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American Presidency Lesson Plans (Grades 10-12)
Grade Range: 10-12
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities
Duration: 380 minutes
Date Posted: 12/17/2012
Studying the presidency offers students a new way to explore the democratic political process and to expand their understanding of how this process has shaped the nation's history and continues to influence their own lives. What does it mean to be the president of the United States of America? What is the relationship of the presidency to the American people? The activities included in this section, many of which are based on primary sources, are designed to supplement your American history curriculum and to challenge students to tackle sophisticated questions and issues.
This package of lessons addresses campaigns and elections, roles and responsibilities, limits of power, assassination and mourning, and communicating the presidency. Each topic includes teacher background information and student activities, while some topics also include supporting primary sources.
United States History Standards (Grades 5-12)
Era 3: Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1820s)
2: The impact of the American Revolution on politics, economy, and society
3: The institutions and practices of government created during the Revolution and how they were revised between 1787 and 1815 to create the foundation of the American political system based on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights
Era 4: Expansion and Reform (1801-1861)
2: How the industrial revolution, increasing immigration, the rapid expansion of slavery, and the westward movement changed the lives of Americans and led toward regional tensions
3: The extension, restriction, and reorganization of political democracy after 1800
4: The sources and character of cultural, religious, and social reform movements in the antebellum period
Era 5: Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877)
Era 6: The Development of the Industrial United States (1870-1900)
2: Massive immigration after 1870 and how new social patterns, conflicts, and ideas of national unity developed amid growing cultural diversity
3: The rise of the American labor movement and how political issues reflected social and economic changes
4: Federal Indian policy and United States foreign policy after the Civil War
Era 7: The Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930)
Era 8: The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)
2: How the New Deal addressed the Great Depression, transformed American federalism, and initiated the welfare state
3: The causes and course of World War II, the character of the war at home and abroad, and its reshaping of the U.S. role in world affairs
Era 9: Postwar United States (1945 to early 1970s)
Era 10: Contemporary United States (1968 to the present)
Historical Thinking Standards (Grades 5-12)
Historical Thinking Standard 1: Chronological Thinking
1B: Identify the temporal structure of a historical narrative or story.
1C: Establish temporal order in constructing students' own historical narratives.
1D: Measure and calculate calendar time.
1E: Interpret data presented in time lines.
1F: Reconstruct patterns of historical succession and duration; explain historical continuity and change.
1G: Compare alternative models for periodization.
Historical Thinking Standard 2: Historical Comprehension
2B: Reconstruct the literal meaning of a historical passage.
2C: Identify the central question(s) the historical narrative addresses.
2D: Differentiate between historical facts and historical interpretations.
2E: Read historical narratives imaginatively.
2F: Appreciate historical perspectives.
2G: Draw upon data in historical maps.
2H: Utilize visual, mathematical, and quatitative data.
2I: Draw upon the visual, literary, and musical sources.
Historical Thinking Standard 3: Historical Analysis and Interpretation
3B: Consider multiple perspectives.
3C: Analyze cause-and-effect relationships.
3D: Draw comparisons across eras and regions in order to define enduring issues.
3E: Distinguish between unsupported expressions of opinion and informed hypotheses grounded in historical evidence.
3F: Compare competing historical narratives.
3G: Challenge arguments of historical inevitability.
3H: Hold interpretations of history as tentative.
3I: Evaluate major debates among historians.
3J: Hypothesize the influence of the past.
Historical Thinking Standard 4: Historical Research Capabilities
4B: Obtain historical data from a variety of sources.
4C: Interrogate historical data.
4D: Identify the gaps in the available records, marshal contextual knowledge and perspectives of the time and place.
4E: Employ quantitative analysis.
4F: Support interpretations with historical evidence.