We had our President's Day celebration today. This year we had our focus on George Washington. Sometimes we will do Abraham Lincoln and make his "log cabin" from popsicle sticks. This year I decided to do our cherry tree project.
First off just the concept of president was a bit unknown to the children. They thought maybe he was someone who brought presents, or he was Santa Claus. (I thought that was cute). I described the president as someone who is in charge of running the America, where we live, (blank stares). I then had a picture of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and I explained that they were two presidents that we had a long time ago and their birthdays are in February.
Then I brought out some money--they're with me now. Everyone got a quarter and a penny to look at. Then we passed around a $1.00 bill and a $5.00 bill. I let them all keep the penny--wasn't that big of me? We say George on the quarter and the $1. We say Abraham Lincoln on the penny and the $5. I have to tell you I was extremely impressed. I told the children the building on the back of the penny is called the Lincoln Monument. That it was a big building that was built in honor of Mr. Lincoln. One little girl turned over her penny and said, "I went to Washington DC and saw this building." I was impressed by how she could connect that tiny replica with the actual building she saw.
I had a sorting activity on one table today where the children would sort pennies and quarters and place them under the correct president. Unfortunately I don't have enough quarters to do this with real money so I printed some out from the computer.
Our craft was to paint a cherry tree, we haven't painted in a while. I traced the childrens' arms and hands. The arm was the tree trunk and the hand was the tree top. They painted the tree trunk brown, and the tree top green. This year when I got the green paint out I added some glue. After the green was painted the children stuck red sequins on to represent cherries. (The first time I did this I thought the sequins would stick to the wet paint. They did, but when the paint dried the sequins fell off. This year we added some glue so they would stick--hopefully.)