English Lesson Plans on American Presidents

“I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.” ~ John F. Kennedy

43 Ready-Made Lesson Plans

Our American Presidents lesson section is finally complete! In this section, you will find 43 ready-made lesson plans. 43? Wait! If Barack Obama is the 44th president, why are there only 43 lesson plans? That’s an answer many Americans probably know the answer to. President Grover Cleveland was both the 22nd and the 24th president of the United States. As you will learn in our lesson on President Cleveland, he was the only US president to serve non-consecutive terms. When President Cleveland lost the election in 1888, the First Lady told the White House staff she’d be back in four years. She wasn’t kidding!

You and your students will learn lots of fun trivia about American presidents and history in our ready-made lesson plans. Which president faced the greatest challenges? Which president kept the most exotic pets? Who was the only US president to earn an MBA?

Though we are excited to have this section complete, our team is also a bit sad to see this project come to an end. I personally learned so much history, and even traveled to Washington a few times while working on this section! The biographies of American presidents are absolutely fascinating. We also learned a lot about usage and capitalization rules.

ESL Lesson Plan

Quick Facts about the American Presidents Section

Lesson Level: Intermediate – Advanced Please preview the lesson first to check if the reading level is appropriate for your learners.
Lesson Length: Varies from 1.5 – 3 hours Some of the lessons can be stretched to cover more than one class if you use the extra research tasks.
Lesson Components: Warm-up, Reading, Comprehension Tasks, Vocabulary Tasks, Discussion Questions, Trivia (some lessons), Famous Quotes (some lessons) Extra Research (some lessons)
Answer Key: Includes Teachers’ Notes and Spelling Variations.
Audio: Available for some lessons (Kennedy, George Washington, Barack Obama). More coming soon. Contact us if you need audio for a specific lesson.

Suggested Ideas for Covering the American Presidents

Here are some ideas for using our American Presidents lesson plans:

1. Random President: Place all of the names of the American presidents in a container, and have a student randomly choose a president for the class to study each month or week.
2. Be the Teacher: Have each student choose a president (or in pairs). They can study the president independently, and then take turns teaching a lesson to the class.
3. American History: Study the presidents in order, or choose a certain time of history that you’re interested in and learn about the American presidents in office during that time.
4. Guess the President: Read just the readings from the lesson out loud to your students. Don’t read the president’s name when it appears in the reading. Can they guess which president you are describing?
5. Happy Birthday, Mr. President: Watch for the presidents’ birthdays to come up in our Lesson Plan Calendar. Honor a past president by doing a lesson plan on his birthday!
6. Presidents’ Day: Try one of our American Presidents lesson plans on Presidents’ Day (the third Monday in February) or Constitution Day (September 17th).

Related in the ESL-Library

– When Do We Capitalize “President”? Be sure to read through the comments! There are a bunch of useful notes from our editor Tanya about capitalization. We learned a lot about English usage while working on this section. Watch for an upcoming blog post about our style guide.
– Jimmy Carter Gives 90% of the Credit to Canadians

Lesson Plans on Other World Leaders

Our Famous People section has lesson plans on many other world leaders: Vladimir Putin, Hugo Chavez, Nelson Mandela, Joseph Stalin, Ellen Sirleaf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Winston Churchill. Which other leaders should we add to our library?


Leave a Comment ↓

  1. ESL Library Staff says:

    Jan 07, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Thanks for this great summary, Tanya! This section helped us learn a lot of important rules, and encouraged us to start building our own style guide. I think our subscribers will benefit from having access to it when it’s ready.

  2. Tanya Trusler says:

    Jan 07, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    I also learned a lot while editing this section! The most notable things I learned were:

    – Don’t capitalize “president” unless it directly precedes the name.
    – “First Lady” is always capitalized.
    – In running text, “the” isn’t capitalized. (E.g., I met the First Lady yesterday.)
    – At ESL-Library, we follow the Chicago Manual of Style’s abbreviations rules. We write “US”, not “U.S.”.

    Let me know if you have any other questions, and stay tuned for a blog post about our in-house style guide!
    Tanya :)

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