American Presidents





Calling Cards for the 41 Presidents

Grades 4-8


Directions:
Find answers by visiting C-SPAN's American Presidents: Life Portraits Exhibit which includes C-SPAN portraits of the presidents and images provided by the White House Historical Association.


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George Washington:

Meet the 1st president!
George Washington's teeth were made of ____; not of _____.

Look closer!
Several myths surround George Washington, the first president of the United States. What is a myth? How does a myth begin? Create your own myth about George Washington based on the pictures you see.


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John Adams:

Meet the 2nd president!
What activity did John Adams enjoy during his retirement? ________

Look closer!
What is Abigail Adams pictured doing? Who else is in the picture? What other activities kept John Adams and his family busy in the White House? Draw a picture of your own family at home, engaged in favorite past times or chores.


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Thomas Jefferson

Meet the 3rd president!
On what day did Thomas Jefferson start writing the Declaration of Independence? (Hint: You must complete some simple math to answer this question!) ________

Look closer!
Looking at the picture, what was Thomas Jefferson's primary mode of transportation? How do presidents travel today? What changes in today's society have increased the president's ability to move freely? What changes have limited the president's freedom of movement?


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James Madison

Meet the 4th president!
James Madison took command of the __________ during the War of 1812. Dolley Madison saved a _________ during the same war.

Look closer!
Different paintings can stir different thoughts and emotions. Look at the picture of Dolley Madison. What thoughts come to mind when looking at her picture? How does this picture make you feel?


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James Monroe

Meet the 5th president!
James Monroe was known for his kindness and ability to put people ______ ______.

Look closer!
Read the text and determine one possible reason for the smile on President Monroe's face. What could it be?


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John Quincy Adams

Meet the 6th president!
What advice did President John Adams give his son? How do you think that made John Quincy feel?

Look closer!
Look at the group picture prior to reading its caption. At what event do you think the president's picture was taken? Explain your answer. Now, read the caption. Were you able to guess the right answer?


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Andrew Jackson

Meet the 7th president!
Andrew Jackson was ________ years-old when he joined the Continental army.

Look closer!
The caption under the picture states: "Andrew Jackson in a daguerreotype." Describe a daguerreotype. Does this style affect how you perceive President Jackson? Describe what President Jackson's personality was like compared to the persona you see in the picture.


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Martin Van Buren

Meet the 8th president!
Talk about a hot job market! What three different positions did Martin Van Buren hold in a period of fourteen weeks?

Look closer!
Compare the picture of Martin Van Buren provided by the White House Historical Association with the oil portrait of Martin Van Buren created by Chas Fagen. Does a color versus a black and white image affect your initial impressions of President Van Buren? Explain.


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William Henry Harrison

Meet the 9th president!
William Henry Harrison served as President of the United States for ________ ________. (period of time?)

Look closer!
Looking at the picture, how would you describe the atmosphere surrounding President Harrison's death bed? Explain your answer with details from the picture.


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John Tyler

Meet the 10th president!
John Tyler was the first president to assume the executive office through the _______ of a president.

Look closer!
Compare the oil painting of President Tyler with the picture provided by the White House Historical Association. Note five differences between the two pictures.


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James K. Polk

Meet the 11th president!
President Polk once described himself as the _________ ___________ __________ in the country.

Look closer!
In the picture we see President Polk with the First Lady, friends and advisors. Compare the scene with a typical family picture of your own. How do these two pictures differ? How are they similar?


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Zachary Taylor

Meet the 12th president!
Upon President Taylor's death, he stated that he had no regrets but was sorry that he was about to leave his ____________.

Look closer!
As you look into the face of President Taylor in the oil painting, what does his facial expression convey to you about his personality? Do you see anything that makes you want to meet him? Why or why not?


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Millard Fillmore

Meet the 13th president!
An apprentice is an assistant who is training for a job. What apprenticeship did Millard Fillmore hate? ________

Look closer!
Look at the picture of First Lady Abigail Powers Taylor. Describe her clothes. What do you like and/or dislike? Can clothing influence the way you think about someone?


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Franklin Pierce

Meet the 14th president!
Franklin Pierce entered his presidency after some sad events in his personal life. His last surviving son was killed in train wreck _____ months before his inauguration.

Look closer!
Looking at the picture, do you see anything in Franklin Pierce's facial expression or body posture that communicates sadness? What would you say to President Pierce if you had to give him advice?


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James Buchanan

Meet the 15th president!
James Buchanan was the only president to remain a ____________.

