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CNN Student News Learning Activity: Presidential Inaugurations

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  • Students will learn about presidential inaugurations and their history
  • Students will complete a scavenger hunt to answer inauguration trivia questions
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(CNN Student News) -- Students will embark on an inauguration scavenger hunt to learn about some of the unique moments in U.S. presidential inauguration history.


Challenge groups of students to undertake an inauguration scavenger hunt. Give groups a specific amount of time to research the answers to the following questions, noting that they must cite their sources.

  1. Who was the first and only president to walk to and from his inauguration?
  2. Which president gave the shortest inaugural address? Who gave the longest?
  3. Who was the first vice president to assume the presidency due to the death of a president?
  4. In whose inaugural parade did African-Americans participate for the first time?
  5. Who was the first president whose mother was present at his inauguration?
  6. Which president had the oath of office administered to him by his father?
  7. Whose inauguration was the first to be televised?
  8. Who was the only president to take the oath of office aboard an airplane?
  9. Whose inauguration was the coldest inauguration day on record?
  10. Whose inauguration was the first to be broadcast on the Internet?

When time is up, have groups share their answers and sources. Offer a reward to the group(s) who have answered the most questions accurately. Next, help students add more questions and answers to create an "Inauguration Trivia" game, and present it to your school's media center.

Correlated Standards

Social Studies

VI. Power, Authority and Governance Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of how people create and change structures of power, authority, and governance.

The Curriculum Standards for Social Studies ( ) are published by the National Council for Social Studies (


3. Research and Information Fluency Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Students:

a. plan strategies to guide inquiry.

b. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.

c. evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.

d. process data and report results.

The National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Students ( are published by the International Society for Technology in Education (

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