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My Favorite Presidents’ Day Picture Books

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It’s no secret that I’m a complete picture book nerd. I may go back and forth about purchasing something I actually need…. but when it comes to a new picture book… I NEED it. Too often in the upper grades we look past picture books when in reality they should be some of the first places we look. Simply to hook the class or introduce a topic, picture books work wonders on engagement. Below you will find a few of my very favorite books that highlight a few of our country’s greats. Comment below if I missed one of your favorites, I always love a good book recommendation!

  1. Abe’s Honest Words:

Part of the “Big Word” book series, author Doreen Rappaport and different illustrators make what can only be described as the DREAM TEAM. If the covers weren’t evidence enough, notice how my top recommendations 1-4 are all books of this series. (Seeing how it’s February… you may also be interested in the Frederick Douglas, or Martin Luther King Jr. versions!)  Abe’s honest words is a wonderful depiction of his life and experiences. This story does a wonderful job portraying character traits like integrity and honesty.  Two traits that should be at the forefront of every classroom discussion.

2. To Dare Mighty Things:

Doesn’t this cover just make you smile! Probably one of my favorite illustrations to date. I love how the author effortlessly includes many quotes from the rough rider president. This is always a favorite because all though the name Theodore Roosevelt is well known, what he did for the nation and conservation isn’t! Students that love the outdoors, teddy bears, or have experienced sickness will connect with this lively president!

3. Jack’s Path of Courage:

This is another really beautiful story of overcoming self-doubt, rising to the occasion, and believing in yourself. Typically John F. Kennedy is remembered for his charisma and confidence. Not many realize that he encountered many health issues as a child that caused him to lack confidence. What a beautiful connection for a student to make that once they believe in themselves, there is nothing they can’t do. Not even President of the United States is too far out of reach.

4. Eleanor, Quiet No More:

I know, I know, Eleanor Roosevelt was not a president…. but in my mind, this First Lady needs a special shout out on this day. If ever there was a strong woman to make a connection with, Eleanor should be at the top. In her youth, you could have described her as more of a wallflower that found her friendships through books. Instead of dancing and socializing with friends, she chose to serve others and teach children in poverty-stricken areas. When she became the First Lady, to Franklin D. Roosevelt. Her title was simply that a title. Arguably, Eleanor was the first do to something with that title, and her efforts to be an ambassador, civil rights leader, and activist were viewed as quite controversial at the time. If ever there was an example of “being the change you wish to see in the world” it would be Eleanor.

5. President Taft is Stuck in the Tub

If ever there was a book to make you giggle… It’s this one. Guaranteed to be a class favorite. For many adults, Taft will be remembered as the only person to serve as both President of the United States and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Most kids will remember the story about him getting stuck in the tub. It’s debatable whether or not the incident actually happened but this larger than life story is a lot of fun. If you are looking for a light-hearted read that guarantees giggles, this is sure to be a favorite.

 6. I am George Washington (Ordinary People Change the World)

This is part of the series, “Ordinary People Change the World.” Again because is February you may be interested in the Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, or  Jackie Robinson version. If so just click on the link for more info! The idea of these people that we consider heroes, also being just ordinary people, is SUCH an important message.  Not to take away from their extraordinary feats of bravery, or selflessness, but to encourage and empower our youth to reach for the same. These stories are very simple, and an easy read. They make history fun, understandable, and relatable.

7. I am Abraham Lincoln (Ordinary People Change the World) 

A great, and simple biography that follows Abraham Lincoln from childhood to his presidency and famous Gettysburg address. I also love how the book describes Lincoln’s love for reading and writing and why those skills were/are important. It also includes a simple idea of slavery being wrong, how all men are created equally, and if we know of something that is wrong we must use our voice to stand up to any wrong or injustice. It introduces these complex ideas in a very simple and easy to understand way, which I love and appreciate.

8. Nice Work Franklin!

Again I love a book/ story about a President of figure in history. We may recognize the name Franklin Roosevelt, cousin to Teddy Roosevelt, but often we don’t know the history. An absolutely incredible story of overcoming obstacles, not letting circumstances define you or what you are capable of. Franklin can be a hero for all, and a wonderful connection to be made for any students that have disabilities. A wonderful story about trying again and again and not giving up.

