Writing About Mount Rushmore
Want to learn a little more about a few select presidents this February? Climb the presidential heights of Mt. Rushmore with this Mt. Rushmore writing activity that gets your child up close and personal with four of our country’s greatest leaders.
What You Need:
- Unlined white paper
- Glue stick
- Lined paper
- Internet access
What You Do:
- Have your child look at the official website for Mt. Rushmore National Memorial. He will learn that the giant sculptures are of former U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, and that the carvings were completed in 1941. He will also see photos of the monument. (You can also take a virtual tour via Google Maps.)
- Have your child take the unlined sheet of white paper and lay it so that it is horizontal.
- Have your child fold the sheet into four equal sections. Leave the sheet folded.
- Give your child a pencil to draw an outline of a head-and-shoulder shape on the front of the folded paper.
- Next let him cut out the shape with scissors, through all of the folded paper.
- When he unfolds the paper, he should have four head/shoulder shapes attached (like paper doll chains) to represent Mt. Rushmore.
- Next, he can use the Internet to research some facts about each president. He can write each president’s name and one or two facts about that president under each silhouette shape. If there is not enough room on the white paper, he can cut small pieces of lined paper to glue underneath each picture and write his facts there.
- Ask your child to think about the presidents that came after Theodore Roosevelt, and imagine that a later president will be added to Mt. Rushmore. Which president would he pick and why? Let him write his idea and argument on a sheet of lined paper—it’s not yet “set in stone”!
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.