This page contains information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about the President. The information is designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. movie President. It explains the type of content covered in the movie, provides ideas for how teachers and parents can develop related understandings, and suggests how other BrainPOP Jr. resources can be used to scaffold and extend student learning.

Remind your children that a president is the leader of a group, company, or government. The president of the United States is an elected leader who has many responsibilities, including creating policies, leading the armed forces, and meeting with world leaders to discuss issues. The president also plays an important role in the law-making process. The Constitution of the United States was established to create a new system of government and outlines the responsibilities of the judicial, legislative, and executive branches. Remind your children that the president is the head of the executive branch. We recommend watching the Local and State Government movie together as a review.

Review with your children that before the United States was even a country, there were thirteen colonies that were under British rule. It may be helpful to identify the thirteen colonies and England on a map to show the vast distance between North America and England. The colonists no longer wanted to be ruled by a faraway monarch and wanted to establish their own system of government independent from England. They wanted to elect their own leaders and make their own decisions about taxes and welfare. A group of leaders drafted the Constitution to outline a new government and soon the United States of America was born. The Constitution explains a system of checks and balances and describes the role of the president. We recommend reviewing BrainPOP’s Constitution movie and other movies in the U.S. History unit. You may wish to screen a few of these movies for enrichment or have your children explore them independently.

The president has many responsibilities and your children should understand that the president does not have absolute power. Many decisions are made after approvals from all three branches of the government. Explain that Congress can suggest and discuss a bill and then vote to pass it. If the bill is passed, it gets sent to the White House. If the president passes and signs the bill, it becomes a law. But the president can also veto, or reject the bill. Then the bill gets sent back to Congress for another vote to override the president’s veto or further discussion and changes can be made to the bill. The president’s veto power is an important part of checks and balances in the United States government.

Other duties of the president include choosing judges to serve on the Supreme Court and leading the armed forces as commander-in-chief. Remind your children that the armed forces include the army, navy, air force, marines, and coast guard. The president also creates policies, or plans for the whole country to follow. For example, some policies might outline standards for cutting down air pollution or outline ways to improve schools. The president also meets with world leaders to discuss issues and make agreements as well as make decisions on how the government will work with other governments.

The president has many responsibilities and he or she gets assistance from the vice president, who can step in to do the job if the president is unable. The Cabinet is made up of a group of experts that specialize in specific areas, such as transportation, education, agriculture, and defense. The president chooses his or her own Cabinet members and relies on them to help make decisions.

Remind your children that a man or woman can be president and he or she can be of any race or religion. The president must be a natural born U.S. citizen, be at least thirty-five years of age, and have lived here for at least fourteen years. People can vote for their president ever four years. This means that a president serves four years at a time, which is called a term. A president can only serve for two terms. This allows others the opportunity to lead the country. Remind your children that a person who runs for an office is called a candidate. During an election, people listen to the candidates and vote for the person they think will do the best job. Have your children think about their school election and discuss the importance of making informed decisions about picking their leaders. Encourage your children to get involved with student and local governments and find ways to be active citizens.

Filed as:  President, Social Studies