American Presidents

andrew johnson American Presidents Teacher Guide

Who was President Ulysses S. Grant?
July 12, 1999 on C-SPAN
Recommended Use:
Secondary Level

This Teacher Guide was developed by 1999 C-SPAN High School Teacher Fellow John Frank who teaches history and government at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, IN. C-SPAN is provided to his area by Post-Newsweek Cable.

Review Mr. Frank's Teaching Ideas

Before Viewing American Presidents
Have students choose one of the following ways of presenting information about President Grant:

a. Role play:
Instruct each student, or several students in a group activity, to choose a key event in Ulysses S. Grant's life. Then the students will develop a two to five minute performance that could be presented to the entire class. This skit should be written, directed, and acted by students. Students will be evaluated on historical accuracy, character development, and overall presentation.

b. Speeches:
Individual pupils may select, or be assigned, one of the key events from the life of Ulysses S. Grant. The students will then compose a speech that President Grant himself might have delivered about this event during his lifetime. These student-produced written addresses may be presented directly to the class or submitted using audio or videotape. Students will be evaluated on historical accuracy, character development, and overall presentation.

c. Charades:
Divide the class into two teams which will play charades, acting out and guessing at portrayals of different events in President Grant's life. Students will be evaluated on their ability to present information and draw conclusions about details from the president's life.

While Viewing American Presidents
Directions: Prepare for a role play, speech, or charades by gathering information about the following topics using C-SPAN's American Presidentsweb site and programming.

1. The boyhood of Ulysses S. Grant

2. Ulysses S. Grant at West Point

3. Mexican War Service

4. Marriage of Ulysses S. Grant and Julia Dent Grant

5. Assignment to California and Resignation from the Army

6. Clerk in Father's Leather Store

7. Returning to the Army

8. Shiloh

9. Vicksburg

10. Met Lincoln for the First Time

11. Assigned to Command All U.S. Armies

12. Surrender at Appomattox

13. First Inaugural Address

14. Second Inaugural Address

15. Last Message to Congress

16. Travel to Japan

17. Tours Mexico

18. Friendship with Mark Twain

19. Writing of Memoirs

20. Julia Dent Grant's Widowed Life

After Viewing American Presidents
To prepare students for their presentations, review the information they gathered from the While Viewing activity. Rank the relative importance of key events in the life of President Grant. Then, rank events according to their significance to the history of the United States.

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