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Parents and Teachers guide for www.whitehousekids.gov

Whitehousekids.gov is an educational opportunity for young Americans to learn about the White House and the President through fun and exciting features. This guide gives teachers ideas on how to use the site in the classroom and parents ideas on topics to discuss with their children as they navigate through the site. The themes of reading, making good choices (such as going to school) and dreaming about the future are woven into the site's content through the personification of the President's pets and animals.


Contacting the President


Below is important information if you want to write President Bush:

His address is:
President George W. Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
The Presidential Student Correspondence Fax Number is 202-456-7705.

Kindly send all classroom and group letters in one envelope. A cover letter providing the teacher's name, the grade of the students and the complete mailing address of the school would be appreciated and would help to expedite a response.

Freedom Timeline


Teacher's Guide

Objective
Students will be able to identify stories and vocabulary words on the freedom timeline.

Lesson

  • The lesson will begin with the students exploring the stories on the freedom timeline.
  • The class will identify the characteristics associated with each story, such as diplomacy, intelligence, liberty, giving and humanitarian aid.

Extension Activity One
The teacher will lead the class in discussing these characteristics and how they relate to today's efforts to preserve freedom.

Extension Activity Two
Students will create their own freedom timeline and choose other stories from history that show America's quest for freedom.

Parent's Guide
After your child explores the stories on the freedom timeline, use the following questions to extend his/her thinking:

  • What is the meaning of diplomacy, intelligence, liberty, giving and humanitarian aid?
  • What are some modern-day examples illustrating these terms?
  • What is another story or lesson of liberty that could be part of a freedom timeline? Perhaps you and your child could create your own freedom timeline.
  • Is there someone in your family who went to extraordinary efforts to preserve America's freedom?

Biographies of the President, Mrs. Bush, the Vice President and Mrs. Cheney


Teacher's Guide

Objective
The students will be able to identify the elements of a biography.

Lesson

  • The lesson will begin with the students exploring the biographies of the President, Mrs. Bush, Vice President, and Mrs. Cheney.
  • The class will identify examples of elements found in a biography.
  • Once students have identified the elements, a classroom chart listing the characteristics will be created.

Extension Activity One
The teacher will lead the class in distinguishing between 'biography' and 'autobiography'. The students will create their autobiography utilizing the elements identified on the classroom chart.

Extension Activity Two
Students will select and read a biography/autobiography of a famous American. Biographies of presidents are available at www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/. Biographies of first ladies are available at www.whitehouse.gov/history/firstladies/.

Parent's Guide

After your child explores the biographies of the President, Mrs. Bush, Vice President, and Mrs. Cheney, use the following example questions to extend his/her thinking:

  • What are some examples of elements you found in the biographies?
  • Where did the President (Mrs. Bush, the Vice President or Mrs. Cheney) attend elementary school? Why is completing elementary school important?
  • Name a children's book mentioned on one of the biographies. Why is it important to read?
  • The word 'biography' means the story of a person's life. What do you think 'autobiography' means?
  • If someone wanted to write a biography about you, what would you want them to include?

Biographies of the First Family's Pets and Animals


Teacher's Guide

Objective
The students will be able to identify motivations for reading.

Lesson

  • The students will explore the biographies of the First Family's pets.
  • The teacher will highlight the section where each animal describes his/her desire to read.
  • Each student will create a poster describing the importance of reading.

Extension Activity One
The students will write a brief persuasive paragraph centering on their favorite book and the reason why their classmates should read it.

Extension Activity Two
Students will create bookmarks that highlight their favorite book that will be given to other students.

Parent's Guide

After your child explores the biographies of the First Family's pets, use the following example questions to extend his/her thinking:

  • Why do you think each pet wishes he/she could read?
  • Why is reading an important skill?
  • What is your favorite book?
  • What could you do to increase your reading ability?
  • How could you help encourage others to read?

White House Historical ABC's


Teacher's Guide

Objective
The students will be able to demonstrate the skill of summarization.

Lesson
The class will examine White House Historical ABC's.

  • Students will choose three of their favorite 'letters' and share one of them with the class, describing why they enjoyed that 'letter' the most.

Extension Activity One
Create an 'ABC' list centering on the themes of patriotism, responsibility, character traits, or the school motto.

Extension Activity Two
Create an 'ABC' type of activity using the student's name or the school name that centers on the themes of patriotism, responsibility, history, character traits, or the school motto.

Parent's Guide

After your child explores White House Historical ABC's, use the following example questions to extend his/her thinking:

  • Name one of the President's pets.
  • Which three of the 'letters' were your favorites?
  • What did you learn about the White House through the White House Historical ABC's?
  • Use the letters in your first name to make a list of your favorite reasons for living in America.

Presidential Occupations Quiz


Teacher's Guide

Objective
The students will be able to describe important elements of Presidential history.

Lesson

  • The class will view and participate in the Presidential Occupations Quiz.
  • At the conclusion of the quiz, each student will choose two facts, which they have learned and will report them to the class.

Extension Activity One
Students will create three additional questions that focus on the White House and its history or past presidents and first ladies.

Extension Activity Two
The class will create an historical quiz focusing on their school or surrounding community.

Parent's Guide

After your child explores the Presidential Occupations Quiz, use the following example questions to extend his/her thinking:

  • Which two facts that you learned from taking this quiz did you enjoy the most?
  • Name a question you have about American history which you would enjoy answering.
  • How could you find out the answers to your question

White House Dream Team


Teacher's Guide

Objective
The students will be able to describe the importance of American heroes and role models.

Lesson

  • The class will explore White House Dream Team.
  • Students will discuss and identify the positive qualities common among the members of the 'team.'
  • Students will discuss and identify the contributions to American society made by the members of the 'team.'
  • The teacher will lead a discussion centering on the importance of role models.

Extension Activity One
Students will choose three individuals for the creation of their personal 'dream team.' They will write a brief explanation for each.

Extension Activity Two
Students will choose three individuals to be added to White House Dream Team and will write a brief explanation for their 'nomination'.

Parent's Guide

After your child explores White House Dream Team, use the following example questions to extend his/her thinking:

  • What contributions did the members of the Dream Team make to our country?
  • What were their dreams and character traits?
  • What are your dreams for your future?
  • What does the word 'admire' mean?
  • Why is it important to have people you can admire?
  • Who are some people you admire?
  • Why do you admire them?