Sunday, February 10, 2013

State of the Union Address Scheduled for Tuesday Night

Use the President's Address to Help Young People Connect with Contemporary Events

Tuesday night President Obama will make his state of the union address to Congress. What policies and legislative goals will the president be promoting? Is the state of the union address important? Need we watch? Need our kids watch?

Key topics President Obama discussed in last year's speech were job creation and the need to change the tax code. You can watch the president's 2012 state of the union address on
You can read the text of previous state of the union addresses (back to 1982) on the website of the government printing office.

What might President Obama be proposing for Americans in this year's speech?
Events such as the state of the union address provide a perfect opportunity to continue our dialog about American history and politics with our young people.
Encourage young people to watch the president's address. Watch it with them! When the speech is over, turn off the TV pundits and discuss the speech. What did they think about it? Do they agree with the president's proposals? Why or why not? Take the time to help young people make the connection to their own lives.

Learn more about the constitutional requirements for the state of the union address, plus additional information regarding guests and opposition responses, in the article
"State of the Union Addresses and Messages" on the American Presidency Project website.

Help Young People Make Connections
with Our White House
An excellent resource to consult regarding the presidency, politics, and American history is the NCBLA’s art and literature anthology Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out (Candlewick Press). Our White House seeks to build on the logical links between literacy, historical literacy, and civic engagement. Coordinating activities and discussion suggestions, as well as additional articles, are available on the book's supplemental website: On, learn from a political speech writer how a state of the union address differs from an inaugural address in "Writing Political Speeches: An Interview with Thomas LaFauci.

Also on, discover research tips to help adults guide young people in their quest for knowledge, Presidential facts, tips on visiting the White House, and an extensive guide of additional history websites you can share with young people. 

WIN Copies of Our White House
for EVERY Student in Your Class or Group!
The NCBLA is currently sponsoring the Our White House Book Giveaway, an opportunity for all other adults who live and work with young people to win copies of the interdisciplinary anthology Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out for every student in the winner’s class or group--up to 40 copies! 

To be entered to win, share your most creative activity idea for engaging young people during Presidents Month. Send a one- to three-paragraph summary or a lesson plan that describes your idea to the NCBLA by email ( or by Facebook message ( before 11:00 PM EST Friday, February 22, 2013. Be sure to include complete contact information. 

Up to three winners will be chosen at random from all entries received. For more contest information and rules, go to:

This giveaway is made possible by the generous donation of all books by Candlewick Press. Thank you!