Sunday, January 26, 2014

What Presidents are Made Of! Great Mentor Text

Presidents' Day is coming up on February 17th. This is suppose to be a teacher professional learning day for our district, but might turn into our icy make up day. Thursday evening, our temperature dropped to below freezing with precipitation in the air . . . result . . . thin layer of ice coating the city . . .  shutting the city of San Antonio down.  No school! Those of you up north, don't laugh too hard.

It was fun having an icy day. Icicles dangling from the roof and car . . .  leaves with a thin layer of ice that would just slide right off into your hand, the exact shape of the leaf  - You would walk outside and it was just . . . quiet. Pretty much all melted by mid afternoon! Nonetheless, a great ice day!

So, all that brings me to . . .  the mentor text I share today . . . 
What Presidents are Made Of, is an fun book filled with illustrations that are actually collages that depict a president. The collage of each president is created with items that give the reader clues about what that particular president enjoyed doing in their every day life. 
Each president is represented by a word or a phrase that describes their character. The collage is accompanied by a short paragraph that describes an event or trait of the president. This book is perfect for lessons on character traits, paragraph structure and main idea with supporting details. Throw in a bit of comparing and contrasting of the presidents . . . too fun!
I love checking out all the other posts linked up on Amanda & Stacia's, Collaboration Cuties mentor text linky. I've mentioned it before, but social studies is where I struggle the most in making it engaging, so having a place to check out other great ideas is so nice!

I found this website, President for a Day! It is created by PBS from the Democracy Project. Students have the opportunity to role play a virtual day of a president.

Students fill out an application (remember, no last names!) that leads them through a series of questions based on their interests. Once, they have answered a question, they are given a bit of information that matches a president.

 There was a nice surprise at the end. A news article popped up about my first day as president! You can have students take a screen shot and print! All of these printed would make a cute bulletin board.

Here is a fun free app for recognizing the presidents. It is basic and simple, but fun. I enjoyed trying to recognize the presidents.

If you have a Brainpop account, there are many short videos on US presidents. It's a great way to highlight a president each day . . .  leading up to Presidents' Day.

Well, it will be a high of 77 degrees today . . . only in Texas! I think I'll open some windows and enjoy the beautiful weather. It's almost like the ice day was just a dream. :)

Head over to Collaboration Cuties for some other great social studies mentor texts!
Happy Sunday!


  1. Oooooo, this book looks really fun! I can totally see having the kids use this idea with our important Revolution heroes! Thanks so much for linking up!!!

    1. Love that idea! Always love linking up!

  2. This book looks so great! I am going to have to find it before Presidents Day!

    1. It really is pretty creative in the way they have created the collage of each president.

  3. I can't wait to try this! Thank you so much for sharing this awesome site!

    Fit to be Fourth

  4. Great post! Lots of helpful tips for learning about Presidents.
    I love the look of the collage work in that book!! Do you think the text would be too hard for 1st grade if I used it a s a read aloud? It sounds great for discussing traits, as you mentioned.
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

    1. I don't think so! It's really about the pictures!

  5. I love your ideas, Charlotte. Looks like a great book for President's day. I will have to check out the website for use with my kids.