Powers of the Presidency

  • Duties of the President

    In this lesson, students will examine the duties of the President as written in the Constitution and what the Oath of Office means.

    Grades: 9-12
  • President for a Day

    This activity provides a job description for the presidency, so students understand what kinds of skills and competencies are necessary in that office. Students have the opportunity to role play as the President for a day, making decisions about different events that a President might actually experience (meetings with Cabinet members, speeches to the public, bowling in the White House).

    Grades: 3-6
  • The Modern Presidency: Tools of Power | Democracy in America

    Explore the "many hats" worn by the president of the United States as the head of the executive branch of the government, including Chief of State, Chief Executive, Commander-In-Chief, Chief Legislator, Party Leader, and Chief Diplomat, in this Democracy in America interactive activity from Annenberg Learner.

    Grades: 12-13+
  • If I Were President

    Are any of your children interested in becoming president? Using this activity from Arthur, talk with your children about the role of President of the United States. Help them think about what they would do if they were elected.

    Grades: PreK-4
  • Who Do You Think Should Be President?

    In this lesson students will research the Presidential candidates and their views on key issues. Students will decide which candidate they support and would vote for if they were able to vote. Students will then campaign and give a speech to persuade other students to vote for their chosen candidate. Students will then vote on who they believe to be the best candidate for president and reflect on the election and voting process.

    Grades: 9-12
  • A Fight is On, How Much Power Will You Don? Lesson Plan

    In this lesson, to be used with the program the War of 1812, students will learn about the powers granted to different branches of government in America, especially during wartime. Students will be given a role - Congress or the Presidency and debate which branch should receive which powers.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • The Constitution at Work

    This activity calls students to analyze documents from various points in American history, and to determine from their content which part of the Constitution each brings to life.

    Grades: 8-11
  • To Sign or Not to Sign

    In this activity, students will analyze the Declaration of Independence to understand its meaning in context, including taking into consideration the risks and benefits the members of the Second Continental Congress faced by signing the document.

    Grades: 6-8
  • Documenting Key Presidential Decisions

    This activity calls students to analyze documents related to key Presidential decisions from the Depression through to the Clinton era. Students must determine which president was associated with each document, and match presidents with the correct locations of their Presidential Libraries.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Civil Rights Act (1964) and Resource Materials

    This resource group contains a facsimile and a transcript of, a facsimile of a photograph related to, and a background essay on the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Signed into law by President Johnson on July 2, 1964, this act prohibited discrimination in public places, provided for the integration of schools and other public facilities, and made employment discrimination illegal. It was the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1868) and Resource Materials

    This is a facsimile of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, passed by Congress June 13, 1866, and ratified July 9, 1868. The 14th amendment extended liberties and rights granted by the Bill of Rights to former slaves.

    Grades: 6-13+