Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dear Mr. President.....

I will never forget election day 2008. It is a moment that will forever be carved in memory. Leading up to this monumental election I followed every debate, read every article, and whenever asked, openly shared who I thought should be elected President of the United States and why I felt this way. Aside from his political platform, his personal appeal, and the undeniable fact that HE was THE best candidate for this position, there were so many connections, or more like signs, that made me believe from day one that President Barack Obama was going to be elected as our nations first African American President. For one, I remember the Democratic Convention falling on the same weekend as the anniversary of the March on Washington in (August of 1963). I remember the then-senator giving (another) mind-blowing speech that brought my entire family to tears. I felt like when giving certain speeches, President Obama was channeling the great orators in history. He was speaking from a place much deeper than wanting to win a political office. He was always filled with so much.....passion. There were also the many similarities to our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln; the ability to captivate a crowd with charming wit or a compelling speech, the need to preserve the rights and freedoms for those who have gone unspoken for in the bigger scheme of our government, and the "common" background (just a strong-willed intelligent man  paving his own path) that painted a picture of honesty and sincerity when speaking for the American people. Not to mention they both served as top political leaders in the state of Illinois. (President Obama was sworn into presidency using the same Bible that President Abraham Lincoln used when he was sworn into office). It just felt right, like it was time.

The night he won the election I was in complete shock. Yes it was great that we finally had a president that was about doing something for "the people". But it was also personal for me. I was ecstatic and I was proud to see that an African American man, one who would have been denied the right to vote less than 50 years ago, was now going to be the leader of our country. I felt like major progress had been made. Despite the many struggles we still face to become a more unified nation, I felt like that moment was as powerful as the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation (signed by who.....President Abraham Lincoln).

With that in mind, I feel compelled to integrate the celebration of Black History Month with the acknowledgement of the upcoming holiday, Presidents' Day. How can you not tie the two together? It is the perfect marriage of struggle, hope, strength, perseverance, education, and PROGRESS. It doesn't mean that I don't highlight the other presidents and their accomplishments.....but like Black History, American history is taught year round. Since January we have been studying the US Constitution and how it is the law of the land. We have also discussed how equality/liberty/justice for all was not given, it had to be fought for. We've learned about the Revolutionary War  and the Civil War. We've also talked about why the Civil Rights Movement was necessary 100 years later. My students are currently learning about how life was in the 60's (segregation laws, injust treatment, and harsh living conditions for many African Americans). This is necessary. It is necessary for them to understand how far America has come so that they can fully appreciate things that are said to them about hard work and success. Also, so they have a stronger understanding of the importance of education and  purpose.

So, here is an activity that my students are working on this week. It is a follow-up activity to the story Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Children of Hope. It requires them to read about the childhood of President Obama and make connections, ask questions, and write a friendly letter. We've been talking about the roles and responsibilities of presidents and what they have to do to qualify for the position. By reading about the childhood of President Obama, students get to see that he was once a young boy that has gone through some of the things they may be going through now. They will see him as a person and not a super hero, and it will plant the seed that they too could become president if they wanted to. I love this book! My students are enjoying it as well : ) Please download this activity and feel free to share your thoughts below. I look forward to reading your comments!

                                                       Enjoy : )


  1. I love this type of informative and educational blog very much.
    Nice effort. Keep it up!
    Thesis Writing

  2. I agree with you completely and have been teaching my children along a similar line. Thank you so much for sharing your lesson with us!

    Misty @
    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  3. Thanks! I hope you enjoy the printable : )

  4. Awesome post. I was making calls and getting people to the polls during that election! I agree with you completely, and I love your freebie. Thanks!!

    Buzzing with Ms. B

  5. What a great post! I love O-Baby and so do my students! Thanks for sharing!

    To The Square Inch

  6. Hi,
    I am very thankful too you for this sharing..It is very useful for my writing project I get enough information for my writing..!!!
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