Look closer!
Who is the woman in the picture? What role did she play in the White House during James Buchanan's administration? If you had the opportunity to ask her one question about her experience as First Lady, what would it be?


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Abraham Lincoln

Meet the 16th president!
As a young person, Abraham Lincoln developed a love for books. What was one of his favorites? _______________________

Look closer!
In the picture we see President Lincoln seated. What is he holding? What reading material may he have had at the table? Refer to the written text accompanying the display for specific ideas.


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Andrew Johnson

Meet the 17th president!
Upon his death, President Johnson requested that his body be wrapped in ________ and that ________ be used as a pillow.

Look closer!
Do you think Andrew Johnson was very patriotic? How did he feel about his country? Defend your answer. What are some ways you have shown commitment to people, places or issues that you care about?

Just for fun!
Find another president with the last name "Johnson" and use the text and pictures to find at least one similarity and one difference in the lives of these two men.


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Ulysses S. Grant

Meet the 18th president!
Julia Grant described her years as First Lady as one of the ___________ periods of her life. What are some of the best perks of being First Lady?

Look closer!
Look at the picture of President Grant, the First Lady and their son Jesse. How does the picture compare to your family pictures or portraits? What are some differences and similarities? Do you have a family photo album or scrapbook? What is the purpose of taking and keeping pictures?


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Rutherford B. Hayes

Meet the 19th president!
President Hayes and the First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes had ______ children.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of the First Lady with her childre, Scott and Fanny, and a family friend in the White House green house. (Please note: This greenhouse does not exist anymore.) Describe the greenhouse. How do you think your house differs from the White House? Describe your ideal house. What special rooms would it have?


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James A. Garfield

Meet the 20th president!
President Garfield was shot in 1881. Alexander Graham Bell was brought in by doctors to help locate the bullet. Bell used his newly invented ___________ ________________ to try and locate the bullet.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of the James Garfield with his daughter. How old does she look in the picture? How old was she when her father was president? What are the benefits of a child living in the White House? What sacrifices do you think children of presidents have had to make?


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Chester A. Arthur

Meet the 21st president!
President Arthur guarded his privacy, saying once, "Madam, I may be president, but my ________ ________ is no one's damned business."

Look closer!
Look at the picture of President Arthur taking the oath of office at his private residence. Pretend that you can read the president's mind at this moment. What might he be thinking and feeling? Refer to specific details from the captions and the images.


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Grover Cleveland

Meet the 22nd president!
(served two non-consecutive terms)

Grover Cleveland was the only president to win _____ non-consecutive terms as president. What does non-consecutive mean?

Look closer!
Look at the picture of First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland. Notice the furniture that surrounds her. She had told the servants in the White House to keep an eye on it while her husband was out of office. Have you ever moved to a new house, or a new room? Describe the adjustment you had to make.


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Benjamin Harrison

Meet the 23rd president!
Benjamin Harrison conducted one of the first ______ _______ campaigns, delivering short speeches from his home in Indianapolis. What front porch is depicted in the picture? ___________

Look closer!
If you had the chance to walk up to the White House front porch, stand in the center of its tall columns, and give a speech in support of a new idea for the young people or families of the United States, what would you say?


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William McKinley

Meet the 24th president!
On September 6, 1901, an anarchist shot President McKinley. What did McKinnley say at that moment? ___________________________________________.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of President McKinley and First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley. What year was the picture taken? ___________If the picture was taken on September 6 of that year and the President was assassinated on September 6, 1901. How many months and days did the president have to live from the day the picture was taken until the day he died? ________


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Theodore Roosevelt

Meet the 25th president!
President Roosevelt said: "No president ever ______ himself as much as I." What types of activities did he enjoy?

Look closer!
Observe the Roosevelt family portrait closely. What conclusions can you draw about the Roosevelts' lifestyle based on the image? Imagine President Roosevelt pictured among mementos from each stage of his life. What objects would be in the picture?


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William Howard Taft

Meet the 26th president!
Who wanted William Howard Taft to become president? ________________ Look at the picture of Mrs. Taft. The caption states that she defied tradition by ______________________ with her husband to the White House on Inauguration Day.

Look closer!
How has the role of women in politics changed since the Taft Administration? Do you think that you will ever see a woman serve as president of the United States? Why or why not?


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Woodrow Wilson

Meet the 27th president!
During the last two years in office, President Wilson, crippled by a stroke, relied on ________ to execute his duties.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of President Wilson at his desk with his wife Edith. What do you think is happening in this picture?


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Warren G. Harding

Meet the 28th president!
Warren G. Harding began his career as a _________________ _______________. What kind of skills could he have gathered from this position that may have helped him later in his role as president?

