Celebrating the Presidential Inauguration

Inauguration Day takes place on January 20, but the public swearing into office of President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden will be on Monday, January 21, 2013. There will be a small, private swearing in on Sunday, January 20.  The theme of the inauguration festivities is “Faith in America’s Future,” which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.  The festivities will begin on Saturday, January 19 with a National Day of Service, which celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Many school children will watch the events on Inauguration Day.  Help them prepare by engaging them in a variety of library activities.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Have readers suggest activities for National Day of Service.  Ideas may include cleaning up litter in neighborhoods, or around the school, shelving books at the public library, reading aloud to young children in the neighborhood or public library, or working with a local service organization that welcomes student volunteers. Then have them post the suggestions on the school or library website.
  • Sponsor a Presidential Trivia Contest.  Have students use books in the library or sites on the Internet to locate the answers to the following questions:

(Ask them to site their sources)

Which amendment to the Constitution changed Inauguration Day from March to January?

Who was the first President inaugurated on January 20?

Who was the first President inaugurated in Washington DC?

Who was the first President to live in the White House?

Which President is the Father of the Bill of Rights?

Who was President when Ellis Island opened?

Which President is responsible for the American Disabilities Act?

What President signed the Civil Rights Act?

Who was President when women won the right to vote?

How many Presidents have had more than one term of office?

Which President brought the nation out of the Great Depression?

Which Presidents didn’t complete their term of office?  Why?

Who was President when NASA was founded?

Name the five Most Environmentally Friendly Presidents.

Name the Top Ten Most Outstanding Presidents.

Name the oldest man elected to the office of President.

Name the youngest man elected.

Which President delivered the longest inaugural speech?

Which President was the first to travel abroad while in office?

  • Encourage readers to use books in the library or sites on the Internet to add to the trivia questions.
  • Ask them to use the trivia question to test adults in their family and neighborhood.  How well did they score?
  • Have students read a work of fiction and identify who was serving as President when the novel was set.  Suggestions from Random House include:

All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel (picture book) by Dan Yaccarino

As Good as Anybody (picture book) by Richard Michelson & illus. by Raul Colon

Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt (picture book) by Deborah Hopkinson

Tar Beach (picture book) by Faith Ringgold

All the Way Home (middle grade) by Patricia Reilly Giff

 A Thousand Never Evers (middle grade) by Shana Burg

Boston Jane: An Adventure (middle grade) by Jennifer L. Holm

Crow (middle grade) by Barbara Wright

Counting on Grace (middle grade) by Elizabeth Winthrop

Eli the Good (middle grade) by Silas House

Heart of a Shepherd (middle grade) by Rosanne Parry

Lily’s Crossing (middle grade) by Patricia Reilly Giff

Hattie Big Sky (middle grade) by Kirby Larson

The Mighty Miss Malone (middle grade) by Christopher Paul Curtis

Moon Over Manifest (middle grade) by Clare Vanderpoole

No Cream Puffs (middle grade) by Karen Day

Penny from Heaven (middle grade) by Jennifer L. Holm

Racing the Moon (middle grade) by Alan Armstrong

Rodzina (middle grade) by Karen Cushman

Scat (middle grade) by Carl Hiaasen

Stealing Freedom (middle grade) by Elisa Carbone

True Colors (middle grade) by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock

All the Earth Thrown to the Sky (young adult) by Joe R. Lansdale

Ashes of Roses (young adult) by Mary Jane Auch

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy (young adult) by Gary D. Schmidt

The Devil’s Paintbox (young adult) by Victoria McKernan

The Revenant (young adult) by Sonia Gensler

The Things a Brother Knows (young adult) by Dana Reinhardt

Three Rivers Rising (young adult) by Jame Richards

Random House Teachers and Librarians