federal government

Inauguration Lesson Plans


About Alan Haskvitz


January 20th is Inauguration Day and a great way to get students involved in a teachable moment. Also, here are some Martin Luther King Day lessons, too.

Martin Luther King Jr. Lessons, Links, and Ideas


Here are some excellent inauguration lessons for all levels.

President’s Day lessons.

A huge number of good resources are posted here.


Presidential Lessons


Abraham Lincoln Resources


InexpensiveAmerican school and district computers and servers that run free software


Federal Government Resources for Educators: Ask What Your Country is Doing for You


There is very little more frustrating than trying to get good resources from the Federal Department of Education’s website. Besides the difficult to read font and the constant promoting of NCLB and Secretary Spelling’s latest comments, the site lacks that teacher’s touch that would give some indication of why this information is important and how it could be used.

Nevertheless, you are paying for it and by golly, you need to use it because there is a lot at this site and that includes grants, summer opportunities, lesson plans, free booklets, and research.

I also added a section at the end of this column where you can compare how the United States related to other countries in terms of spending on education as well as the performance of each state and its ranking in various areas of pupil performance and allocation of funding.

Department of Education Related Resource Links

Here are some of the more useful links that I dragged out of the site as well as others that are related to it.

A very large link site to most free materials offered by the government


Free lessons by subject area

A very uneven listing of resources of which some are excellent. Loaded with primary documents of lessons for more high achieving students.


A site that helps districts show how technology could be used and has been used. A tool kit that every district should check.


Subscribe to education newsletters

There are a variety of them, but most of them read like propaganda for NCLB. Worth a look, but don’t expect it to be easy to find. Perhaps the best one has teacher updates


The Math Panel

This site provides examples of programs that have shown progress in raising math scores.


What works is a clearinghouse of programs the government has cited that work. You can build your own database. Again, not easy to use.


Education research

Better known as ERIC, this is a very good place not only for research, but also for finding new ideas and avoiding reinventing the wheel.


Free publications.

Especially good for ordering booklets for parents to use.


Here is the top ten list: Very worthwhile


A student guide to government resources for older students.


Constitution Day Lessons and Resources


Federal reserve lessons and free resources

For teaching economics and banking, these materials are again, very uneven in quality. But, they are free and some are quite worthwhile.


A good federal resource on teaching economics through baseball.


US Mint Online Teaching Games

For younger students. Very good way to get them interested.


The Department of Education Budget and Comparisons to Other Nations

The federal government is not a big player when it comes to funding education where it is left to state and local agencies to provide about 91 percent of the funding. Of course, statistics are made for manipulation and so that remaining percentage equates to a $68 billion dollar budget. On the other hand that only represent about 2.3 percent of the federal budget and pales when compared to the defense budget of $711 billion. Most of this goes to Title 1 grants, about $14.3 billion.

Worldwide spending on education



This is an interesting graph that shows the difference between spending for defense and education.


Education spending by the GNP of the country is also of note.


A revealing site is this one that provides general data about how each state ranks in a variety of categories from funding to reading levels.


President’s Day lessons and activities.

A great variety for all levels. Lots of fun ideas, too.






Lincoln and Washington and more


Famous Supreme Court decisions


Studying these cases and learning about the Constitution are essential parts of most every grade level curriculum. These sites provide a diverse array of teacher friendly lessons that can be used or changed to reflect the appropriate learning level.

Supreme Court decisions that deal with teaching.

A must read for all educators.


The Supreme Court site

As dull as can be with sophisticated materials hidden if you use the search engine. If you can’t fall asleep visit this site.


A terrific site with all the major Supreme Court decisions and lesson plans available.


A link site to many lessons about the Supreme Court and its decisions


Constitution Day resoruces


Evolution and the Law

This resource has many links to this continuing legal discussion.


Religion in Supreme Court decisions


Students’ rights under the law

Very good for getting interest in this subject




Jim Crow laws and the Constitution

Relates to Civil Rights through the ages.


