A presidential presentation
Quick. Which U.S. president kept an alligator in the White House?
Which commander-in-chief served two non-consecutive terms in the nation’s highest office?
Those are just some of the questions answered (John Quincy Adams, Grover Cleveland) by Karen Stockman and Nancy Patton’s Tonganoxie Elementary School third-graders at their special exhibit: Presidential Promenade.
On Thursday, information on each of the 43 U.S. presidents, as well as 2008 candidates John McCain and Barack Obama, was on display at the Tonganoxie Public Library.
More than 150 people filtered in and out of the library’s community room, taking in the red, white and blue decorations, patriotic music and — the main attraction — the small research reports and puppet likenesses of the presidents, created by the third-grade students.
On-lookers came away impressed and with a greater knowledge of the country’s leaders, as did the students.
“They were really excited about learning new facts, and were asking good questions about the presidents,” Stockman said.
The students, who each made a presidential presentation of their own, worked on their projects for a couple weeks, going through the writing process in class, and creating their puppets at home, dressing their generic body with clothes and a face by either drawing or pasting images they found on the Internet. Then they placed an item related to their particular president in each of the puppet’s hands.
The presentation on Obama and McCain didn’t have puppets, but instead had pictures of the two candidates along with facts about them and some information on the importance of voting.
The result was a lot of excitement for students and their families as they took in the promenade on Thursday. The students in attendance were able to explain their projects and check out the handiwork of their fellow classmates in the process.
“I was so impressed and excited to see the wonderful support we received from the families from the students,” Stockman said. “It was a good celebration of student-learning and learning about the presidents.”
As the students prepared for the event, they also learned about the voting process and how there used to be restrictions on who could vote. Additionally, they found out about the process of campaigning, different parties (some of which no longer exist), how often elections are held, how many terms presidents can serve and what the age requirements are for the office.
The promenade was held at the library because the two classes are in trailers at TES and they don’t have a hallway to put up displays. Stockman said it turned out to be a great opportunity for the students.
“They felt very important and special being able to have an exhibit and having people come,” she said. “I think they’ll always remember this night.”
The projects will remain on display at the library through Election Day, Nov. 4.