Online Student Programs with the Presidential Libraries and National Archives

Join us online for interactive learning programs! Programs are available for preschool through 12th grade, and are scheduled weekly through the end of May.

All programs, offered in partnership with the Presidential Primary Sources Project, will take place at 2pm ET / 1 pm CT / 12 pm MT / 11 am PT.

UPDATE: You can access recordings of past programs on YouTube.

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Sign up here for any or all of these upcoming distance learning programs for students and families.

  • March 30, Presidential Reading Program, Preschool-3rd grade
  • April 1, Herbert Hoover and the Hoover Dam, Grades 4-7
  • April 3, Segregation and a Controversial White House Tea Party, Grades 9-12
  • April 6, Article II- For Kids!, Preschool-3rd grade
  • April 8, Reorganizing the Executive Branch, Grades 4-7
  • April 10, Herbert Hoover and the Bonus March: Presidential Blunder or Necessary Action, Grades 9-12
  • April 14, World War II Propaganda, Grades 6-12
  • April 16, The Story Behind the Titanic, Grades 3-5
  • April 21, Decoding the Declaration, Grades 6-12
  • April 28, Ending the War in Japan, Grades 9-12
  • April 30, The Space Shuttle Challenger, Grades 8-12
  • May 5, Dear Mr. President, Grades 3-8
  • May 7, Victory Gardens: No Sacrifice is Too Small, Grades 6-8
  • May 12, Candy Bomber and the Berlin Airlift, Grades 3-8
  • May 14, President Reagan and the Cold War, Grades 11-12
  • May 19, The Constitution at Work: Elementary Edition, Grades 4-6
  • May 21, The Constitution at Work: Middle and High School Edition, Grades 7-12
  • May 26, I is for Ike, Grades K-2
  • May 28, Presidential Reading Program, Preschool-3rd grade

 

Individual students and families can log in using the link that will be provided following registration. Sessions will also be live-streamed on Facebook from the Presidential Primary Sources Project.

Find more information about each program below.

 

Presidential Reading Program

  • March 30th
  • Presented by the Hoover Library
  • 30-40 minutes
  • Geared toward preschool-3rd grade

This program features reading of three large format books about the Presidents, interaction for active reading, and one or two crafts depending on time constraints. Children will be able to identify a handful of Presidents, the White House, and learn some fun facts about the office of the President.

Herbert Hoover and the Hoover Dam

  • April 1st
  • Presented by the Hoover Library
  • 30-40 minutes
  • Geared toward grades 4-7

The Hoover Dam is an engineering feat – constructed in record time, under budget, and economically self-sufficient. It still stands as a testament to engineering achievement more than 80 years after its completion. Learn about the role of Herbert Hoover, the controversy over naming the dam, and how the Hoover Dam works. This session will be multi-disciplinary, focusing on history and STEM.

Segregation and a Controversial White House Tea Party

  • April 3rd
  • Presented by the Hoover Library
  • 45 minutes
  • Geared toward grades 9-12

In 1929, First Lady Lou Hoover invited Jessie DePriest, wife of African American Congressmen Oscar DePriest, to a White House tea party. The political and social ramifications were intense — some letters even called for the lynching and impeachment of the First Lady. This program will discuss segregation and the political ramifications of the DePriest tea. The program will draw from Herbert and Lou Hoover’s papers, letters from the public, oral history interviews, memoirs from White House staff, newspapers, and political cartoons.

Article II- For Kids!

  • April 6th
  • Presented by the Hoover Library
  • 30 minutes
  • Geared toward preschool-3rd grade

What does the President do? How much money does the President make? How do we get a President? We will find out!

Reorganizing the Executive Branch

  • April 8th
  • Presented by the Hoover Library
  • 45 minutes
  • Geared toward grades 4-7

Herbert Hoover was a champion of government efficiency for over 40 years, before, during, and after his Presidency.  He was an engineer and geologist by training, and sought to apply the scientific principles of the Efficiency Movement to make the Federal government more responsive and cost effective, and to avoid duplication and waste. As Secretary of Commerce, he reorganized the Commerce Department.  As President, he created the Veterans Administration (VA) to unify all veterans services.  As former-President, he was appointed by Presidents Truman and Eisenhower to chair two Commissions on the Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government – known as the Hoover Commissions – to find ways to streamline the Federal government.

