U.S. History: Western Expansion- Tennessee Presidents

Students will analyze primary sources related to the presidencies of Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson in order to answer questions about the major issues of these administrations, the limits of presidential power, and the contributions of these Tennesseans to the presidency. Then they will create presentations on each president to share with the class. 

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
8.43
Explain the causes, course, and consequences of the War of 1812, including the major battles, leaders, events and role of Tennessee:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.3
Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.6
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.4
Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.5
Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.6
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 8 Language...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.6
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.7
Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional...
GLE 0801.2.7
Participate in work teams and group discussions.
GLE 0801.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with an introduction, developing paragraphs, conclusion, and appropriate transitions.
GLE 0801.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
GLE 0801.4.3
Make distinctions about the credibility, reliability, consistency, strengths, and limitations of resources, including information gathered from websites.
SPI 0801.1.19
Recognize and use grade appropriate and/or content specific vocabulary.
SPI 0801.1.2
Identify the correct use of verbs (i.e., action/linking, regular/irregular, agreement, perfect tenses, verb phrases) within context.
SPI 0801.2.4
Determine the most effective methods of engaging an audience during an oral presentation (e.g., making eye contact, adjusting speaking rate).
SPI 0801.2.7
Select the most appropriate strategies for participating productively in a team (e.g., gain the floor in orderly ways, meet or set deadlines for completing each...
SPI 0801.2.8
Identify the functions and responsibilities of individuals within an organized group (i.e., reporter, recorder, information gatherer, leader, timekeeper).
SPI 0801.3.11
Identify individual written selections as technical, narrative, persuasive, and/or descriptive in mode.
SPI 0801.3.5
Select appropriate time-order or transitional words/phrases to enhance the flow of a writing sample.
SPI 0801.3.8
Select vivid words to strengthen a description (adjective or adverb) within a writing sample or passage.
SPI 0801.3.9
Select illustrations, explanations, anecdotes, descriptions and/or facts to support key ideas.
SPI 0801.4.2
Identify levels of reliability among resources (e.g., eyewitness account, newspaper account, supermarket tabloid account, Internet source).
SPI 0801.7.2
Select a visual image that best reinforces a viewpoint or enhances a presentation.
TSS.ELA.8.L.KL.3
When writing and speaking, adjust style and tone to a variety of contexts; when reading or listening, analyze stylistic choices to determine context.
TSS.ELA.8.L.VAU.6
Acquire and accurately use grade-appropriate general academic and domainspecific words and phrases; develop vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or...
TSS.ELA.8.SL.CC.1
Prepare for collaborative discussions on 8th grade level topics and texts; engage effectively with varied partners, building on others' ideas and...
TSS.ELA.8.SL.PKI.4
Present claims and findings in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence; sound, valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye...
TSS.ELA.8.SL.PKI.5
Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and to add interest.
TSS.ELA.8.SL.PKI.6
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
TSS.ELA.8.W.PDW.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
TSS.ELA.8.W.PDW.6
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to collaborate with others; present the relationships between information and...
TSS.ELA.8.W.RBPK.7
Conduct research to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on multiple sources and generating additional related, focused...
TSS.ELA.8.W.TTP.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
TSS.ELA.8.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of...
TSS.ELA.8.W.TTP.3
Write narratives (fiction and nonfiction) to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective techniques, relevant descriptive details, and...
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

The learner will

  • Analyze a set of primary sources to gain an understanding of the major issues of each President’s term(s).
  • Create and deliver a presentation on the assigned President to share the group’s discoveries with the class.
  • Consider the common themes, goals and challenges of these three presidencies. 
Essential and guiding questions: 

What issues were most important during each President’s term(s)?
How did these three Presidents challenge the limits of executive power?
What goals and challenges did these three Presidents have in common?

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying
Extension suggestions: 

Have students use their notes from the Investigative Questions Worksheet, along with previous knowledge and/or additional research to write an essay answering the following prompt: How were the presidencies of Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson influenced by their background as Tennesseans?
As a class project, use the presentations created by each group as the basis for an exhibit on the Tennessee presidents to be displayed in your school. 

Helpful Hints

MATERIALS

  • Primary Source Analysis Tool
  • Investigative Question Worksheet
  • Internet Access (if possible)
  • Materials to create presentations: poster board, glue or tape and markers, or PowerPoint and display capabilities