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Early Presidents

Early Presidents


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Grade Level Grades 3-5
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards

About This Lesson

Early Presidents focuses on the first seven presidents of the United States: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Jackson. Students learn how these presidents organized the federal government within the framework of the Constitution, saw to the building of a national capital, directed a second war with Great Britain, more than doubled the size of the country, and formulated a “hands-off” foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere. As students learn how our early presidents set precedents for the future of the new nation, they also consider different visions of how the nation and its government should evolve. The material incorporates a rich array of civics-focused knowledge, questions, and activities. In choosing the specific content to call to teachers’ and students’ attention, we have been guided by the civics test developed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

This unit includes a Student Reader, Timeline Image Cards, and Teacher Guide, providing Guided Reading Supports and the following Additional Activities: virtual field trips to Mount Vernon and Monticello; videos about Abigail Adams and about African Americans who served in the War of 1812; domain vocabulary exercises; and a Unit Assessment.


Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.


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