In the "Great Leaders, Great Presidents" classroom activity, students will review leadership skills. As examples, review the leadership displayed by General George Washington, General Ulysses S. Grant, President Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt during their time spent at Valley Forge, PA, City Point, VA, and Medora, ND. The actions these men took, both during the period of time at these sites, and later in their presidencies, demonstrated true leadership qualities.
Procedure: Have each student in the room take out a piece of paper. Give the students approximately 1015 minutes to write their answers to the following:
1. What are the qualities or traits of a leader?
2. Are all leaders great and powerful people?
3. Who are the leaders in your life?
4. Why do you think of these people as leaders?
5. How can you be a leader?
6. Ask the students to volunteer some of their answers to the leadership questions. List some of the responses on the chalkboard so that all of the students can see them. Briefly discuss the responses with the class.
7. Direct students to select one of the following leaders represented in the "Discover Presidential Log Cabins" program materials: George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln or Theodore Roosevelt. They will complete the next part of the assignment focusing on that one leader.
8. Students, using their self-generated list of leadership qualities as a guide, will review additional resources on the achievements of that leader. Students may focus on the time periods covered in the "Discover Presidential Log Cabins" materials, as well as their subject's time as President or other achievements in that person's life.
9. Students will write a one-page essay on why they think the person they chose to write about (Washington, Grant, Lincoln, or Roosevelt) was a great leader. Their essays should include examples of what that person accomplished to make them a great leader.
10. Have students present their leadership essays to the class.