Lesson Plan

Analyzing the Inaugural Address

Curated and Reviewed by Lesson Planet

Get high school historians to step outside their own shoes by responding to JFK's inaugural address from the perspective of a civil rights activist, a soviet diplomat, or a Cuban exile. After a class discussion about the address, the final assessment is a writing to JFK expressing one's thoughts from the perspective of the chosen role. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • There are other roles that could be provocative to include as options (e.g. Nixon supporter)
  • If able, have participants watch a video of the inaugural address to see how Kennedy delivered the speech
Classroom Considerations
  • The address, while short, is dense and can be difficult for some readers; encourage slow, close reading and ensure vocabulary comprehension
  • A thoughtful example of using role-play as a way to see how different audiences might respond to the same speech
  • The timeline and historical background help to set the stage for the address
  • None