In the U.S., we celebrate Presidents’ Day on the third Monday of February. Originally a day to commemorate Washington’s birthday, it expanded over time to include Lincoln’s February birth too. Today, it’s considered a day to honor all of America’s commanders-in-chief. These Presidents’ Day videos cover the history of the day, plus lots of fun and interesting facts about each of our presidents. Use them as a lead-in to other Presidents’ Day activities!
1. History of Presidents’ Day
Here’s a quick history of the holiday, told in less than two minutes. Fun fact: Presidents’ Day never falls on the actual birthday of any president!
2. Presidents’ Day Fun Facts
Speaking of fun facts, this video has a few more to share. Who knew Botswana had their own Presidents’ Day, for instance?
3. U.S. Presidents Song
There are lots of Presidents’ Day videos listing the presidents in order, but this is the only one we’ve found that’s current up through the newly-inaugurated Joe Biden. Plus, the hip hop beat adds an engaging touch!
4. Presidential Facts
Do you know there was only one president who was elected unanimously? Or that two presidents were once arrested together? Learn these facts and more in this fascinating video.
5. Presidential Coins Song
Little learners get practice with money when they sing along with this Presidents’ Day video. Pass out some coins for them to examine while they watch.
6. 60-Second Presidents
PBS has an entire series of quick presidential bios. Watch them all, or let each student pick one, then report back to the class on what they learned.
7. Disney The American Presidents
Disney has a fun series of biographical Presidents’ Day videos too. Each is about three minutes long and full of interesting info kids will enjoy.
8. Precedents of Washington
We know not every history teacher has time to dress up in costumes and make song parodies for YouTube. Fortunately, Mr. Betts does! This one covers all the precedents Washington set for our country, to the tune of Toto’s “Africa.”
9. Abraham Lincoln: The Civil War President
The kid narrator and simple animation of this longer video make it a terrific choice for elementary school classrooms. Learn all about Lincoln’s life, time in office, and untimely death.
10. The Civil War: The Gettysburg Address
Perhaps the greatest presidential speech of all time, the Gettysburg Address is one every student should hear and examine. This snippet from Ken Burns’ Civil War series sets it in context. (It does include some photos of dead soldiers on the battlefield, so it may not be suitable for younger kids.)
11. Mr. Lincoln Song
We love this fun, folksy song that celebrates Lincoln’s history and legacy. Don’t blame us if the chorus gets stuck in your head, though!
12. 43 Facts About 43 Presidents
Want to learn a little about every POTUS in just two minutes? This video is for you! It was made a few years ago, so it covers the presidents from Washington to Obama. Have your students dig up and add their own facts about our more recent leaders.
Enjoyed these Presidents’ Day videos? Check out Our Favorite Presidents’ Day Activities For The Classroom.
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