Tomorrow, January 20th, is America’s 59th Presidential Inauguration. Students are sure to have heard about it from their family or the media; your school district may even encourage watching the event on TV during the school day. Acknowledge your students’ curiosities and provide them with basic inauguration facts by comparing and contrasting the past!
First, ask your students for basic information about this year’s inauguration:
- When will it take place?
- Where will it take place?
- Who is the next president?
Students can also visit kids.gov, a federal government website designed specifically for kids, to find information about the inauguration. Visiting this website will fulfill the Common Core State Standard to “integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably” (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.9)
Next, tell the students that you will be examining American life in 1789, when George Washington became the first President of the United States. George Washington from the Hameray Biography Series describes Washington’s inauguration on p. 30:
Ask students to compare and contrast George Washington’s inauguration to tomorrow’s inauguration. You may want to create a Venn diagram to record the similarities and differences.
Use the rest of George Washington’s biography to get a glimpse into American life in the late 1700s. How was the late 1700s different from your life today?
- p. 6: the calendric system
- p. 9: American schools
- p. 17: Fashion
- p. 19: The political status of colonies
- p. 30: The U.S. capital
By using the Hameray Biography Series to compare and contrast, your students will learn real-world knowledge while fulfilling Common Core State Standards!