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NEA, AFT Team on Lesson Plans for Inauguration

As inauguration fever grips many citizens in this nation, the two teachers' unions are giving teachers some help with bringing the Jan. 20 event into the classroom with a joint offering lesson plans on inaugural history.

The guides, available here are designed to teach students about the history of Inauguration Day, and include information about the 2009 schedule of events and background about traditional inaugural ceremonies. The guides also suggest ways to supplement the lessons with discussion topics, films, books, and other educational Web sites.

Students can, among other activities, compare and contrast the backgrounds of the two presidents from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama, examine the texts of various presidential inaugural addresses, and learn about activities leading up to and during the inauguration.

AFT President Randi Weingarten called the inauguration a "transformational moment that brings together our collective past and present, and our hopes for the future."

"It reminds us more clearly than mere words ever could that power in this country truly rests with the American people. These lesson plans are intended as tools to help teachers and their students live our rich history and build our brighter future. The AFT is proud to have been part of this important project and this historic moment."

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said it is "crucial that our students understand that we are not only living history and making history with this inauguration, but also carrying forward the historical contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his influence on our incoming 44th president.

He continued, "These important lesson plans will help students understand President-elect Obama's message of a 'sense of unity and shared purpose' into the next four years and beyond."

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