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Talk With the Presidents

Invite students to get presidential with Crayola Model Magic® finger puppets! Then practice questioning skills with presidents interviewing presidents about their time in office.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Working in pairs, invite students to research U.S. presidential personalities and leadership styles. Before beginning the investigation, ask students to compose a list of focus questions for each pair to research. Examples might include when the president served, major events that occurred during his presidency, happenings with his family, etc. Encourage children to find pictures from the time period, if available.
    2. Once research is complete, students will create a finger puppet of their chosen presidents. Begin this process by using Crayola Scissors to cut a 2-inch ring from a cardboard roll. Slit the ring down the side. Students work with a partner to wrap the tubes around each other's fingers and tape for a snug fit.
    3. Mold egg-size pieces of white Crayola Model Magic around the tubes to create a likeness of the president. Build arms, pinch and press facial features, and attach hair or clothing. Dry 24 hours.
    4. Students cover work area with recycled newspaper. Add color to the puppet with Crayola Tempera Paint, Multicultural Paint, and Paint Brushes. Dry.
    5. Attach fabric and yarn for hair and clothing with Crayola School Glue.
    6. With a partner, students interview each other, role playing the president. Encourage students to ask questions about the time period, presidential decisions, and other ideas.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grade level text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

    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.

    MATH: Represent and interpret data.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    SS: Identify examples of institutions and describe the interactions of people with institutions.

    SS: Explain the purpose of government.

    SS: Identify examples of rights and responsibilities of citizens.

    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: The Everything Kids' Presidents Book: Puzzles, Games and Trivia - for Hours of Presidential Fun by Brian Thornton; Time for Kids: Presidents of the United States by Editors of TIME for Kids; The President's Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems About the Presidents by Susan Katz; Yo Millard Fillmore!: (And all those other Presidents you don't know) by Will Cleveland & Mark Alvarez

    Prior to speaking with family members about the presidents, students collaborate to compose interview questions to focus on during the interview. Word process the questions that students agree upon and provide a copy for each member of the class.

    Working in small groups, students use their puppets to present biographical briefs on their selected president(s). After listening to each puppet presentation, students vote for the one present that they would like to meet. Students tally the results of the vote and create a graph illustrating the final vote.

    Using recycled materials, small groups of students collaborate to create a re-creation of the White House. This will need to be large enough to house all the presidential puppets and the structure should open easily. Students may wish to investigate some history on the White House to assist with their artwork.


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