So You Want to Be President Classroom Activities

“So You Want to be President”
Previewing and/or Extending Activities
Grades 4 – 8

Flyer: (click here to see it)


Word file of activities:

Presidential extras.doc

Grade 4 and 5
4SS_D1998-26 (QCC)
4SS_E1998-31 (QCC)
4SS_B1998 – 8 (QCC)
5SS_B1998-8 (QCC)

Discuss the three branches of government with the acronym: JELLO

J: Judicial Branch – has judges and is the court system
E: Executive Branch – has the President and enforces laws
L: Legislative Branch – has Congress which makes laws

These three branches working together ensure:
L: Law and
O: Order

Point out that there are two branches of government for which we elect members. (Legislative and Executive) The President appoints the Federal Judicial Branch.

Compare the federal government to Georgia’s government.

Discuss how the state government is set up with the same three branches. Using an attribute chart, compare the federal and state governments.

Executive BranchLegislative BranchJudicial Branch

It seems obvious, but this graphic helps students solidify this concept.

Use analogies to help students explain the role of the president.
The President of the United States is to the federal government
The governor is to the state government.
Voting is to the age 18 as the presidency is to the age 35.

Visit Ben’s Guide to US Government for Kids -
It’s fairly sophisticated, so I usually guide my fourth graders into the K-2 section.
Visit: Kids Voting U.S.A. -

Compare our government with that of Great Britain’s during colonial times.
(Democratic Republic to a monarchy) to answer the question: Why do you think colonists were willing to fight a war in order to have a democratic government?

What are the similarities? What are the differences? Apply this discussion to answer the question.

Other books to read with your class about the elections:
America Votes: How Our President is Elected by Linda Granfield (Scholastic)
VOTE! by Eileen Christelow (Scholastic)
Election Connection: The Official Nick Guide to Electing the President (Nickelodeon)
[This book is actually a good reference.]

Grades 6 – 8
6SS_B1998 – 8 (QCC)
6SS_B1998 – 10 (QCC)
6SS_B1998-16 (QCC)
6SS_B1998-17 (QCC)
7SS_B1998-17 (QCC)
7SS_B1998 –8
7SS_B1998 – 9 (QCC)
8SS_D2000-4 (QCC)
8SS_B1998-8 (QCC)
8SS_B1998- 11 (QCC)
8SS_G2001-15 (QCC)
8SS_B1998- 18 (QCC)

Discuss the election process including the electoral college. Have students reflect on this discussion with a one page ‘essay’ answering this question: Do you think the election process we have today is a fair one? Use information from the discussion to support your point of view.

Define and discuss the two main political parties: democrats and republicans.
Identify each party’s presidential candidate.
Compare each party’s views (and candidate’s views) on subjects like: the war in Iraq, taxes, medical care, and education. (Be careful not to show favoritism to either party. This is an intellectual discussion, not who is right and who is wrong.)

Using current events, discuss some of the countries that are having or are preparing to have free elections for the first time. Students should find an article in the paper, summarize it, and then discuss it with the class. Some discussion questions may include: Why is this an important world event? What kind of government did these countries have before? Afterwards, students can write a one-page reflection about the conversation. They may want to try and answer: Do you think every country should be able to elect their own leaders?

Compare the criteria for being President of the United States to that of being a candidate for Congress. Using this data, discuss why did the ‘founding fathers’ make the criteria different for their ifferent jobs in government?

Good leadership qualities were discussed during the show. What are some other qualities of good leaders? What are some other ways we have leaders in our society other than in government? Do they have the same qualities?

Have students write a one-page ‘essay’ on someone they think is a leader in their community. Students should be able to give examples to support their point of view.

Websites and books:
America Votes: How Our President is Elected by Linda Granfield (Scholastic)
VOTE! by Eileen Christelow (Scholastic)

Election Connection: The Official Nick Guide to Electing the President (Nickelodeon)
[This book is actually a good reference.]