Leveled Lesson Ideas for Presidents’ Day
Four Score and Seven CERCAs ago…
So President Lincoln didn’t exactly use the CERCA Framework to write the Gettysburg Address. However, he delivered a powerful argument that day to a public that had grown tired of the conflict in their country. In two minutes, the president restored the public’s faith in the United States and the efforts of the Civil War.
While addressing the crowd at the National Cemetery of Gettysburg, President Lincoln reminded the audience of the principles upon which the Founding Fathers built this country: freedom and equality. Citing the Declaration of Independence, Lincoln reassured the nation of the war’s progress and reasoned with the sacrifices of those who gave their lives to the cause. The Gettysburg Address is just one reason why Lincoln is remembered as one of the best orators of all time.
The ability to speak persuasively and effectively is a common strength nearly all presidents of the United States have possessed. From the annual State of the Union to times of crisis, it is the duty of national leaders to lay out sound arguments for citizens on a daily basis.
With the upcoming elections for our 45th president later this year, it is important to identify what makes a good president as we assess the candidates vying for the top spot. As the Founders intended, it is not only our right, but our civic duty to vote.
Free Close Reading Lessons
- Founding Father How did Ben Franklin influence the founding of the United States? (Grades 3-5; CCSS.CCRA.R.8)
- Grant at Shiloh How did Ulysses S. Grant change the Civil War? (Grades 3-5; CCSS.CCRA.R.8)
- Money Factory How did America's first mint operate? (Grades 6-8; CCSS.CCRA.R.6)
- Off to Blab School What details does the author use to make a convincing argument that Lincoln's brief formal education shaped the man he became? (Grades 6-8; CCSS.CCRA.R.4)
- Alphabet Agencies How did the New Deal programs save the United States? (Grades 6-8; CCSS.CCRA.R.4)
- A Legacy for the Future How did President Truman break down racial barriers in the United States? (Grades 6-8; CCSS.CCRA.R.8)
- A Real Political Animal How have pets played a part in U.S. presidential history? (Grades 6-8; CCSS.CCRA.R.1)
- Tracing a Line from the First Black Slave to the First Black President Why is President Barack Obama’s heritage important to America’s history? (Grades 9-10; CCSS.CCRA.R.4)
- The TV of 1963 Responded as Well as It Could to the Assassination How did the relatively new technology of television affect the nation’s understanding of President Kennedy’s assassination? (Grades 11-12; CCSS.CCRA.R.4)
- The 1936 Berlin Olympics Boycott Debate Should the United States have boycotted the 1936 Berlin Olympics? (Grades 11-12; CCSS.CCRA.R.1)
Applied Argumentative Writing Lessons
- What Happened Next? How did George Washington's actions and accomplishments help create a strong country? (Grade 4; CCSS.RI.4.1; CCSS.W.4.1)
- Stock Market Crash How do the author's word choices help clarify the causes and effects of the Great Depression? (Grade 4; CCSS.RI.4.4; CCSS.W.4.2)
- Multiday Informational Text: "John F. Kennedy and the Space Race" and "50 Years Ago Today, JFK Explained Why `We Choose to Go to the Moon'" How do the details in the first article about how Kennedy made his decision to send U.S. astronauts to the moon affect a reader's understanding of the inspiring speech quoted in the second article? (Grade 6; CCSS.RI.6.9; CCSS.W.6.1)
- Whiskey Rebellion Proclamation and The Whiskey Rebellion How did civilians change legislation through the Whiskey Rebellion? (Grade 9-10; CCSS.RH.9-10.1; CCSS.WHST.9-10.1)
- The Mode of Electing the President Why do some argue that the Electoral College is needed in American democracy? (Grade 9-10; CCSS.RH.9-10.4; CCSS.WHST.9-10.2)
- The Fries Rebellion of 1799 Historical Marker and Advertisement Extraordinary!!! Was President Adams’s pardon for those who participated in Fries's Rebellion justified or not? (Grade 11-12; CCSS.R.11-12.2; CCSS.WHST.11-12.1)
- An Excerpt from The Constitution of the United States and President George Washington's Farewell Address What are the characteristics of a good president according to the texts? (Grade 11-12; CCSS.R.11-12.5; CCSS.WHST.11-12.1)
Differentiated Lesson Sets for Grades 4-12
- Conflict and Character How do different characters respond to conflict? (CCSS.CCRA.R.6; CCSS.W.1)
- Electoral College Should we continue to use the Electoral College as part of the process of electing a President in the United States? (CCSS.CCRA.R.4; CCSS.W.2)
- Perseverance How do we overcome challenges in our country, our communities, and our lives?(CCSS.CCRA.R.3; CCSS.W.2)
- Overcoming Obstacles How do characters develop as they face conflicts and overcome obstacles? (CCSS.CCRA.W.3; CCSS.W.3)