About This Lesson
The lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site", and other source materials from John F. Kennedy National Historic Site (with photographs). It was written by Leslie C. Obleschuk, an education specialist at John F. Kennedy National Historic Site. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson can be used as a biographical study, an introduction to the Kennedy presidency and the turbulent sixties, or as part of a unit on post-World War II American history. Students will work with primary and secondary sources and will strengthen their skills in analytical reading and interpretation related to history. Furthermore, it will help students understand that history and culture are shaped by the lives and accomplishments of the people of a society, and that one individual can make a difference.
Time period: 20th Century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To list the values that Joseph and Rose Kennedy tried to instill in their children.
2) To identify reasons why we remember JFK today.
3) To consider the effects of family culture or family environment and community on the development of character and personality.
4) To investigate their family traditions, values, interests, and the neighborhood they grew up in, and discuss the effects these have had on the development of their personality and character.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) one map of John F. Kennedy National Historic Site in Brookline, Massachusetts;
2) three readings that describe the Kennedy family and the house where JFK was born and an excerpt from JFK's inaugural address;
3) five photographs of the Kennedy family home as well as family photos;
4) a document recording JFK's health record and other important information.
Visiting the site
John F. Kennedy National Historic Site, administered by the National Park Service, is open to the public by guided tour only, Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., from early May through late October. For further information, write the Superintendent, John F. Kennedy National Historic Site, 83 Beals Street, Brookline, MA 02446 or visit the park web pages.