President Theodore Roosevelt: Foreign Policy Statesman or Bully?

Can a negative perception of a president's foreign policy harm his or her historical legacy? A project that winds the clock back to the date of Theodore Roosevelt's death puts students at the editorial desk of a fictional newspaper. After researching, analyzing, and debating his foreign policy record, they decide whether or not Roosevelt's foreign policy affected his overall record as president.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Use extension activities as final projects or extra credit assignments
  • Invite a journalist come to class to join in the discussion before the debate begins
Classroom Considerations

  • Lesson is designed for Common Core literacy standards for social studies, but is applicable to speaking and listening standards as well
  • Requires three class periods for the lesson, and then another week of homework and/or classroom for the project
  • Assumes that learners know the format of an obituary; if they don't, bring in some examples
  • Based on Ken Burns' documentary The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, and provides relevant video clips
Pros

  • Provides an option for a shorter version of the lesson
  • Lesson promotes critical thinking and purposeful research
Cons

  • None