So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George

Teacher Guide by Ashley Trudeau

Find this Common Core aligned Teacher Guide and more like it in our Elementary School Category!

So You Want to be President Lesson Plans

Student Activities for So You Want to Be President? Include:

In Judith St. George’s celebration of 42 presidents, So You Want to Be President? (The Revised and Updated Edition), she delivers a comprehensive guide to our past leaders’ lives and time in office. Hilariously illustrated by David Small, this book will engage young researchers looking to learn more about our presidents.

So You Want to Be President? Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

So You Want to Be President? Vocabulary Lesson Plan

Copy Assignment

Another great way to engage your students is by creating a storyboard that uses vocabulary from So You Want to Be President?

In this activity, students demonstrate their understanding of vocabulary words using sentences and corresponding images with a spider map. Students may be provided the vocabulary words, or they can use words that they have discovered through their reading of the text. The sentences and images validate the understanding of the word and the context that it was used in the novel.

Here is a list of a few vocabulary words commonly taught with the story:


adj. having too much pride in your looks; ability, etc.

"Tall, short, fat, thin, talkative, quiet, vain, humble, lawyer, teacher or soldier - this is what most of our Presidents have tried to do, each in his own way."


n. a statement of the basic principles and laws of a nation, state, or group, such as the U.S. Constitution

"Though the Constitution says you'll have to wait until you're thirty-five, young, old, and in-between have become President."


n. a solemn promise

"Every single president has taken this oath..."

Some other vocabulary words that can be used are: howling, humble, politics, responsibility, solemnly, execute, priority, capital, capitol, and clerks.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)

Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of the vocabulary words in So You Want to Be President? by creating visualizations.

  1. Choose three vocabulary words from the story and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary.
  3. Write a sentence that uses the vocabulary word.
  4. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Copy Assignment

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Pros and Cons of Being a President | T-Chart Graphic Organizer

In this activity, students will make a list of the pros and cons of being the president of the United States. So You Want to Be President? describes many reasons why it would be a good idea to be president and many reasons why it wouldn’t. Students can compile a list of pros and cons from textual evidence alone, by researching on the internet, or in other books. Using the T-Chart, students will list and illustrate the pros in one column and the cons in the other.

Here is an example:


  • lives in the White House
  • has a pool, bowling alley, and movie theater
  • doesn’t have to eat yucky vegetables


  • always has to be dressed up
  • can’t go anywhere alone
  • people get mad at you
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President Facts

So You Want to Be President? describes many attributes, facts, and tidbits of information about the presidents. In this activity, student will illustrate facts they have found about a specific president. Students can find information using the textual evidence, on the internet, or in other books.

Here is an example for Abraham Lincoln:

  • He was the tallest president at 6 feet 4 inches.
  • He was the first president to have a full beard.
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Presidential Facts Text Evidence

Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

To keep readers engaged, St. George, added in many unique facts about different presidents. In this activity, students will find interesting characteristics/facts about the presidents and illustrate them using a traditional storyboard. They will also provide textual evidence of the characteristic or fact.

Here is an example:

Many presidents had pets:

  • Dogs - F.D. Roosevelt, Hoover, Bush
  • Horse - Grant
  • Goat - Harrison
  • Raccoon - Coolidge

"Theodore Roosevelt's children didn't just have pets, they ran a zoo. They had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, snakes, mice, rats, badgers, raccoons, parrots, and a Shetland pony called Algonquin."

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President Timeline Biography

In this activity, students will research presidents from a specific period of time. Using the Timeline storyboard, students can map out when each president held office. You can give students time frames of 20, 50, or even 100 years. Students can use the index in the back of So You Want to Be President?, to find out when each president held office and an interesting fact about them.

The example below shows the presidents from a 20 year time frame, 1900-1920. Written in the description box is the information found in the index, but you could have students use the internet to research each specific president and find out facts about their time in office.

Here is an example:

William McKinley

  • President from 1897-1901
  • Born in Niles, Ohio, 1843
  • Died 1901 - William McKinley was assassinated after the United States acquired overseas territory by winning the Spanish-American War.
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A Quick Synopsis of So You Want to Be President?

Being the President of the United States is a tough job. This informative book tells the reader what it takes to be president, while delving into how our past presidents have stayed true to themselves, and their unique personalities while in office.

So You Want to be President? introduces the Presidency and the men who have filled the office, from George Washington to George W. Bush. However, the book is not organized chronologically. The presidents are grouped and explained in amusing ways. One page contains all the presidents who grew up in log cabins. Other pages compare presidents by spending habits, looks, and physical size. Still other pages go into the presidents’ extracurricular activities. St. George shows that the men who have held office are still human and have many quirks, flaws, and accomplishments.

What makes the book even more enjoyable are the hilarious caricatures of our presidents by David Small.

If you are looking for a book about presidents that entices readers through humor, illustrations, and political facts, then this is the book for you.

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Prefer a different language?

•   (English) So You Want to Be President?   •   (Español) ¿Quieres ser Presidente?   •   (Français) Alors Vous Voulez Être Président?   •   (Deutsch) Du Willst Also Präsident Sein?   •   (Italiana) Così si Vuole per Essere Presidente?   •   (Nederlands) So You Wanna Be President?   •   (Português) Então Você Quer ser Presidente?   •   (עברית) אז אתה רוצה להיות נשיא?   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) إذن أنت تريد أن يكون الرئيس؟   •   (हिन्दी) तो आप राष्ट्रपति बनना चाहते हैं?   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Так что вы Хотите Быть Президентом?   •   (Dansk) Så du Ønsker at Være Præsident?   •   (Svenska) Så du Vill bli President?   •   (Suomi) Joten Haluat Olla Presidentti?   •   (Norsk) Så du Ønsker å bli President?   •   (Türkçe) Yani Başkan Olmak İstiyorsun?   •   (Polski) Chcesz być Prezesem?   •   (Româna) Deci, Vrei să fii Președinte?   •   (Ceština) Takže Chcete být Prezident?   •   (Slovenský) Takže Chcete byť Prezidentom?   •   (Magyar) Tehát azt Szeretnénk, Hogy Elnök?   •   (Hrvatski) Želite li Biti Predsjednik?   •   (български) Искате ли да Бъдете Президент?   •   (Lietuvos) Taigi jūs Norite Būti Prezidentas?   •   (Slovenščina) Torej Hočeš Biti Predsednik?   •   (Latvijas) Tātad jūs Vēlaties būt Prezidents?   •   (eesti) Nii et sa Tahad Olla President?