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Presidents' Day Virtual Viewing Party

On-Demand Event

#CelebrateWithDE and explore the history of Presidents' Day, a federal holiday honoring the legacies of former U.S. Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, with this virtual viewing party.

Explore the History of Presidents' Day

What is a Virtual Viewing Party?

A virtual viewing party is a shared viewing experience of the Discovery Education video Celebrate With DE: Presidents' Day which explores the history of Presidents' Day, reveals how the meaning of the day changed over time, and looks at how communities across America celebrate the day.

Thousands of classrooms simultaneously access this video and share their thoughts and reflections around the importance of recognizing and remembering our presidents. If this is your first virtual viewing party read our FAQs for additional information.

The content and activities are suitable for all grades but we recommend you preview the video to determine if it is appropriate for your students.

How to Watch

We recommend you download the video, Celebrate With DE: Presidents' Day, in advance of your viewing party for the most seamless viewing experience.

This video is available to all Discovery Education Streaming and Social Studies Techbook customers, if you are not currently a subscriber to these services, you can sign-up for a free trial to participate in this event.

Join the Discussion

Join the conversation by following @DiscoveryEd on Twitter. Share photos of your classroom viewing, reflections from the essential questions, and more using #CelebratewithDE. Not on Twitter? Our Presidents' Day Padlet will enable you to share reflections, photos, and outcomes, while seeing what other classes have to say.

What if we are participating in the on-demand event?

Your class can watch the video any time and join the discussion asynchronously. If you are participating on-demand, you may want to have students review the Padlet or Twitter discussion to compare ideas and make connections. You can also use the suggested resources below to support your discussions.

Suggested Viewing Activities

Suggested Viewing Activities

To make the most of the virtual viewing party with your class, we suggest the following activities.

Before the Viewing Party
Presidents Day was initially called Washington’s Day and was established to celebrate the birthday of George Washington. Eventually, the holiday became known as Presidents Day and honors all presidents, although there is particular focus on the accomplishments of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. To prepare for the viewing party, select a couple of resources about Washington and Lincoln. Have students engage in Quick Writes after interacting with each resource, so they can jot down notes about what they think made Washington and Lincoln important figures in American history.

Suggested Discovery Education Resources
During the Video Viewing
Use the strategy Essentially Speaking to help students approach the viewing party as a way to prepare for a discussion about great leaders. At the beginning of the viewing party, prompt the students with a question, such as “How do we choose people to honor with a holiday?” or “What makes a historical leader?” Then, allow students to take notes during the event.

After the Video Viewing
Encourage students to discuss qualities that great leaders must have. Then, invite them to celebrate Presidents Day by sharing their thoughts on leadership in 140 characters or less, using the strategy Tweet, Tweet! Offer to tweet your student messages via your personal, class, or school Twitter account. Don’t forget to share your students’ messages with us on Twitter @DiscoveryEd using #CelebratewithDE.

If your students have developed a particular interest in the commemoration of great leadership, consider watching Washington, D.C., Sightseeing in Washington, D.C., video segment, grades 3-5, which features several major monuments, including the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial.

Viewing Party Essential Questions

How do Americans honor the legacies of our great presidents?

What was the original meaning of Presidents’ Day, and what does the holiday represent today?

How do George Washington’s and Abraham Lincoln's achievements affect Americans today?

What personal qualities are needed to be an effective leader?

Related Resources

You may also be interested in the following timely resources available from Discovery Education

Presidents, President’s, or Presidents’ Day?

In this Lively Lesson, students find a variety of real world examples of differing holiday spellings, then take a position on what an “official” spelling should be. Finally, they write persuasive letters to companies explaining why they should keep or change the spelling in their advertising or text.

Presidents’ Day Resources

This blog post looks at more resources you can use to support your Presidents' Day instruction including a Presidents' Day Content Collection.

Presidential Election 2016 Resources

Discovery Education has a number of resources that explored the 2016 presidential election, covering the Clinton and Trump campaigns as well as looking at the electoral college and the American election system. Suggested Resources include:

Timely Content

Each month we highlight key Discovery Education resources, lesson starters, webinars and live events thematically tied to special events, celebrations, or commemorations that you may be teaching in your classrooms.