# FREE Presidents’ Day Mini Unit Study

February 9, 2024
Written by:
Guest Author

If you check your calendar, you’ll notice the third Monday of February is Presidents’ Day. Why do we celebrate Presidents’ Day? Is it just another patriotic day or a day to take off from school?

Initially, the holiday began in 1885 to recognize George Washington, which is why it’s still called “Washington’s Birthday.” For that reason, it was set as February 22nd, which is Washington’s actual birthday. However, the holiday was moved to the third Monday of February to honor all presidents.

To learn more, complete this fun mini-unit study with your kids, and be sure to grab your FREE PRESIDENTS’ DAY PRINTABLES at the end!

## Presidents’ Day Facts

• The Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, created by Congress in 1968, was meant to provide more “designated Monday” holidays. The idea behind this was to give people more three-day weekends and scale down absentees in the workforce. The bill passed in 1971, leading to Presidents’ Day being established as the third Monday in February. (Thanks, George Washington for the extra day off!)
• Technically speaking, the holiday isn’t even called Presidents’ Day. It’s still called Washington’s Birthday.
• Car dealerships, restaurants, and many other stores like to take advantage of the holiday to promote their businesses. See how many “Presidents’ Day sale” ads you can find around town!
• That same Uniform Holiday Bill Congress passed was meant to pay respect to Abraham Lincoln (whose birthday is February 12th) and include another president.
• Presidents’ Day didn’t become an official holiday until Rutherford B. Hayes signed it into law.

## Free Presidents’ Day Activities

Math:

• Have your children or teens guess which state produced the most presidents. (You’ll probably want to clarify that by “produced” you mean states where presidents lived when elected, not where they were born.) Keep track of these guesses and write them down. Next, have your children do some research. You may want to split this activity into assigned tasks. Older children can research while younger children keep track with tally marks or a bar graph. When finished, compare the results to initial guesses. Did the data support their guesses?
• Your students can create a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting two presidents. To start with, have them compare and contrast George Washington and Abraham Lincoln since this holiday was largely about those two presidents.

Social Studies:

• Spend some time this Presidents’ Day writing a letter to the President. What better way for your children to learn about democracy than to write the one who holds the highest office in the nation? (It’s also a great chance to polish those letter-writing skills!) Here is the address:
• The President of the USA (or write the President’s name)
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500
• Visit the National Parks Service website to take a virtual trip to Presidential monuments and memorials, including the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Mount Rushmore, and others!
• Have your child choose a President, take a trip to your local library, and do a little research. Depending on the age of your student(s), you can do a read-aloud together, have them write a few sentences with facts they learned, or have them write a biographical sketch of their President.

Science:

• Young children will enjoy this easy science activity. Squirt lemon juice into a bowl and add a few drops of water. Then add some old pennies (for Lincoln) and quarters (for Washington). After about five minutes, remove the coins and polish them. Can your children identify the president on each coin?

Language Arts:

• These President learning games cover several presidents and teach language arts skills, too.
• Need a change from the usual spelling activities? Try these Presidents’ Day spelling words:
• celebrate
• birthday
• President
• freedom
• patriot
• American
• soldier
• lawyer
• first
• sixteenth
• penny
• quarter
• nation
• unity
• President Andrew Jackson was one of the most controversial presidents. Have your child or teen do a little research and write about him.

## Step Out of the Box

Presidents’ Day is the third Monday of every year. Usually, we associate Presidents’ Day with President Washington and President Lincoln.  Why not teach about a more current President this year?  Some possible ideas include:

• Presidents Roosevelt and Truman: World War II. Watch videos about Roosevelt and Truman and then write an essay on how these two presidential terms still affect our country today.
• President Kennedy: Jackie Kennedy remarked, “There’ll be great presidents again…but there’ll never be another Camelot.”  Watch the Camelot video and discuss this quote.
• President Jimmy Carter: Habitat for Humanity. Discuss whether you believe he made more of an impact during his presidency or after his presidency.
• President George W. Bush: Discuss the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. How did he react? Was his response appropriate? What are some repercussions of his actions that still affect us?