Herbert Hoover and the Bonus March: Presidential Blunder or Necessary Action?

  • April 10th
  • Presented by the Hoover Library
  • 1 hour
  • Geared toward grades 9-12

In 1932, World War I veterans boarded freight trains from Portland, Oregon, to Washington, DC, to lobby Congress for early payment of a bonus that was scheduled to be paid in 1945. On July 28th, 1932, the police, and later the military, put down a riot made up of nearly 60,000 Bonus Marchers. The reactions from the press and Americans were mixed, but mostly negative. What happened? Did this event cost Herbert Hoover re-election? In this session we will explore the Bonus March and Presidential decision-making.

World War II Propaganda

  • April 14th
  • Presented by the Truman Library
  • 45 minutes
  • Geared toward grades 6-12

During World War II, the United States Government used posters to communicate to the American public. This session will give participants the opportunity to observe closely the posters used and an opportunity to analyze them in detail in an interactive webinar.

The Story Behind the Titanic

  • April 16th
  • Presented by the Reagan Library
  • 45 minutes
  • Geared toward grades 3-5

Go behind the scenes of the Titanic Exhibit at the Reagan Presidential Library. Learn about the voyage, the passengers and the fate of the world’s most famous historic ship.

Decoding the Declaration

  • April 21st
  • Presented by the National Archives in Washington, DC
  • 45 minutes
  • Geared toward grades 6-12

During this program students will analyze the Declaration of Independence through different lenses, examining it as an artifact, as a primary source, and as a persuasive text. Students will consider the argument for independence, the key principles of the Declaration, and what the text means today.

Ending the War in Japan

  • April 28th
  • Presented by the Truman Library
  • 45 minutes
  • Geared toward grades 9-12

It is May 1945. The United States and its allies defeated Hitler and Mussolini in Europe, but the war in the Pacific rages on. President Truman, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other key advisors are vigorously debating how to end the war with Japan quickly and with as few casualties as possible. Should the U.S. remove or maintain the unconditional surrender term? Is the blockade, a land invasion, or a combination of the two the best way to end the war? Should atomic weapons, a new tool in the U.S. military arsenal, be used? Gather your advisors and review the most recent intelligence. The fate of the world is yours to decide.

The Space Shuttle Challenger

  • April 30th
  • Presented by the Reagan Library
  • 45 minutes
  • Geared toward grades 8-12

Explore the mission and meaning of the space shuttle “Challenger.” Learn about the journey of the teacher in space and explore the role of President Reagan during this historic national crisis.

Dear Mr. President

  • May 5th
  • Presented by the Eisenhower Foundation
  • 45-60 minutes
  • Geared toward grades 3-8

Students are never too young to practice the American right to share their concerns with elected officials. In this program, students analyze children’s letters to President Eisenhower, noting their purpose and topics of the 1950s – from Elvis’s haircut to civil rights. They then practice civic engagement by writing their own letter to the current President of the United States about an issue that concerns or interests them. Prior to the program, students should choose a letter to President Eisenhower from those offered at www.EisenhowerFoundation.net

Victory Gardens: No Sacrifice is Too Small

  • May 7th
  • Presented by the Eisenhower Foundation
  • 45 minutes
  • Geared toward grades 6-8

During both World War I and World War II, many resources like food were scarce because America needed to focus on getting our soldiers the resources they needed to win the war. During those times, people were encouraged to grow “Victory Gardens” to lesson the strain on the commercial food supply, ensure that everyone had access to nourishment, and provide a morale boost by allowing Americans on the home front to aid the war effort. In this program, students will analyze the motivation and impact of the Victory Garden as well as the patriotism and propaganda that surrounded them. We will discuss the similarities to the contemporary Victory Garden movement and how kids in the 1940s and today can make a difference for the betterment of our country.

