News, Politics

Obama “Officially” President Again

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Image: Pete Souza
Barack Obama is seen here talking with the Inaugural National Citizen Co-Chairs in the Oval Office on January 18, 2013. Image: Pete Souza

Barack Obama was “sworn in” as president of the United States on Sunday. It’s his second term as president. A term is four years; because he won the election in November, he is slated to serve another four years.

Obama was sworn in by taking an “oath of office.” An oath of office is a promise he makes in accepting the job of U.S. president. In taking the oath, he promised to “faithfully execute the office of president of the United States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States so help me God.”

Obama put his left hand on a bible and held up his right hand as he said the oath out loud.

The oath was sworn in front of John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the United States. His wife, Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, were with him while he took the oath, as well as some family members and reporters.

His vice-president, Joe Biden, was also sworn in on Sunday for his second term as vice-president.

According to the U.S. constitution, Obama and Biden had to be officially sworn in by Jan. 20.

There will be an even bigger event, and another swearing-in ceremony, on Monday as nearly 800,000 Americans will gather in Washington for a huge celebration. Beyonce will sing the National Anthem and the band Fun will perform. There will also be parades and a black-tie ball.

Monday is also an American holiday: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American civil rights activist; he led peaceful protests in order to gain rights for African-Americans. He is famous for the powerful “I Had A Dream” speech he gave in 1963. In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39.

Obama said he will be thinking about Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
What do you think is the significance of the first African-American president being sworn in (for the second time) on Martin Luther King Jr., Day?

Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
American politics are different than Canadian politics in many ways. Using today’s article to spark your thinking, create a list of these differences.

Primary
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge and experience, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Junior
Extend understanding of texts by con- necting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Intermediate
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Grammar Feature: Quotation Marks
Quotation marks are punctuation marks that can be used in many different ways. Today, we’ll look at two.

Quotation marks can show the reader a direct quote. For example, quotation marks are used below because they tell the reader the exact words that President Obama spoke,

In taking the oath, he promised to “faithfully execute the office of president of the United States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States so help me God.”

Another way quotation marks can be used is to show that the words within the quotation marks are being used in a non-standard way. In other words, to signal the reader that the words within quotation marks mean something different than they normally do. This is seen in the examples below,

Barack Obama was “sworn in” as president of the United States on Sunday.

Obama was sworn in by taking an “oath of office.”

Write two sentences that include examples of direct quotes and two sentences that include examples of words that are used in a non-standard way. Be sure to include quotation marks and to put them in the right place.