It's March once again and for many basketball fans it can only mean one thing, March Madness! Yes, for three weeks there will be 68 teams that will be competing for the ultimate prize of being called a national champion. As much fun as the tournament can be, wouldn’t it be great if we created a tournament that had educational value so each student can get in on the fun? Wait no longer, because March Madness is being presented to you in a new way today, and I call it the Presidential March Madness!
Our country has had a total of 44 Presidents over the past 200 years. The question that is being presented to you today is who goes down in history as the all-time best? We have a Presidential bracket for you that show 32 of our 44 commander-in-chiefs. For bracket purposes, we had to cut 12 Presidents off the final roster. What you will find left are 32, highly qualified individuals who have led our country. Some served a total of two terms, others led our country during times of economic adversity and war. A few of these great men were also added to the list because of the popularity that they held while in office. There are so many things that make these 32 leaders great but who is truly the best of the best?
The bracket has been broken down into four regions (Air Force One, Oval Office, Commander-In-Chief, and White House) and there are a total of eight Presidents in each bracket. You will find a worksheet for each bracket that contains a list of topics that you must research in order to determine the overall rating of the President. Ultimately, based on your research and opinion, Presidents will either advance to the next round or be ousted from contention. Starting from the round of 32, and working your way to the Final Four, you and your class will eventually recognize one President as the greatest of all time!
This activity can be done as a class, small groups, or individually (depending on the age group). Most importantly, it incorporates learning with some March fun that we have all grown to love! Enjoy the activity and let the madness begin!!! By Brian Botteen