American Presidents





American Presidents Teacher Guides and Resources


Link to teacher guides for each of the 41 presidents profiled in C-SPAN's 1999 series. Teacher guides draw on related C-SPAN American Presidents: Life Portraits programs, when noted. You can also learn about student projects and winning proposals for C-SPAN in the Classroom's American Presidents video giveaway contest.

George Washington George Washington (1732-1799)

Teacher Guides

  • Washington and Modern Day America
  • Presidential Assessments: Washington, Adams, Jefferson
  • The Reenactment of the Funeral of George Washington
John Adams


John Adams (1735-1826)

Video Clip List
Teacher Guides

  • John Adams and the Spirit of Liberty,
  • Presidential Assessments: Washington, Adams, Jefferson


Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Teacher Guides

  • Voices of Democracy
  • Historical Detective: Exploring the Personality & Character of Thomas Jefferson
  • Thomas Jefferson: Historical Opinion and Slavery

James Madison James Madison (1751-1836)

Teacher Guides

  • The Life of Dolley Madison
  • James Madison and the Constitutional Convention
  • Booknotes interview with Lance Banning on The Sacred Fire of Liberty: James Madison & the Founding of the Federal Republic


James Monroe James Monroe (1758-1831)

Teacher Guide :
A lecture on James Monroe and John Quincy Adams


John Quincy Adams John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)

Teacher Guides

  • Lecture on James Monroe and John Quincy Adams
  • Biographical Vignette on John Quincy Adams
  • Booknotes interview with John Nagel about his book, John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, A Private Life



Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson (1767-1845)

Video Clip List
Teacher Guides

  • Biographical Vignette on Martin Van Buren
  • Biographical Vignette on Andrew Jackson
  • Booknotes interview with John Marszalek on his book, The Petticoat Affair: Manners, Mutiny, and Sex in Andrew Jackson’s White House

Martin Van Buren Martin Van Buren (1782-1862)

Teacher Guide:
The relationship of Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren

Student Activities


William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison (1773-1841)

Teacher Guide:
William Henry Harrison: Campaigning in the 1800's


John Tyler John Tyler (1790-1862)

Teacher Guide: Biographical Vignette on John Tyler


James Polk James Polk (1795 -1849)

Teacher Guide: Path to the Presidency

Zachary Taylor Zachary Taylor (1784-1850)

Teacher Guide: Military and Political Leaders


Millard Fillmore


Millard Fillmore (1800-1874)

Teacher Guides

  • Millard Fillmore: Running for Office in New York State
  • Millard Fillmore Historical Interpreter


Franklin Pierce


Franklin Pierce (1806-1869)

Teacher Guide : Franklin Pierce and the Presidential Family

Student Activity
What I Learned About Franklin Pierce
Fourth grade students at Kimball School in Concord, NH


James Buchanan


James Buchanan (1791-1868)

Teacher Guide: James Buchanan as Public Servant


Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

Video Clip List
Teacher Guides

  • Abraham Lincoln Teacher Guide
  • BOOK TV interview with David Adler on his book, A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln
  • BOOK TV interview with Jean Baker on her book, Mary Todd Lincoln Biography
  • BOOK TV interview with Douglas Wilson on his book, Honor's Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln
  • BOOK TV interview with David Herbert Donald on his book, Abraham Lincoln.


Andrew Johnson


Andrew Johnson (1808-1875)

Teacher Guide : Biography


Ulysses Grant


Ulysses Grant (1822-1885)

Teacher Guides

  • Biography
  • Booknotes interview with Geoffrey Perret on the book, Geoffrey Perret Ulysses S. Grant: Soldier and President


Rutherford B. Hayes


Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893)

Teacher Guide: Biography


James A. Garfield

James A. Garfield (1831-1881)

Teacher Guides

  • Biography Teacher Guide
  • President's Life Time Line: James A. Garfield
  • James Garfield Historic Monument

Student Activity


Chester Arthur

Chester Arthur (1829-1886)

Teacher Guide: Biography


Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland (1837-1908)

Teacher Guides

  • Early Life and 1st Administration of President Grover Cleveland
  • 2nd Administration and Later Life of President Grover Cleveland
  • Grover Cleveland Portrayal



Benjamin Harrison Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901)

Teacher Guide: Biography



William McKinley William McKinley (1843-1901)

