NEW YORK - As the historic Inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama approaches, Thinkfinity.org is featuring a rich collection of free lesson plans, teacher resources and student activities highlighting many facets of the Inauguration and its significance, and some of the key issues the new president will face.
The educational resources featured on the Thinkfinity.org homepage provide teachers with a wealth of classroom activities on everything from stories of children who grew up in the White House, to an online activity that allows students to determine what priorities they would set as president, to a recording of Barack Obama's 2004 speech that launched him into the national spotlight.
Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation's comprehensive Web site containing more than 55,000 educational resources, including standards-based, grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans, online educational games and videos for teachers, students and parents.
"Through the use of technology and innovative educational resources such as Thinkfinity.org, parents and teachers alike have a tremendous opportunity to increase civic awareness among our students," said Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston. "Verizon is proud to provide these wonderful resources and thousands more through Thinkfinity.org to help inspire today's students and improve student achievement."
Among the free lesson plans, teacher resources and student activites on the presidential inauguration featured on the Thinkfinity.org home page are:
- Presidential Inaugurations: A Capital Parade on a Cold Winter's Day -- This resource from the National Endowment for the Humanities EdSITEment will provide an overview of the history of the Inauguration including information on the first Inauguration, the oath of office and inaugural balls. The resource also includes links to several other related resources. http://edsitement.neh.gov/spotlight.asp?id=154
- All the Presidents' Children -- In this online interactive from Smithsonian's History Explorer, students learn about the lives of many of the children who grew up in the White House, such as who received a dog as a gift from a Soviet premier, and who was nicknamed "Dynamo." http://americanhistory.si.edu/presidency/5a2b.html
- If I Were President -- In this online activity from the Council for Economic Education's EconEdLink, students decide how they would structure the federal government's budget if they were president, determining how much to spend on schools, hospitals, roads, the military and the environment. The activity, along with a complimentary lesson plan, can be found at: http://www.econedlink.org/lessons/index.php?lesson=EM375&page=teacher
- Barack Obama President-elect and Author -- In this resource from the International Reading Association and National Council of Teachers of English's ReadWriteThink.org, students review the works of Barack Obama, specifically focusing on his experiences with media messages and his understanding of his identity. Students are asked to examine the way people of different ages, race and gender are portrayed in the media. http://readwritethink.org/calendar/calendar_day.asp?id=726
- Science at the White House -- In this activity from the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Science NetLinks, students view a video of President-elect Obama discussing plans to hold White House events on such topics as space exploration and physics to raise awareness of the importance of science and inspire a sense of discovery. Students then participate in an online poll to offer topic suggestions. http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/politics/index.cfm
- Say it Plain: A Century of Great African-American Speeches -- In this partner-reviewed resource, students can read and listen to the keynote speech that Barack Obama gave at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and that launched him into the national spotlight. Students can also review speeches of 11 other prominent African-American leaders including Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. and Clarence Thomas. http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/sayitplain/index.html
Content for Thinkfinity.org is provided through a partnership between the Verizon Foundation and 11 of the nation's leading organizations in the fields of education and literacy: the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Council for Economic Education, International Reading Association, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Center for Family Literacy, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Geographic Society, ProLiteracy and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence. In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 80 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,000 and in 2007 generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.