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1.2 Identify the current President of the United States, describe what presidents do, and explain that they get their authority from a vote by the people.


Current President: Barack Obama

Barack Obama
Barack Obama
For a child-oriented perspective on presidential duties, click here.



What Does the President Do?
-The President is the leader of the government
-The President meets with leaders from other countries
-The President helps make agreements with other countries
-The President is in charge of the armed forces
-The President helps create laws

Who Can Be President?
Anyone who:
-Is at least 35 years old
-Was born in the United States
-Has lived in the United States for at least 14 years

How Do You Become President?
-The candidate (the person who wants to be in the government) has to be nominated by his/her political party (a group of people with similar ideas and goals for the government)
-There are usually two candidates from different political parties who compete for votes
-He/she travels the country to meet people, and share their plans and ideas for the future
-On election day in November, American citizens who are at least 18 years old vote for who they want to be President
-The candidate with the most votes will become President-elect, meaning he or she will become President the next January
-This means that the people chose who runs the government
-The winner is President for four years
-He/she can run for President one more time
-This means that he/she can be President for a limit of eight years

Discussion Questions for the Students:
-What makes someone a good President?
-What would you do if you were President?
- Why should you vote?
-What is the best/worst part about being President?


lessonplan.jpgClick here for lesson plans to teach kids about elections
lessonplan.jpgClick here for PBS Kids "The Democracy Project" to teach kids about being President, the importance of voting, and how the government works.


game_icon.svg.pngClick here for a game called "If You Were President" from Scholastic Kids.

game_icon.svg.pngClick here for a game called "President For a Day" from PBS kids.


Book Suggestion: What Does the President Do? by Amanda Miller is geared specifically towards grades 1 and 2.



Follow Barack Obama on Facebook


white-house-residence_w725_h420.jpg
The White House, the home of the President