American Presidents

Woodrow Wilson American Presidents Teacher Guide
The Life of President Woodrow Wilson
September 13, 1999 on C-SPAN
Recommended Use:
Intermediate to High School

Jane Metcalf, a teacher from Shawnee Mission School District, Shawnee Mission, Kansas developed this teacher guide.

Note to teachers: Additional educational resources related to Woodrow Wilson can be obtained by contacting the Woodrow Wilson House Museum in Washington, D.C.

Before Viewing American Presidents
l. Introduce the students to Woodrow Wilson by displaying the following facts on the board or overhead in front of the classroom. (Students can gather additional biographical information from the American Presidents web site.)

  • Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States.
  • He was born in 1856, and he died in 1924.
  • He was the president during World War I.

2. Tell the students that they will be viewing (portions of) C-SPAN's American Presidents program on Woodrow Wilson.

3. Ask the students to watch the video as a biographer would and collect information to be written in a biography after viewing the program. Remind them that a biography is a story of a person's life.

4. Ask the students to be thinking of an illustration to be included with the biography. The drawing to be done by the student may show elements of Woodrow Wilson's physical appearance, clothing styles of the period, personality traits, and possibly a particular event from his life.

While Viewing American Presidents
Directions: Use the graphic organizer below or another type of outline to record your notes while viewing C-SPAN's American Presidents program. These notes will then be used to assist in writing the biography of Woodrow Wilson.

Early Life
  • Date of birth:________________________

  • Place of birth:_______________________

  • Family Members:____________________ __________________________________

  • Interests:__________________________ __________________________________

  • Elementary:_______________________

  • High School:______________________

  • College:__________________________

  • Level of Education Attained:_________________________
Teaching Career

1. Where did he teach? ___________________

2. What did he teach? ____________________

3. For what was he remembered in the teaching field?

Public Service

1. What government position did Woodrow Wilson hold before becoming president? How long did he serve?

2. When did Woodrow Wilson become the 28th President of the United States?

3. What was his slogan during his second campaign for president?

Events during Woodrow Wilson's Presidency

1. What was Woodrow Wilson's reform package?

2. What were the four constitutional amendments that were passed during Woodrow Wilson's term?

3. What was President Wilson's general attitude toward involving America in war?

4. When did the war, now known as World War I, begin? How long did World War I last?

5. What were the Fourteen Points for Peace?

6. What was President Wilson's chief war goal?

7. What happened at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919?

Personal Information

1. When was Woodrow Wilson married?

2. What was the name of his first wife?

3. How many children did Woodrow Wilson have?

4. How did the president's wife die?

5. What was the name of his second wife, and when were they married?

6. When did Woodrow Wilson become ill and have a stroke?

7. Was Woodrow Wilson able to continue with his duties as President?

8. When did President Woodrow Wilson leave office?

9. When did Woodrow Wilson die?

After Viewing American Presidents
1. Review the students' notes on the program with the class.

2. Divide the class into small groups of three or four students to check answers that were recorded on the graphic organizer. Each small group may compile or share the information that was gathered.

3. Ask the students to write a biography of Woodrow Wilson using the information from the graphic organizers as a guide. (Teachers may want to assign the writing of the biographies as a small group project. If this option is chosen, the teacher may want to ask each particular group to focus on one of the preceding subjects.)

4. Ask the students to draw an illustration to accompany the biography.

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