January 20th, 2021

Lessons and stories from Inauguration Day

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States as his wife Jill Biden holds a bible on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque


PBS NewsHour EXTRA has produced a number lessons and stories about Inauguration Day and the transition of power, which you can find below. These lessons and links will inform students about the transition and challenge them to think about both the present moment and the future.


You can also check out NewsHour’s guide to Inauguration Day here for clips and stories about the inauguration. The full inaugural speech below is 22 minutes long.

Ask your students: In what ways do you think Biden’s speech signals change from the previous administration?


Today or over the next few days, you can use these lessons alone or together. The first lesson asks students to closely read inaugural poet Amanda Gorman’s work and write a response poem. The next two provide a history of the inauguration, the traditions involved and ask students to write their own inaugural addresses. You can also use this wonderful Pear Deck slide presentation based on EXTRA inaugural lesson material.

Lesson Plan: Discuss 22-year-old Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem “The Hill We Climb”

You can watch Gorman deliver the inaugural poem here:

Lesson Plan: History of presidential inaugurations and how to plan your own ceremony

Lesson Plan: Write your own presidential inauguration speech

You can also use this classroom resource based on A Student Reporting Labs special that asked students what comes next after the inauguration, and what hopes they have for the future.

Inauguration special: Gen Z discuss hopes for the future of democracy





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