Fact vs Fiction: A President's Day Lesson

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Feb 15, 2017 1:14:24 PM

washington crossing.jpgWith increased access to information, students need to understand how to select appropriate resources. President’s Day is a great a time to teach about research and the selection process. I teach my students this simple acronym RADCAB!  This helps them to remember criteria for finding information.

R-Relevant The book or website needs to provide information related to the topic. Use keyword searching to get the topics you want to teach. You could also you the drop down subject menu. There are other “filters” that make your resources relevant.  

A-Appropriate I have my students check their reading level to make sure they can understand the book or website. You can filter by DRA, ATOS and age.  This is helpful for younger or struggling readers.

D-Detail Does the website or book provide enough details or information to help you? By previewing the resources, you can ensure that they have enough information to meet your content.

C-Current  Check copyright dates and website updates to see if the information is current. eBooks on BigUniverse are relatively new, however, you can always check the copyright date either on the information page (prior to reading) or on the reverso (opposite of title page) in the book.

A-Authority Find out more about the author to see if they are an authority of the subject. Big universe have partnered with many well known publishers. You can be assured you are getting good stuff, when using any resource.  

B-Bias Again, preview your resource for bias. Bias is not a bad thing, you just need to be aware of it so you can be prepared to discuss topics that contain bias.

With older students, you can discuss “alternative facts”.   

Common Myths:

  • George Washington had wooden teeth.  This is not true, he had hippopotamus and other animal teeth.
  • George Washington chopped down a cherry tree.  Ironically, this is a made up story to teach children about honesty.  

You could also discuss the history of President’s Day. Did you know:

  • The first official President’s Day wasn’t called President’s Day.  
  • It was George Washington’s Birthday.
  •  It was celebrated in 1800, the year after George Washington’s death.  
  • In 1870 it became a federal holiday.  
  • It wasn’t until 1971 that it was moved to the third Monday in February and called President’s Day.
  • It not only honors the life of Washington, but all other presidents.
  • Many states require teaching about the accomplishments of many presidents including Washington and Lincoln.

Citing My Sources:  

See if you students can generate a proper citation or bibliograpy page using these resources.....


John, Paul, George and Ben by Lane Smith (2006)

President’s Day by Lynn Peppas (Big Universe)

We love to hear from our readers, what other ways do you use President’s Day to teach important lessons?

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Literacy

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