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Make Presidential Puzzles in the Elementary Classroom

written by: Alicia • edited by: Laurie Patsalides • updated: 2/15/2012

Have fun on President's Day by doing this puzzle craft. Perfect for grades three through six, this craft can also teach students to remember president's names and faces.

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    This learning activity begins with a brain-teaser to make the students think. Give the student's some famous quotes and ask them to indicate which president said it. For example, Abraham Lincoln said, "I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends". Each quote is based upon the president's beliefs. The saying that the president is known for was a representation his character and how he ran the presidential office. Abraham Lincoln obviously believed that all humans were valuable and worth loving. This game can be done individually or in groups.

    Now give the students the opportunity to act as the president. What quote would they be known for? Give them time to brainstorm some quotes and/or to write them down before sharing them with the class. To help to provoke their thinking, ask the students what they would change if they became president. Make sure you ask them how they would help the homeless, how they would make schools or their neighborhoods better and safer, how would they treat other countries, as well as, do they have any new ideas that were not covered? When you are done this exercise, and everyone has had a chance to speak, then begin the craft.

    You will need the following items to make the presidential puzzles:

    1. Construction paper
    2. Large copies of the president's faces
    3. Glue sticks
    4. Scissors

    Follow the directions below to make your presidential puzzles:

    1. Copy one president's face for each student in your room. Each one should receive a different president. If you have fifteen students in the class, then you will need fifteen different presidents. You can choose to do the lesser known presidents to help the students to learn them.
    2. Give each student a sheet of construction paper and a presidential face.
    3. Have each student glue the face onto the construction paper. You can use a piece of poster board or cardboard to make it sturdier, if desired.
    4. Have each student cut out the paper like a puzzle.
    5. Collect all of the puzzles and re-distribute them to the other children so that each child gets another child's puzzle.
    6. Have the student's take turns putting the puzzles together and naming the president when the puzzle is complete.

    Extend the activity:

    Make a mural of "future presidents", by displaying the student's self-portraits and the quote that they would be famous for underneath their self-portrait.

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    Mt. Rushmore

    by Jakob Faarvang