Candy Bomber and the Berlin Airlift

  • May 12th
  • Presented by the Truman Library
  • 45 minutes
  • Geared toward grades 3-8

Post war Germany was divided into four sections – the Allied part was controlled by the United States, Great Britain and France and other part by the Soviet Union. The city of Berlin, although located in the eastern Soviet half, was also divided into four sectors – West Berlin occupied by Allied interests and East Berlin occupied by Soviets. In June 1948, the Soviet Union attempted to control all of Berlin by cutting surface traffic to and from the city of West Berlin. Find out how President Truman reacted and also discover the story of the candy bomber who paved the way for a better relationship between the German and American people only three years after the end of WWII.

President Reagan and the Cold War

  • May 14th
  • Presented by the Reagan Library
  • 45 minutes
  • Geared toward grades 11-12

Engage with primary texts, photos, and speeches from the 1980s. Learn about the role of diplomacy and presidential rhetoric and commitment in ending the Cold War.

 The Constitution at Work: Elementary Edition

  • May 19th
  • Presented by the National Archives in Washington, DC
  • 45 minutes
  • Geared toward grades 4-6

How is the U.S. Constitution relevant to the daily lives of American citizens? What does the board game “Monopoly” have to do with the U.S. Constitution? How about the letter you wrote to the president when you were in elementary school? The answer to both questions is: plenty—if you know your Constitution! This program provides a unique opportunity to learn, via analysis of primary source documents, about the content, impact, and perpetual relevance of the U.S. Constitution to the daily lives of American citizens.

 The Constitution at Work: Middle and High School Edition

  • May 21st
  • Presented by the National Archives in Washington, DC
  • 45 minutes
  • Geared toward grades 7-12

How does the Constitution check and balance power? During this program students will analyze primary sources to examine the powers of the Federal Government and discover how the Constitution created a stronger central government compared to the Articles of Confederation. They will also discover how the Constitution checks and balances power between the three branches of government and between the Federal Government and state governments.

I is for Ike

  • May 26th
  • Presented by the Eisenhower Foundation
  • 30-40 minutes
  • Geared toward grades K-2

IKEducation presents an interactive story time that introduces our youngest historians to the life of Dwight D. Eisenhower through primary sources and the alphabet.

Presidential Reading Program

  • May 28th
  • Presented by the Hoover Library
  • 30-40 minutes
  • Geared toward preschool-3rd grade

The Presidential Reading Program features reading of three large format books about the Presidents, interaction for active reading, and one or two crafts depending on time constraints. Children will be able to identify a handful of Presidents, the White House, and learn some fun facts about the office of the President.

9 thoughts on “Online Student Programs with the Presidential Libraries and National Archives

  1. Will any of these still take place? I was signed up for the presidential online classes. Last week, when the video didn’t work, I contacted the National Archives only to find out that due to the COVID restrictions, they would not be doing any more videos. It would be nice to know before I forward this to our homeschool group.

    1. Hi Amy, Yes! These have just been scheduled and will all be happening online. I’m sorry to hear you were not able to see another program of ours, but we have not canceled our online student programs. Registration is open here.

    1. Hi Stephen – Yes, just fill out the registration form (choose “4th-8th Grade” for the question “What grade level is your student/students?” to get to the option for Victory Gardens). Once you fill out the form, you will receive the link for the program.

  2. My daughter really loved the program on the Candy Bomber. She keeps asking about when the next webinar will take place. She is in first grade and really obsessed right now with Presidents so the upcoming “I is for IKE” and Presidential Reading Program are being looked forward to in out house. This obsession actually began about a month ago with a web meeting with “Thomas Jefferson” you organized. This is just a note of appreciation from her and me. We hope there will be some more opportunities in the summer. We also look forward to seeing some of the Presidential museums and the archives in person. Thank you!

    1. Hi Lyle – Thank you so much for your feedback! We are so happy your daughter is interested in our programming!

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