 

 9. So You Want to Be President?

I love this Caldecott winner. It is as educational as it is interesting. This book is filled with little known facts and fun stories about the first 42 presidents. The illustrations are really fun and feel almost satirical. There really is something in here that every child can find something to connect with. It’s fun to see the different sizes mentioned, upbringing, backgrounds, hobbies, musical abilities, and previous occupations.  This is a fun read that is sure to engage its readers.

10. George Washington’s Teeth

This book will forever be near and dear to my heart. The first time I was introduced to this fun read was in college in my children’s literature class. (Side note: This book lends well to creating a fun timeline to go over and arrange after reading.) The story is told in rhyme which always makes my heart sing. The history behind the story is really fascinating and eye-opening. Can you imagine?!?!?! Also, this book puts the well-known myth that he had wooden teeth to bed…. Read to find out what his “teeth” was actually made out of!

11. The Camping Trip that Changed America

Great story, and a great example of environmental activism. Teddy Roosevelt is known as one of the greatest conservationists, and this is the story where many of his efforts stemmed from. His horseback camping trip with a naturalist: John Muir stemmed the idea and need for national parks. The illustrations are really fantastic, this is one of those unknown should be well-known reads.


12. Worst of Friends

I LOVE THIS ONE. The tale of two presidents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, and their friendship. I love how this story is told is starts out pointing out just how different and unlikely pals the two would make. They completely contrast each other but also balance one another. This book gives such a fun and tangible feel to history which is hard to do! There are also VITAL lessons and discussions to be had about friendship and how to overcome disagreements. The author’s backstory at the end is the real cherry on top.

 13. George Washington’s Birthday

Presidents’ Day is after all, actually George Washington’s birthday. It didn’t seem right to not include this fun little read. Did you know the story of the young George Washington and the cherry tree is actually an untrue story, created by someone wanting to illustrate the president’s integrity and need to tell the truth? Love the irony! This story highlights a young George Washington on his 7th birthday. Fun for young readers.

 14. Abe Lincoln’s Dream

Another sweet book, dear to my heart. I remember seeing Abe Lincoln’s dream for the first time in the public library and needing to read it. The illustrations and bold fonts were so different from anything around it. Did you know that there are several documented stories about Abraham Lincoln’s ghost at the White House??, and that he had dreams that many say predicted his own death. This is a fun, NOT SCARY, story that alludes to those accounts. A cute girl on a field trip sees Lincoln’s ghost and together go on an adventure addressing the current state of the union.  This is a sweet heartwarming read with some fun history and stories you should 10000x delve deeper into!

 

If your looking for more ideas or would like to share your own ideas please join our member-only  Teaching on Lemon Lane Facebook Group!

I hope you enjoy the books listed, I would LOVE to hear from you and what’s your favorite! Nothing brightens my day like being tagged in what you’re doing in your classroom on Instagram! Happy Teaching!

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“The influence of your personal testimonies is ever so far-reaching. The Lord instructed: “The testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you” (D&C 62:3). He also cautioned us: “With some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man” (D&C 60:2). You never know when your turn will come to comply with the admonition of Peter to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Pet. 3:15).”
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Thomas S. Monson
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I’ve complied my FAVORITE inexpensive gift ideas for Father’s Day and created FREE printables for you to complete the gift! These are perfect and practical for the men in your life, and work great as a gift for the entire ward! -
What did your Ward do for Father’s Day this year?
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“I know the love of God. It is one of the very few things I do know with absolute certainty. I think suffering on this earth is an indication of God’s trust, God’s love. I think it is an indication that God does not want us to be simply obedient children playing forever under his hand, but wants us able to become more like himself. In order to do that we have to know reality. We have to be real ourselves and not dependent on externals. If we are to be like God, we cannot live forever in fear that we may meet something that will scare us or that will hurt us. We have to be able, as he is able, to meet what comes of others’ agency, and of living in a lawful universe that allows creation of a habitable planet only when it allows also the difficulties that come in natural operations of such a planet.”
-Francine R. Bennion
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“Now all this suffering might indeed be unfair if everything ended at death, but it doesn’t. Life is not like a one-act play. It has three acts. We had a past act, when we were in the premortal existence; and now we have a present act, which is mortality; and we will have a future act, when we return to God. … We were sent into mortality to be tested and tried [see Abraham 3:25]. … “Our past and present sufferings cannot, as Paul said, ‘be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us’ [Romans 8:18] in the eternities. ‘For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory.’ [D&C 58:4.] So tribulation is useful in the sense that it is helpful to get into the celestial kingdom”
-James E. Faust
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Reflecting on Father’s Day... it’s incredible to me that the Supreme Creator of the Universe chooses to be addressed as “Father”...
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. “Father’ is the noblest title a man can be given. It is more than a biological role. It signifies a patriarch, a leader, an exemplar, a confidant, a teacher, a hero, a friend and, ultimately, a perfect being.” Robert L. Backman
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For whatever reason, I’ve had this false idea in my mind that when you are on the Lord’s errand, a path paved in smooth simplicity would be laid out before you… This simply isn’t the case. Consider Nephi’s path and the bumps and stumbling blocks placed in his way… Consider Abinadi and his ultimate sacrifice of meekness and obedience… Consider Joseph Smith and the reestablishment of the early Church… Now consider Alma the younger and his dealings with Ammoniahah… Looking ahead, look what happens to Amulek once he finally decides to “Know” the Gospel.

