The first chapter of Our White House, “Part I. From the Foundation Up,” includes poetry, stories, articles, and illustrations that shed light not only on the planning and construction of the White House, but also its first residents. In Part I you can read an imagined conversation between John and Abigail Adams, discover the role slavery played in building the White House, and learn more about Thomas Jefferson’s interest in paleontology and how that interest helped launch the Lewis and Clark expedition.

If you do not have a copy of Our White House in your classroom or home, please consider checking out a copy from your local library or purchasing one online here.

To print the Education Resource Guide that includes activities and discussion questions regarding the content included in Part I of Our White House, click here.

The table of contents for Part I of Our White House is listed below. To the right of each article or illustration title, in the “Read More” column, are links to relevant, supplemental content on this website to help you expand the educational potential of the book’s contents.

Table of ContentsRead More
Illustration by Bagram Ibatoulline
The White House First Residents
by Jane Yolen
illustrated by Petra Mathers
Testimony of Padraig Tomás Ó’Deoráin: 1801
imagined and illustrated by Mary Brigid Barrett
Slaves Helped Build the White House!
by Walter Dean Myers
Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826
by Milton Meltzer
White House Colonial Kitchen Gardens
by Stephanie Loer
illustrated by S.D. Schindler
Jefferson’s Monstrous Bones
by Barbara Kerley
Presidential Fact Files: Thomas Jefferson
illustration by Brian Selznick
Presidential Fact Files: Thomas Jefferson
An Unusual Guest
by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
illustration by Mike Reagan