The country will watch today as the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, is sworn into office. Inauguration Day, established in 1937, is always January 20th following the presidential election. This day is celebrated nationally on Monday the 21st if the chosen date falls on a Sunday. However, the oath is always administered privately by the Chief Justice on January 20th and then again on the following Monday for the nation to view. The United States Constitution states the president must make an oath before that individual can enter office, so Inauguration Day must occur prior to an elected president’s term. Here are several activities and ideas you can incorporate into your lesson plans for Inauguration Day classroom activites.
Letters to Mr. President
Inauguration day is a time to teach students about the upcoming president occupying the oval office for the next four years. An inventive way to get your classroom to connect to this event is through letter writing. Have your students draft letters to the president welcoming him into office. You can also have students write letters to the president addressing their concerns for the nation, and this teaches students they have a voice in their leader’s presidency. If you want to try something a little different you can also have your students write poetry to the president, which can be an expressive form of creative writing.
The most important part of the inauguration is the oath that the president states before he swears into office. In your classroom, you can have your students create their own oaths as president, and have them explore where they would take their presidency.This oath is what binds the president to the duties of their office, and having children reenact this oath shows the amount of responsibility that this office holds.
Tolerance and Unity
The 2016 election year was tumultuous at best, and Inauguration Day is meant to unite the country under a new leader. This is a time that students can learn that differences of opinion doesn’t have to separate people, and at the end of the day we are all citizens of this same great country. You can introduce tolerance games and activities to support this theme in your classroom. Inauguration Day classroom activities are an ideal way for students to come together in this new time for our nation.
Predicting the Future
Inauguration Day represents a new beginning for our country, but is also significant because you can’t predict the future. A fun exercise could include you asking students to make their prediction about this Trump presidency. How do they feel the country will change over the next few years? Do students feel like their lives will change due to the presidency? This is an interesting way to get students focused on the future of the country on a personal and national level.
There are few things that get students more excited than fun facts, and there are many ways to incorporate these into your Inauguration Day classroom activities. You can use flashcards, students can read them aloud, or you can pass out handouts. With these fun facts, students fully engage in the topic of Inauguration Day,
Whether you choose to implement activities, or creative writing exercises, there are many ways for your students to learn about the importance of Inauguration Day. The 2016 election was a historic time in the history of our nation, and January 20th, 2017 represents a time for the country to come together under a new age. Through teaching students the importance of Inauguration Day, we are educating our classroom on acceptance and positive adaptation to change.
How are you incorporating Inauguration Day classroom activities into your day? We would love to hear your comments below!