It’s so interesting to me that when the angel is sent to Alma to lift him up and send him back to Ammoniahah a key detail that in my mind would have eased Alma’s mind is left out. Notice how the angel made no mention of Amulek. There is no mention of comfort that someone has been prepared for you, and is waiting for you. Instead, Alma acts “speedily” not knowing what he will do, ACTING in faith, hoping that the Lord will provide a way.
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To me this illustrates the idea of the Lord’s hand cautiously guiding us even when we can’t see it. I’ve seen this concept in my own life, however, it isn’t until I have the hindsight of the future to look back and realize his hand was there all along. There is something to choosing to act on our own. Heading in the right direction, even though we don’t know how we will be delivered, having faith that we WILL be delivered.
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“Each of us also carries a load. Our individual load is comprised of demands and opportunities, obligations and privileges, afflictions and blessings, and options and constraints. Two guiding questions can be helpful as we periodically and prayerfully assess our load... [...]Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness... [...] Not only does the Atonement of Jesus Christ overcome the effects of the Fall of Adam and make possible the remission of our individual sins and transgressions, but His Atonement also enables us to do good and become better in ways that stretch far beyond our mortal capacities. Most of us know that when we do things wrong and need help to overcome the effects of sin in our lives, the Savior has made it possible for us to become clean through His redeeming power. But do we also understand that the Atonement is for faithful men and women who are obedient, worthy, and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully? I wonder if we fail to fully acknowledge this strengthening aspect of the Atonement in our lives and mistakenly believe we must carry our load all alone—through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline and with our obviously limited capacities.” Excerpts from Bear Your Burdens with Ease, -Bednar ...

With there being a focus on Missionary work this week for Come Follow Me, and the fact that it isn’t always rosy… I thought a good addition to the lesson would be to write a letter to a missionary. Maybe this is a family member, a ward member, or someone new entirely, but a message from home can be an easy way to show support for those serving in the mission field. To help with this activity I created a fun and editable missionary letter template. The template should simplify the writing process and take the guesswork out of what to write. You can either type directly onto the slide, and print or email. Or you can begin by printing a hard copy and writing directly onto the page.

Use this with your family, your students, the primary, or young men| young women! This works great as a zoom call activity or fun activity at home! I’ve also included a link to inkablinka.com where Kristin has uploaded some awesome printables going over missionary letter dos and donts!
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Highlighting one of my most treasured scriptures this week. President Bednar said it best: “Thus, the Savior has suffered not just for our sins and iniquities—but also for our physical pains and anguish, our weaknesses and shortcomings, our fears and frustrations, our disappointments and discouragement, our regrets and remorse, our despair and desperation, the injustices and inequities we experience, and the emotional distresses that beset us. There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no infirmity or weakness you or I ever confront in mortality that the Savior did not experience first. In a moment of weakness we may cry out, “No one knows what it is like. No one understands.” But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens. And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice (see Alma 34:14), He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy. He can reach out, touch, succor, heal, and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do relying only upon our own power. Indeed, His yoke is easy and His burden is light.” ...

