President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris will be sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2021. The Presidential Inauguration will be a departure from years past due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still a number of engaging learning opportunities for in-person and virtual students.
The inauguration also comes on the heels of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and students are bound to have questions about the state of our nation’s government, priorities, civil rights, and where things go from here.
Traditionally, the public has been able to attend inaugurations, but people are discouraged from doing so due to COVID-19 restrictions. The ceremony will be broadcast on television news stations and most are expected to also offer a livestream.
1. Discovery Inc. and Discovery Education are partnering to present I Do Solemnly Swear: The U.S. Presidential Inauguration to help educators, students, and families across the United States and around the world explore the rich history and tradition surrounding the Inauguration of the President of the United States. During I Do Solemnly Swear, elementary and middle school students, their teachers, and families will learn about the many distinctive aspects of the Presidential Inauguration. Through a series of interviews, Inaugural experts and historians will share their perspectives and insight, and answer questions such as why we have a Presidential Inauguration, how does a First Family move into the White House during the Presidential Inauguration, and what do the symbols and language of the Presidential Inauguration mean. In addition, a surprise guest is scheduled to appear who will share a special message with students. I Do Solemnly Swear premieres Tuesday, January 19 at 12:00pm ET exclusively on www.discoveryeducation.com.
2. The Library of Congress: Beginning with George Washington, each U.S. president has brought a unique personal history to the nation’s highest office, a different set of priorities, and an inimitable character. In turn, each has put a distinctive stamp on the presidency, and on the nation itself. Taking a close look at the moments in which these leaders first took office can provide rich opportunities to investigate the history of the United States as it has changed over the centuries. It can also provide unique insights into these remarkable individuals as they first stepped into history.
3. The NEA offers Inauguration Day activities based around a range of different focuses, including a look at how inaugurations have changed over time, primary resources from past Presidential Inaugurations, quizzes, and tips to think critically and analyze this year’s event.
4. This Washington Post article offers a look at the basics of January 20th’s events.
5. TeachersPayTeachers features a number of inauguration resources here, too, with a mix of printables and digital resources to suit hybrid, in-person, and virtual learners.
6. HMH’s blog, Shaped, includes a variety of inauguration-related activities, such as speech comparisons, a look at the U.S. Constitution, critical thinking questions, and more.