A very simple interactive site about the Court


Nice site with useful graphics on checks and balances.


A valuable stie that has a long list of decisins and simple explanations of them. A good place to find cases for a debate.


The Constitution Center

This search engine has a lot of good resources.


Supreme Court Historical Society

Some good materials, but too sophisticated for elementary.


Thurgood Marshall




Congress for Kids

A variety of lessons for younger students


Hear actual Supreme Court cases

Very interesting site


Find Law

This huge site enables students to find information about all types of cases. Teachers need to use site to find materials. Too difficult for younger students.


African American related cases


Constitutional Rights Foundation


Center for Civic Education


Statistics of all types are located here. 

 The first is a great site that has all types of data including a life span calculator. It can also calculate by the year, month, and day the world’s death rate, birth rate, number of accidents, and much more. 

The site is dramatic in its overwhelming amount of data including how the military debt is rising each day.


 Are you an average teacher?


Immigration statistics through history


 Labor statistics


Bureau of Labor statistics


 Environmental statistics by country


Global statistics


SUV Death Rate Continues to Climb

For more reviews go to


For all manufacture websites go to http://www.reacheverychild.com/business/auto/index.html

The worst possible car for a young driver is a SUV. The worst possible car for any driver is a SUV. The reason is simple; they are unsafe at any speed. They block visibility for others, and they take longer to stop. The only good thing is that the government has mandated that all SUVs have mandatory stability controls by 2012.

Why do you think the government, the Republican dominated federal government, made that declaration in the face of its major political backers, the cavet emptor vehicle manufactures? The answer is written in hospital rooms and graveyards all over the nation. Top-heavy SUVs have the highest death rates in one vehicle accidents of any car. The stability control system will help the driver overcome the SUVs tendency to flop over.

What is even worse is that some SUV owners have decided that having larger tires and rims on their vehicles make them more attractive. By and large they place more weight on the wheel bearings, reduce fuel mileage in town, and have longer stopping distances. If the tires are wider, and these types of tires usually have a short life span, they can result in aquaplaning. This is a condition in which the tire loses contact with the pavement as a layer of water comes between the tire’s contact patch and the road. Call it water skiing in a 6000-pound, uncontrollable deathmobile.

In many parts of the country there are signs posted that vehicles that weigh over 6000 pounds cannot drive on residential streets. Hummer H2s, Lincoln Navigators, Ford Expeditions, and Chevrolet Suburbans fit this description. They are breaking down the roads with their weight, let alone being a danger to society


Now not all SUVs are as dangerous. The crossovers with stability control are much better and recommended. But, do you really need a SUV? Do you need the higher fuel and insurance and maintenance costs?

Also consider the resale value. They are now discounting Hummer H2s by $12,000. That means if you bought one of these un-American vehicles you have already lost nearly 40 percent of its MSRP after a year. Very few cars lose value that quickly.

Some people don’t worry about fuel because they don’t drive a lot. However, since most of the USA’s petroleum is imported it makes no sense to use this as a reason to justify buying a vehicle that is not needed.

Make a safe choice. Go with the crossover SUV with stability control if you need one in the first place.

Independence Day Lessons

By National Motivational Speaker Alan Haskvitz


Patriot lesssons and links


Revolutionary War and related links


Links to Founding Fathers


President Lessons and Links


Myth and Truth about Independence Day



An elementary lesson

More on America than Independence Day, but has some good team ideas.


Nice collection of ideas, but lots of ads


Liberty Bell lessons


Declaration of Independence and the student

An integrated lesson that would appeal to capble students


Clip Art


Primary Crafts and coloring pages


Independence Day

Drafting of the Declaration of Independence and  primary documents from the Constitutional Convention, and why July 4 has been celebrated since 1776


National Mall and Memorial Parks

The Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, Ford’s Theatre, the  Franklin Roosevelt Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and other links from the National Park Service.


Large link site


Primary document links and more



United States Government Site

Your taxes in action.



Historical Dcouments


Nice listing of historic documents

For very advanced students.


Fireworks safety links








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