To help you with your study this week, I’ve created a printable with all of the questions posed in chapter 5. (Around 50!) For me, this gives me something concrete, that I can hold, look at, and mark up. You will notice that many of the questions aren’t as simple as a yes and no, similar to many of the questions asked in Come Follow Me. I’ve left a space next to each question for you to use as you wish. Yes, it could be a place for a checkmark, but the more I grow, the more I learn that this is not a checklist Gospel. Rather, it’s growth, progression, and all about movement whether that be forward or backward. I wonder if you may even choose to “check” one of the questions that you choose to further study, ponder, or focus on for the week.
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I’d love to hear how you use this personal inventory, and any takeaways you have. Don’t forget to share this post with a friend!
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Recently I was asked to share my thoughts on the Come Follow Me program during the past few months for the LDS Website in the UK. @churchofjesuschrist -
Frankly speaking the invitation made me a little sick. My biggest fear is that it would seem like we were the perfect little family with the perfect little program in place, complete with cutouts and crafts, deep discussions and daily reflection....
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This couldn't be more from the truth. Yes, I do a weekly round up of ideas and resources for Come Follow Me that I publish on my website, but that doesn't mean that it always happens within my own home. When it does happen it typically looks like a bedtime story, or a video played while the kids eat lunch... When it does happen I often fall asleep while trying to catch up on last week’s reading... Most of all, when it does happen, I notice a difference within my home. This program is divinely inspired, the simple timing of everything amplifies it's divine origin to me. -
Art by @_thecoloramber one of the most beautiful illustrations of a family I've ever laid eyes on. Words fall short on this piece. It's my absolute favorite.
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You can read the article here:
https://uk.churchofjesuschrist.org/come-follow-me-during-lockdown?lang=eng-gb
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This quote stopped me in my tracks... Make sure to head to the website for this week’s Round up of FREE Come Follow Me Resources! This week’s lesson is based on @comefollowmefamily AWESOME idea to use bubbles and balloons to teach about pride. AND @davidbowmanart released another FREE Sample video from his Drawn In, Come Follow Me monthly subscription that I know you are going to LOVE! His videos are wonderful and go beyond just a retelling of the story by diving deep into application in a language the whole family can enjoy! This is the ONLY paid subscription I use for #comefollowme Head to the website now for all of this, a coupon code, and MORE! -
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What are your takeaways from Come Follow Me this week? Do me a favor and spread the love by sharing this post or tagging a friend in the comments!
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By now we all know I love all things Lemon... Lemonade is not exception. ESPECIALLY a good tart Lemonade like @chickfila Did you know you could buy it by the Gallon??? Stay tuned... FREE Father’s Day Printable Gift Tags and a list of well received/ inexpensive gift ideas to accompany them! Whether your looking to outfit the entire ward, or just a thoughtful gift for a few of your favorite men, this post will highlight some fun ideas! -
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COMMENT BELOW: What are some of your favorite inexpensive gift ideas for #fathersday
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“And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God” (Mosiah 27:25–26).
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”Conversion is a process, not an event. Conversion comes as a result of righteous efforts to follow the Savior. These efforts include exercising faith in Jesus Christ, repenting of sin, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end in faith. Although conversion is miraculous and life changing, it is a quiet miracle. Angelic visitations and other spectacular occurrences do not bring conversion. Even Alma, who saw an angel, became converted only after he “fasted and prayed many days” for a witness of the truth (Alma 5:46). And Paul, who saw the resurrected Savior, taught that “no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (1 Corinthians 12:3).”
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Excerpt from LDS.org
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”Our behavior is nothing more than a reflection of the depth of our conversion to Jesus Christ." Ed J. Pinegar
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What has your behavior shown today of your conversion to Jesus Christ?
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Let’s talk FATHER’S Day... I’m getting ready to add a post on my favorite inexpensive gift ideas for #fathersday along with FREE & Thoughtful printables to complete the gift. So help me out... what are your FAVORITE ideas for budget friendly, visiting teaching friendly, give every man in the ward friendly GIFT IDEAS???
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Comment Below 💛🍋💛🍋
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This week in #comefollowme has me thinking a lot about the ripple effects of our choices. Consider the #rippleeffects of your Covenants. What about the ripple effect of Abinadi’s brave stand, or the ripples caused by Alma’s conversion. What choices are you making today, what ripple effect will they have tomorrow? ...

“What is the source of such moral and spiritual power, and how do we obtain it? The source is God. Our access to that power is through our covenants with Him. A covenant is an agreement between God and man, an accord whose terms are set by God (see Bible Dictionary, “Covenant,” 651). In these divine agreements, God binds Himself to sustain, sanctify, and exalt us in return for our commitment to serve Him and keep His commandments.”
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Head to the website to see this week’s round up of FREE, featured #comefollowme resources.
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