Our President

Print Lesson


SWBAT browse a text, gaining information about the text and identifying the meaning of vocabulary words through the pictures. SWBAT write an informational paragraph about the President through guided and modeled writing.

Big Idea

Patriotism is love of and loyalty to our country.

Prepare the Learner

15 minutes

I read America the Beautiful  sing and read storybook that is published by Scholastic.  I like this one because the illustrations help students understand the song and what is happening in it.  I explain: This is an important song about America.  As we study our country, we will sing this song to remind ourselves how beautiful it is!

 If you do not have the storybook,  you could use this video and song:




After I read the book, I let the kids listen to the song on either a CD or with the video.  I practice the first few lines with the kids using echo reading of the book.  I say:  Oh beautiful   Kids repeat Oh beautifulI say: for spacious skies  Kids repeat: for spacious skies    I do this through the song line  …for amber waves of grain.  We then practice that far with the music or video.  If I am using a CD, I will flip through the book and show the pictures that go with the music so the kids have visual clues for the words. 


Using video is something I am incorporating in my classroom much more with Common Core.  As students get older, they will be expected to listen to learn in addition to read to learn.  Using this video with the support of the book sets the stage for just that!


I tell the kids that we will continue to practice this song and learn more words tomorrow.

Interact with text/concept

45 minutes

Hats Off For the Fourth of July!


I ask the students: Have you ever been to a parade?  What have you seen either in person or on tv?  I then talk about why we have parades. 


I ask:  What do you know about the 4th of July and have you ever attended a 4th of July parade?  I tell students they are going to be listening to a selection about a parade on the 4th of July.


As I read the title, Hats Off For the Fourth of July to the students I ask: What do you think this selection will be about?  We talk about showing respect for our flag and one way to do that is to take off our hats as the flag passes by. 


We browse the selection before we read it.  We have practiced this all year and students know that browsing means looking at the pictures and thinking about them.  After we browse the pictures, I ask students again what they think the selection will be about.  This time they give evidence as to why they think that.  This helps me to gauge whether they are focused on the text or their own experiences.  We want the discussion to be text dependent, so I refocus kids to the text if it is necessary.


I show the students the following vocabulary words from the selection: march, strut, walk and spin.   We talk about what each means and we act out the motion for each so that kids can see and feel the difference.  We then echo read the words (my turn, students’ turn) and I show them pictures to go with each word.


I do this so that when students encounter those words in the text, they have an idea of what the word means.  This visual support allows them to better use the context to deepen their understanding of the word.  I can talk about how the context supports the understanding of unknown words and the kids can grasp what I am saying because they are not sitting there thinking, "What does that word mean and what is the teacher talking about?!" 

Extend Understanding

20 minutes

American Symbols book-supporting and extending the theme of Patriotism


Our President Writing


I show students our American symbols book.  I turn to the third symbol and read to them about the President.  I explain that this is what we will be writing about today.

Symbols book structure explanation video 


Students each get one President writing paper and put their name on the back.  I do a guided writing with them, as we write what we just read.  I model the writing on my own paper on the document camera so expectations are clear.  Students help me find the sight words on our word wall.  We sound out together to write them.  I prompt them for capitals and end marks, as well. *VIDEO*


For example, I say: We can use sounds to write the word ‘Our’   The sound of /ou/ is spelled ‘ou’ and when you get to first grade you will have an /ou/ sound spelling card.  Let’s write capital O because why?  Why do we want our O to be capital? (first word of a sentence) Next let’s write the ‘u’ next to our capital O so that we hove the /ou/ sound spelling.  Everyone say /ou/.  (students repeat) How do we write /r/? (r)  O-u-r that is how we write the word ‘our.’   Everyone say ‘our.’  (students chant ‘our’)


I say:  The next word is President ‘’  How do we write /p/?  (I write capital P on my paper and students write it on theirs.)  We need to make this P capital because ‘President’  is the TITLE of our leaderand we always capitalize TITLES. 


I say:  How do we write /r/?  (I write ‘r’ on my paper and students write it on theirs) 


I say: How do we write /e/?  (I write ‘e’ on my paper and students write it on theirs)


I say:  And how do we write /z/?  ( I write ‘s’ on my paper and students write it on theirs)


I say:  How do we write /i/?  (I write ‘i’ on my paper and students write it on theirs)


I say:  How do we write /d/?  (I write ‘d’ on my paper and students write it on theirs)


I say:  How do we write /e/?  (I write ‘e’ on my paper and students write it on theirs)


I say:  How do we write /n/?  (I write ‘n’ on my paper and students write it on theirs)


I say:  How do we write /t/?  (I write ‘t’ on my paper and students write it on theirs)



I then sound out the word slowly to read it P-r-e-s-i-d-e-n-t.  President   Does everyone have “President” on their first line?  I walk around the room to check that students have the two words written correctly. 



I continue on in the same fashion with sight words and sounding out those words the kids can help me with.  In the interest of time, there are some words that I may just model on my paper and the kids copy.


Lessons and learnings connect to each other within a lesson and/or throughout a lesson series.  This part of this lesson springboards from the text because the topic of the text is Patriotism.  Almost every picture has an American symbol in it.  This  art will be the picture representation of the  writing page in their book.  The rigor of creating this book is high. It cannot be done in one lesson or one day.  It must be taught in a series.  Also, it requires students to retain learning from day to day!