Introduction to Hands-On Presidents

Adaptable for Grades 2 – 12

Hands-On Presidents is a fun notebooking project that helps history students learn their U.S. presidents. The Hands-On Presidents e-book contains 43 sets of notebooking pages, one for each of the 43 men who have served as President of the United States as of 2015. These pages invite students to:

  • Research details about the president’s life, first lady, presidential home, term of office and more.

  • Write in their own words what they learn.

  • Illustrate what they learn with pictures of the president, his first lady, the presidential home and/or key events of his presidency.

  • Present what they learn in well-organized, keepsake notebooks.

Each set of notebooking pages is custom-designed for its particular president. For example, the sets for John Tyler and Woodrow Wilson have space for two first ladies, as both of these presidents (a) lost their first wives and (b) remarried during their terms of office.

The project book also includes an answer key. If the resources available to your students don't provide the answers they need, then you can always turn to the answer key for help.

Hands-On Presidents contains three pages per president, each page more detailed than the last. This arrangement allows parents and teachers to tailor notebooking projects for students of different grade levels, according to these suggestions:

  1. Students in grades 2 – 4 might fill out only the first page for each president. This page covers basic facts like the president’s nickname, date of birth, term in office, birthplace and political party, along with whatever fun presidential facts students may uncover.

  2. Students in grades 4 – 6 might add the second page, which covers each president’s first lady and presidential home.

  3. Students in grades 6 – 8 might add the third page, which invites them to research and write about key events from each president’s term in office.

  4. Students in grades 8 – 12 might print two or more copies of the third page for each president— as many pages as they need to fill in the level of detail they’re seeking. At a minimum, we recommend summarizing basic details that every American should know about each president’s term in office. For example, everyone should know which presidents died in office, and how they died; which presidents guided the USA through major wars; and which presidents’ terms of office were marred by major scandals.

Parents and teachers who are following BiblioPlan can use Hands-On Presidents as a supplement to Years Three and Four. BiblioPlan covers the first eleven presidents in Year Three: Early Modern History, and the rest in Year Four: Modern History. A chart lists which president or presidents go with which BiblioPlan weeks.

Those who aren’t following BiblioPlan can still use Hands-On Presidents to teach the presidents, in any order and on any time schedule they choose.

For parents and teachers who wish to test how much their students have learned, Hands-on Presidents also contains two exams, one each for Year Three and Year Four. These exams ask students to recall each president’s name, birthplace and political party, as well as to recognize presidential portraits and answer questions about the presidents.


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