Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Barack Obama, and supports the standard of understanding how individuals have contributed to social change in the United States. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Ask students:

  • What do you already know about the life of a U.S. president?
  • What do you know about President Barack Obama?


  • Read the description on the Barack Obama topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Assign Related Reading. Have students read one of the following articles: “Arts and Entertainment” or “Politics” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign Barack Obama Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about Barack Obama while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a mini-documentary describing one or more challenges from Obama’s presidency and how he overcame them. Include details about how his actions impacted American society. 
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map identifying Obama’s key policies, and explain their impact on the U.S. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a digital museum exhibit featuring symbols and events that represent Obama’s presidential legacy. 
  • Primary Source Activity: Watch a video of Obama debating as a member of the U.S. Senate, then cite details to answer the accompanying questions.

More to Explore 

Time Zone X: Barack Obama: Place historical events in chronological order in this interactive timeline game.

Sortify: U.S. Presidents: ​​Challenge players to sort by attributes, such as political party, type of achievements, and more in this learning game. 

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of Barack Obama’s presidency with these topics: Presidential Power, Political Parties, and Recession.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments