend understanding of fraction equivalence and ordering.

    MATH: Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools such as atlases, data bases, grid systems, charts, graphs and maps to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Distinguish among local, state, and national government and identify representative leaders at these levels such as president.

    VA: Students will initiate making works of art and design by experimenting, imagining and identifying content.

    VA: Students will reflect on, share insights about, and refine works of art and design.

    VA: Students demonstrate an understanding that creative thinking skills transfer to all aspects of life.

  • Adaptations

    Before displaying, divide class and plate set in half; challenge which half of class can put in chronological order first.

    Have students trade plates and see what fun facts they can research about the president of their current plate.

    Use this art project idea with other areas of figures that students study, such as literary characters, current scientists or even each other!

    Create caricatures such as these on paper and bind together as a class book to add to your classroom library.

    Explore this same project with other media such as Crayola Colored Pencils and Crayola Washable Watercolors.


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