Last semester, the Advent fifth grade completed a Presidential Hall of Fame Project. The project culminated in a two-minute presentation in our Explorium to an audience of teachers, parents, and peers. Students defended their president as worthy of being admitted into the Presidential Hall of Fame, a select museum dedicated to only the most important presidents. At the end of the presentation, the audience voted on six presidents to be inducted, and those students received a presidential medal and a certificate of accomplishment.

During this unit, students extensively researched their president and completed a resume that included personal experiences, educational background, job experience, accomplishments in office, personality traits, and unique talents. Using their research, students created a multimedia PowerPoint presentation that included sound, video, graphics, and colorful images. In addition, they incorporated a persuasive element to sway the audience to vote for their president.

After preparing note cards and practicing their presentations, students defended their presidents in front of a large audience. Their choices represented a wide variety of presidents, including John Adams, William Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama, and many others. To persuade the audience, students dressed as their presidents, passed out jelly beans for Ronald Reagan and gummy bears for Teddy Roosevelt, sang a song, distributed political buttons and even handed out money with Abraham Lincoln’s profile. Their hard work was celebrated with patriotic treats and a special Presidential Hall of Fame induction. Ultimately, the students gained valuable experience in research, writing presentations, and public speaking.

Shannon Cabraja