Like so many parts of American life, our holidays lend themselves to self-gratifying aggrandizement.
Presidents’ Week nee Presidents’ Day nee Washington‘s Birthday and Lincoln’s Birthday have taken a strange path through American education. At first, the days were merely milestones to remember two of our most important Presidents. Then, in some odd spirit of inclusiveness, the holidays were combined to form Presidents’ Day, thus including all Presidents–even James Buchanan, and that’s a stretch.
Today, the mere day just won’t do: retailers and car dealerships require a WEEK to find an excuse to dress two schmucks as Washington and Lincoln so they can hawk their crap while the kids are home on their winter break.
For teachers, the days leading up to Presidents’ Week inevitably involve books concerning our chief executives. As a nifty way to share resources, The Neighborhood is now asking its readers to submit their favorite book for the holiday. They can range from the tried and true childrens’ biographies of the past (Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire‘s incredible 1939 classic Abraham Lincoln comes to mind) to the modern tomes that deal more realistically with the office (Such as Judith St. George‘s So You Want to be President?).
Please leave your suggestions in the comment box. I’d love to see the different resources our readers use and share them with fellow teachers.