Lesson Plans Take Inauguration to the Classroom - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

graduationeducationMillions of people are traveling to Washington D.C. to witness history as President-elect Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. At the same time, teachers across the country will have the unique honor of teaching the experience as it happens. Besides letting students watch the event live, the Internet is overflowing with extensive lesson plans for teachers to supplement their curriculum.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee along with the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association (NEA) has developed a series of activities and lesson plans to help students understand the significance of the event.

The PIC lesson recommendations include details about the inaugural events and history, an assessment of Obama’s first 100 days in office, a reading list for elementary, middle and high school students, and a comparison of Obama with Illinois’ most popular president, Abraham Lincoln.

The PIC is not the only organization that is jumping on this learning opportunity. Lesson plans compiled by Thinkfinity.org feature stories about the kids who lived in the White House. It also puts students in the driving seat by giving them an opportunity to suggest policies that the president should support, providing interactive online exhibits about the presidency and democracy, and even getting the kids thinking about science-related initiatives.

The National Endowment for the Humanities also provides inaugural activities including one called “Sometimes It’s Okay to Swear.” The lesson explains the responsibilities of taking an oath. Other lessons instruct teachers on how to expand inaugural lessons beyond the big day.

What may be missing from the many of these sites are lesson plans identifying the relevancy of Obama as the first African American president or that it coincides with the day observing the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hollister Kids, a Wynnewood, Pennsylvania-based publisher of educational materials, has filled that void. For the Inauguration they’ve created a 16-page package filled with current events about the presidential campaign and black history facts.

“This 16-page package includes a teaching essay on the election of Obama, an essay on how contemporary events connect with the lessons of Black History from the past and profiles of newsmakers that demonstrate the Obama election did not happen in isolation but in the context of achievements by African Americans in other fields,” explains a company press release.


The 16-page “Living Black History” packet referenced in the article above was first offered for the Inauguration and is now offered for Black History Month. These materials may be ordered through the Hollister Kids Web site at www.hollisterkids.com or by emailing contactus@hollisterkids.com.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.

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