Look closer!
Look at the picture of the President being photographed by a cameraman. If you were selected to be part of the media pool that covers the President, which role would you prefer - reporter or photographer? Why?


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Calvin Coolidge

Meet the 29th president!
President Coolidge's dry wit and ___________ of words were well known.

Look closer!
In looking at the oil portrait, describe your first impressions of the 30th president of the United States. Does he look like a man of few words? Why or why not? Do you consider yourself to be a person of many or few words? Explain your answer.


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Herbert Hoover

Meet the 30th president!
Herbert Hoover headed relief commissions, distributing _______ ___________ tons of American food, clothing and supplies to starving people in Europe; through his efforts he saved thousands of lives.

Look closer!
Herbert Hoover's engineering career took him around the world. What impact, if any do you think his early travels had on his desire and ability to head relief commissions? Explain your answer.


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Franklin Roosevelt

Meet the 31st president!
President Roosevelt told the American people in his inauguration address, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." What current event of the time was he trying to address?

Look closer!
Look at the picture of Eleanor and Franklin surrounded by their thirteen grandchildren. What might their specific fears have been? Can you think of a time when events in the news caused you to be afraid? How can the president or other leaders help us to overcome our fears?


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Harry S. Truman

Meet the 32nd president!
As president, Truman made the decision to drop the atom bomb on _____________ and _______________.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of the interior of the White House during the Truman renovation. What do the White House and the presidency symbolize for people outside of the United States? Is it more important for the president of the United States to be a leader of the country or of the whole world, or both? Explain your answer.


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Dwight D. Eisenhower

Meet the 33rd president!
Dwight D. Eisenhower was a sports fanatic; he played ________ and ________ in high school.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower seated on a garden bench on the south lawn of the White House. What sport might they pick up and start playing? What are the benefits of playing sports? Should the president be an athlete or a sports fan?


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John F. Kennedy

Meet the 34th president!
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy restored the White House and made it a cultural hub visited by distinguished writers, artists and musicians. True or False?

Look closer!
Look at the picture of President Kennedy in the Oval office with his children Caroline and John, Jr. at Halloween. Do you think the President or First Lady helped with the costumes? Have you ever worked with your family members on an art project, like a costume? Describe the experience.


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Lyndon B. Johnson

Meet the 35th president!
Lyndon B. Johnson gave up ____________ in favor of politics. What skills do you think he acquired in that profession that would later help him in his role as president?

Look closer!
Look at the picture of Lyndon B. Johnson howling with his dog "Yuki" in the Oval Office. Describe their relationship. Why do people have pets? What do pets add to our lives? How might a pet be an asset for the president?


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Richard M. Nixon

Meet the 36th president!
President Nixon averted impeachment by offering his ____________________.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of President Nixon's departure after his resignation in 1974. What do you think he was feeling at that moment?


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Gerald Ford

Meet the 37th president!
Gerald Ford played ________ for the Michigan Wolverines.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of President Ford swimming in the White House pool with the press corps watching. Do you think it would be difficult for the president to concentrate with all of those people looking at him? Why or why not? How important is the ability to concentrate when pursuing sports or other tasks?


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Jimmy Carter

Meet the 38th president!
Jimmy Carter built a thriving ___________ business.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of Jimmy Carter with his daughter Amy and her cousin Jason inspecting a newly constructed tree house on the south lawn. If you had the opportunity to explore any place in the White House, where would it be and why?


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Ronald Reagan

Meet the 39th president!
Ronald Reagan appeared in __________ films.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of President Reagan and the First Lady talking with Prince Charles and Lady Diana. What do presidents and royalty have in common? Would you rather be a president or a king or queen? Explain your answer.


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George Bush

Meet the 40th president!
President Bush celebrated his 75th birthday by safely parachuting from an airplane. True or False?

Look closer!
Look at the picture of President Bush playing horseshoes with his son Marvin at the White House. Does a person's recreation and activities indicate anything about his her personality?


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Bill Clinton

Meet the 41st president!
Bill Clinton said that ___________ _______ ___________inspired him to become a politician.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of Chelsea Clinton visiting the president in the Oval Office on Christmas Eve. Refer back to the picture of President Kennedy in the Oval Office at Halloween. Note the differences and similarities in the décor in the Oval Office. As president, how would you decorate the Oval Office?


George W. Bush

Meet the 42nd president!
Before becoming president of the United States, George W. Bush owned the ___________ ___________.

Look closer!
Is there a physical resemblance between this president and his father?


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