Teacher Guide: Biography


Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

Video Clip List
Teacher Guides

  • Biography of Theodore Roosevelt
  • The Progressive Era
  • Booknotes interview with Historian Betty Boyd Caroli on her book, The Roosevelt Women
  • BOOK TV interview with Betty Boyd Caroli on her book, The Roosevelt Women


William Howard Taft William Howard Taft (1857-1930)

Teacher Guides

  • The Progressive Era
  • Biography of William Howard Taft


Woodrow Wilson Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)

Video Clip List
Teacher Guides

  • The Progressive Era
  • The Life of President Woodrow Wilson



Warren G. Harding Warren G. Harding (1865-1923)

Teacher Guides

  • Biographical Vignette on Warren G. Harding
  • Booknotes interview with Robert Ferrell on his book, The Strange Deaths of President Harding


Calvin Coolidge Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

Teacher Guides

  • Booknotes interview with Robert Sobel on his book, Coolidge: An American Enigma
  • The Life of President Calvin Coolidge


Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover (1874-1964)

Teacher Guides: Biography


Franklin D. Roosevelt Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)

Teacher Guide
Video Clip List

  • Booknotes Interview with Historian Betty Boyd Caroli on her book, The Roosevelt Women
  • BOOK TV Interview with Betty Boyd Caroli on her book, The Roosevelt Women.
  • BOOK TV Interview on A Picture Book of Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Beacon in the White House


Harry Truman Harry S. Truman (1884-1972)

Video Clip List
Teacher Guides

  • BOOK TV Teacher guide interview with Harold I. Gullan on the book, The Upset That Wasn't: Harry Truman And The Crucial Election Of 1948.
  • BOOK TV interview with David McCullough on his book, Truman: A Life and History: A Source of Strength

Student Activities
Access tips and activities from Frances Bailey Wood's class:



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John F. Kennedy John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

Teacher Guides

  • The Life and Policy of President John F. Kennedy
  • John F. Kennedy: Party Affiliation and Political Groups
  • Booknotes interview with Christopher Matthews on the book, Kennedy and Nixon: The Rivalry That Shaped Postwar America


Lyndon Johnson Lyndon Johnson (1908-1973)

Teacher Guides

  • Biographical Vignette on Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Booknotes interview with Jeff Shesol on the book, Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud that Defined a Decade.
  • Booknotes interview with Jon Margolis on the book, The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964

Other Resources:
The Lyndon Johnson White House Tapes



Richard Nixon Richard Nixon (1913-1994)

Teacher Guides

  • A Look at Watergate
  • Booknotes interview with Monica Crowley on the book, Nixon Off the Record: His Commentary on the book, People and Politics.
  • Booknotes interview with Christopher Matthews on the book, Kennedy and Nixon: The Rivalry That Shaped Postwar America

Student Activities



Gerald R. Ford Gerald R. Ford (1913-?)

Teacher Guide: Biography



Jimmy Carter Jimmy Carter (1924-?)

Teacher Guide: Biography

Ideas and Activities:
A Field Trip to Jimmy Carter National Historic Site


Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan (1911-?)

Teacher Guides

  • BOOK TV interview with Dinesh D'Souza on his book, Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader
  • Booknotes interview with Marlin Fitzwater on his book, Call the Briefing


George Bush George Bush (1924-?)

Teacher Guides

  • Booknotes interview with Marlin Fitzwater on the book, Call the Briefing
  • Life Portrait of George Bush


Bill Clinton Bill Clinton (1946-?)

Teacher Guides

  • The Clinton Presidency - A Research Paper
    Teacher Guide was provided by Champion Teacher Steve Armstrong from Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL.

  • Booknotes interview with Columnist Molly Ivins on her book, You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You: Politics in the Clinton Years

  • Booknotes interview with Journalist Roger Simon on his book, Showtime: The American Political Circus and the Race for the White House

  • Booknotes interview with Bill Clinton on his book, Between Hope & History

  • Booknotes interview with David Maraniss on his book, First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton

  • Booknotes interview with Steven Waldman on his book, The Bill: How the Adventures of Clinton's National Service Bill.

  • Booknotes interview with Elizabeth Drew on her book, On the Edge: The Clinton Presidency

  • Booknotes interview with Paul Greenberg on his book No Surprises: Two Decades of Clinton Watching


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