American Presidents

Richard Nixon
Richard M. Nixon Elementary School
The Big 25th Anniversary Celebration
Student Activities

Classroom Activity Ideas to Celebrate Your School

Richard M. Nixon Elementary School Celebration Committee: Pete Burnett, Patty Justice, Jan Lesan, Barb Osgood, and Donna Schlampp

25th Anniversary/Beginnings
Discuss vocabulary such as anniversary, museum, memories, friends, keepsakes, artifacts, antiques, albums, birthdays, etc. Delete or add to the list as appropriate to grade level. Ask the following questions:

  • Do students realize that friends made at school may be friends for a long time?
  • Do our goals define our jobs for the year?
  • What is an anniversary?
  • Why are we celebrating this school year?
  • Why could we refer to ourselves as the Nixon Family?
We will be make memories each day this year to add on to the ones we might have made in previous years. These memories can be recorded in the student's portfolio during the year.

Do you know teachers at Van Buren, our brother school? Perhaps classes might become pen pals with the school that opened its doors the same year we did.

Lower grades are an attentive listening audience for upper grades and visa versa. Encourage students to share the memories they are making with their buddies.

Do a primary 'Big Book' with a theme such as "Nixon today." The youngest children could draw pictures and/or write one or two sentences per page. They can compile this work into a large binder and share them in the spring as part of the school celebration.

Ask your family, neighbors, and friends if they attended Richard M. Nixon Elementary School. When did they attend? What are their names, addresses, and phone numbers? After gathering the information, compile a big book of this list and continue to add names during the year.

In celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday, we will remember to be thankful for our schools.

Children might want to think about and explore education in other countries. Students can research their schools or have a person from a specific country talk about his/her school.

Other children might want to explore local schools that have adopted some alternative learning methods.

What are some long-standing traditions at Richard M. Nixon Elementary School?

A bulletin board illustrating the traditions can serve as a fun reminder.

Ideas for research:

  • How do school buildings get their names?
  • Interview someone at the ESC
  • How was the name Richard M. Nixon chosen?
  • How many schools in the US are named Richard M. Nixon?
  • Are buildings always named after people?
  • Interview friends and family for ideas/make a list.
  • How many schools in the District have had second beginnings?
  • What inventions came about between 1970-1995?


  • Have inventions created between 1970-1995 helped or hindered us?
  • What changes have come to Nixon Elementary School because of inventions?
  • What changes have come to education between 1970-1995?
  • Interview ESC, teachers, parents, former/present students using the previous questions.
  • What was it like to be a student in the fall of 1970?
  • Develop a timeline which depicts the world during the past 25 years.
  • Create a list of changes in clothing worn by students and adults at school.
  • Create a list of leisure time changes.
  • What were favorite sports teams of 1970, games, music, authors and books, etc?
  • What is a time capsule? What do you put in one? How are they made and where would it be put? What do you want the capsule to show when it is opened in 2020?
  • Why was Richard M. Nixon Elementary school built where it was?
  • Locate pictures of the area before the school was built.
Making memories with friends: Each child makes an autograph book. Research the art of collecting autographs and instruct students to exchange autographs in a signing party.

Develop math problems using Richard M. Nixon Elementary School statistics. Share these with other classes. Relevant statistics include:

  • Age
  • Number of students/average
  • Estimation- books in IMC, books checked out in a period of time
  • Graph- favorite books, authors, types, games, etc.
  • Cafeteria- number of students eating, amount of money spent for meals in a day, a week, a month, or year.
  • How old were your parents 25 years ago?
  • How old were your grandparents 25 years ago?

Focus on portfolio sharing.

1970-1995 Closure of our 25th anniversary celebration
At this point, do the students seem to have a sense of continuum of an inanimate object (school) made possible by a community of students, parents, and staff?
Have they made use of the skills emphasized in the monthly educational focus?

Have you kept a list of activities done by your class?

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